. Brussels is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Europe must see destinations, with its small town charm, trendy bars and restaurants, fabulous food, great nightlife, fantastic shopping, numerous museums, and other attractions including the diverse and interesting exhibitions and festivals organized there every year.Brussels is also becoming known as a mecca of style, art, and design. While attracting more and more big names in international fashion to its growing shopping districts, home grown Belgian designers are rapidly gaining global notoriety.The streets of Brussels feature art andarchitecture created from an unmistakably Belgian point of view that cannot be replicated. This beautiful city is a center for fashion, art, and Belgian culture.For information on accessibility of various hotels, attractions, and museums in Brussels, visitBrussels for All and our Special Needs Travel section.Discover Brussels through its inhabitants eyes ! The Greeters, enthusiastic volunteers passionate about their city, share with you their perception of the capital, their anecdotes and their tips. A unique touristic experience.
Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula
. The beautiful Gothic Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula is situated at Treurenberg hill, which lies between the lower and the upper town. The Cathedral is the national church of Belgium and it is here that royal weddings and funerals take place. Though dating from the 12th century, the church was only granted cathedral status in 1962.A chapel dedicated to St Michael, patron saint of Brussels, is believed to have existed here since the 8th century. In the 11th century the Duke of Brabant, Lambert II, had a Romanesque church built on the site and in 1047 the relics of St Gudula where transferred here, thus it became the church of St Michael and St Gudula. At the beginning of the 13th century, Henry I, Duke of Brabant commissioned the renovation of the church. This period coincides with the appearance of the Gothic style in Belgium. Work began in 1225 and over a period of 300 years the building was enlarged and transformed into the gothic church we see today it is one of finest examples of Brabant Gothic architecture.The interior of the Cathedral is not as decorative as one would usually expect of a Gothic Cathedral, however its simplicity allows you to appreciate the beauty of Gothic architecture, drawing your attention to the building columns and arches. Victor Hugo described this gothic marvel as the purest flowering of the Gothic style.
Musical Instrument Museum
. As soon as it opened at the end of the 19th century, the luxurious Old England department store earned an excellent reputation for its highly distinctive building. The entrance to the building is a jewel of the Art nouveau style while the rest is in perfect harmony with the neoclassical ensemble on the Place Royale, and just around the corner from the Grand Place and Central Station, no less! It here in this architectural gem that the MIM took up residence in June 2000. The museum reputation is mainly built on its extraordinary collections. With a wealth of some 7000 instruments, the MIM is currently an internationally renowned instrumental museum. Once inside, you will embark on a true tour of the musical world. After your trip past the some 1500 pieces on exhibit, the instruments and their history will no longer hold any secrets from viole da gamba from the Court of Brussels to the 20th century theremin, and even including the African kora! And be sure not to miss our area devoted to the instruments of Adolphe Sax.
The MIM is nothing other than a place to experience music. An infrared headphone system allows each visitor to explore the thematic tours to the tune of the melodious sound of the instruments presented. Translation is no problem. Everyone knows that music is a universal language.To walk into the Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) is to discover a wonderful world of original and traditional pieces, from all periods of time and continents. The MIM has its quarters in a magnificent Art Nouveau building erected in 1899 and designed by architect Paul Saintenoy. Superbly renovated.
. The famous Manneken Pis remains the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the City of Brussels. His wardrobe counts more than 900 suits. The Museum of the City of Brussels presents one hundred of these suits. A multimedia database allows the visitors to consult the whole wardrobe of the famous ketje.Manneken Pis plan was at first a fountain that played an essential role in the former distribution of drinking water since the 15th century. The system was well known in all of Europe.Towards the end of the 17th century, the statue became more and more important in the city life. It was also a survivor of the bombardment of Brussels in 1695. Manneken Pis became a precious good and enjoys a ceaselessly growing glory.During big events, we adorn him with luxurious clothes. We know that in the 18th century, Manneken Pis was dressed at least 4 times a year. Since he lost his main function in the network of water conveyance of the City in the 19th century, Manneken Pis gradually became an image and symbol of the Brussels folklore, the joy of the inhabitants and their capacity of self mockery.
