In order to get to know Brussels, there are places you just have to go and see ASAP!
On and around the Grand-Place
On and around the Grand-Place
The Grand-Place is a Unesco World Heritage site. Its construction began in the 15th century; first, some covered market halls and a few guild houses, then a Town Hall to establish the authority of this centre of trade. It was bombarded by the French army in 1695 and almost completely destroyed. But, like a phoenix, it was to rise from the ashes in 3 years. This is why four styles stand side by side there: it’s a hotchpotch of Gothic, opulent Baroque, Neoclassical and Neogothic.
Mont des Arts and its many museums
Mont des Arts was dreamed up by King Leopold II, who wanted to surround his palace with beautiful things and fine minds. Imagine the wealth of treasures to be found here : within a radius of 300 m there’s the Musée Magritte Museum, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts, the Coudenberg archaeological site, the Espace culturel ING (ING Cultural Centre), the BELvue Museum, CINEMATEK, not to mention the Musical Instruments Museum. An abundance of culture that you really can’t afford to miss!
Comic strip in Brussels is a sector that’s constantly evolving, it’s living from day to day! Every year, new comic strip frescoes are added to the trail. Specialist galleries and shops are opened, attractions are created, and exhibitions dedicated to various authors or characters are always running all over the region. Two must-see museums of the 9th art are the Belgian Comic Strip Center (Centre belge de la Bande Dessinée) and the MOOF.
Belgian Comic Strip Center
Rue des Sables 20, Brussels 1000
Tel. : +32 2 219 19 80
MOOF- Museum of Original figurines
Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes 116, Brussels 1000
Tel.: +32 2 265 33 25
The European district
Brussels is the capital city of 500 million Europeans. It’s a city bubbling with life, where there’s always a cosmopolitan ambience on offer, thanks to the mixed nature of its culture, with cultural influences from past and present as well as from here and elsewhere. In the European institutions district, there are a lot of businessmen and businesswomen to the square metre but Place du Luxembourg is a real world stage and the favourite “terrace” of an international crowd who get along well together in every language. Several places worth seeing: the Parlamentarium, Parc Léopold, the Wiertz Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the museums of Parc du Cinquantenaire. And all this just a few yards away from the European Parliament.
A seminal symbol of Brussels and unique achievement in the history of architecture: today the Atomium is the most popular attraction in the capital of Europe. It was built for the 1958 World Fair. The Atomium is the representation of an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times. Visitors can walk through its tubes and spheres and the Atomium also presents a permanent exhibition dedicated to its history as well as temporary exhibitions for the general public.
Palais Royal (Royal Palace)
Begun in 1820 under the reign of King Guillaume (William), it was altered in 1904 under Leopold II, who had it rebuilt in the Louis XVI style. The side wings date from the 18th century and are flanked at their far ends by two pavilions. The Royal Palace opens to the public every year from mid-July to mid-September.
This bronze statuette, produced in the 17th century by J. Duquesnoy the elder, embodies the rebellious spirit of Brussels. From the status of a public fountain, today it’s presented as a legendary figure. With numerous costumes and decorations, its wardrobe includes some 800 pieces.
Art Nouveau was more than an artistic movement, it was a new way of living and thinking. In Brussels, the years from 1893 saw houses spring up that were unlike any others before, and every element of everyday life was adorned with organic or geometric lines: façades, wrought ironwork, mosaics, furniture, tableware, carpets, etc. The best way of discovering Art Nouveau is to visit the Horta Museum or walk around Square Ambiorix. But other residences will also welcome you in, such as the Maison Autrique and Hôtel Hannon (grand townhouse).
The Horta Museum
Rue Américaine 25, Brussels 1060
Tel.: +32 2 543 04 90
Chaussée de Haecht 266, Brussels 1030
Tel. : +32 2 215 66 00
Avenue de la Jonction 1, Brussels 1060
Tel. : +32 2 538 42 20
Square Ambiorix, Brussels 1040
Art nouveau: Horta museum
The Horta Museum is established in the private house and studio of the famous architect, Victor Horta (1861 - 1947). Built between 1898 and 1901, the two buildings are characteristic of Art Nouveau at its peak. The house has kept intact most of its interior decors: mosaics, stained-glass windows, furniture, paintings and murals form a collection whose every detail evokes harmony and sophistication. The museum is also a centre for research into Victor Horta and Art Nouveau. The architect's personal archives, a collection of blueprints for his buildings and a library are open to the public by arrangement.
Art nouveau: Autrique House
The first building created by Horta, the Autrique house has been entirely renovated and brought to life thanks to the imagination of the scriptwriters and cartoonists Schuiten and Peeters.
Art Nouveau : Hannon Hotel - Contretype
In 1902 the engineer Edouard Hannon (1853 - 1931) called upon his friend, the architect Jules Brunfaut (1852 - 1942) to build this mansion, a masterpiece in the Art Nouveau style. At the present time the building is occupied by the Contretype Photographic organisation which is devoted to the promotion of creative photography by organising, in particular, exhibitions.
Brussels Card: discover Brussels with one key! 24H/ 48H/ 72H
The Brussels Card is the best way to see this fascinating capital of Europe. It offers you, during 24, 48 or 72h, free entry to over 30 museums, free use of public transports and exclusive offers in designer’s boutiques, shops, exhibitions, restaurants & attractions.