One of the most important city-regions in Europe, Brussels as it is now grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne.
Brussels is known for its historical and architectural landmarks, some of them registered UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Here is a list of our recommendations for travellers to Belgium:
This bronze statuette, commissioned in the 17th century by elder J. Duquesnoy, embodies the rebellious spirit of Brussels. Also known as "Little Julian", so as to not to be confused with another fountain - het Juliaensborreke - it was one of the many fountains feeding the city. It is now a legendary attraction in the city.
Classified as a World Heritage site by Unesco, the Grand Place was built in the 15th century. Bombed for 3 days by the French army in 1695, it was almost completely destroyed but in less than 5 years it was renovated. This renovation is why four styles mix, or overlap even, sometimes; it is a jumble of gothic, opulent baroque, neoclassical and neo-Gothic. The tower of the Hôtel de Ville is more or less 96 meters high. Grand Place is a landmark destination in Brussels.
At the foot of the Atomium - on the site of Bruparck - lies an exotic attraction, a miniature city that offers a trip across Europe in the space of a few hours. In this mini-city are 350 models of impeccable finish, exact replicas of the most beautiful monuments located in the major cities of the European Union.
Théâtre de la Place des Martyrs
Theatre des Martyrs was built on the site of the old Etoile cinema.
Given that, you will appreciate its modern design, with a magnificent entrance hall (decorated with a panorama of Alechinsky), the foyer (bordered with the work of Félix Roulin) and the superb room filled with red colours. Once you have passed through the entrance way, you can settle down in comfortable surroundings to take in one of the shows. The programme varies between classics such as Lorenzaccio or Bérénice de Racine and more modern work such as those of Amélie Nothomb.
At the end of the show you can head to the cafe for a bite to eat or a drink, where you can soak in the atmosphere. It is also possible to visit the theatre during the day, should you wish to look around the beautiful building.
The Royal Palace of Brussels
The Royal Palace, situated on Place des Palais/Paleizenplein reveals itself with magnificent reminders of the past combined with the work of contemporary artists. Belgian multi-disciplinary artist, Jan Fabre’s Heaven of Delight ceiling, made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases), is widely praised.
The Royal Palace is only open from July 22 to September 4.
An important place for international tourism and a unique creation in the history of architecture and emblematic vestige of the World fair in Brussels (Expo 58), the Atomium is today the most popular tourist attraction in Belgium.
The Atomium was constructed for the first post-war universal world exhibition. The nine spheres represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. They represent the faith one had in the power of science and moreover in nuclear power.
Good to know:
Passengers travelling to Brussels can discover the city with the Brussels Card. Easy and advantageous, the card can be used over periods of 24/48/72 hours and it offers free access to 41 museums, discounts at attractions, shops, restaurants, etc. and unlimited access to public transport or the Hop On Hop Off bus.