Buscar Louise

A stout pair of walking shoes is the recommended accessory for a visit to Avenue Louise, which runs for nearly two miles in a south-easterly direction from Place Louise to the the green spaces of the Bois de la Cambre. Oh, and deep pockets wouldn't hurt either, as this is one of the most prestigious shopping destinations in Brussels. The first stretch of avenue, up to and including Place Stephanie, sees the likes of Gucci, Chanel, Hermes, and Rolex rubbing shoulders with top end top end local coutouriers and bespoke tailors. Even if you can't afford the prices, it's fun to stroll past the vintage Art Deco shop-fronts, trams dinging musically in the background. And if you need a break from retail therapy, you can always nip into one of the bars and restaurants in the neighbouring side streets for a bite to eat. Above Place Stephanie, boutiques give way to embassies, modern office blocks, even a couple of skyscrapers. Look out for the tall, thin facade of no 453, the headquarters (or one of them – they moved around) of the Gestapo during WWII. Standing outside the house is a dignified monument to the Belgian pilot who attacked the building in a British Hawker Typhoon in 1943.