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    Summer in Brussels #4

    The rejuvenated Brussels Canal

    bake your own bread at an urban farm – drink an afterwork cocktail by the canal – take your kids on an underground treasure hunt – summer in Brussels #4

    Brussels may seem quiet in early August, as many of its inhabitants leave for holidays. But there’s still a lot to do if you know where to look. And the good news is that the streets are calm at this time of year, so you can go for an urban walk along the canal, or take your kids to a quiet playground or seek out an inspiring art exhibition without having to stand in long queues.

    DISCOVER THE BRUSSELS CANAL

    We’re taking you down to the canal zone this week to look at some of the places that have sprung up recently. They lie in the district of Molenbeek, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons earlier this year.

    But we think there is another side to Molenbeek that is barely covered by the media. For many years, this has been emerging as one of the city’s most cosmopolitan neighbourhoods, with inspiring new urban initiatives springing up along the canalside. We take a look this week at seven new hotspots along the canal that are helping to put Molenbeek on the map.

    KIDS COME FIRST

    The school holidays might be starting to drag by now, but we have some ideas for things you can do with your kids in Brussels this summer. It might be a trip downtown to a nostalgic ice cream salon. Or it could be an exciting adventure trail in the woods outside Brussels.

    IS BRUSSELS THE NEW BERLIN?

    Brussels is known for its beer, its frites and its bureaucracy. But it also hosts an impressive art scene. A vast collection of contemporary art galleries, annual art fairs and art events take place in Brussels. We look at some of the places you can explore to get in touch with the creative side of the city, including a magnificent town palace that has been invaded by street artists.  

    TIP OF THE WEEK

    Ten years ago, the Atomium reopened after a two-year project to restore the shiny 1958 structure. The monument is marking the anniversary with a free rock concert called Let the Balls Rock on Saturday 13 August. The programme features bands from across the country including The Lazy Brothers and The Blue Bones. The day ends with a fireworks display in the sky Mini Europe.

    www.atomium.be

    Derek Blyth
    The Brussels Times