9 Brussels essentials
1. An Umbrella
Summer or winter, you don’t know when it rains on you. Belgium is known for its capricious, rainy weather, so it might be a good idea to have an umbrella in your bag while visiting Brussels.
2. Grand Place
Not too big in size, but rich in detailed architecture, Grand Place is the heart of Brussels. It has Guild-houses all around the square, the Town-hall, the Christmas tree in winter and the famous Flower Carpet every 2 years in summer. People say Grand Place is gorgeous, magnificent, beautiful. I will just show you photos. You tell me what you think.
3. Manneken Pis
Not far from Grand Place is Manneken Pis: one of the most popular tourist attraction in Brussels.
You will have the same reaction as all the tourists facing the little man pee: “it’s so small?!”. It has 61 cm, it’s made of bronze and it pees water. At special occasions he is dressed in costumes and pees beer. There are several legends for Manneken Pis, you can read them here.
4. Waffles. Chocolate. Beer
Belgians are proud of their chocolates, beers and waffles.
(Also for their fries, but I will not discuss it here)
Waffles are gooooood. My favourite is with whipped cream and strawberries.
I am not a big fan of chocolate, but if you are, then Brussels must be like heaven to you. There are many choices of chocolate brands: Leonidas, Neuhaus, Godiva or Pierre Marcolini are the most tourist popular. In Royal Galleries there are a few chocolate shops where you can taste some of the sweets.
Beer: anything from commercial brands like Duvel, Chimay or Leffe, to beers that are produced only in Abbeys, Belgium has the right to be proud. Some beers are strong (going above 9% alcohol), others taste like fruit or wine.
5. Atomium and Mini Europe
Atomium represents an Iron Crystal and you can go inside its balls. I find the entrance ticket a bit expensive, but it’s worth it once in a lifetime.
Next to Atomium is Mini Europe with miniature replicas of famous buildings and landmarks from all European Union countries.
6. European Parliament
It looks pretty. But is not just about the looks: you can also visit Parlamentarium where in 1.5 hours you learn about European Union and why is it a good thing.
7. Sacre Coeur Basilica
Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Brussels is the biggest Art-deco building in the world. If you are in the area, don’t just look at it. Go up in the tower because the panoramic view is nice and it’s very quiet.
8. Royal Palace of Brussels
The King and his family don’t live here. The Royal Palace is used for receptions or other affairs.
9. Cinquantenaire Park
Cinquantenaire is a cool park with alleys with tall trees, a nice triumphal arch and museums next to it (Military Museum, Art Museum and Auto World).