Brussels in Belgium is a popular European destination that makes for a delightful visit, with interesting museums, food, markets and buildings.
Though it is home to the European Parliament along with several important offices, Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is far from a bureaucratic space. Belgium is home to some of the best chocolate makers in the world and also offers other mouth-watering specialities like its fries and waffles. With a lively centre, beautiful churches as well as several museums to explore, Brussels is also an interesting destination for history-lovers.
Starting the exploration of Brussels from its centre with the Grand Place right as the central square is a nice idea. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is always bustling with activity, with locals, tourists and several buskers passing by. Several baroque-styled guild houses and La Maison du Roi in addition to the iconic Townhall in gothic style make up this square, which becomes a big carpet of flowers for a few days annually in August. As Brussels’ old quarter, or inner ring as it is known is quite small, it is possible to see most historical sites of this district by simply walking around. Walking is a good idea, as one can spot several kinds of street art, some with representations such as that of Belgian cartoon import Tintin.
The unique and popular boy who has a monument in the city, Manekin Pis is close to the Grand Place, a monument with several legends associated. If you’re lucky you will see him dressed up, which is usually for a cause or occasion. Apart from the Manekin Pis, an iconic place to see in the city is the Cathedrale of St Michel after which the Place Du Luxembourg, leading to the European Parliament. Atomium, an iconic Brussels landmark offers great views of the entire city, though is slightly expensive to go on the top.
Museums in Brussels cater to several kinds of arts and history, but some interesting museums are the Musical Instruments Museum as well as the Train World. A must-do in the city are its markets, where one can expect to find extravagant historical items along with a lively atmosphere filled with bargains and unique things. Place du Grand Sablon is a well-known weekend market where books and antiques can be found in abundance and Place du Jeu de Balle is a local favourite to find some great steals.
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Everyone might have heard and/or recommended trying Belgian chocolate along with waffle, fries and beer, and these clichés are certainly worth a try. One can also head to some of the food markets to explore local cuisine, For the chocolate lovers, a delightful time awaits as the city hosts a museum as well as a gallery full of some of the best chocolatiers’ shop. Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is where high end chocolate lovers should head to make a selection from Belgian chocolate such as Godiva and Neuhaus.
Waffle lovers will not be disappointed either but the trick is to avoid eating from close to the Grand Place and other such major attractions as vendors close by tend to overcharge. For fries, some places such as Flagey finds popularity. As for Belgian beer, several pubs can be recommended but one of the favourites remains Delirium Café, which is home to hundreds of types of beer as well a number of paraphernalia and memorabilia.