Brussels Travel Guide: Know Everything Before Travelling
Brussels, the capital of city of Belgium is a well-known European tourist destination. This exciting modern city is rich in amazing medieval and nouveau art buildings. Museums, cultural attractions, tourist attractions, historical places, monuments, architecture, marvel, statue, bountiful cafes, restaurants, clubs, great shopping and more depicts the story of the development of the city. The cosmopolitan city Belgium is a great centre for businessmen and bureaucrats. Aluminium, steel and atomium structure depicts the world recognised structure of the city. It has population more than 1.5 million.
Grand Place-Grote Market
A wonderful place to explore in Brussels. It completely fascinates tourists with the musical shows, friendly people and breathtaking beautiful surroundings and buildings etc.
This beautiful and most famous buildings in Brussels. This building was converted into museum in 1930 has become a great centre of attraction for many visitors today. The gardens nearby this place allow you to sit and relax here and spend some time.
A beautiful statue or can say the irrelevant spirit of this charming city. There are many stories hidden behind this statue which can be asked from the local inhabitant of Brussels.
This a stylish square surrounded by antique shops, restaurants and cafés etc.
Brussels Town Hall on the Grand Place
A nice place to start your visit to Brussels is on the Grand place or “Grote Markt”, this is a the central square of Brussels which is surrounded by period guildhalls, the stunning Town Hall and various others period buildings and nice terraces to fully take in your surroundings. Every building on this square is truly unique and has a whole history to tell, a guided tour could definitely give you a total different perspective.
The Brussels Grand-Place has recently been voted the most beautiful square in Europe and certainly deserves the title. Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Place for a few days, this is a great tourist attraction that will truly stun you. If you do have the opportunity, do spend an evening on one of the many terraces, as this evening lightening will take you to a magical new world.
Everard ‘t Serclaes
While you walk from the town hall to see the statue of Manneke Pis you will see a golden statue of who many believe it to be a man depicting Jesus, some however believe it to be a woman depicting Maria Magdalena. It is in fact a man depicted in the statue is Lord Everard’t Serclaes, a noble man during the 14th century. The legend behind the statue says that when you touch his wrist, it will bring you one year of luck in love. Many tourists touch (or rather rub) other parts of the statue, and this constant polishing keeps the body depicted in the statue in a shining colour compared to the rest of the sculpture, but only his wrist will truly bring you love!
When visiting Brussels you definitely should visit “Manneke Pis”, which literally translates as the boy who ‘pees’ or also known as “le petit Julien”, this little bronze water feature is Brussels most famous landmark and is a must see! If you are lucky you might even see him dressed up in one of his specially designed outfits.
The famous statue is located at the junction of Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat. To find it, takes the left lane next to the Brussels Town Hall and walk a few hundred meters to arrive at the spot, the little statue will be on your left but the usual crowds will give this away. Since recent this famous statue has fallen in love with a female version which tourists can now also go and see, the new love is known as Jeanneke Pis and is located on the east side of the Impasse de la Fidélité / Getrouwheidsgang (Fidelity Alley), a narrow cul-de-sac some 30 metres long leading northwards off the restaurant-packed Rue des Bouchers / Beenhouwersstraat.
Café le Cercueil
The pub is one of the weirdest places I have ever had a drink; you can find it in the “haringstraat 12”, which is a side street on the Grand place. It looks rather unwelcoming from the outside but shows you the darker side of Belgian humour. The cafe is totally dark the minute you walk in, so watch out for them steps!
As you struggle to find somewhere to sit in the dark and your eyes start to adjust you will realise your surroundings are existing out of tombs and undertakers decoration, a really morbid welcome.
You can drink out of skulls and put your glass on top of one of the coffins, this does however comes at a certain price. So don’t go in if you are on low budget!
It is however a shame that the music and waiter didn’t stick to the same theme, as this would have most certainly completed the experience.
Het Belgisch koninklijk paleis or the Belgian Royal Palace is based in Brussels and is opened to the public on certain times of the year with no entrance fee.
If you enjoy monarchies, this palace should definitely be included while visiting Brussels; it stands opposite the Parliament building on the other side of the Royal Park. The palace has great rooms of great splendour and glamour and hosts four contemporary works of art, chosen by the Queen herself.
One of the works is “Heaven of Delight” by Jan Fabre, this artist has covered the ceiling and chandelier of the Mirror Room with 1.4 million wing cases of Thai jewel beetles. This unique work of art give the whole room a wonderful dark green shine and gives you a bit of an itch when you release you are surrounded by so many dead insects.
