Brussels, the capital of Belgium and some might say, the capital of Europe. From the magnificent Grand Place to the futuristic Atomium and the cheeky Mannekin Pis; the city is full of awe-inspiring, interesting and eye-catching sights. We’ve picked out some of the best, how many can you see during your short break in Brussels?
Brussels is our Destination of the Month for July – check out our great offers including free entry to Mini Europe if you book before the end of the month!
Flower Carpet 2018
Top Fact: The flower carpet event takes place every two years, lasts for 3 to 4 days, is composed of more than half a million begonias and covers over 1,800 square metres. The 2018 theme of the flower carpet is Mexico. The Flower Carpet is dedicated to Guanajuato, a Mexican region with a particularly rich floral culture and tradition.
Top Fact: There are lots of fantastic legends attached to the statue. One of which is the small boy who weed on a burning fuse leading to a stash of gunpowder set to destroy the city. More likely is that the Rue de l’Étuv used to be filled with tanneries and in the Middle Ages, urine was used in the production of leather!
Top Fact: There are over 350 structures from 80 countries at Mini-Europe including the Berlin Wall, the Acropolis, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and Mount Vesuvius (which actually erupts!)
Grand Place/Grote Markt
Top Fact: This grand medieval square is the heart of Brussels and considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. The square hosts several events including the aforementioned Carpet of Flowers, the Ommegang medieval pageant and the Belgian Beer Weekend festival.
Top Fact: One of Europe’s more bizarre structures, the Atomium represents an iron atom magnified 165 billion times and is over 100 metres tall. Built for the 1958 World Fair, the tubes contain escalators which are among the longest in Europe at over 35 metres in length.
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Top Fact: A collection of six museums containing over 20,000 drawings, sculptures, and paintings; the museum was originally commissioned and funded by King Leopold II. One of the museum’s most famous masterpieces is Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Marat.
Arcade du Cinquantenaire
Top Fact: Another of King Leopold’s pet projects, this monumental arch was built as a centrepiece to the huge park commemorating the 50th year of Belgian independence. The bronze quadriga atop the arch represents the province of Brabant, the historical region of Belgium of which Brussels was the capital.
Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Located next to the Grand Place, Les Galeries Royales were once the literary centre of Brussels where writers such as Charles Baudelaire, Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo would meet, discuss and drink coffee. Now the 100 metre long galleries are home to luxury boutiques, chocolatiers, restaurants and bookshops.
Brussels Vintage Market
Top Fact: Held on the first Sunday of the month in the historic surroundings of Les Halles Saint-Géry, Brussels Vintage Market boasts stalls selling all things retro from clothes to records, jewellery, accessories, toys and furniture. There’s also a cafe playing cool retro sounds (on vinyl of course).
Top Fact: Brussels is quite rightly world-renowned for its chocolate and you’ll find chocolatiers on practically every street in the city. Explore the chocolate making process at Concept Chocolate with a guided tour and tasting session. Alternatively, book a workshop where you can create your own chocolates or a tasting session where you’ll learn which wines and beers complement chocolates (including plenty of tasters!)