Guided tours are big business in Brussels; everything from a quick stroll or bus ride round the city centre to themed visits is on offer, and both Brussels International tourist offices have the details of – and take bookings for – about twenty operators. As a general rule, the more predictable tours can be booked on the day, while the more exotic need to be booked ahead of time, either direct with the company concerned or with the tourist office, who normally require at least two weeks’ advance notice. Among the many more straightforward options, Brussels City Tours, rue de la Colline 8 (wwww.brussels-city-tours.com), operates the Visit Brussels Line, a hop-on, hop-off bus service which loops round the city, visiting twelve of its principal sights.

More promising is ARAU (Atelier de Recherche et d’Action Urbaines), blvd Adolphe Max 55 (t02 219 33 45, wwww.arau.org), a heritage action group which provides tours exploring the city’s architectural history – with particular emphasis on Art Nouveau – from April through to December; prices vary with the length of the tour and the itinerary, but average about €10 per person for walking tours, €15 if there’s some transport involved.

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