. The Atomium, symbol of Brussels and Belgium, is an international tourist attraction. This unique piece of architecture, created on the occasion of the World Fair of Brussels in 1958, became the most popular monument of the capital of Europe.The Atomium (at the Heysel) was created by the architect Andre Waterkeyn on the occasion of the World Fair of Brussels in 1958. Its original structure symbolizes an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times. In the 1950s, the atom was at the center of attention as the almost inexhaustible symbol of energy and modernity.Unmistakable symbol of Brussels and Belgium and unique feat in the history of architecture the Atomium is today the most popular attraction in the Capital of Europe.Built for the 1958 World Exhibition, the Atomium is shaped on the model of an elementary iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times.Beyond surreal walks through tubes and spheres, the Atomium houses a permanent exhibition about its history as well temporary exhibitions for a broad public (sciences, design, society).The upper sphere offers unique and spectacular views across the city skyline.
. Mini Europe stays in Brussels! DISCOVER EUROPE NICEST PLACES,Europe in a few hours, A unique experience! Mini Europe is above all an invitation to travel. The chimes of Big Ben, the gondolas in front of the Doge Palace, the Grand Place in Brussels, the Acropolis, an animated tour with visual and sound effects along 350 miniatures and attractions recreated down to the smallest detail at the scale 1/25.A fascinating presentation for everyone, not to be missed during your stay in the Capital of Europe! The park, at the foot of the Atomium, consists of more than 350 buildings and animations in miniature the Eiffel Tower, the Big Ben, the gondolas of Venice, the Grand Place of Brussels, the Acropolis, The buildings are each on a scale of 1/25th.The animations of Mini Europe include everything from making the Vesuvius erupt, demolishing the Berlin Wall, launching of the Ariane rocket,The Spirit of Europe, with interactive multimedia games, includes information about the European Union (EU).
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of
. Considered one of Brussels greatest museums, it houses an extensive collection of works from the Flemish School, featuring a number of masterpieces by Peter Bruegel.Brussels hosts over 80 museums. Dealing with art, history, literature, folklore, sciences, technology, industry and many other fields, they all introduce a different aspect of Brussels. The richness of their collections and the new vision they have on cultures from all around the world are simply amazing.In the building of the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium, visitors will be able to discover the world largest collection of Rene Magritte works. The collection is a perfect proof of Rene Magritte oeuvre and covers all the periods from his life. The works on display, among which his most important masterpieces, are mainly from the legacies of IrA ne Scutenaire Hamoir and Georgette Magritte and from purchases made by the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium, completed with works on loan from private persons.
. The Parc du Cinquantenaire or Jubelpark is not only a park but a national landmark in Brussels. The name means Park of the fiftieth anniversary. It was built during the reign of Leopold II to commemorate fifty years of Belgian independence.Symbolically, the Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels is also built in the shape of a pentagon, like the inner and outer rings of the city. Cinquantenaire sits just outside the inner close to the European Quarter. At the south eastern point, a giant arch with two arms extending out to house museums rests behind a fountain marking the grand entrance.Most visitors will stop at the fountain, take a photo of the arch and move onto other sites. But if you have some time to walk through the park you realise this is one of the most beautiful parks in Brussels. There are many tranquil places to rest and play, have a picnic, go for a jog or spend time on the benches reading. On a hot summer day, the areas within the park will be filled with sunbathers, thirsty for every drop of sun ray.
Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History
. This museum was set up as a tribute to the soldiers who had participated in the world war in India or abroad on behalf of the British. Naubat Kahana or Naqqar Khana (Musical house) of the Red Fort was chosen to accommodate the museum in its first and second floors. The museum is approachable from the north and south of the building facing east.The introductory gallery comprises diorama showing the battle of Panipat with the army of Babur and Ibrahim Lodi standing opposite each other. The other displayed objects are arrows, swords, khukris, revolvers, machine guns, shells etc. Variety of daggers with ivory and inscribed hilt, chest armour, small weapons like gupti, battle axes are also exhibited in the gallery. Helmets, armours, different types of swords, daggers etc are displayed in Gallery No. 2 and 3. Bomb fuses, shells, models of pistols, bullets, gun powder flasks on display gives vivid picture of the arms and ammunition used during the First World War.
