Brussels

Brussels screams internationality. The capital of Belgium is the de facto seat of the European Union government and headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Numerous other international aid and development agencies have made the city their home. So if you aren't inspired by the diversity and diplomacy of Bruxelles, as the city is known in French, you will be charmed by the ancient cobblestone streets and graceful squares of the tenth-century old town. Should that not be enough to win you over, a sampling of Belgian chocolates, Belgian waffles, Belgian beer and Belgian frites (french fries) will be just the right thing to tantalize your taste buds and take your heart.

As a runner, you will be able to easily immerse yourself among this city's international running population, if for no other reason than there are not a lot of places to run here. You've got to admire Brussels' residents though - at almost all times of day you will be able to find the die-hard taking laps around Parc de Bruxelles, a small green expanse in the center of town. If you've got the time and inclination to head further afield, the Foret de Soignes is the perfect escape.

Watch Out For: 
  • The Spaces Between: The spots to run in downtown Brussels are few and far between. Hold your breath and get ready for some city running when you leave the Parc de Bruxelles and head out onto EU Alley.
  • Cars: Brussels is a bustling town. So many representatives from so many nations bring a diversity of driving habits to the city streets. Be careful when trying to go across them.
  • Sweet Rewards: Chocolate, beer, waffles, and fries. Belgians love to eat, and will certainly be sharing that love - and their food - with you. Visiting this city can be a calorific experience.