BRUSSELS(BRUXELLES)

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BRUSSELS(BRUXELLES)

Belgium's capital and the unofficial capital of the EU. Nice historic centre and several museums of interest. One of the most multicultural cities in Europe.

BRUSSELS(BRUXELLES) Guide

Skyline of Brussels Brussels(French:Bruxelles, Dutch:Brussel) is the capital of Belgium and one of the three administrative regions within the country, together with Flanders and Wallonia. Apart from its role within its country, it is also an internationally important city, hosting numerous international institutions, and in particular the core institutions of the European Union. Due to that, it is sometimes referred to informally as the capital of the EU, and even used as a metonym for the EU institutions.

Brussels blends the heritage of a medieval Flemish town with the grandiose projects initiated after it became the capital of what was then a French-speaking country, as well as some impressive modern architecture erected in a large part to house the international institutions. Brussels is now bilingual, hosting and officially recognizing the Dutch- and French-speaking communities of Belgium, and has become increasingly international with the influx of people of various origin who came there to work, many of them for the European Union. This all makes Brussels a rather unique blend, sprinkled with a number of Belgian peculiarities, and for the inquisitive tourist a large treasure chest to discover.

Brussels is a large city. Wikivoyage has several articles on its districts:

  • Brussels/East
  • Brussels/European Quarter
  • Brussels/North
  • Brussels/Pentagon
  • Brussels/South
  • Brussels/Southeast
  • Brussels/West-->

[[Brussels/East]]

[[Brussels/European Quarter]]

[[Brussels/North]]

[[Brussels/Pentagon]]

[[Brussels/South]]

[[Brussels/Southeast]]

[[Brussels/West]]

Grand Place-Grote Markt

When Brussels became the capital city of a new country in the 19th century, large parts of the old town were destroyed to make way for brand new ministries, palaces, schools, army barracks and office blocks constructed between 1880 and 1980. The medieval city walls that once defended and surrounded the city were demolished. Only a small historic centre (one square and four adjacent streets) was preserved. The historic Flemish town centres are better preserved in cities likeAntwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Leuven, andMechelen. This thoughtless treatment of historic buildings has earned past city planners near-universal scorn and even given rise to the term "Brusselization" for cities that similarly tear down old buildings, replacing them with faceless concrete monstrosities.

Language in Brussels can be a confusing matter to visitors. The common language is French, with around 90% of the population in Brussels speaking it passably to fluently. You can easily get by with English, especially in the tourist areas. Dutch is also an official language: within Brussels, the population that speaks Dutch passably to fluently is limited to around 20%, though Dutch-speakers make up the majority of Belgium as a whole. Because Brussels is the country's capital, when it comes to official matters, French and Dutch have equal status in Brussels, with sometimes complicated rules to ensure a balance between the two. Streets, railway stations, bus stops and other places have names in the two languages. The two names don’t always sound or look similar. For example, the Brussels-South railway station isBruxelles-Midiin French andBrussel-Zuidin Dutch. Watch out when making assumptions based on English: a common mistake is to thinkBruxelles-Midirefers to the Brussels-Central railway station, due tomidiseeming similar tomiddle. Areas outside of Brussels have only one official language, but may still have distinct names in the other language. For example, you may get a train ticket that listsAnvers(in French) as the destination, but the signs in the station there will only sayAntwerpen(in Dutch). In Brussels, large segments of the population have neither French nor Dutch as their mother tongue, and many other languages can be heard on the street, with Arabic being particularly common.

Historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels became more and more French-speaking during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, most inhabitants speak French in daily life. Some numbers say that more than half of the inhabitants of Brussels do not speak French at home. The Brussels dialect, a Brabantian dialect of Dutch, can be heard, especially in the outer districts of Brussels Capital Region. The French spoken is standard French. Dutch speakers speak standard Dutch but many also speak a dialect when talking to people from their region.

English has become a common spoken language because of the international institutions based in Brussels, such as theEuropean Commission, the European Parliament and NATO. It is still relatively rare to find written tourist or general information in English, although the situation is changing. One can expect public announcements in train stations to at least be said in French and Dutch, while larger train stations (such as Zuidstation/Gare du Midi) typically include English and German. English is also used on metros, trams and buses, announced last for information such as line transfers and terminal stops. Do not hesitate to ask someone if you do not understand what has been said.

Considering the city's location and that it markets itself as the capital of Europe, spoken English is less prevalent in Belgium than in its Dutch neighbour. However, even if it is not as widely spoken as one may expect, it is nonetheless widely understood. As is often the case elsewhere, success in finding someone who speaks English depends on several factors such as age (14-35 year-olds are most likely to speak English), education and previous experience abroad.

German is also an official language in Belgium spoken as a mother tongue by about 70,000 people in the east of the country bordering Germany, but the only German you're likely to hear in Brussels would be overheard on the streets around the European institutions or by German tourists, even if there is a large German population residing there.

Other languages that are increasingly heard in Brussels include Arabic (at least 25% of Brussels' population is of Arab descent, chiefly from Morocco), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, and Russian.

Brussels' weather deservedly has a poor reputation. Rainfall is frequent and fairly evenly distributed over the seasons, although spring (March - May) and autumn (September - November) tend to see the most rain. With an annual rainfall of 820 mm spread over approximately 200 rainy days per year, the city gets to endure more rain than neighboring capitals Paris or London, and that regular rainfall makes the climate damp. Under high humidity, the rare warm days tend to feel uncomfortably hot, and the many cold days feel colder than elsewhere.

The best season to visit Brussels would be from late spring to early autumn, generally half May to half September would yield the highest chance of sunny weather. However, even the summer months are not immune from rain and can be very unpredictable: you can be lucky and enjoy a few dry days, but there is an equal chance you'll be confronted with rain for days on end. Bring ample waterproof clothes, preferably with long sleeves. Wet clothes don't dry easily in Brussels' humid climate and infrequent sunshine, so if you get wet, you'll probably have to sustain damp clothes for the rest of the day. An umbrella is an essential accessory in every season! Daily temperature variations are always below 10°C, so you typically don't have to worry about changing into something warmer/cooler over the course of the day. In summer, the average temperature is about 22°C, but don't take it as clothing advice: one week you might experience autumn weather and 15°C, and the next you might (briefly) enjoy 30°C or more! After October, temperatures drop off quite quickly, and sunny days become rare (In December 2017, Brussels shattered the European record for least amount of sunshine in a month).

However, snowfall is uncommon in winter, with 3 - 5 snowy days per year at best, although there have been years with no snowfall at all. Snow usually falls overnight, and not more than a few cm at a time. It tends to melt within a few hours, gradually turning from a idyllic landscape into a brown watery slush that is unpleasant to walk through. When visiting Brussels in winter, bring suitable footwear. Gloves are also recommended, particularly on a bike or while holding a map.

