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Every year, many tourists come to the Belgian capital. They all want to see the sights of Brussels. Thanks to such interest from travelers, today this place can rightfully be considered a modern cultural city of Europe. What to see in Brussels if you came here for the first time? Especially for you, we have compiled a list of the most interesting places in this ancient city.
First things to see in Brussels
When studying the list of the most famous sights, keep in mind that the city has a rather complex layout and all museums, cathedrals and galleries have their own opening hours. Guides in Brussels who will always be with you and tell you the most interesting things about the history of the Belgian capital will help you to fully enjoy the museum expositions, natural wonders and architecture to the fullest extent.
1. Grand Place< /h3>
Grand Place in Brussels
The Grand Place has not only touristic, but also historical significance. It is considered the center of the city. Travelers who did not plan in advance what to visit in Brussels immediately go here after their arrival. There is a baroque market on the square. This place is one of the sights included in the UNESCO heritage list.
Grand Place is surrounded on all sides by architectural masterpieces that once belonged to local craftsmen and merchants. Among them, two buildings stand out strongly – the City Hall and the King's House. Part of the first building are unique statues depicting stories taken from the life of the city.
Twice a year, a luxurious floral carpet blooms on the territory of this landmark of Brussels. The square is decorated with them within three days after the opening of the buds. Especially for the Grand Place, begonias of different colors are grown, which give this place an amazing charm.
Official website: https://www.brussels.be/grand-place-brussels< /p>
2. Museum of Musical Instruments
Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels
The Museum of Musical Instruments, which is located in Brussels, is considered the largest in the world. At least eight thousand unique folk and traditional specimens are stored within the walls of this building. The museum was founded in 1877. In 2000, it had to be moved to a historic Art Nouveau building.
Visitors to this landmark of Brussels have a unique opportunity to see with their own eyes musical instruments that belonged to different nations. Each floor of the building is reserved for a separate collection. For example, on the first floor there are traditional specimens, on the second – orchestral instruments.
Guests of the museum can not only look at the exhibits, but also hear their original sound.
Official website : http://www.mim.be/en
3. Manneken Pis
Bronze statue of Manneken Pis in Brussels
There are a lot of unique sights in the capital of Belgium, so there are many interesting places to see in Brussels. One of them is the world-famous fountain, which is decorated with a sculpture of a pissing boy. It is for the sake of it that millions of tourists come to the city.
For local residents, Manneken Pis is much more important than any other attraction of the capital. They saw in it a symbol of folk humor and freedom of spirit. In souvenir shops in Brussels, you can find a huge number of different figurines depicting Manneken Pis.
Historians still do not know under what circumstances and on whose initiative this fountain was built. All documents that could provide an exhaustive answer to this question were destroyed.
Official website: https://www.brussels.be/manneken-pis
4. Royal Museum of Fine Arts
Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels
Asking the locals what to see in Brussels, many travelers are advised to go to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Admirers of luxurious painting will get an unreal pleasure, being in this place.
Within the walls of the museum are objects of art, divided into two main periods. The first includes exhibits that belong to the distant past, approximately XV-XVIII centuries. The second period contains modern paintings painted after the 19th century. Also in the building is a huge collection of works by the artist Rene Magritte. Thanks to the existing collections, museum visitors can have an idea about the trends and styles of artistic masterpieces.
Official website: https://www.fine-arts-museum.be/en
5. Fiftieth Anniversary Park
Fiftieth Anniversary Park in Brussels
The sights of Brussels include the legendary Cinquecentenary Park, which is located in the east of the city. It has always been in great demand among the local vacationers. Previously, on the site where the park is now located, there was a military training ground. But in 1880, King Leopold II issued a decree to rebuild the territory in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the country's independence. He plans to organize a unique exhibition, thanks to which he would be able to show the whole world the level of prosperity and development of his state.
The territory of the park occupies about 30 hectares of land. It has luxurious gardens, clean lakes. There is even a small waterfall here. Guests of the Park of the Ciftieth Anniversary can appreciate the beauty of flower beds and shady paths that are located throughout the landscape. The most popular place in the park remains the Arc de Triomphe, which can be seen at the entrance. This building is a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of Belgium, which its inhabitants never tire of repeating. Feel the atmosphere of Brussels in this beautiful video!
6. Mini Europe
Mini Europe in Brussels
Mini-Europe in the capital of Belgium is called the park of miniatures. It is visited with great pleasure by tourists who know in advance what to visit in Brussels. The grand opening of the attraction took place in 1989. Responsible for this event was Prince Philip. The park presents the most famous monuments of Europe, which are made in miniature. There was also room for other layouts, for example, vehicles and windmills. All of them are powered by electricity.
Near the paths you can see miniature people and trees. Due to this feature, Mini-Europe is called by many a cognitive center. This is because most of the layouts are a real miracle of technological progress. Here are presented in miniature such important historical moments as the fall of the wall in Berlin, the eruption of Vesuvius and much more.
Official website: http://www.minieurope.com/en /
7. Royal Palace
Royal Palace in Brussels
Interested in what to see in Brussels, travelers should pay attention to the most beautiful building in the city – the Royal Palace. This place is officially considered the residence of the monk of Belgium, which is conveniently located in the heart of the main park.
The royal family does not live within the walls of the palace. This building is used only during important official events.
Originally, the current attraction belonged to the Dukes of Brabant. According to assumptions, it looked like a castle-residence. The building served a defensive function. After that it had to be completely rebuilt. The Royal Palace appeared on the site of the destroyed building before the recognition of Belgium as an independent country. In 1904, the facade of the palace was completely renovated, and its old courtyard was converted into a park, which now anyone could visit.
