Brussels is one of the most enchanting and beautiful cities in the whole Europe, with awesome squares having ornate guild houses, impressive Town Halls and buzzing atmosphere. It is the capital city of Belgium and of Brussels Capital Region. Being the headquarters of many European institutions, Brussels might also be considered something of a capital for the European Union.
Brussels's compact city center is clustered with bars, restaurants and museums set along cobbled streets, which open, suddenly into the Grand-Place. The city has a long-running love affair with the Surrealist art movement, , and with classic comic strips of Hergé's boy hero, Tin tin.
The city is entirely surrounded by Dutch-speaking Flanders and its constituent Flemish Brabant province. Leopold II’s, Parisian-style boulevards, are lined with embassies, banks and grand apartment buildings.
Sainte Cathérine, the Art Nouveau district draws an arty crowd with their cool shops and restaurants.
The Bruxellois take pride in their self-effacing, intellectual sense of humor, underpinned by a strong appreciation of the bizarre.
Brussels Main Attractions and Best Sightseeing:
Brussels is a city of contrasts with enormous diversity when it comes to places of interest and things to do. Belgium chocolate, the spectacular Grand Place, and the many historical sites like the Waterloo Battlefield are famous must see places.
Visitors can see an exhibition showing how the Atomium has been depicted in comic strips through the years and an audiovisual presentation on the construction of the Atomium. There are splendid views across Brussels and the surrounding countryside from the top of the structure.
• 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. 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.
• Town Hall
The first building entering the Grand Place is the striking gothic town hall. Its beautiful facade features the famous needle-like crooked spire.
• The Royal Palace (Palais Royal)
It is the official home of the Belgian king. The building is a highlight of Neo-Classical architecture and overlooks Brussels Park. The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer months.
• Manneken Pis
This famous statue of a little boy peeing in a fountain is a perfect representative of the irreverent Belgian humor. The unique Brussels icon has been amusing visitors
It is an underground trail to discover the remains of King Charles the Fifth's palace.
• Galleries St Hubert
This is a gorgeous, glass roofed arcade in the center of town, lined with cafes, theaters and luxury stores and is the first shopping arcade in Europe.
• 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. The interior is splendidly proportioned and stuffed with treasures.
• Place du Grand Sablon
The Grand Sablon is most famous for its lively open-air antiques market, which attracts antiques dealers from all over the world.
This is a picturesque square, which is situated on the slope that divides Brussels between the upper and lower halves of the city.
• Place du Petit Sablon
It is a favorite area to relax while taking in the pretty view. Originally a horse market, now an elegant & charming flower garden with lavish fountains, surrounded by wrought-iron fences decorated with stone statuettes.
• The Museum of Ancient Art
The Museum of Ancient Art has got a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 15th until 18th century.
• Magritte Museum
The world's largest collection of René Magritte’s works is found in the building of the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium.
• The Museum of Musical Instruments
The Museum of Musical Instruments is a strikingly beautiful building in Brussels. On the top floor, the indoor & outdoor MIM Restaurant provides visitors with a magnificent 360° view of Brussels.
• The Dinosaur Gallery at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
It is largest dinosaur museum in Europe in the Museum of Natural Sciences. This is a great exhibit for the whole family, with many new dinosaur skeletons to discover and learn about as well as hands-on activities for children.
• The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art
This museum pays homage to a particular Belgian passion, cartooning. Tin tin and the Smurfs are the most famous Belgian comic strip characters but the museum also displays artwork from over 670 cartoonists.
Things to do in Brussels
Mini Europe and Oceade Tour
Experience entire Europe in a nutshell at the Mini Europe Theme Park, where around 350 miniature models of Europe’s socio-cultural, architectural and technological symbols are present. The Mini Europe Theme park is an official project of European Union. See the iconic structure of Europe like the House of Parliament and Big Ben of London, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe of Paris, Plaza De Toros of Spain and Santiago de Compostela of Spain, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Venice of Italy, Acropolis of Greece and many more. You will also see the models of modern architecture and technology that is driving Europe forward like the Jumbo Ferry, Oil Rig, Channel, Thalys Railways, Airport (Airbus), Ariane Space Research Agency. Enjoy at the Oceade, a family water park and take joy rides in its various rides. Enjoy a ride in the Anaconda, which is the funniest slide. The tour will be a great memory and experience for you.
