At the hub of European politics – Brussels is the cosmopolitan capital of bureaucracy. But when freed from the shackles of red tape, this compact capital of Belgium is a fascinating fusion of profound historical curiosity and contemporary living. So, let’s start your visit:
The Grand-Place (La Grande Place)
Brussels’ central square is the focal point of activity for locals and tourists alike. The heaving markets are bursting with souvenir-seeking bargain hunters. Look out for the town hall (Hotel de Ville), a magnificent example of 15th century architecture.
This sacred 17th century bronze statue of the small boy urinating is a Brussels landmark. Several legends exist as to the origins of this statue. One says it depicts a young boy urinating on a burning charge destined to blow up the city walls when under siege from a foreign army, thus saving the city from invasion. Whatever the truth, he is undeniable cute and has over 500 outfits, one for every occasion.
Place Ste. Catherine
Beautiful square near the Dansart street. Lots of nice restaurants, shops, bars and cafés. If you like seafood, it has many good suggestions!
The Bourse was built 1868 to 1873 by Architect Léon Suys, and is one of the city’s most elegant 19th century buildings.
The Royal Palace of Belgium is one of the most beautiful official buildings in the capital, Brussels. You can also roam around the rooms, corridors and monumental stairs. Contemplate the invaluable collections of art works and decorations, from all the continents and eras.
Royales Galeries Sint-Hubert
Europe’s oldest glass arcade was designed by JP Cluysenaer and built in 1847. Home to fashionable boutiques and cool cafes, it was renovated and reopened in 2000. The arcade is worth visiting if only to experience the magnificent architecture.
Since its creation in mid-1958, the 9 bowls of the Atomium has become a Belgian symbol of the 20th century. The 20th century, during which the atom was fully mastered and became widely used by our society and affecting the development of our standard of living.
Museum of Costume and Lace
The famous Brussels’ Museum of Costume and Lace was created in 1978 And is located in the neighbourhood of the central Grand Place, not far away from the Hotel Amigo Brussels. It occupies a bourgeois house built in the 18th century. It contains rich and interesting textile and fabric collections. Most of the precious lace are hand-made with bobbins or needles in Belgium, France and Italy. As far back as the 17th century these masterpieces are exhibited next to civilian costume mainly women’s clothes or fashion accessories. The museum displays the essential complements to elegance, such as umbrellas, pieces of lingerie, leather purses, all kinds of hats, men and women shoes, fans, etc…
Royal Fine Art Museum or the Musée des Beaux Arts
With its clean art deco lines, Horta made his swansong a spacious and functional building that welcomes all international exhibitions. In 1997, the central hall was totally renovated. Thirteen interlinked, square and circular rooms ensure that there is space for even the largest masterpieces. The Musées des Beaux Arts, also hosts the regular Europalia festival. This international renewed festival, which focuses every year on a different country and serves as an information point for exhibitions in other museums in the city.
Victor Horta Museum
Victor Horta (1861-1947) was born in Ghent (Flemish part of the country), where he failed in his first career, being fired from the music conservatory. He then moved to Paris to study… architecture, returning to Belgium in 1882 to complete his training with Alphonse Balat, the architect who worked his hole life for the famous King Léopold II.
Victor Horta became the most impressive and trend–setting architect of this end of 19th century. The Museum itself is one of the most astonishing creation of Horta : a sumptuous Hotel Particulier that every tourist should visit.
Museum of Cacao and Chocolate
While walking through the museum, you will assist to an everyday demonstration by a master chocolatier. You will also have the chance to taste various chocolate delights (Including Belgian Pralines). After the visit, a small shop offers you his treasures for true chocolate lovers. Gustatory and olfactory delights are on the program.
The Archaeological undergrounds of the Palace of Charles the 6th
You will make a fascinating tour underneath the Place Royale and discover the remains of this illustrious palace. Impressive.
City Hall of Brussels
Brussels Town Hall is one of Belgium’s finest civic buildings. Not only because of the numerous sculptures adorning its walls, but also because of its perfect proportions and the incomparable beauty of its tower, the spire of which is topped by the archangel Saint-Michael.
Bellevue Hotel Museum
The Bellevue Hotel was constructed in Louis XVI style by Mr Guimard. He was also the architect of the famous Place Royale. The hotel Bellevue was remodeled, particularly in 1910 and 1930, when it was used as a princely residence. Major recent restoration work was undertaken in end 90’s. The current layout emphasizes the refined setting of this historical hotel and offers visitors an exceptional view of the Royal Palace and its famous gardens.
If you crave a shopping fix then the Avenue Louise is the place to be. Designer shops aplenty provide ample opportunity to flex your spending power. Popular purchases include diamonds and antiques.
This local Belgian speciality is a kind of fish stew and very popular with the locals. Other appetising native dishes include mussels, waffles, and sweetbreads.
No visit to Brussels is complete without experiencing the world famous Belgian chocolate. It has a quality all of its own and is the obvious choice for gifts to take back home.