Brussels has as many indoor as outdoor activities to offer, so even if it turns out to rain every day of your visit, you'll find more than enough to do to make the visit worthwhile. TheBuienradar(literallyShower Radar) shows the real time location of rain clouds and calculates predictions of their movements. The radar can tell when it will start to rain at your position with a 10 minute accuracy, and is a great tool for planning out your day.

Although Brussels is best explored by foot or by bike, the public transport network is the best option when it's raining. Museums and other attractions are rarely more than 10 minutes walking away from a metro station, so a map of the metro network in combination with theBuienradarcan keep you dry through adequate planning. If you're caught by surprise, metro stations are excellent places to seek shelter from the rain, and the larger stations have facilities where you can purchase a hot beverage while waiting (,,, and so on). Chains likeStarbucks, Panos, McDonaldsand the likes don't care if you occupy a table without making a purchase, so these are good options to sit out longer showers.

Brussels is split into 19communesorgemeenten(municipalities/boroughs):

  • Bruxelles/Brussel- Brussels offers many charming and beautiful attractions, with deeply ornate buildings on theGrand Place/Grote Markt, and a fish-and-crustacean overdose of St. Catherine's Square (Place St-Catherine/Sint-Katelijneplein). Stroll along, (and stop in for a drink) at one of the many bars on Place St-Géry/Sint-Goriksplein, or max out your credit card on the trendy Rue Antoine Dansaert/Antoine Dansaertstraat.
  • Marolles/Marollen- A neighbourhood of Brussels close to the city's heart, one of the few places where the Brussels dialect of Dutch (Flemish) could still be heard. The area is best known for the flea market held daily on the Place du Jeu de Balle/Vossenplein and for a plethora of shops selling everything from old radios and bent wipers to fine china and expensive Art Nouveau trinkets. Visit on Saturdays or Sundays.
  • Brussels/Ixelles-Elsene- A vibrant part of town with a high concentration of restaurants, bars and other services to satisfy the good-looking or the heavy-spending. Some wandering around will reveal small bookshops, affordable ethnic restaurants or independent record shops tucked away in side streets. The Matongé district just off Chaussée d'Ixelles/Elsenesteenweg is the city's main African neighbourhood. It is a large district in the South of Brussels spreading from newly gentrified immigrant neighbourhoods off the Chaussée d'Ixelles/Elsenesteenweg near the town centre to leafy suburbs close to theBois de la Cambre/Ter Kamerenbos. The district is split in two by Avenue Louise/Louizalaan, which is part of the Bruxelles/Brussel district of the city.
  • Molenbeek/Molenbeek- Commonly known as Molenbeek-St-Jean or Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. The population has been described as "mainly Muslim" in the media; however, actual figures range between 25% and 40%, depending on the catchment area. As of 2016, there is one main minority group in Molenbeek, Belgian Moroccans.
  • Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis- The city's bohemian epicentre with thriving French, Portuguese, Spanish, Maghrebi and Polish communities. The area around the Parvis de St-Gilles/St-Gillisvoorplein is the arty part, with the area around the Chatelain/Kastelein and the Church of the Holy Trinity being decidedly more yuppified. Like Schaerbeek, Saint-Gilles boasts several Art Nouveau and Haussmann-style buildings.
  • St-Josse/Sint-Joost- The smallest and poorestcommunenot only of Brussels, but of all Belgium, this commune might not always be too pleasing on the eye but does have a few small, welcoming streets. The mid-part of the Chaussée de Louvain/Leuvensesteenweg is also home to a relatively small Indo-Pakistani community, so this is the place to head to for a tikka masala. The Turkish community which was the largest community only a few years ago has declined rapidly, as they moved to relatively wealthier communes by St-Josse/Sint-Joost standards.
  • Uccle/Ukkel- Brussels' poshestcommune. Green, bourgeois and starched like all poshcommunesshould be. Uccle has retained many of its charming medieval cul-de-sacs, tiny squares and small townhouses as has nearby Watermael-Boitsfort/Watermaal-Bosvoorde.
  • Woluwé-Saint-Pierre/Sint-Pieters-WoluweandWoluwé-Saint-Lambert/Sint-Lambrechts-Woluweare twocommunesat the eastern end of the city. Mainly residential, with a mixture of housing blocks, quaint neighbourhoods and green areas this place is well-loved by Eurocrats and other professional types. The enormous Wolubilis cultural complex is well worth a visit.

Bruxelles/Brussel- Brussels offers many charming and beautiful attractions, with deeply ornate buildings on the Grand Place/Grote Markt, and a fish-and-crustacean overdose of St. Catherine's Square (Place St-Catherine/Sint-Katelijneplein). Stroll along, (and stop in for a drink) at one of the many bars on Place St-Géry/Sint-Goriksplein, or max out your credit card on the trendy Rue Antoine Dansaert/Antoine Dansaertstraat.

Marolles/Marollen- A neighbourhood of Brussels close to the city's heart, one of the few places where the Brussels dialect of Dutch (Flemish) could still be heard. The area is best known for the flea market held daily on the Place du Jeu de Balle/Vossenplein and for a plethora of shops selling everything from old radios and bent wipers to fine china and expensive Art Nouveau trinkets. Visit on Saturdays or Sundays.

Brussels/Ixelles-Elsene- A vibrant part of town with a high concentration of restaurants, bars and other services to satisfy the good-looking or the heavy-spending. Some wandering around will reveal small bookshops, affordable ethnic restaurants or independent record shops tucked away in side streets. The Matongé district just off Chaussée d'Ixelles/Elsenesteenweg is the city's main African neighbourhood. It is a large district in the South of Brussels spreading from newly gentrified immigrant neighbourhoods off the Chaussée d'Ixelles/Elsenesteenweg near the town centre to leafy suburbs close to the Bois de la Cambre/Ter Kamerenbos. The district is split in two by Avenue Louise/Louizalaan, which is part of the Bruxelles/Brussel district of the city.

Molenbeek/Molenbeek- Commonly known as Molenbeek-St-Jean or Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. The population has been described as "mainly Muslim" in the media; however, actual figures range between 25% and 40%, depending on the catchment area. As of 2016, there is one main minority group in Molenbeek, Belgian Moroccans.

Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis- The city's bohemian epicentre with thriving French, Portuguese, Spanish, Maghrebi and Polish communities. The area around the Parvis de St-Gilles/St-Gillisvoorplein is the arty part, with the area around the Chatelain/Kastelein and the Church of the Holy Trinity being decidedly more yuppified. Like Schaerbeek, Saint-Gilles boasts several Art Nouveau and Haussmann-style buildings.

St-Josse/Sint-Joost- The smallest and poorestcommunenot only of Brussels, but of all Belgium, this commune might not always be too pleasing on the eye but does have a few small, welcoming streets. The mid-part of the Chaussée de Louvain/Leuvensesteenweg is also home to a relatively small Indo-Pakistani community, so this is the place to head to for a tikka masala. The Turkish community which was the largest community only a few years ago has declined rapidly, as they moved to relatively wealthier communes by St-Josse/Sint-Joost standards.

