The highlights of Brussels in a week-end

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is often underestimated or overlooked by tourists when compared to other European destinations. However, it is a truly beautiful city that provides an ideal backdrop for a relaxing weekend getaway.

Visitors to Brussels are frequently delighted by its charm and wide range of attractions. The city offers a unique blend of historic architecture, modern art, delectable cuisine, and a vibrant ambiance. From its grand squares and impressive landmarks to its charming neighborhoods and bustling markets, Brussels has something for everyone.

Immerse yourself in the rich historical heritage of Brussels as you wander through its ancient streets, such as the renowned Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the Gothic splendor of the Saint-Michel Cathedral and uncover the city’s fascinating past through its captivating museums.

Indulge in the world of comic books by visiting the city’s comic book shops and admiring the larger-than-life murals depicting beloved characters. Immerse yourself in the art world at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, where traditional and contemporary works are showcased in fascinating exhibitions.

Treat your taste buds to heavenly Belgian chocolates, relish the irresistible aroma of freshly made waffles, and explore the world of Belgian beer with its diverse flavors and rich brewing traditions. Brussels offers a culinary journey that is sure to satisfy any food lover.

In conclusion, Brussels may be underestimated by some, but those who take the time to visit are rewarded with a city full of charm, history, art, and gastronomic delights.

Grand Palace

Brussels boasts a captivating historic city center, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of its standout features is the remarkable Grand Place, which is essential to explore. This iconic square showcases a harmonious blend of Gothic and Baroque architecture, surrounded by elegant guildhalls and the splendid Brussels City Hall. The heart of Brussels truly comes alive in the Grand Place, where notable landmarks like the Gothic-style Town Hall, crowned by a statue of Archangel Michael, and the Maison du Roi, a stunning late Gothic stone building, contribute to the city’s enchanting allure.

Every other year, the Grand Place hosts a breathtaking spectacle known as the Flower Carpet. Taking place on the weekend of August 15th, the square is transformed into a tapestry of flowers, stretching 75 meters long and 25 meters wide, comprising over five hundred thousand begonia plants. This event creates the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture, art, and indulge in delicious Belgian chocolates and world-renowned beers. Surrounding the Grand Place, you’ll also discover the Guild Houses, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistic expertise of various skilled artisans.

Manneken Pis

The cheeky and chubby Manneken Pis is one of the iconic symbols of Brussels’ folklore and undoubtedly one of the world’s most peculiar monuments. Created by Jerome Duquesnoy, this curious statue is usually depicted in a state of nudity. However, depending on events and the time of year, it is adorned with custom-made outfits. Manneken Pis boasts an impressive wardrobe of 600 costumes, which are housed and displayed in the Maison du Roi.

Don’t have too high expectations, despite it is the most photographed statue in the city, the statue is really small!

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, is one of the oldest shopping arcades in Europe and a popular landmark in the city. It was designed by architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer and constructed in the 19th century, specifically between 1846 and 1847.

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a covered shopping complex consisting of three interconnected sections: Galerie de la Reine (Queen’s Gallery), Galerie du Roi (King’s Gallery), and Galerie des Princes (Princes’ Gallery). These galleries are adorned with beautiful glass ceilings, elegant facades, and ornate decorations, creating a luxurious and charming atmosphere. Inside the Galeries Royales, visitors can explore a wide range of shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. The shopping arcade is renowned for its high-end brands, specialty stores, and artisanal products. It offers a delightful shopping experience for those looking for fashion, jewelry, chocolates, souvenirs, books, and more. In addition to shopping, the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is also home to cultural and entertainment venues. It houses the Théâtre des Galeries, a theater that stages various performances, including plays, musicals, and concerts.

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is a stunning Gothic cathedral that dates back to the 13th century. It is dedicated to the patron saints of the city, St. Michael and St. Gudula. The cathedral’s architectural style showcases a harmonious blend of Brabantine Gothic and Renaissance influences.

The exterior of the cathedral is adorned with intricate sculptures and beautiful stained glass windows, while the interior features a soaring nave, elegant chapels, and a magnificent organ. The cathedral has been the site of important religious ceremonies and royal events throughout history.

The Sablon

The Sablon quarter in Brussels is a delightful neighborhood renowned for its sophisticated ambiance and cultural landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll through its charming streets and explore its many attractions. Admire the picturesque Place du Grand Sablon, a beautiful square surrounded by elegant buildings and lively cafes.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame du Sablon, located in Brussels, is a stunning example of Brabantine Gothic architecture. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Sablon, a venerated statue of the Virgin Mary. The cathedral dates back to the 15th century and is renowned for its intricate details, elegant spires, and beautiful stained glass windows. The interior features a richly decorated nave, chapels adorned with religious artworks, and a majestic organ.

European Quartier

The European Quarter in Brussels is a vibrant and dynamic area that serves as the political and administrative hub of the European Union. It is home to numerous European institutions, including the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament. The architecture in the European Quarter is modern and reflects the international influence and significance of the area.

The European Quarter is also characterized by its spacious parks, such as Leopold Park and Cinquantenaire Park, which provide green spaces for relaxation and recreation.
Parc du Cinquantenaire is a beautiful park built to commemorate the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. It features expansive green spaces, a striking triumphal arch called the Cinquantenaire Arch, and is home to several museums. The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History showcases military artifacts, Autoworld exhibits vintage cars, and the Art & History Museum displays art and archaeological collections. The park and museums offer a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural exploration for visitors to enjoy.

Museums

Brussels is home to a diverse range of museums that cater to various interests. Highlights include the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, featuring ancient and modern art, the Belgian Comic Strip Center dedicated to comic book art, and the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences. Among these, I suggest visiting the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences (Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles). It is located near the European Parliament and is renowned for its extensive collection of dinosaur skeletons, which is the largest in Europe and one of the most significant in the world.

The Royal Institute of Natural Sciences (Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles) is a museum that helps its visitors discover the history of the evolution of living beings. It is located near the European Parliament.

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