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Brussels Top 10

May 31, 2017

Best known in the UK as home to the European parliament, Brussels isn’t perhaps the first city which springs to mind for a city break. Brussels has a lot to offer, so here are the top 10 things to see and do in the city.

  1. Grand Place: Brussels’s central square is where most visitors start their visit. It’s the historic heart of the city, with both the Town Hall and several medieval guildhalls. This is where the city’s merchants used to trade, and now it’s just a vast open space for visitors to enjoy, sitting at one of the many pavement cafes. Visit in August to see the amazing flower carpet covering the square.
  2. Atomium: This space age structure was built for the World Fair in 1958, and is now one of Europe’s most unusual exhibition spaces. Take the lift to the top and enjoy a meal at the restaurant in the top sphere, or just enjoy the panoramic views across the city and surrounding countryside.
  3. Mannekin Pis: This 17th century statue of a small boy urinating into a fountain is one of Brussels’ most famous landmarks and is often surrounded by crowds of tourists. Locals dress the statue in a range of costumes, which are changed on a regular basis.
  4. Mussels and Chips: It’s the nation’s favourite dish of “moules frites”. Most restaurants will offer the dish with a range of different sauces for the mussels. Don’t expect ketchup for your fries though, locals prefer mayonnaise.
  5. Chocolate: Belgium is famous the world over for its exquisite handmade chocolate, and there is no shortage of independent retailers in the city centre. Some may even be happy to let you try before you buy.
  6. Mini Europe: Located in the same park as the Atomium, mini Europe as the name suggests is a miniature village featuring famous buildings and typical villages from all over the continent. Pick up a guide book steering you through the history of Europe as told by the buildings, and don’t forget to bring your camera for pictures.
  7. Bois de la Cambre: A huge green space to the south of the city centre, this is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Walk around the lake, take a picnic or take the small ferry across to the café on the island to recharge your batteries for the next sightseeing visit.
  8. Fine Arts Museum: This museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of Dutch Old Master paintings. Pick up an audio guide at the entrance and take the tour at your own speed, stopping as often as you want to appreciate the beautiful works of art on display.
  9. Cantillon Brewery: Beer is strongly associated with Belgium and this is one of the last working breweries in the city. Take a tour of the production process, with the opportunity to sample the beer at the end of course.
  10. Musical Instruments Museum: One of Brussels’s more quirky museums, the Musical Instruments museum offers an audio guide where you can hear the instruments play rather than just look at them.

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