The last two galleries show the impact of European industrialization over the weapons and communication since radars, telephone, telegraph, signal lamps, guns with periscope, trench periscope etc were introduced during the war. Various types of badges, ribbons, uniform of Turkish and New Zealand army officers, and flags are also put on display. Model of army transport cart and railway goods track, model of Baghdad Arab port and Basra dockyard exhibited in the museum attract the attention of the visitors. Another attraction of the gallery is the complete dress of Maharaja Jodhpur. His Highness Pratap Singh including kurta (long shirt), belt, trouser, turban with zari work, shoes and inscribed sword with sheath.
Brussels Town Hall
. The City Hall of Brussels is a masterpiece of the Gothic civil architecture of the 15th century. The wealth inside also makes it one of the most luxurious city halls of the country. It possesses an important artistic and historic heritage (paintings, sculptures, tapestries).Inside the City Hall various styles and time periods mix. The reconstruction by the States of Brabant left us a row of luxurious rooms in the style of Louis XIV at the beginning of the 18th century. Some are used for the meetings of the College and the City Council today.Brussels Town Hall is one of Belgium finest civic buildings. Not only because of the numerous sculptures adorning its walls, but also because of its perfect proportions and the incomparable beauty of its tower, the spire of which is topped by the archangel Saint Michael. Brussels laid the foundation stone of the magnificent Gothic edifice in the spring of 1402. In 1695, when the city was bombarded by Marshal de Villeroy, the Town Hall was destroyed by fire. Its reception rooms and aldermen offices contain fine Brussels tapestries from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, sumptuous Gothic wooden panelling,the insignia of ancient guilds and paintings from the collections at the Town Hall Museum.
Belgian Comic Strip Center
. Smurfs and Tintin are just a few of the cartoon characters immortalized by Belgian cartoon artists, and kids of all ages can explore cartoon characters at the Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art. Officially called the Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art (Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinee or Belgisch Centrum van het Beeldverhaal), the Comic Strip museum is an exploration into one an evolving art form, the comic strip.The adventure begins with the process of comic creation and a gallery of original comic strip artwork. The next floor is an exploration of Belgian artists in the Museum of the Imaginary. Here we are introduced to the story of Tintin and its creator Herge, who was born in Brussels followed by other Belgian artists such as de Moor and Tillieux.
. An underground tour discovering the remains of the palace of Charles V.From the Middle Ages, a castle overlooked Brussels from the Coudenberg hill.During the visit, people will discover the Rue Isabelle and the old structures of the main buildings of the former palace of Brussels, which are now the foundations for today royal district and the Hoogstraeten House. In this House are displayed the most interesting discoveries made during the various archaeological excavations conducted on the Coudenberg site.Rotaract is a Rotary sponsored organ iz a tion for young men and women aged 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either com munity or uni ver sity based, and they are chartered/sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true part ners in ser vice and key mem bers of the fam ily of Rotary.
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
. The monumental pavilions, glass cupolas, wide arcades that cross the site like covered streets, are much more than an anecdote on the architectural applications of iron and glass or on little greenhouses of exotic plants. What the Royal Greenhouses express concerns architecture and, specifically, a major construction programme the Ideal Glass Palace .They are the culmination of various meetings, letters, sketches and plans exchanged between architect Alphonse Balat and King Leopold II. But above all, they are a reminder that they inspired the new Belgian architecture of the day, and their influence spread, with Art Nouveau, throughout the world.The present day plant collection at the Greenhouses in Laeken is valuable from three viewpoints. First of all, some of the plants belonging to Leopold II original collections still exist. Furthermore, the current collections still respect the spirit that prevailed when the original collections were planted. Finally, the Royal Greenhouses still contain an enormous number of rare and valuable plants.