Brussels City Hop on- Hop off Tour
Explore the iconic city of Brussels, the capital city of Belgium and the official headquarters of the European Union and other international organizations. The city has a unique cultural fusion of French, Flemish and international community cultures. The city is blessed with many renaissance and neo modern architectures and cultural heritages. Here you will see modern stylish skyscrapers and renaissance buildings standing together in perfect harmony. The best way to explore and see the highlights of the city is through the hop on- hop off buses. The buses cover all the important and major highlights of Brussels and stop at nearly 13 stops. Here you can see the European Parliament, Manneken Pis, Cinquantenaire Arch, Art Nouveau and Victor Horta, the Grand-Place and the Atomium. The city of Brussels is blessed with many cultural heritages and you can see its unique culture and history by visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, The Royal Military Museum or the Museum of Musical Instruments. You can also visit the famed Chocolate Museum and Beer Museum and can taste some of the finest chocolates of the world and can sample some Belgian beers. A visit to Atomium is must, an iconic architecture and a symbol of Belgium. Visit the Atomium built for the purpose of Expo 58 now serves as an exhibition center, Museum, Kids Educational center and a panoramic Restaurant. Visit the relaxing Sablon Garden and enjoy shopping at Rue Neuve or simply do some window shopping at the Louise Square-Justice Palace. Spend the night at the Royal Park Theatre and see the classical Belgian performances. You will enjoy all this sights and attractions with the hop on- hop off city tour.
Holland is only at a stone’s throw away and nevertheless the country is strikingly different. Cross the Dutch border and drive through the endless polders with typical windmills to reach the Amsterdam area. First you will visit a traditional crafts centre and get familiar with all that made the glory of Holland: tasty cheese, wooden clogs and beautiful pottery. In the afternoon you will visit Amsterdam. Enjoy an opportunity to make a boat tour along the many picturesque canals (optional) and have a break and enjoy some free time at the Dam Square, famous for the Royal Palace and right in the heart of Amsterdam.
Ghent and Brugge Tour
Explore the beautiful Flemish region of Belgium on this Ghent and Brugge Tour. Enjoy an hour drive from Brussels and arrive in Ghent and visit the St Bavo’s Cathedral, home of the world famous late medieval “Mystic Lamb” painting (optional visit, closed on Sundays). During the city tour you will see all important ancient buildings for which the city is so famous: the Belfry, the St Nicholas’ Church and the fortified castle of the Count of Flanders. Next you will visit the Bruges, where you will visit first the dreamy Lake of Love and the Beguinage where you can find more peace and quiet. Enjoy free time for lunch and afterwards start the walking tour and discover all the highlights of the city: Saint John’s Hospital, Our Lady’s Church with the statue by Michelangelo (optional), the Market Square with the Belfry and the medieval Chapel of the Holy Blood. Don’t forget your walking shoes though! You can also enjoy an optional boat tour along Bruges’ picturesque canals.
Antwerp is Belgium’s 2nd largest city and Europe’s 2nd largest harbour. The city has preserved its historic character and many buildings remind us of its rich past. Above all, it is the city of Rubens, the world famous master of the 17th century. We drive to the ancient fortress of the city. Here we start our walk tour to the Market Square with its ancient houses and Our Lady’s Cathedral (entrance fee included). This cathedral boasts many treasures among which 4 of Rubens’ masterworks: “The Erection of and the Descent from the Cross, the Ascension of the Virgin and the Resurrection.” Enjoy a beautiful walk through the city center and some free time. Antwerp is also the world’s Diamond Center. You will visit a diamond workshop and explanations from experts. We end the tour with a drive through a part of the harbour.
Brussels has a temperate climate with four seasons spanning the whole year. Temperatures are relatively mild during the whole year. Winds tend to be slightly stronger in winter but the most of the year one finds rainfall. Snow is possible but doesn’t occur very often.
Chocolates and beer are internationally renowned and are in themselves a lure for many tourists with festivals celebrating both products.
Street stands selling waffles and chips are found almost everywhere
Most main dishes are meat or fish based .Coastal areas tend to favor seafood dishes, and many dishes are livened up with herbs and spices. Several dishes combine sweet and sour tastes, such as Buttermilk Soup with Apples, or Braised Chicken with Grapes. Desserts almost always involve pastries or chocolate.
Beer is the national drink and often accompanies a meal.
Best Time to Visit
Late spring to autumn is probably the best time to visit Brussels, as the weather is generally nice and warm.
How to Reach
Brussels' main airport is Brussels Airport, commonly referred to as Brussels National or Zaventem. Several major carriers operate out of the airport, including the local Brussels Airlines.
Several budget airlines, including Ryanair and Wizzair fly to Brussels South Charleroi Airport.
Brussels has three main train stations: Midi-Zuid, to the south of the city core, Central-Centraal, which is right next to the city centre, and Nord-Noord, to the north of the city center.
The Euro star train line links Lille Europe and London St. Pancras with Midi-Zuid.
Euro lines, offer bus travel from many countries to Brussels.