Exploring the Heart of Europe: Top 5 Must-Visit Places in Brussels, Belgium


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Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is often referred to as the heart of Europe. It is not only the administrative center of the European Union, but also a vibrant cultural and political hub. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and diverse attractions, Brussels has become a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

Key Takeaways

  • Brussels is known as the heart of Europe.
  • The Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit attraction in Brussels.
  • The Atomium is a symbol of innovation and creativity in Brussels.
  • The Manneken Pis is a quirky icon that showcases Brussels’ sense of humor.
  • The Belgian Comic Strip Center pays tribute to Belgium’s rich comic tradition.

The Grand Place

One of the most iconic landmarks in Brussels is the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent square is surrounded by beautiful buildings that showcase a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic, Baroque, and Louis

The Grand Place has been the center of political and social life in Brussels for centuries, and it continues to be a bustling hub of activity today.

When visiting the Grand Place, be sure to take your time to admire the intricate details of the buildings. The Town Hall, in particular, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with its towering spires and ornate façade. The surrounding guildhalls are equally impressive, each with its own unique design and history.

The Atomium

Aspect Metric
Location Brussels, Belgium
Height 102 meters
Weight 2,400 tons
Construction 1954-1958
Architect André Waterkeyn
Materials Stainless steel, aluminum, and glass
Visitors per year 600,000

The Atomium is another must-visit attraction in Brussels. This futuristic structure was built for the 1958 World Expo and has since become a symbol of innovation and creativity in the city. The Atomium consists of nine interconnected spheres that represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

Inside the Atomium, visitors can explore various exhibitions that showcase the history and design of this iconic structure. The top sphere offers panoramic views of Brussels, providing a unique perspective of the city. There is also a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a meal while taking in the breathtaking views.

The Royal Palace of Brussels

The Royal Palace of Brussels is not only the official residence of the Belgian royal family but also a popular tourist destination. This neoclassical palace dates back to the 18th century and is known for its grandeur and opulence. The palace is only open to the public during the summer months, allowing visitors to explore its stunning rooms and gardens.

Highlights of the Royal Palace tour include the Mirror Room, which is adorned with crystal chandeliers and mirrors, and the Throne Room, where official ceremonies take place. The palace gardens are also worth a visit, with their manicured lawns, fountains, and statues.

The Manneken Pis

One of the quirkiest attractions in Brussels is the Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue of a boy urinating into a fountain. Despite its small size, the Manneken Pis has become an iconic symbol of Brussels’ sense of humor and irreverence. The statue has a long history and is associated with various legends and traditions.

When visiting the Manneken Pis, be prepared for crowds of tourists trying to get a glimpse of this famous statue. It is often dressed up in different costumes, which adds to its charm. Nearby, you can also find the Jeanneke Pis, a similar statue of a girl urinating, and the Zinneke Pis, a statue of a dog urinating.

The Belgian Comic Strip Center

Belgium has a rich tradition of comic strips, and the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels pays tribute to this art form. Housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta, the museum showcases the history and significance of Belgian comics through various exhibitions.

Highlights of the Comic Strip Center experience include seeing original comic strip artwork by famous Belgian artists such as Hergé (creator of Tintin) and Peyo (creator of The Smurfs). There are also interactive displays where visitors can try their hand at creating their own comic strips.

The Museum of Natural Sciences

For science enthusiasts, the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels is a must-visit attraction. This museum offers a fascinating journey through the world of science, with exhibits on everything from dinosaurs and fossils to human evolution and biodiversity.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Gallery of Evolution, which showcases a wide range of animal specimens and explores the concept of evolution. The Dinosaur Gallery is also a popular attraction, with its life-sized dinosaur skeletons and interactive displays.

The Saint-Michel and Gudula Cathedral

The Saint-Michel and Gudula Cathedral is a magnificent Gothic masterpiece located in the heart of Brussels. This stunning cathedral dates back to the 13th century and is dedicated to the patron saints of Brussels.

When visiting the cathedral, be sure to take in the intricate stained glass windows, towering spires, and beautiful sculptures. The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, with its high vaulted ceilings and ornate decorations. There is also a museum inside the cathedral where visitors can learn more about its history and architecture.

The Mini-Europe Park

For a unique experience in Brussels, head to the Mini-Europe Park. This miniature park features scaled-down replicas of Europe’s most iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and the Colosseum. It offers visitors a chance to explore Europe in just a few hours.

Highlights of the park experience include interactive displays that provide information about each landmark and its significance. There are also live demonstrations, such as a mini eruption of Mount Vesuvius or a mini bullfight in Spain. The park is a great option for families with children or anyone interested in European history and culture.

The Sablon District

The Sablon District is a charming neighborhood in Brussels that is known for its art galleries, antique shops, and chocolatiers. It has a rich history and was once home to wealthy merchants and nobles. Today, it has become a haven for art lovers and collectors.

When exploring the Sablon District, be sure to visit the various art galleries and antique shops that line the streets. You can find everything from contemporary art to antique furniture and jewelry. Don’t forget to indulge in some Belgian chocolates while you’re there, as the district is also known for its high-quality chocolatiers.

Brussels, Belgium offers a wealth of attractions for visitors to explore. From the historic Grand Place to the quirky Manneken Pis, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in art, history, science, or simply enjoying delicious Belgian chocolates, Brussels has it all. So, plan your trip and get ready to discover the heart of Europe.

Looking for some exciting places to visit in Brussels, Belgium? Check out this article on EU Wellbeing that provides a comprehensive list of must-visit attractions in the city. From the iconic Atomium to the historic Grand Place, this article covers it all. Whether you’re a history buff or a food lover, Brussels has something for everyone. So, don’t miss out on exploring this vibrant city! Click here to read more about the top attractions in Brussels.


What are some popular tourist attractions in Brussels?

Some popular tourist attractions in Brussels include the Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Atomium, Royal Palace of Brussels, and the Belgian Comic Strip Center.

What is the best time to visit Brussels?

The best time to visit Brussels is during the months of March to May and September to November when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

What is the currency used in Brussels?

The currency used in Brussels is the Euro.

What is the official language spoken in Brussels?

The official languages spoken in Brussels are French and Dutch, but English is widely spoken as well.

What is the transportation system like in Brussels?

The transportation system in Brussels is well-developed and includes buses, trams, and a metro system. Taxis and bicycles are also popular modes of transportation.

What is the food like in Brussels?

Brussels is known for its delicious cuisine, including Belgian waffles, chocolate, fries, and beer. There are also many traditional Belgian dishes to try, such as mussels and frites.

What are some cultural events in Brussels?

Brussels hosts many cultural events throughout the year, including the Brussels Jazz Marathon, Brussels Summer Festival, and the Brussels Christmas Market. There are also many museums and galleries to explore.


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