Uccle/Ukkel- Brussels' poshestcommune. Green, bourgeois and starched like all poshcommunesshould be. Uccle has retained many of its charming medieval cul-de-sacs, tiny squares and small townhouses as has nearby Watermael-Boitsfort/Watermaal-Bosvoorde.

Woluwé-Saint-Pierre/Sint-Pieters-WoluweandWoluwé-Saint-Lambert/Sint-Lambrechts-Woluweare twocommunesat the eastern end of the city. Mainly residential, with a mixture of housing blocks, quaint neighbourhoods and green areas this place is well-loved by Eurocrats and other professional types. The enormous Wolubilis cultural complex is well worth a visit.

  • Use-it, Galerie Ravenstein 25, 1000 Brussels (next to the Central Station). M-Sa 10:00–18:30. Excellent information provided by young locals, and this central office has nice facilities, free coffee and free wifi. The best source for solo travelers. Maps and information about the European Use-it network. Free walking tour every Monday at 14:00.
  • Brussels International, Rue Royale/Koningsstraat 2, +32 2 513-89-40. 10:00-18:00.
  • Brussels International, Town Hall Grand-Place, +32 2 513-89-40. 09:00-18:00; Sundays: winter 10:00-14:00, Jan 1-Easter closed. It's inside the town hall and usually crammed. Sells a couple of discount booklets or cards, such as the Brussels Card and public transport one-day passes
  • Brussels International. Winter: M-Th 08:00-17:00, F 08:00-20:00, Sa 09:00-18:00, Su & holidays 09:00-14:90; Summer: Sa-Th 08:00-20:00, F 08:00-20:00.
  • Brussels International, Arrival hall. 08:00-21:00.

Use-it, Galerie Ravenstein 25, 1000 Brussels (next to the Central Station). M-Sa 10:00–18:30. Excellent information provided by young locals, and this central office has nice facilities, free coffee and free wifi. The best source for solo travelers. Maps and information about the European Use-it network. Free walking tour every Monday at 14:00.

Brussels International, Rue Royale/Koningsstraat 2, +32 2 513-89-40. 10:00-18:00.

Brussels International, Town Hall Grand-Place, +32 2 513-89-40. 09:00-18:00; Sundays: winter 10:00-14:00, Jan 1-Easter closed. It's inside the town hall and usually crammed. Sells a couple of discount booklets or cards, such as the Brussels Card and public transport one-day passes

Brussels International. Winter: M-Th 08:00-17:00, F 08:00-20:00, Sa 09:00-18:00, Su & holidays 09:00-14:90; Summer: Sa-Th 08:00-20:00, F 08:00-20:00.

Brussels International, Arrival hall. 08:00-21:00.

Its rich history left Brussels dotted with countless landmarks, some of architectural beauty, others of monumental proportions. In the medieval centre, nearly every building has its own story worth exploring! The surrounding Pentagon, roughly corresponding to the outline of Brussels in the Renaissance, adds many more attractions to the list of must-see attractions. When the weather gets unpredictable, over 80 museums in the Brussels Capital Region offer indoor excitement when rain prevents outdoor activities.

The city hall at the Grand Place, a, at night.The most iconic sight in Brussels is its central square, theGrand Place., widely regarded as the most beautiful square in the world, and Brussels most famous . TheGrand Placeand its surrounding streets are the last remains of medieval Brussels, and offer a unique insight in the look and feel of the city a millenium ago. The city hall and its tower, seen on many post cards, is a landmark and orientation point from most of the centre. Mannenken Pis, Brussels most famous statue, can be encountered in one of the side streets. As one of the most overrated attractions in Belgium, this insignificant statue is easily overlooked! The Mary Magdalene Chapel and St. Nicholas Church are among the oldest churches in Belgium, and attraction poles for enthusiasts of religious architecture. A free tour starts in front of the city hall on theGrand Placeevery day at 10:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 14:00, and guides visitors along the most important sights in the centre.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, among the largest churches in the worldOver time, a flourishing commerce developed outside the first city walls, of which the Black Tower is one of the last remnants. The former docks around the Church of St. Catherine have been converted into fountains, but have kept their reputation for best fish restaurants in the city. The nearby Beguinage and its church tell the story of the development of the city up to French occupation at the end of the 18th century. Thecathedral. dates from the same period, and as a nearly exact copy of the Notre Dame of Paris, it is well worth a visit because, unlike its more famous Parisian counterpart, entrance here is free, and there are usually no waiting lines! The Coudenberg Museum and Bruxella 1238 take visitors underground to explore the archaeological remains of Brussels history, for those fascinated by Brussels early history. The Halle Gate, now a museum, is the last surviving gate of Brussels second city walls.

The Law Courts, monumental architecture by Joseph PoelaertFrom theBelgianindependence in 1830 onward, Brussels quickly transformed into the modern capital it was envisoned to be. Under supervision of kings Leopold I and his son Leopold II, Brussels architect Joseph Poelaert initiated several monumental construction projects, most of which still stand today. Examples are theLaw Courts., the largest building in the world at the time of construction, overlooking the old city from Poelaert Square. The Church of Our Lady of Laeken to the north of the Pentagon and the Congress Column are also among his most famous work. The Royal Palace is just a short climb away and also dates from this period of architectural magnificence. TheBasilica of the Sacred Heart. is the 5th largest church in the world, and a corner stone in art deco architecture.

The Atomium, a masterpiece of contemporary architectureTheAtomium., a 102 m tall sculpture of a 165 billion times magnified iron crystal, dominates the skyline of northern Brussels. It is the best known relic of the 1958 World's Fair, along with the Centenary Palace. Although only a few of the spheres are open to the public, the restaurant at the top offers an amazing view over Brussels. If you're lucky enough that theRoyal Greenhouses. are open to the public, then don't hesitate to visit them.Tropical forest in the Royal Greenhouses

The Cinquantenaire Arc, with behind it the aviary hall of the Museum of Military HistoryTo the east of the Pentagon is the European Quarter, the centre of political power in the European Union. Serving as the unofficial capital of the European Union, the second largest democracy in the world (after India), much of the legislation making processes take place in theEuropean Parliament. and European Commission. Both can be visited, although tours tend to be rather formal. For a lighter experience, the Parlamentarium or House of European History are likely better tuned to younger audiences. The nearbyCinquantenaire Park. is worth a detour for its monumental arc, but also when the weather doesn't allow outdoor activities, the district has a lot to offer. The Museum for Natural Sciences hosts a complete herd of iguanodon skeletons, and is a must-see for adults and children alike, whereas the aviary hall of the Museum of Military History in the shadow of the Cinquantenaire Arc has original aircraft on display, ranging from civilian planes to jet fighters.

To keep balance with political powers, Brussels also hosts the NATO headquarters, the most powerful military alliance in the world, in the north-east district of the city. The nearby cemetery is home to many silent witnesses of the so calledmilitary victories. The railway museum Train World and nearby Tram Museum in the Woluwe district are top attractions for rail enthusiasts. Woluwe also has a lot to offer to architecture lovers, with theStoclet Palace. and Solvay Residence recognized as s.

