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Things to do in Brussels

Commune with the past at Laeken Cemetery

Laeken Cemetery is a brilliant exponent of 19th century funereal art, and has often been considered the little brother of the renowned Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Copper statues and figurines of mourners are dotted throughout, and you can find info on a tour of the hotspots from the tourist office (www.belgium-tourism.be).

Get your haggle on at the flea market

The Marolles Flea Market at Place du Jeu de Balle is a pillar of the Brussels community, and operates 365 days a year. It's open 0600 to 1400 weekdays, 0600 to 1500 weekends, and if you're prepared to do some digging, you'll find some pearls twinkling in the oceans of bric a brac. For more info, speak to the tourist office (www.belgium-tourism.be).

Learn how to draw your own comic strip

“I’ll go to Brussels,” you said. “Drink some beer, eat some mussels, get confused about the origination of the Flemish language,” you said. You probably didn’t consider learning how to draw your own comic strip to be a part of your likely itinerary. Well, thanks to De Marck’s comic workshops (tel: +32 475 47 87 28) you can fully embrace your inner Stan Lee.

Step back in time at Le Cirio

This grand cafe opened its doors back in 1886, and has been indulging its customers in Belgian hospitality ever since. The interior of Le Cirio (tel: +32 25 12 13 95) has a waft of opulence, but the prices aren't actually too bad. You'll also find a good smattering of locals in amongst the tourists.

Visit the Musical Instrument Museum

Brussel’s Musical Instrument Museum (tel: +32 2 545 01 30; www.mim.be) is a haven for anyone interested in music's new and distant past. With over 8,000 instruments on show, it’s got everything covered, whether you’re interested in guitars, African slit drums, or bagpipes made out of bones.

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24 hours in: Brussels

On the lookout for great food, culture and plenty of art? Then Brussels is the city for you: cheaper than Paris and more off-beat than you'd think, travel to this charming capital to uncover what lies beyond the beer and chocolate.