Top 10 Places to Visit in BrusselsPosted By Kailash on July 5, 2011 at 3:25pm
Conveniently nestled at the heart of this compact, multilingual country, Brussels –the capital of Belgium and the European Union-has enough culture and delish cuisine to enthrall visitors for days. Stroll around this walkable city and admire centuries-old gabled buildings giving way to exquisite Art Noveau town homes with international flair.
This ornate and historic city square, the original location of many professional guilds (bakers, butchers, haberdashers), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the gilded home of the city’s Town Hall, a brewer’s museum, a Sunday bird market as well as many pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Every other August, the cobblestone ground is covered in a giant carpet of begonias, with the flowers arrayed in beautiful designs and patterns.
In July, catch the ommegang-a recreation of the1549 arrival of Emperor Charles V –with 1,400 participants in traditional costumes.
2. Manneken pis
This centuries –old bronze statue of the little boy attending to natures call is steps from the Grand place, at the corners of the Rue de I‘Etuve and Rue du chene. He has 800+costumes, which are changed several times per week. The rest of his wardrobe is on display at the city Museum in the Grand place.
3. Comic Museum
Comic books have serious devotees and more than 700 authors here. This is where the Smurfs and Tintin came to life. If you would like the background and history in a gorgeous Art Nouveau setting then visit the Belgian Comic strip center Comic strip center on Rue des sables.
If you are a diehard Tintin fan, then head straight to the Herge Museum (Rue du Labrador, 26, Louvain-la-Neuve), named for the creator of Tintin, George Remi. This museum contains hundreds of original plates, photographs, documents and objects, and is something to behold, for its striking architecture alone.
4. Rue Neuve to city 2
Head north on this street, and along the way you’ll find everything from clothes and accessories to household items at the fun and lively HEMA. Further on, check out the more upscale department store Inno. When you feel puckish, pick up a warm gaufre (waffle), usually prepared with a sweet caramelized glaze. For the famous chocolates, try the popular chains Leonidas or Neuhaus, Who have a branch inside the city 2 mall. Pop upstairs to music and book emporium FNAC for some CDS of the celebrated singer, composer, and poet, Jacques Brel.
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5. A La Mort subite
To sample some of the famous Belgian beers (the cheery-flavored kriek, or chimay, produced by Trappist monks), or even if you just want a coffee, try the café Brasserie a la Mort subite (“Sudden death”, Which refers to a dice game) on Rue Montage aux Herbes potageres, 7.
Open for over 80years, long a hangout for artistic types, you can feel the history in the banquettes and see it in the photos on the walls.
6. Rene Magritte Museum
The Surrealist legend, whose questioning and sometime humorous images have become part of pop culture and the collective subconscious, can be studied at the museum dedicated to his work (place Royale, 1) or you can see how he lived( his home at Rue Esseghem, 135).
7. Chez Leon
Belgians love food and moules et frites (mussels and French fries) is a classic dish. Join the locals, EU bureaucrats and holidaymakers at Chez Leon (Rue des Boucher’s, 18), an institution that has been feeding the Brusellois for over 160 years. Enjoy any of 12 or more preparations of the signature item on the menu (or a variety of other types of seafood). If you like shrimp, start with tomatoes crevettes, a tomato stuffed with dozens of the tiny, sweet crustaceans harvested from the Belgian coast by men on horseback adding into the North sea.
8. Place Royale
Joined together by an underground passage, the museums of ancient and modern art in this historic city center provide the visitor with a solid grounding in the history of Belgian art. The former includes works by Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the younger, while the latter includes paintings by Magritte, Paul Delvaux and non-Belgian artists like Francis Bacon.
9. Horta Museum
As home to architect Victor Horta, Brussels is a must-see destination for Art Nouveau fans, which happily traipse through the city to see his many creations. Horta’s house, which he designed himself, is now a museum, where visitors can examine at length the sensual curving lines and flora-inspired details that have become the signature of the master.
Named for the bustling Kinshasa market in the once Belgian colony formerly known as Zaire, the matonge section of the Ixelles neighborhood has lots of Asian and African shops and restaurants on chausses de waver and chausses d’lxelles(At number 331, you’ll find the vegetarian Tibetan restaurant Dolma). The area also has some lively African and Latin-inspired bars and clubs, like L’Horloge du sud, at Rue du Trone141.
Quick Facts – Getting to Brussels
Jet Airways flies daily to new York from Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai Via Brussels. Also you can get into Brussels by different means
Brussels travel is made easy with multiple options including Brussels Airlines, cheap flights to Belgium, Belgium trains and getting there by car.
It’s also easy because of that age-old real estate adage: location, location, location. Often called, ‘The Crossroads of Europe,” Brussels, Belgium is conveniently located between France, Germany and the Netherlands, making it easy to get to other popular cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Germany and Luxembourg.
Brussels has well-developed transportation hub. You can fly or train into Brussels and either rent a car or travel by train and get virtually anywhere you want to in Brussels or Belgium.
That’s what makes Brussels the perfect place from which to base your European trip. It’s right in the middle of Europe’s most popular travel destinations.
Quick Facts – Accommodation
As the capital of Belgium, Brussels has every kind of accommodation for every Kind of traveler. We have done some research and identified some good hotels in Brussels. Click here to get the list of hotels.
Quick Facts – Getting Around Brussels
The integrated public transport network in Brussels is operated by Société des Transports Intercommunaux Bruxellois – STIB
Many metro stations display the works of local artists. With comfortable seats, the service is pleasant even during rush hour. The underground prémétro is a fast way to travel between Gare du Nord, Place de Brouckère, Bourse and the Bruxelles-Midi Eurostar terminal
Tram and bus
Tram and bus stops are indicated by red and white signs respectively. The route number and destination are displayed on the front of the vehicle and all stops are request stops. Passengers get on at the front of buses and off at the rear. Brussels’ bright yellow and blue trams serve the city centre and suburbs.
Jump Tickets are available for one, five or 10 trips lasting up to an hour including changes, a same-day return trip, or unlimited travel for one or three days.
The Brussels Card
www.brusselscard.be, which gives you unlimited travel plus other discounts for 24, 48 or 72 hours, is sold at tourist information offices, hotels and museums. A one-day Group Ticket gives unlimited travel for a party of up to five travelling together. Brussels Cards and Group Tickets are not valid on the NATO-Airport route.
Official Brussels taxis have a taxi light with a blue and yellow plaque on the roof, and can be hailed in the street or picked up at a rank; in the city centre, there are ranks at the major railway stations and at the Bourse.
Although commuter traffic is heavy on the outskirts of Brussels during rush hour, the centre is relatively easy to negotiate, once the one-way system has been mastered. In addition to car parks located in the city centre, there is pay-and-display parking in certain streets. There is also a large public car park under the Novotel Hotel, Rue de la Montagne. Free street parking is available on Sundays and holidays.
Have a Great time in Brussels.