When strolling along architectural sights and museum display cases feels overwhelming, the Sonian Forest to the south of the city will offer a welcomed change of scenery. This vast section of nature, with lakes and century old beech trees, is protected as and a true heaven for fans of outdoor activities.

If you're planning on visiting many attractions and museums, consider the advance purchase of aBrussels Card, which offers discounts at many attractions and free entrance to 40 of the most popular museums. It is available in 24 hr , 48 hr and 72 hr versions, includes a free guidebook, free use of public transit (metro, bus, tram), and discounts at various shops, restaurants. It may not be worth it to those who already receive discounts (children, students, etc.). The card can be purchased on-line in advance for a discount, at the major tourist offices, and in some museums. Keep in mind however that many attractions have severely limited opening hours (usually from 09:00 until 17:00) when planning your visit, although sights like theGrand Placeor Atomium can be enjoyed around the clock.

The most iconic sight in Brussels is its central square, theGrand Place., widely regarded as the most beautiful square in the world, and Brussels most famous . The Grand Place and its surrounding streets are the last remains of medieval Brussels, and offer a unique insight in the look and feel of the city a millenium ago. The [[Brussels/Centre#Q1255327|city hall]] and its tower, seen on many post cards, is a landmark and orientation point from most of the [[Brussels/Centre|centre]]. [[Brussels/Centre#Q152072|Mannenken Pis]], Brussels most famous statue, can be encountered in one of the side streets. As one of the most overrated attractions in Belgium, this insignificant statue is easily overlooked! The [[Brussels/Centre#Q2957320|Mary Magdalene Chapel]] and [[Brussels/Centre#Q2762071|St. Nicholas Church]] are among the oldest churches in Belgium, and attraction poles for enthusiasts of religious architecture. A free tour starts in front of the city hall on the Grand Place every day at 10:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 14:00, and guides visitors along the most important sights in the centre.

Over time, a flourishing commerce developed outside the first city walls, of which the [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q3533138|Black Tower]] is one of the last remnants. The former docks around the [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q1903443|Church of St. Catherine]] have been converted into fountains, but have kept their reputation for best fish restaurants in the city. The nearby [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q535244|Beguinage]] and its church tell the story of the development of the city up to [[France|French]] occupation at the end of the 18th century. Thecathedral. dates from the same period, and as a nearly exact copy of the [[Paris/4th arrondissement#Q2981|Notre Dame]] of [[Paris]], it is well worth a visit because, unlike its more famous Parisian counterpart, entrance here is free, and there are usually no waiting lines! The [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q1131821|Coudenberg Museum]] and [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q1937507|Bruxella 1238]] take visitors underground to explore the archaeological remains of Brussels history, for those fascinated by Brussels early history. The [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q2988142|Halle Gate]], now a museum, is the last surviving gate of Brussels second city walls.

From the [[Belgium|Belgian]] independence in 1830 onward, Brussels quickly transformed into the modern capital it was envisoned to be. Under supervision of kings Leopold I and his son Leopold II, Brussels architect Joseph Poelaert initiated several monumental construction projects, most of which still stand today. Examples are theLaw Courts., the largest building in the world at the time of construction, overlooking the old city from [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q2783500|Poelaert Square]]. The [[Brussels/Heysel#Q1547264|Church of Our Lady of Laeken]] to the north of the [[Brussels/Pentagon|Pentagon]] and the [[Brussels/Centre#Q600633|Congress Column]] are also among his most famous work. The [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q635307|Royal Palace]] is just a short climb away and also dates from this period of architectural magnificence. TheBasilica of the Sacred Heart. is the 5th largest church in the world, and a corner stone in art deco architecture.

From the [[Belgium|Belgian]] independence in 1830 onward, Brussels quickly transformed into the modern capital it was envisoned to be. Under supervision of kings Leopold I and his son Leopold II, Brussels architect Joseph Poelaert initiated several monumental construction projects, most of which still stand today. Examples are theLaw Courts., the largest building in the world at the time of construction, overlooking the old city from [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q2783500|Poelaert Square]]. The [[Brussels/Heysel#Q1547264|Church of Our Lady of Laeken]] to the north of the [[Brussels/Pentagon|Pentagon]] and the [[Brussels/Centre#Q600633|Congress Column]] are also among his most famous work. The [[Brussels/Pentagon#Q635307|Royal Palace]] is just a short climb away and also dates from this period of architectural magnificence. TheBasilica of the Sacred Heart. is the 5th largest church in the world, and a corner stone in art deco architecture.

TheAtomium., a 102 m tall sculpture of a 165 billion times magnified iron crystal, dominates the skyline of [[Brussels/Heysel|northern Brussels]]. It is the best known relic of the 1958 [[World's Fair]], along with the [[Brussels/Heysel#Q155285|Centenary Palace]]. Although only a few of the spheres are open to the public, the restaurant at the top offers an amazing view over Brussels. If you're lucky enough that theRoyal Greenhouses. are open to the public, then don't hesitate to visit them.

TheAtomium., a 102 m tall sculpture of a 165 billion times magnified iron crystal, dominates the skyline of [[Brussels/Heysel|northern Brussels]]. It is the best known relic of the 1958 [[World's Fair]], along with the [[Brussels/Heysel#Q155285|Centenary Palace]]. Although only a few of the spheres are open to the public, the restaurant at the top offers an amazing view over Brussels. If you're lucky enough that theRoyal Greenhouses. are open to the public, then don't hesitate to visit them.

To the east of the [[Brussels/Pentagon|Pentagon]] is the [[Brussels/European Quarter|European Quarter]], the centre of political power in the [[European Union]]. Serving as the unofficial capital of the European Union, the second largest democracy in the world (after [[India]]), much of the legislation making processes take place in theEuropean Parliament. and [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q8880|European Commission]]. Both can be visited, although tours tend to be rather formal. For a lighter experience, the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q8062880|Parlamentarium]] or [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q46012|House of European History]] are likely better tuned to younger audiences. The nearbyCinquantenaire Park. is worth a detour for its monumental arc, but also when the weather doesn't allow outdoor activities, the district has a lot to offer. The [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q222297|Museum for Natural Sciences]] hosts a complete herd of iguanodon skeletons, and is a must-see for adults and children alike, whereas the aviary hall of the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q1395176|Museum of Military History]] in the shadow of the Cinquantenaire Arc has original aircraft on display, ranging from civilian planes to jet fighters.

