Brussels: Discovering the Heart of Europe
Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, is a city that has a lot to offer to visitors from all around the world. With its stunning architecture, mouth-watering cuisine, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene, Brussels has something for everyone. Here’s a guide to exploring the city and discovering its hidden gems.
The City Center
One of the first things you should do in Brussels is to take a walk around the city center. The Grand Place, also known as the Grote Markt, is the heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stunning architecture of the surrounding buildings, including the City Hall and the Guild Houses, will leave you in awe. Be sure to visit the Manneken Pis statue, a famous landmark of Brussels, which depicts a little boy peeing into a fountain.
Food and Drink
Belgium is known for its delicious cuisine, and Brussels is no exception. The city is famous for its waffles, chocolate, and beer. You can find a variety of waffle shops and chocolate boutiques throughout the city, and many cafes offer delicious Belgian beers. If you’re looking for a traditional Belgian meal, try moules-frites (mussels and fries) or stoemp (a mashed potato dish).
Art and Culture
Brussels is home to numerous museums and art galleries, including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, which houses over 20,000 works of art. The city is also known for its comic book culture, and you can find many murals and street art installations depicting famous comic book characters. The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a must-visit for any comic book fan.
If you have some extra time, consider taking a day trip from Brussels. The nearby city of Bruges, known as the “Venice of the North,” is a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful canals, medieval architecture, and charming streets. Another option is Ghent, a lively university town with a rich cultural history and stunning Gothic architecture.
Brussels is a city that truly represents the heart of Europe. From its stunning architecture to its delicious cuisine, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene, Brussels has something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, an art lover, or a history buff, this city will leave you with unforgettable memories.
What to visit and where to stay in Brussels
Brussels is a city that offers a wide range of activities and accommodations for all types of travelers. Here are some suggestions for places to visit and where to stay during your trip to Brussels.
What to Visit:
- Atomium: A unique and iconic structure that was built for the 1958 World Expo, the Atomium offers panoramic views of the city and houses several exhibitions.
- Royal Palace of Brussels: The official palace of the King and Queen of Belgium, this stunning building is open to the public during the summer months and offers guided tours.
- Mini-Europe: This park features miniature replicas of famous European landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Museum of the Belgian Brewers: Discover the history of Belgian beer and sample some of the best brews in the world.
- Comic Book Route: Brussels is famous for its comic book culture, and you can follow a walking tour to see murals and street art installations featuring famous comic book characters.
Where to Stay:
- Grand Place: If you want to stay in the heart of Brussels, the Grand Place is a great option. You’ll be within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions and can experience the vibrant atmosphere of the city center.
- Saint Gilles: This trendy neighborhood offers a more relaxed atmosphere with many cafes, bars, and restaurants. It’s a great option if you want to experience a local vibe and be close to some of the city’s best nightlife.
- European Quarter: If you’re interested in politics and want to be close to the European Union institutions, the European Quarter is the place to be. It’s also a great option if you’re looking for modern and upscale accommodations.
- Ixelles: This neighborhood offers a mix of residential and commercial areas and is home to many museums and art galleries. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a quieter and more cultural experience.
- Sablon: This charming neighborhood is known for its antique shops, art galleries, and chocolate boutiques. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a more upscale and luxurious experience.
No matter where you decide to stay in Brussels, you’ll be sure to find a variety of accommodations to fit your budget and style. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, the city has something for everyone.