The Capital of Belgium, the gorgeous city of Brussels, called Bruxelles in French is the largest city of Belgium and the de-facto Capital of the European Union.
Brussels is a diverse city with many attractions of tourist interest. The cafes and restaurants are to die for. Here is a number of places you should not miss when visiting Brussels.
La Grand Place in Brussels is the # 1 tourist attractions
This is the number one tourist spot in the capital. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has an interesting history from very humble beginnings when it was just a market selling French and English textiles, German beer and French wines.
Brussels main square is a beautiful wide open square surrounded by guild houses, mentioned by great authors as Victor Hugo and Baudelaire.
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A carpet of thousands of flowers decorate the Grand Place
Flower Tapestries on the Grand Place
Every two years, being the next in 2016, during the third week of August, Belgian begonia cultivators decorate the Market Place with a beautiful flower carpet using around 750,000 begonias. Visitors are greeted with 3,200 square feet of amazing plant tapestry depicting a theme.
Every year in December, the Grand Place is transformed to a Christmas wonderland with an enormous decorated tree and nightly sound and light shows.
Hotel de Ville or Town Hall in the Capital of Belgium
Hôtel de Ville – Town Hall
Dating back to 1402 this town hall is the seat of government. An attractive building with arch windows adorned with sculptures.
You may climb the 96 meters high Brabantine Gothic tower and enjoy the great views over the city.
The first building you notice when entering the Grand Place is the striking gothic town hall, which dates back to the 13th century. Its beautiful façade features the famous needle like crooked spire which is 100 meters high topped by the archangel St Michael. When visiting the town hall do not miss the works of art and the 15th century tapestries.
The Royal Palace
The Palais Royal is the home of the King of Belgium. It is a highlight of Neo Classical architecture overlooking Brussels Park. It is open to the general public during the summer months.
You know if the King is in the country, when the Belgian flag is flying on top of the building.
Cathedral of St Michel and St Gudule
This amazing cathedral is dedicated to the female and male patron saints of Brussels and located near the Central Station.
Completed in the 15th century in the Gothic Style. The French shelling of 1695 damaged the church that was later refurbished. The façade dating to 1250 is fabulous as the interiors of this church.
The tiny statue of Manneken Pis is a landmark of Brussels
The Pissing Boy is again one of the top attractions of Brussels. While much smaller than what you thought this statue is located on a corner not far from La Grand Place, in the Capital of Belgium.
Designed by Jerome Duquesnoy, this is a small fountain piece where the water emerges from a tiny metal penis that the boys points at the viewer. He is usually naked but many other times is full dressed with an extended wardrobe of costumes from regions of Belgium as well as many other countries. The wardrobe of Mannekin Pis can be seen at the Brussels museum and includes over 760 outfits, even an authentic Elvis jumpsuit.
Place du Grand Sablon
Located on the slopes that divide the upper and lower sides of the capital is surrounded by chic boutiques, outside cafes, fancy restaurants and bars.
The claim to fame of this square is the open air antique market, attracting dealers from all over the world. The market opens Saturdays 9am to 6pm, and Sundays 9am to 2pm.
Place du Petit Sablon
It is located just above the Grand Sablon. What once was a horse market has been transformed into a charming flower garden with lavish fountains, surrounded by iron fences decorated with stone statues representing all trades that brought prosperity to the Capital of Belgium.
It is and ideal place to relax, enjoy the view and read a book.
Galeries St Hubert
Located in the center of town this is a glass roofed arcade lined with cafes, theater and stores. It is said it is the first shopping arcade in Europe, built in 1847.
The Royal Galleries or Galerie de la Reine, du Roi and du Prince, are one of the most astonishing places to visit in Brussels and ideal for those shoppers among us.
The Atomium in Heysel Park was built for the 1958 World Fair
Heysel Park and the Atomium
Heysel Park is located in the west of Brussels and dedicated to recreation and leisure. One of the highlights of this park is the Atomium designed by André Waterkeyn.
The Atomium was erected in 1958 for the World Fair symbolizing a new atomic age. It is a depiction of an iron molecule magnified a billion times. It contains nine 18 meter diameter steel spheres connected by tubes all containing exhibits.
If you want to go up in the speedy elevator you are for a great view of the Capital of Belgium.
Magritte Museum with the largest collection of Rene Magritte's art
Brussels Museums are located all over the Capital of Belgium. Brussels is one of the European cities with a great variety of museums for the delight of locals and visitors alike. Here are a few of them.
This is part of the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium with the world's largest collection of René Magritte's works. The collection is a perfect proof of René Magritte's oeuvre and covers all the periods from his life.
Called in French, Maison du Roi, and in Flemish Broodhuis it is dedicated to the history of Brussels with exhibits from the middle ages until today.
The Museum of Ancient Art
It has a vast collection of paintings and sculptures including paintings of the Ancients of the southern Netherlands and an exceptional collection of terra cotta "modelli" from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as a beautiful series of paintings representing foreign schools.
The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art
The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art
Housed in an art nouveau masterpiece designed by Victor Horta, this museum pays homage to a particular Belgian passion, cartooning. Tintin and the Smurfs are the most famous Belgian comic strip characters but the museum also displays artwork from over 670 cartoonists.
The Museum of Musical Instruments is a strikingly beautiful building in Brussels housing a collection of more than 7000 instruments of varying kinds and origins.
The former home of Art Nouveau's best known architect, Victor Horta, is now the Horta Museum
Royal Museums of Fine Arts
The Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts is actually two museums, the museum of Ancient Art and the museum of Modern Art.
Map of Belgium and its Capital Brussles
Images for capital of belgium
Grand place by dennis jarvis
Flowers by Christopher krief
Hotel de ville by holevas
Royal palace by jaume menses
Cathedral by murati misham
Grand sablon by viunaykis
Petit sablon by grandmont
St Hubert by obreski
Stomium by carlos Ortega
Museum Magritte n-a
All courtesy of Wikimedia commons