To the east of the [[Brussels/Pentagon|Pentagon]] is the [[Brussels/European Quarter|European Quarter]], the centre of political power in the [[European Union]]. Serving as the unofficial capital of the European Union, the second largest democracy in the world (after [[India]]), much of the legislation making processes take place in theEuropean Parliament. and [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q8880|European Commission]]. Both can be visited, although tours tend to be rather formal. For a lighter experience, the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q8062880|Parlamentarium]] or [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q46012|House of European History]] are likely better tuned to younger audiences. The nearbyCinquantenaire Park. is worth a detour for its monumental arc, but also when the weather doesn't allow outdoor activities, the district has a lot to offer. The [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q222297|Museum for Natural Sciences]] hosts a complete herd of iguanodon skeletons, and is a must-see for adults and children alike, whereas the aviary hall of the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q1395176|Museum of Military History]] in the shadow of the Cinquantenaire Arc has original aircraft on display, ranging from civilian planes to jet fighters.

To keep balance with political powers, Brussels also hosts the [[Brussels/North-East#Q12800833|NATO headquarters]], the most powerful military alliance in the world, in the [[Brussels/North-East|north-east]] district of the city. The nearby [[Brussels/North-East#Q579666|cemetery]] is home to many silent witnesses of the so calledmilitary victories. The railway museum [[Brussels/North-East#Q14931504|Train World]] and nearby [[Brussels/Woluwe#Q609692|Tram Museum]] in the [[Brussels/Woluwe|Woluwe]] district are top attractions for rail enthusiasts. Woluwe also has a lot to offer to architecture lovers, with theStoclet Palace. and [[Brussels/Woluwe#Q2671145|Solvay Residence]] recognized as s.

A sunset in the Sonian Forest, aBrussels has a large variety of activities to offer, regardless of the weather. Strolling through the medieval centre and enjoying waffles or fries on the go is a favorite for locals and tourists. When passing theStock Exchange., sit down on the stairs along with the locals and have a chat. Keep an eye out for comic book murals, of which there are 43 different ones to discover around the city! Those fascinated by comic books may consider visiting the Museum of Figurines or the Marc Sleen Museum. Brussels can also be explored from underground through theSewer Museum., learning the history of the city while walking underneath its busy traffic.

Scale replica of the city hall in Mini EuropeWhen weather permits, a walk through theTer Kameren Park. or even the Sonian Forest, a, is highly recommendable. TheCentenary Park. is closer to the city centre, and climbing the countless steps towards the top of its arc (entrance through the Museum of Military History) is worth the effort for a fantastic view over the European Quarter of the city. A less physically intense alternative to exploring the monuments of Brussels is a visit toMini Europe. on the Heysel plateau to the north, a park with scale models of numerous iconic European buildings and features. In summer, a zip line ride down from the top of the Atomium is an unforgettable experience for die hard thrill seekers!

A confrontation with rain in Brussels humid climate is no reason for despair. If none of the 80 museums would be of interest then a visit to thePlanetarium. or watching an action movie in 4D in the mega cinema complexKinepolis. can be indoor alternatives. For more adventurous water fans, Nemo 33 offers a diving challenge in the second deepest heated indoor swimming pool in the world at 34.5 metres (113 ft) and 30°C (86°F)

If you prefer to get submerged into local culture, try one of the Brussels themed room escape games ofEnygma. near the city centre, and puzzle your way out within the hour. For fans of Brussels many culinary delicacies, following a beer brewing or waffle baking workshop are tasty activities for an afternoon, alone or in a group. To keep up to date with what's going on, pick up a copy of local free city newspaperZone 02. Another good free listings paper isAgenda, which is distributed together with the Dutch-language weeklyBrussel Deze Weekand has the notable advantage of being published in three languages (English, Dutch, French). You can find them in many cafés and restaurants around the city.

Brussels has a large variety of activities to offer, regardless of the weather. Strolling through the [[Brussels/Centre|medieval centre]] and enjoying waffles or fries on the go is a favorite for locals and tourists. When passing theStock Exchange., sit down on the stairs along with the locals and have a chat. Keep an eye out for [[Brussels/Centre#Q3364879|comic book murals]], of which there are 43 different ones to discover around the city! Those fascinated by comic books may consider visiting the [[Brussels/Centre#Q3328436|Museum of Figurines]] or the [[Brussels/Centre#Q1846894|Marc Sleen Museum]]. Brussels can also be explored from underground through theSewer Museum., learning the history of the city while walking underneath its busy traffic.

Brussels has a large variety of activities to offer, regardless of the weather. Strolling through the [[Brussels/Centre|medieval centre]] and enjoying waffles or fries on the go is a favorite for locals and tourists. When passing theStock Exchange., sit down on the stairs along with the locals and have a chat. Keep an eye out for [[Brussels/Centre#Q3364879|comic book murals]], of which there are 43 different ones to discover around the city! Those fascinated by comic books may consider visiting the [[Brussels/Centre#Q3328436|Museum of Figurines]] or the [[Brussels/Centre#Q1846894|Marc Sleen Museum]]. Brussels can also be explored from underground through theSewer Museum., learning the history of the city while walking underneath its busy traffic.

When weather permits, a walk through theTer Kameren Park. or even the [[Brussels/Sonian Forest|Sonian Forest]], a, is highly recommendable. TheCentenary Park. is closer to the city centre, and climbing the countless steps towards the top of its arc (entrance through the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q1395176|Museum of Military History]]) is worth the effort for a fantastic view over the [[Brussels/European Quarter|European Quarter]] of the city. A less physically intense alternative to exploring the monuments of Brussels is a visit toMini Europe. on the [[Brussels/Heysel|Heysel plateau]] to the north, a park with scale models of numerous iconic [[Europe]]an buildings and features. In summer, a zip line ride down from the top of the [[Brussels/Heysel#Q180901|Atomium]] is an unforgettable experience for die hard thrill seekers!

When weather permits, a walk through theTer Kameren Park. or even the [[Brussels/Sonian Forest|Sonian Forest]], a, is highly recommendable. TheCentenary Park. is closer to the city centre, and climbing the countless steps towards the top of its arc (entrance through the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q1395176|Museum of Military History]]) is worth the effort for a fantastic view over the [[Brussels/European Quarter|European Quarter]] of the city. A less physically intense alternative to exploring the monuments of Brussels is a visit toMini Europe. on the [[Brussels/Heysel|Heysel plateau]] to the north, a park with scale models of numerous iconic [[Europe]]an buildings and features. In summer, a zip line ride down from the top of the [[Brussels/Heysel#Q180901|Atomium]] is an unforgettable experience for die hard thrill seekers!

When weather permits, a walk through theTer Kameren Park. or even the [[Brussels/Sonian Forest|Sonian Forest]], a, is highly recommendable. TheCentenary Park. is closer to the city centre, and climbing the countless steps towards the top of its arc (entrance through the [[Brussels/European Quarter#Q1395176|Museum of Military History]]) is worth the effort for a fantastic view over the [[Brussels/European Quarter|European Quarter]] of the city. A less physically intense alternative to exploring the monuments of Brussels is a visit toMini Europe. on the [[Brussels/Heysel|Heysel plateau]] to the north, a park with scale models of numerous iconic [[Europe]]an buildings and features. In summer, a zip line ride down from the top of the [[Brussels/Heysel#Q180901|Atomium]] is an unforgettable experience for die hard thrill seekers!

