Things to See and Do in Brussels

in City Guides, Sightseeing

La Grand-Place in Brussels

La Grand-Place in Brussels

Brussels is the capital of Belgium, home to the European Union, a bustling cosmopolitan that excellently fuses the old and the new through its astounding architectural mix of Gothic and Art Nouveau, its vibrant street life and its many tempting beer and chocolate shops dotting the landscape. The city may be tiny in size, but it definitely is big in its cultural offerings.

The best place to start getting a feel of Brussels is the Grand Place (Grote Markt), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considered the “spiritual heart” of Brussels, this ornate medieval square is where many historic landmarks dating as far back as the 17th century are located – archaic guildhalls, the City Museum, the Hotel de Ville and several shops.

Brussels also boasts of its many cultural museums – the Musee Horta, home of Victor Horta who was one of the founders of Art Nouveau; Musee des Instruments des Musique, which houses more than 1500 musical instruments from around the world including an entire 17th century orchestra and a variety of instruments created by Adolphe Sax, the famous Belgian musician and inventor of the saxophone; the Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts des Belgique, which are basically four historic museums featuring 15th to 18th century art, as well as collections from modern artists. More historic Brussels landmarks include the Atomium, a giant silver atom built for the 1958 World Fair with a viewing gallery at the top pod; the Mannekin Pis, the world famous 15th century statue of a peeing boy; and the Mini Europe which has the major monuments of the member states of the European Union.

While basking in the sights and sounds, one should also take advantage of Brussels’ gastronomic offerings – fine Belgian chocolates in Neuhaus and L’Art du Chocolat; over 2000 kinds of beer in Delirium and an artisanal brewery in Cantillon.

Photo: Pablo Vieira

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

marta

if you go to bruxelles than you have to strecth a bit further to bruges, is a totally different experience it has such a relax atmosphere and it’s so cozy and pretty and the beer and chocolate as much yummy as brux

Molly

Both cities are fantastic, and some of the best food in Europe. I’ve always wondered how food can be so good in Belgium, and so bland just a hop, skip, and jump away in the Netherlands.

Eurotrip Tips

Let’s not forget about the Tintin museum, which is quite interesting, even for non comics lover. Because really, comics are omnipresent in Brussels. There are half a dozen near the Manneken Pis (which really was disappointing in his orange suit).

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