Bois de la Cambre
. The Bois de la Cambre was designed in 1861 by the German architect Edouard Keilig. The style of the park is very English, a garden concept that originated in England at the beginning of the 18th century. These gardens try to imitate nature as closely as possible. The bushes and trees are planted in a very irregular way.This remarkably extensive forest park forms Brussels great green lungs. It stretches from regal Ave Louise to the Foret de Soignes, whose soaring beech trees then extend all the way to Waterloo. Established in 1862 the park has lawns, playgrounds, a pocket theatre, a roller skating rink and an island on an artificial lake, where the historic Chalet Robinson cafe restaurant was recently rebuilt after a fire take the
. The Porte de Hal (in French), Hallepoort (in Dutch), Halle Gate is a medieval gate, a fortification for Brussels city in the 14th century. The walls have been completely removed from both sides but the fort itself still stands in a cylindrical shape, with ramparts at the top and a black cone shaped roof. The exhibit is a part of the Royal Museums of Art and History.Walking inside these authentic walls makes you feel like you are walking the path that soldiers and archers walked while guarding the city from invaders. Everything has been kept the same except for the installation of a modern elevator to aid those who do not want to walk up the three levels on the spiral staircase. The ramparts visit at the top will definitely require walking and also some investigation work to find the hidden passage ways!All of the doors are kept closed and visitors are encouraged to find and open them to experience the heavy metal locks, still in working condition. At the tapered windows you will notice places where archers would sit on guard ready for evading enemy attacks while attacking with their own arrows.
. Autoworld is a unique automobile museum located in the centre of Brussels. The museum is located just opposite the Royal Armed Forces Museum in a palace like building. The museum displays cars and motorcycles from the very early days of the automobile manufacturing and forward. The cars are notably all European or U.S in origin so you wont find any Honda or Toyota models here! What you will find are cars by Packard, Olds Mobile and even Bugatti from 1928.The first automobiles you see inside date back to 1886 when the humble horse drawn carriage gained an engine and a steering wheel, and discarded the horses. The first exhibit on the main floor is divided into two. Start your tour by walking up the centre aisle and look to your left side, walk around in an anti clockwise circle. When you have completed the full circle walk up the centre aisle again and work your way clockwise on the right side of the floor. This is a chronological tour of cars from different makes.
. Discover the fabulous family brewery of the Cantillon Brewery, where Lambic, Gueze, Faro and Kriek have been made since 1900. Also home to the Brussels museum of the Gueuze.
Mont des Arts
. Mont des Arts was dreamed up by King Leopold II, who wanted to surround his palace with beautiful things and beautiful minds. Judge from the wealth of art on offer within a 300m radius the Musee Magritte Museum, which displays the world biggest collection of works of art by the famous Belgian surrealist artist the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, a meeting place for visitors from all over the world, house more than 20 000 old and modern works of art the Palais des Beaux Arts BOZAR (Brussels concert hall and fi ne arts centre) organises events, exhibitions and festivals, and blends art from past and present.History enthusiasts can visit the Coudenberg archaeological site, the vestiges of the medieval palace in times gone by the residence of Emperor Charles V and walk along the old Rue Isabelle, which is now underground. Not far from there, the ING Cultural Centre hosts high quality temporary exhibitions and the church of Saint Jacques on Coudenberg, where the first king of the Belgians swore allegiance to the constitution. Nature treasures are also here in this quarter the Park of Brussels, with its broad treelined walks and its secluded leafy green corners, is undoubtedly the most well used in the capital. Below Place Royale, dont miss the hanging garden of SQUARE, the Brussels Conference Centre.