A confrontation with rain in Brussels humid climate is no reason for despair. If none of the 80 museums would be of interest then a visit to thePlanetarium. or watching an action movie in 4D in the mega cinema complexKinepolis. can be indoor alternatives. For more adventurous water fans, [[Brussels/South#Q128191|Nemo 33]] offers a diving challenge in the second deepest heated indoor swimming pool in the world at 34.5 metres (113 ft) and 30°C (86°F)

A confrontation with rain in Brussels humid climate is no reason for despair. If none of the 80 museums would be of interest then a visit to thePlanetarium. or watching an action movie in 4D in the mega cinema complexKinepolis. can be indoor alternatives. For more adventurous water fans, [[Brussels/South#Q128191|Nemo 33]] offers a diving challenge in the second deepest heated indoor swimming pool in the world at 34.5 metres (113 ft) and 30°C (86°F)

If you prefer to get submerged into local culture, try one of the Brussels themed room escape games ofEnygma. near the city centre, and puzzle your way out within the hour. For fans of Brussels many culinary delicacies, following a [[Brussels/Centre#Q56023603|beer brewing]] or [[Brussels/Centre#Q56023627|waffle baking]] workshop are tasty activities for an afternoon, alone or in a group. To keep up to date with what's going on, pick up a copy of local free city newspaperZone 02. Another good free listings paper isAgenda, which is distributed together with the Dutch-language weeklyBrussel Deze Weekand has the notable advantage of being published in three languages (English, Dutch, French). You can find them in many cafés and restaurants around the city.

Galeries Saint Hubert Chocolate!

Very few shops in Brussels open before 10:00, and most open about 10:30-11:00. Many shops are closed on Sunday and Monday.

  • Beer Mania, 174-176 Chausse de Wavre-Waversesteenweg, Ixelles/Elsene. Claims to have a stock of over 400 beers, but has been overrun by beer tourists. The stock is extensive, but quite pricey in comparison to GB, Delhaize, or Carrefour. Beer Mania is a great place to find out of the ordinary beers.
  • GB/Carrefour. Branches around the city carry a wide variety of beers, including almost all Trappist beer. Selection varies by store. The GB inGrand Placehas a large selection and offers prices that are approximately a third of the prices in tourist shops.
  • Delhaize. Similar to GB/Carrefour, but a tad more expensive.
  • Match. Another store similar to GB/Carrefour, but has more of the unusual Belgian beers including Delirium.
  • Cora. Two very large supermarkets on the outer limits of Brussels. They have a much larger choice of beers than Carrefour/ Delhaize/ Match and some very nice gift boxes but still with reasonable supermarket prices.

Beer Mania, 174-176 Chausse de Wavre-Waversesteenweg, Ixelles/Elsene. Claims to have a stock of over 400 beers, but has been overrun by beer tourists. The stock is extensive, but quite pricey in comparison to GB, Delhaize, or Carrefour. Beer Mania is a great place to find out of the ordinary beers.

GB/Carrefour. Branches around the city carry a wide variety of beers, including almost all Trappist beer. Selection varies by store. The GB in Grand Place has a large selection and offers prices that are approximately a third of the prices in tourist shops.

Delhaize. Similar to GB/Carrefour, but a tad more expensive.

Match. Another store similar to GB/Carrefour, but has more of the unusual Belgian beers including Delirium.

Cora. Two very large supermarkets on the outer limits of Brussels. They have a much larger choice of beers than Carrefour/ Delhaize/ Match and some very nice gift boxes but still with reasonable supermarket prices.

  • Leonidas. very popular with the locals. Inexpensive and good quality, at for.
  • Neuhaus. A bit more expensive than Leonidas and a bit higher quality. Very popular with the locals as well. It is also possible to get good discounts by buying directly at the shop outlet outside of the factory (Postweg 2, 1602 Vlezenbeek, tel: +32 2 568-23-10) which is just on the outer limits of Brussels, just a short walk away from the Erasme/ Erasmus metro station. Prices can go as low as per kilo, however only the products that are specifically marked as having reduced prices are worth the trip, other products have the exact same price as in local shops.
  • Mary. Excellent handmade chocolates, with this store originating from 1919.
  • Passion Chocolat, 2/4 Rue Bodenbroek, also 20 Avenue Louis Gribaumont. Delicious chocolates, and they often offer free samples of 1-2 chocolates from their collection.
  • Marcolini, 39 Place du Grand Sablon-Grote Zavel Plein. Arguably the best Belgian chocolates and priced accordingly. The country-specific products are difficult to find and quite worth the price.
  • Wittamer, 6-12-13 Place du Grand Sablon-Grote Zavel Plein. Another excellent chocolate maker, with also a selection of macarons and cakes. They may however insist on a minimum 100g purchase for the chocolates.
  • Chocopolis, 81 Rue du Marché aux Herbes-Grasmarkt (BetweenGrand Placeand Central Station. Pick and choose your favorite type of chocolates, all at reasonable prices.
  • Maison Renardy, 17 Rue de Dublinstraat, +32 2 514-30-17. A great boutique shop with delicious chocolate and friendly service. Stop by for a cup of tea or coffee, and get one of their chocolates free with your tea. Still peckish? You're able to bring a whole box home.
  • Godiva. Not very popular and quite pricey.
  • Chocolate bars. For the frugal, you can buy 100-200 gram gourmet bars of chocolate in grocery stores for about each. Good brands to buy are Côte-d'Or and Jacques, both are Belgian.

Leonidas. very popular with the locals. Inexpensive and good quality, at for.

Neuhaus. A bit more expensive than Leonidas and a bit higher quality. Very popular with the locals as well. It is also possible to get good discounts by buying directly at the shop outlet outside of the factory (Postweg 2, 1602 Vlezenbeek, tel: +32 2 568-23-10) which is just on the outer limits of Brussels, just a short walk away from the Erasme/ Erasmus metro station. Prices can go as low as per kilo, however only the products that are specifically marked as having reduced prices are worth the trip, other products have the exact same price as in local shops.

Mary. Excellent handmade chocolates, with this store originating from 1919.

Passion Chocolat, 2/4 Rue Bodenbroek, also 20 Avenue Louis Gribaumont. Delicious chocolates, and they often offer free samples of 1-2 chocolates from their collection.

Marcolini, 39 Place du Grand Sablon-Grote Zavel Plein. Arguably the best Belgian chocolates and priced accordingly. The country-specific products are difficult to find and quite worth the price.

Wittamer, 6-12-13 Place du Grand Sablon-Grote Zavel Plein. Another excellent chocolate maker, with also a selection of macarons and cakes. They may however insist on a minimum 100g purchase for the chocolates.

Chocopolis, 81 Rue du Marché aux Herbes-Grasmarkt (Between Grand Place and Central Station. Pick and choose your favorite type of chocolates, all at reasonable prices.

