Brussels (French: Bruxelles, Dutch: Brussel) is the capital city of Belgium and of Brussels Capital Region. It is entirely surrounded by Dutch-speaking Flanders and its constituent Flemish Brabant province (Brussels vacation).
Brussels is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s must-see destinations, with its small town charm, trendy bars and restaurants, fabulous food, great nightlife, fantastic shopping, numerous museums, and other attractions including the diverse and interesting exhibitions and festivals organized there every year.
As headquarters of many European institutions, Brussels might also be considered something of a capital for the European Union. Being at the crossroads of cultures (the Germanic in the North and the Romance in the South) and playing an important role in Europe, Brussels fits the definition of the archetypal “melting pot”, but still retains its own unique character. The population of the city of Brussels is 1 million and the population of Brussels metropolitan area is just over 2 million.
Brussels is also becoming known as a mecca of style, art, and design. While attracting more and more big names in international fashion to its growing shopping districts, home-grown Belgian designers are rapidly gaining global notoriety. The streets of Brussels feature art and architecture created from an unmistakably Belgian point of view that cannot be replicated. This beautiful city is a center for fashion, art, and Belgian culture.
1 A UNESCO World Heritage site – Grand Place
The Grand Place, with its ornate baroque and gothic guild houses, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Built as a merchants market in the 13th century, it serves as the city center and a great place to enjoy Belgian hospitality at one of the many terrace cafes. It is also a venue for many concerts & events throughout the year and during the warmer months has a vibrant, daily flower market.
Nice place to have a walk, drink some beers or a coffee, taste some chocolate. It is better to visit on spring or Christmas season for Year End Vacation.
2 Belgium’s finest civic buildings – Brussels Town Hall
Not only because of the numerous sculptures adorning its walls, but also because of its perfect proportions and the incomparable beauty of its tower, the spire of which is topped by the archangel Saint-Michael.
Its beautiful facade features the famous needle-like crooked spire which is 315 feet in height and is topped by the archangel St. Michael. Tours are available of the interior, which contains 15th century tapestries and works of art.
Enjoyed taking shots of this lovely town hall and walking around in its central court yard. Situated in the centre of the beautiful old square, it is a stunning piece of architecture.
3 Magnificent Iron Crystals Atoms Architecture – The Atomium
Built for the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium represents a molecule’s nine atoms –elementary iron crystal magnified 165 billion times: it is today the most popular attraction in the Capital of Europe. Something of a symbol of the city, it provides a panoramic view of Brussels and its surroundings. The 9 spheres that make up the atom are linked by escalators. The Atomium hosts a museum and is also a venue for special events. Beyond surreal walks through tubes and spheres, the Atomium houses a permanent exhibition about its history as well temporary exhibitions for a broad public (sciences, design, society).
The upper sphere offers unique and spectacular views across the city skyline.
At night, 2970 lights offer a fairy dimension to the 102m high building. The panoramic restaurant is daily open until 11pm
In Summer : take part in a unique activity: a Death-Ride from the top sphere of the Atomium! A breathtaking descent of more than 100 meters!
4 Romantic Charming Rue de Bouchers
Known more for the atmospheric charm, Rue de Boucher is a walking thoroughfare abounding with 17th century stepped gables, decorated doorways, cafes and restaurants with lavish pavement displays of seafood, piled high on mounds of ice. This street offers a wide variety of restaurants at various price points. Two of the most well known restaurants are Chez Leon and Aux Armes de Bruxelles.
However a word of cautious: It is a typical street, it is nice, romantic and charming to have a walk in Rue des Bouchers. But when the moment it comes to eat, please choose somewhere else…here you won’t eat much but you will pay a lot!
5 Beautiful Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule
This magnificent cathedral, tactfully dedicated to the male and female patron saints of Brussels, is located near Central Station.
This is a beautiful cathedral, quite and serene in the heart of the bustling city. The stained glass windows, side altars and carved pulpit are particularly impressive. A small shop within the cathedral sells a large number of attractive items, which appeared far more interesting than those in other religious establishments, seemed that some thought had gone in to their acquisition, well worth a look.
6 World’s Richest Multidisciplinary Collection Magritte Museum (Royal museums of Fine Arts)
In the building of Belgium’s Royal Museums of Fine Arts, visitors can explore the 2,500 m2 of the Magritte Museum. This museum stands right in the centre of Brussels, on Place Royale, and exhibits for public viewing the surrealist artist’s creations belonging to Belgium’s Royal Museums of Fine Arts and originating mainly from purchases and from the Irène Hamoir-Scutenaire and Georgette Magritte bequests. This multidisciplinary collection is the richest in the world. It comprises more than 200 works consisting of oils on canvas, gouaches, drawings, sculptures and painted objects as well as advertising posters, music scores, vintage photographs and films directed by Magritte himself.
No visit to Brussels is complete without spending at least 2-3 hours at the complex Royal Fine Arts Museums on the area atop the Sablon. It holds one of the best collections of Dutch and Belgium masters in Europe (and the world).
7 Funpack For Adults and Kids – Océade Funpark
This is the capital’s water funpark, open all year round, with all the excitement of high-speed slides, the charm of jacuzzis, saunas, solariums and wavepools.
Conveniently located by the metro station Heysel stop and other attractions this place is a must visit rain or shine. If you are in the centre of Brussels do not be put of by location use the tourist friendly metro system to get there it is worth it. If traveling by car there is plenty of parking nearby. You need a 1 euro coin for a locker that is returnable. Life jackets / buoyancy jackets are provided for the little ones. There is a great wave pool that does different levels of waves, amazing slide for all ages, including non swimmers. Food is available at the on site restaurants. This is a must visit especially if you have kids.
Opening hours changes with the seasons; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. WE, school holidays, public holidays; the other days: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.Closed on 1/4 to 30/6: Monday; 1/9 to 31/3: Monday and Tuesday.
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