. Parks and green spaces can be admired in Brussels, which has taken a lot of care to include green as part of town planning. These niches of green are well maintained they are enjoyed for tourists and locals alike.A perfectly rectangular shaped park that stretches from Place des Palais to Rue de la Loi, this is a park designed to catch your attention should you stumble upon it on the way to the Royal Palace. Fountains, statues, basins and a symmetrical pattern of footpaths cut through this park like angular lattice work. Best enjoyed in the afternoon sun, when around noon, when employees from the surrounding neighbourhood come out to have a quick jog. Leopold Park is a small enclave within a bustling European district. This is where you will find Eurocrats jogging in the afternoon or people taking their fries and sandwiches to each at lunch time. There is a small lake and the Museum of Natural Sciences stands proudly on the banks.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
. The Dinosaur Gallery is the largest dinosaur exhibition in Europe, with more than 30 complete skeletons (originals and reproductions) and more fragments of dinosaurs. The most famous dinosaurs are the Iguanodon, the Tyrannosaurus rex, the Stegosaurus.The RBINS houses an exceptionally rich zoological collection of more than 30 millions specimens or items. Since 1995, the RBINS has been mandated by the Belgian government to develop and manage the National Focal Point (NFP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The NFP missions include the redaction of national country studies and national reports of Belgium to the CBD, the facilitation of the implementation of the CBD by the various Belgian Federal and Regional bodies, the representation of Belgium to CBD meetings, and the elaboration of public awareness activities on biodiversity, etc. As a museum, the RBINS welcomes more than 250 000 visitors per year in a newly renovated building presenting 16 000 m2 of exhibitions designed for the general public.
La Cambre Abbey
. Located near the Place Flagey, below Louise and De Mot Avenues, the gardens of the Abbey of La Cambre follow the hilly contours of the terrain. One part is developed as a wooded park, the other in classical style terraces.The Abbey of La Cambre was founded in the 13th century by a Brussels Benedictine monk wanting to adopt the more austere rule of Saint Bernard.The French style gardens were created at the beginning of the 18th century.Two distinct types of gardens make up the decor of the Abbey of La Cambre. To the south and east (along Avenue Duray) are a bowl shaped wooded park and a body of water, the duck pond, fed by the source of the Maelbeek. To the west is a terraced garden that compensates for the downgrade of the terrain and to which one gains access by a monumental staircase.
. The European Parliament is the only directly elected EU body. It represents the citizens of the EU, in contrast to the Council of Ministers, which represents the governments.Elections have been held every five years since 1979 before that, members were drawn from national parliaments.The European Parliament powers have steadily increased with each change of the EU treaties. Many laws in member states now stem from the need to implement European legislation.The Parliament is today the only European institution whose members are, every five years, elected by direct universal suffrage. In the early days of the community however, the institution took a while to become established. The first incarnation of a European community, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) founded in 1951 did not have an assembly. The Benelux governments later insisted on an assembly being introduced, yet they had no intention to make the new entity a democratic institution.
. Situated right in the centre of the eponymous square, Congress Column is considered to be the most important commemorative monument in Belgium. It commemorates the holding of the first National Congress in 1830. 47 m high, it was built according to a design by Joseph Poelaert and inaugurated in 1859. It was only after the First World War that the Unknown Soldier was interred at its base. Two imposing bronze lions stand guard on either side of the flame which is relit every 11 November. Each of the four faces of the pedestal are adorned with a trophy bearing the initials of Leopold I. Sculpted by Louis Melot, they feature the Arts, Science, Industry and Agriculture. The dates inscribed on them refer to major events in Belgium independence September 1830 for the fight for independence 10 November 1830 for the setting up of Congress, 7 February 1831 for the vote on the constitution and 21 July 1831 for the swearing in of Leopold I. Four female figures seated at the corners symbolise the fundamental freedoms (Religion, Association, Education and the Press). Encircled by three finely crafted rings, the lower part of the column is decorated with an allegorical relief of nine provinces surrounding the genius of the Nation, each topped with its respective coat of arms. A statue of Leopold I, designed by Guillaume Geefs, stands atop the upper dome of the column which is, at its summit, decorated with an elegant, finely wrought iron railing.
. The Ancienne Belgique (AB) is a concert hall for contemporary music in Brussels, Belgium. Located in the historic heart of Brussels, it is one the leading concert venues in Belgium, hosting a wide variety of international and local acts.