Maison Renardy, 17 Rue de Dublinstraat, +32 2 514-30-17. A great boutique shop with delicious chocolate and friendly service. Stop by for a cup of tea or coffee, and get one of their chocolates free with your tea. Still peckish? You're able to bring a whole box home.

Godiva. Not very popular and quite pricey.

Chocolate bars. For the frugal, you can buy 100-200 gram gourmet bars of chocolate in grocery stores for about each. Good brands to buy are Côte-d'Or and Jacques, both are Belgian.

  • Belgian Lace. Among the best in the world. Several shops are at the Grand' Place-Grote Markt. Beware of some shops that sell Belgian lace even though production was outsourced abroad. Ask for a country of origin if purchasing aroundGrand Place.

Belgian Lace. Among the best in the world. Several shops are at the Grand' Place-Grote Markt. Beware of some shops that sell Belgian lace even though production was outsourced abroad. Ask for a country of origin if purchasing around Grand Place.

There is plenty of good eating to be had in Brussels. Most people concentrate on the three classics:mussels (moulesin French andmosselenin Dutch),fries (fritesin French andfrietenin Dutch) andchocolate. A few more adventurousBruxellois/Brusselsedishes includeanguilles au vert/paling in 't groen(river eels in green sauce), meat balls in tomato sauce,stoemp(mashed vegetables and potatoes) andturbot waterzooi(turbot fish in cream and egg sauce). For dessert, try a Belgianwaffle (wafelin Dutch andgauffrein French), also available in a square Brussels version dusted with powdered sugar, and choices of bananas, whipped cream and many other toppings. Although many prefer the round, caramelized version fromLiège.

The matter over which establishment serves up the bestfrites(locally known asfritkotsin Dutch and "friterie" in French) remains a matter of heated debate. Some argue that the best frites in Brussels are served at the fritkot near the Barriere de Saint-Gilles, while others defend St-Josse's Martin (Place Saint-Josse/Sint-Joostplein) as the prime purveyor of the authentic Brussels frite just as others claim Antoine (Place Jourdan/Jourdanplein) remains the king of the local french fry. No matter which fritkot you're at, try to be adventurous and have something other than ketchup or mayonnaise on your fries. Of the selection of bizarre sauces you've never seen before, "andalouse" is probably the most popular with the locals.

Vegetarianscan find at least one menu item at many, though not all, regular restaurants.Veganswill have a harder time, while theVeganizer BXL initiativeis looking to widen their options, it’s best to head for the vegetarian-vegan restaurants.

Check the prices of food items before ordering, especially when servers make choices for you. It has been reported that tourists have to pay up to for a litre of sparkling water, costing less than in local stores.

Also beware of the 'Italian Restaurant Streets' in the tourist and shopping districts. These streets are lined with small Italian restaurants, some offering "3 course meals" for or . They are all run by just a few shop owners and serve unappetizing store purchased food. They will not 'include service' as most all restaurants in Brussels do, and many tourists have reported gettingscammedhere, especially when not paying with exact change. A common practice is to present you a menu where prices aren't anything near the ones advertised in the windows. Be sure you ask why there is such a price difference before ordering and do not hesitate to leave if you do not agree with the price. If you were offered a drink and already sipped from your glass before receiving the menu (as is often the case) then just pay for the drink and leave.

Rue des Bouchers-Beenhouwerstraat, bustling on a Saturday night

Brussels' tourist restaurant gauntlet can be found in Rue des Bouchers-Beenhouwerstraat, just to the north ofGrand Place. The place has a bad reputation for waiters imposing themselves on passers-by, trying to lure customers into their restaurant. The authorities are aware of this, and are trying to take measures. Some restaurants may also tempt you with cheap prices for the menus, but when seated, the item on the menu happens to be unavailable, and you're forced to accept another, noticeably more expensive dish. Often, the exaggerated price of the wines will also compensate for the attractive menu. Knowing this however, you may be able to negotiate a better deal before entering.

Gueuze tasting at Cantillon brewery

Belgium is to beer what France is to wine: it is home to one of the greatest beer traditions in the world, and Brussels is a great place to sample some of the vast variety on offer. Typical beers of Brussels aregueuze(rather sour) andkriek(rather sweet, cherry based).

Smoking is prohibited in all bars. It is allowed to smoke on the outdoor parts that many bars install on the street during the warmer months.

A special drink only found in Brussels is the "half-en-half" ("half and half"). It's a mixture of white wine and champagne.

The chances of being involved in an espionage thriller are slim.This might come as a shock to the uninitiated, but Brussels is increasingly dealing with the reputation of being a rather unsafe or uneasy city by Western European standards. Though it is by no means as dangerous as cities in the US or Latin America, Brussels does feel – and is in fact – more dangerous than other major European cities like Amsterdam or London.

Generally speaking, tourists are unlikely to suffer too many safety issues in the city center, on major streets, and in much of East and South Brussels (So long as the basic precautions are taken). On the other hand, many neighborhoods have a reputation of crime and decay, though most travelers are unlikely to visit them. The (subjective) safety of an area can change incredibly fast in Brussels, so know where you're going when doing so at night and outside the city center. Ask a local for advice if possible. This is especially relevant for areas with nightlife such as Saint-Gilles, Matongé, Anneessens (around Place Fontainas), Molenbeek (next to the canal) and the Marolles.

This mapgives an indication of the less attractive and inviting areas (in red), although the attractiveness and subjective safety of an area can change quickly street by street. A seemingly safe neighborhood might sit right next to a rough area, and vice versa.

Pickpocketing is by far the most likely issue you will come across in Brussels, with the city frequently ranking high by European standards. Pickpocketing has been reported in nearly every neighborhood in Brussels. This activity is mostly carried out by teams in crowded tourist areas, in train and metro stations, and in parks (even during the daytime). Those who commit these petty crimes are really professional. Therefore, as usual, it's better to not unnecessarily show valuables in public, especially when looking as a tourist.

In theParc de Bruxelles/Warandepark, between theRoyal Palaceand the Belgian Parliament, criminals have been known to threaten their victims with violence. If you are robbed, there is a police station right next to the gate in front of the Belgian Parliament (on the right side when leaving the park, hidden in the bushes) where experienced policemen will help you. Most of them speak French, Dutch and English well.

Most big parks don't have any (sufficient) lighting. Examples are those around the Atomium: the Laeken and Osseghem park. Although they are mostly just deserted at night, it's always better to be careful, especially since there are some rougher neighborhoods nearby.

The Parc Maximilien/Maximiliaanpark (just west of North Station) is located near the Immigration Office, and is often used by migrants to spend the night while waiting to apply for asylum, moving to another country or for various reasons. It's unlikely a tourist would wander there, but it's still better avoided.

  • The areas immediately surrounding the Brussels Midi-Zuid train station are among the poorest in the city: it is not advised to wander there alone at night. The station is among the biggest pickpocketing hotspots in Europe.
  • The same applies to the Nord-Noord train station; do not venture too far away from the Northern Quarter (the business district that surrounds the Nord-Noord station), as several rough areas are nearby, including the city's red light district.
  • The Brussels-Central station is also a pickpocketing hotspot. There are many homeless people begging around the station as well, but rarely in an aggressive way.