Official website: https://www.monarchie.be /en/
Cathedral of Saint-Michel-et-Gudul in Brussels
The Cathedral of Saint-Michel-et-Gudul is located in the capital of Belgium. It has been preserved to this day. The author of this landmark of Brussels was the architect Jean van Rusbreck.
Many tourists note that the appearance of the cathedral resembles the famous Notre Dame de Paris. This similarity between the two historical buildings was achieved thanks to the twin towers. But the Brussels attraction is somewhat smaller than the Paris one.
In the center of the cathedral is a large door decorated with wrought iron reliefs and statues depicting saints. You can get into the building from the main facade through one of the four existing entrances. Each of them is decorated with portals made of durable stone. Stained glass windows and sculptures rise above the entrances. The cathedral is a must-see for every traveler who gets to Brussels on the road.
Official website: http://www.cathedralisbruxellensis.be/en
9. World of Auto
Autoworld Museum in Brussels Volkswagen Belgiu
Car enthusiasts who come to Belgium for the first time know exactly what to visit in Brussels. They first go to the car museum. It can be found in the park, founded in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the country's independence. Now there are two huge museums here: the first is dedicated to military equipment, and the second is automotive. This place contains dozens of unique models of pre-war vehicles that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
There are small plaques next to each car exhibit in the museum. The name of the exhibition model, its characteristics and the year of manufacture are written on them. Also on the plates you can see a couple of interesting historical facts related to a particular car.
Official website: http://www.autoworld.be/home
10. Cambrai Nature Reserve
Cambrai Nature Reserve in Brussels Stephane Mignon
In the south of the city is the Cambres Nature Reserve. This landmark of Brussels has a very interesting history. The reserve was created in 1861 on the initiative of the German architect Eduard Keilig.
The reserve is made in the English style used in the design of parks and gardens in the 18th century. Attraction of the city tried to make as close as possible to virgin nature. This explains why some trees are planted scattered. During the walk, you get the impression that you are in a real forest. In the center of the reserve there is a small lake with its own island. Anyone can get here if they agree to pay for a boat trip. The service is only available on weekends. This natural area is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Therefore, many locals often come here to take a break from everyday worries.
Sights of Brussels: what else to visit while in Brussels
The ten places listed above are just a small part of what this European city can surprise with. If you figure it out, then there are excursions in Brussels for every taste and budget, but in order to be completely satisfied, it will not be superfluous to look at the city map where the attractions you are interested in are located and, taking this into account, select the route.
11. Basilica of the Sacré Coeur
Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Brussels
Most travelers have a plan prepared in advance, indicating the places of interest in Belgium that should be visited. Therefore, they know exactly what to see in Brussels. Among the important historical monuments of the city is the Christian Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. It has become a symbol of the independence of the state.
Initially, the church was conceived as a monument, which was erected in honor of the seventieth anniversary of the country's independence. As planned, it had to fit nine small chapels. Each of them represented one of the provinces existing in those years. For six decades, the construction of the current sights of Brussels was carried out.
The modern building has a height of 90 m. At the same time, at least 2,000 people can freely fit within its walls. Now the church serves as a lecture hall, exhibition center and museum.
Official website: http://www.basilicakoekelberg.be
12. Halle port< /h3>
Halle port – part of the medieval Walls of Brussels
Few people know about this sight of Brussels. Only those travelers who have explored every corner of this city managed to reach the Halleport gate. Many of them accidentally found a historical monument during their walks.
Halleport is the only part of the city wall that managed to survive. Today it is used as a museum, where not so many tourists come for an excursion. Here are interesting cultural and historical expositions.
Inside the building itself is a spiral staircase, which in past years had to climb the guards, soldiers and monks. Even kings have walked these steps. The stairs lead to the very top – to the observation deck of the gate.
13. Brussels Park
Fountain in Brussels Park
Brussels is called the largest park in the city. It is located in the center of the capital and covers an area of 13.1 hectares. In the Middle Ages, this place was a continuous forest that surrounded the residence of Brabant on all sides. The palace was destroyed during a fire, and no one began to restore it. In 1775, the authorities decided to ennoble the territory of this landmark of Brussels.
The park is made according to all the rules of the French style. It has a clear boundary of geometry, alleys and paths. Thanks to the unique layout of the landscape, it seems as if there is an increase in space right in front of the park's visitors.
During the summer season, exciting open-air parties are regularly held in the Brussels Park.
Official website: https://www.brussels.be
14. Brussels Botanical Garden “Le Botanique”
Botanical garden “Le Botanique” in Brussels
Le Botanique is different from all other existing botanical gardens. From different sides, an amazing place is surrounded by huge skyscrapers. Walking through this landmark of Brussels is an incredible pleasure for locals and tourists.
In 1826 the botanical garden moved to its permanent location. This decision was made at the request of respected botanists. They thought it right to relocate the establishment to a wooded area with vast space and fertile soil. It is these conditions that are necessary for the normal development and growth of most plants.
The opening of the garden took place only in 1829. On this occasion, the local government arranged a real celebration with a banquet and solemn fireworks.
15. Belgian Royal Museum of Natural Sciences
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences The Integer Club
This landmark of Brussels has a special place. The Royal Museum of Natural Sciences is conveniently located next to the European Parliament. It introduces its visitors to the inhabitants who once inhabited our planet. The museum's expositions also reveal to tourists the secrets of the emergence of mathematics and writing.
Children especially like visiting the museum. Especially for them, a unique collection of the remains of real dinosaurs has been collected here. Also, young visitors have the opportunity to see with their own eyes a huge meteorite that once landed in Europe.
In the museum of natural sciences, for fans of detectives, the murder of the director of this institution is staged daily. The process of unraveling the mysterious case brings guests a lot of positive emotions.
Official website: https://www.naturalsciences.be/en
Read also about the sights of Antwerp and get inspired to travel further in Belgium.