. In the early 90, diver and traveler John Beernaerts used a table mat to sketch out his brainchild for a friend during dinner, a marvelous pool for training divers that would be first rate, so much so that it would recreate the conditions of Bora Bora. Beernaerts recognized the vast difference between learning to dive in the blue lagoons of the exotic island regions and learning in a dirty, shallow pool in the city of Brussels. He wanted to instill an immediate love of diving in those who did not have the option of traveling to some far off vacation spot to enjoy the underwater world, so he brought an underwater world to Belgium, by creating Nemo 33.It deepest level reaching 113 feet down, Nemo 33 is the deepest indoor swimming pool in the world. With simulated caves, several platforms and the 33 meter deep cylindrical pit, Nemo 33 provides a place for novices and veteran divers to learn and enjoy themselves in a clean and exciting environment.
. The H
. A chapel is a religious place of fellowship, prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution or that is considered an extension of a primary religious institution. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a college, hospital, palace, prison, funeral home, church, synagogue or mosque, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Many military installations have chapels for the use of military personnel, normally under the leadership of a military chaplain. Until the Protestant Reformation, a chapel denoted a place of worship that was either at a secondary location that was not the main responsibility of the local parish priest, or that belonged to a person or institution. Most larger churches had one or more secondary altars, which if they occupied a distinct space, would often be called a chapel. Although chapels frequently refer to Christian places of worship, they are also commonly found in Jewish synagogues and do not necessarily connote a specific denomination. Non denominational chapels are commonly encountered as part of a non religious institution such as a hospital, airport, university, prison or military installation. In England, where the Church of England is established by law, nondenominational or inter faith chapels in such institutions may nonetheless be consecrated by the local Anglican bishop.
. The Ponds of Ixelles are such an important feature of Brussels that despite the fact that many of them were drained, a whole district, in fact a whole municipality, is named after this natural site. Today, there are two ponds left and they are situated between the General de Gaulle and Gulden Sporen Avenues, thus being the natural continuation of the Abbey de la Cambre gardens. The park around the ponds of Ixelles is composed mainly of the ponds themselves and the trees that line their banks. What is the unique feature of the site is that it is as much a natural site as much it is an architectural one. Around the lakes one can observe the building styles of the Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Neo Flemish constructions. The two actual ponds are north south oriented, have a spindle like shape, about 700 metres in total length and 50 metres in width and are separated by a strip of land where the Gedachtenissquare is located.
. The Academy Palace (Paleis der Academi
. The International Press Centre (IPC) is an independent external service of the Directorate General for External Communication, which forms part of the Federal Public Service (FPS) of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. It therefore comes under the authority of the Belgian Prime Minister.The International Press Centre is housed in the Residence Palace, a complex of art deco buildings with a rich history. It is located at 155, Rue de la Loi, Block C, 1040 Brussels, a stone throw from Schuman Roundabout, at the heart of the European quarter.Numerous foreign journalists work in Brussels on a daily basis and a separate press centre, in which information of European interest could be given to the media, needed to be set up to welcome them. The federal Belgian authorities therefore decided to set up an international press centre during the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2010 to house both the authorities and the various press organisations.
Brussels Parliament building
. In terms of hierarchy, they are traditionally less powerful that the Council of Ministers who are able to pass certain laws without the co decision of the European Parliament. Areas of legislation include justice and citizenship, external relationship, agriculture and fisheries, budget, culture and education, economic and monetary affairs, employment and social affairs, internal market and industry, regions and transport and health and environment.Elections have been held once every five years since 1979 and the European Union is trying to increase voter turn out at these elections. There are 7 political parties vying for seats. Parliament plenary sessions are held in Strasbourg (France) 12 times per year and all other committee meetings and the official seat of the parliament is in Brussels (Belgium).
. Built in the 16th century, it was dramatically transformed in the 17th century by the family of the Princes of Arenberg. Many famous people have stayed there, including Queen Christine of Sweden, Louis XV, Jean Baptiste Rousseau and Voltaire. It now belongs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its prestigious setting is used for important international conferences.
. The Ixelles Cemetery located ?n Ixelles ?n the southern part ?f Brussels, ?s ?ne ?f the major cemeteries ?n Belgium.The Ixelles Cemetery ?ls? refers t? ? neighbourhood w?th ? lot ?f bars ?nd restaurants f?r students, north ?f the actual cemetery. ?t ?s ?n fact located between the tw? main campuses ?f the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Solbosch ?nd La Plaine).