  • As in Paris or Berlin, people of the Jewish faith should think twice before wearing identifiable symbols.
  • Once virtually unheard of, strikes and political riots (especially left-wing ones) have become commonplace in Brussels. As with any such events in other countries, stay clear if things start heating up.
  • Though not as frequent as pick-pocketing, muggings have been known to occur in the really rough parts of Brussels.
  • Belgians tend to drive poorly, and this goes double for Brussels. Always look before crossing and do refrain from jaywalking.
  • With Belgium being the land of beers, drunken behaviors are to be expected in Brussels, especially when football games are on, during weekends, and on certain holidays (St. Patrick’s Day, National Holiday, etc.). Just keep an eye out and you should be fine.

The most widely read English magazine isThe Bulletinwhich, apart from covering Belgian and EU news, also offers arts and lifestyle stories, as well as in-depth events listings and a TV guide.

  • Fitness Palace, Rogier van der Weydenstraat 3 (Zuidpaleis (Palais du Midi), +32 2 5132616. 10:30-22:00. daypass, offpeak.

Fitness Palace, Rogier van der Weydenstraat 3 (Zuidpaleis (Palais du Midi), +32 2 5132616. 10:30-22:00. daypass, offpeak.

At present, the capital city of Brussels hosts 185 embassies. Foreign affairs keeps anupdated list of foreign representations.

  • AndorraAndorra, Rue de la Montagne/Bergstraat 10, +32 2 513-28-06.
  • ArmeniaArmenia, Rue Montoyer//Montoyerstraat 28, +32 2 348 44 00.
  • AustriaAustria, Place du Champ de Mars 5, +32 2 2890-700. Mo–Fr 10:00–12:30.
  • CanadaCanada, Avenue de Tervuren/Tervurenlaan 2, +32 2 287-6248.
  • GeorgiaGeorgia, Rue Père Eudore Devroye 245, 1150 Woluwe Saint Pierre, +32 2 7611190.
  • GreeceGreece, Rue des Petits Carmes/Karmelietenstraat 10, +32 2 545-5500, +32 2 545-5501 (Emergencies).
  • JapanJapan, Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan 58, +32 2 513-2340.
  • MacedoniaMacedonia, Rue Vilain XIII straat 20, +32 2 734-5687.
  • NorwayNorway, Rue Archimède 17, +32 2 238-7300.
  • PhilippinesPhilippines, Avenue Moliere/Molierelaan 297, +32 2 340-3377, +32 2 340 3378.
  • TurkeyTurkey, Rue Montoyer/Montoyerstraat 4, +32 2 5134095, +32 2 5061120. Mo–Fr 09:00–13:00 14:00–18:00.
  • United KingdomUnited Kingdom, Avenue d'Auderghem/Oudergemlaan 10, +32 2 287-6248.
  • United StatesUnited States, Boulevard du Régent/Regentlaan 27, +32 2 508-2111.

AndorraAndorra, Rue de la Montagne/Bergstraat 10, +32 2 513-28-06.

ArmeniaArmenia, Rue Montoyer//Montoyerstraat 28, +32 2 348 44 00.

AustriaAustria, Place du Champ de Mars 5, +32 2 2890-700. Mo–Fr 10:00–12:30.

CanadaCanada, Avenue de Tervuren/Tervurenlaan 2, +32 2 287-6248.

GeorgiaGeorgia, Rue Père Eudore Devroye 245, 1150 Woluwe Saint Pierre, +32 2 7611190.

GreeceGreece, Rue des Petits Carmes/Karmelietenstraat 10, +32 2 545-5500, +32 2 545-5501 (Emergencies).

JapanJapan, Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan 58, +32 2 513-2340.

MacedoniaMacedonia, Rue Vilain XIII straat 20, +32 2 734-5687.

NorwayNorway, Rue Archimède 17, +32 2 238-7300.

PhilippinesPhilippines, Avenue Moliere/Molierelaan 297, +32 2 340-3377, +32 2 340 3378.

TurkeyTurkey, Rue Montoyer/Montoyerstraat 4, +32 2 5134095, +32 2 5061120. Mo–Fr 09:00–13:00 14:00–18:00.

United KingdomUnited Kingdom, Avenue d'Auderghem/Oudergemlaan 10, +32 2 287-6248.

United StatesUnited States, Boulevard du Régent/Regentlaan 27, +32 2 508-2111.

Visit the following Belgian towns and cities, all within a two-hour drive of Brussels:

  • Kraainem- Bordering Brussels to the east. Architecture from the 16th to 18th century, primarily interesting for history and architecture enthusiasts.
  • Tervuren- South-east of Brussels, on the outskirts of the Sonian Forest, a .
  • Waterloo - About 15 km south of Brussels. Visit where Wellington and Bluecher faced Napoleon for an ultimate battle that changed Europe's face forever. Further south, don't miss the Abbey of Villers-la-Ville.
  • Sint-Pieters-Leeuw- About 10 km south of Brussels. Visit the nature reserve with Galloway cattle (not in winter) so near to Brussels
  • Mechelen- About 35 km NE of Brussels.
  • Leuven- About 30 km east of Brussels.
  • Antwerp- About 55 km north of Brussels.
  • Bruges- About 100 km NW of Brussels.
  • Charleroi- About 60 km south of Brussels
  • Ghent- About 60 km NW of Brussels.
  • Namur - About 60 km SE of Brussels.
  • Tournai- About 90 km west of Brussels.
  • Mons- About 70 km south of Brussels.

You can also get to any of the following 'foreign' cities from Brussels within a few hours without the use of a plane:

Amsterdam/Rotterdam/The Hague/Utrecht (train or car), Luxembourg (car or train), Paris (train - longer by car), London (by train), Aachen (train or car), Maastricht (one hour by train) Lille (less than an hour by train or car), Cologne/Bonn (train or car), Frankfurt (train - longer by car)


Popular train routes departing from Brussels Midi/zuid(Bruxelles-Midi/Zuid)

ANTIBES | Sint-Truiden | PARIS | Cologne | Dusseldorf | Genk | GHENT | Etterbeek | BORDEAUX | Zele | LILLE | HANOVER | BéZIERS | AGDE | HAMBURG | NICE | Ukkel-Kalevoet/Uccle | ROTTERDAM | Opwijk | TOULOUSE | Zaventem | MONTPELLIER | PARIS | AACHEN |


Popular train routes arriving in Brussels Midi/zuid(Bruxelles-Midi/Zuid)

PARIS | PARIS | PERPIGNAN | Cologne | Warsaw | TOULON | PARIS | Reckenfeld | Hoeilaart | HAMBURG | BéZIERS | NANCY | Prague | NARBONNE | LUXEMBOURG | HANOVER | ANTIBES | MONTPELLIER | MULHOUSE | Cologne | THE HAGUE | CANNES | Zurich | LONDON |