The park of Brussels
The park of Brussels also known as “het Warandepark” is the central park of Brussels which can be found opposite the Royal Palace. This park is ideal to just relax and get away from the busy city; the park itself is 13 acres big and has wonderful fountain features. During the summer months free parties are organised in the park and there is always something to see.
De Rue des Bouchers / Beenhouwerstraat
De Rue des Bouchers is a very popular street in Brussels and is known for having some of the best restaurants located here. When you walk down the road, you are surrounded by food and cosy terraces, you almost feel as if this one rather small road is one big restaurant, the atmosphere is truly unique and you won’t find this anywhere else! Although this is probably the most popular place to eat out for the night in Brussels, do however note that the bill will reflect this.
The Atomium is Belgium’s best known monument; it exists out of nine connected balls that resemble the shape of an iron crystal. This monument was built for the Expo of 1958, which was Brussels world fair. It is located on the Boulevard du Centenaire, beside the King Baudouin Stadium in Heysel Park. (Metro stop Heysel⁄Heizel) The Atomium is a very popular tourist attraction, although it is rather expensive to enter this odd structure, the money is worth paying. Once you enter the Atomium you will start round the museum, then you will be able to work yourself up through the highest ball via funny escalators and lifts. When you finally reach the highest you point you will be able to get an amazing 360 degree view of Brussels. If you aren’t worried about your budget while on holiday, you can even eat in the Atomium restaurant and enjoy your dinner right above Brussels.
If you don’t fancy paying or are scared of the dazzling heights and would rather stay with your 2 feet on the floor, the Atomium is still worth a visit as you can stare at the structure for absolute hours and still be amazed by it! The balls of the Atomium have recently had a polish, which gives it an even more dramatic impact! Mini-euopa. Mini Europa is located at the foot of the Atomium, it is a small entertainment park that has rebuild all significant structures in Europe to a small-scale, and this enables you to see the Big Ben like you have never seen it before. Although it is mainly advertised for kids, adults will no doubt enjoy it as well as it is a great time out with the whole family strolling around the whole of Europe.
Please note that if you are interested in visiting this, there are some great combo-ticket options available.
Koninlijke serres van Laken
De Koninlijke serres van Laken or the royal gardens based in “Laken” are a vast complex of monumental heated greenhouses in the park of the Royal Castle of Laken in Brussels. If you enjoy gardens and plants this place could fulfil your heart as it has a great collection of exotic and ordinary species of flowers and plants. Although I enjoyed my visit to these gardens and I was in absolute adoration for some parts of the tour, I did however feel that not much modernisation had gone on in the last years and therefore felt rather old-fashioned and unwelcoming for the tourist.
Still the entrance fee do not leave a big hole in your wallet and you can easily spend half a day looking round and finding out about all the plants you are surrounded by, although it would have helped if there were some name cards attached to these for a novice plant lover like me. The complex can only be visited in April-May during a two-week period, which is when most flowers are in full bloom.
Shopping Dining and Entertainment
Shopping in Brussels is a favourite thing to do for the tourists. You can easily find both handmade and manmade products in the market. There are also many antique and boutique shops.
Brussels offers both French and Dutch Cuisine in the restaurants. Your journey will be incomplete without eating steamed mussels, mouth-watering chocolates and hearty beers.
Entertainment and Popular sports can be enjoyed in Brussels are archery, horse-ball, golf and tennis etc. Night entertainment can be seek in discos and classic musical concert. Opera, theatre and ballet are all part of cultural life in the city.
As far as weather information of Amsterdam is concerned, you find maritime temperate climate with warm summer and mild winters. Summer temperature reach up to 80s (F) and winter temperatures ranges from the low 30s to mid-40s. There is snowfall in winter and annual rainfall throughput the year. The days are short but the sun does not set until 9 pm to 10 pm in summer. So the right time to visit Brussels is between March and May and September and October.
Getting Downtown Brussels
It is very easy to get into the city as the train station is located on the lower level of Brussels International Airport. There’s a train service from the airport itself to go to the North, South and central stations of Brussels. The shuttle leaves the station at every 15-20 minutes and the journey takes approximate time of about 20 minutes. Other best option to get around Brussels is the public transport like buses and metered taxis etc which takes about 30 minutes.
Best Way to Save Money in Brussels
- Buy a Brussels Card available in hour version of 24-, 48- and 72-hours. This card help you in making free entry to more than 30 museums, get free public transit and many discounts in shops, boutiques and restaurants etc.
- Spend your weekend in Brussels in Hotels – The prices of the hotels skyrocket during weekend, holidays are quite less compared with other business days. So planning a weekend trip to Brussels will be the wise idea.
- Brussels is a big international business hub, so hotel prices skyrocket during the week. Plan a weekend, holiday or summer trip as well.
Enjoy your vacation to Brussels this year!
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