Brussels, the Belgian capital and the administrative heart of the European Union, has a reserved grandeur that grows on every visitor. As a bilingual capital, it keeps the balance between the country’s French and Flemish regions and shows a good example of how different languages can mix and flourish. Brussels is also a melting pot of many nations and races, making for an ideal place for balancing diplomatic relations. Truly, it won’t be easy to classify the capital’s neighborhoods, whether classical or modern, commercial or residential, since it has learned to adapt to its exceptional role under the spotlight.
Consider the remarkable atmosphere within Brussels’ historic city center: a bunch of splendid seventeenth century facades as well as a smattering of medieval monuments, with interesting history of great battles and impressive recovery thanks to the powerful city guilds. When you visit the city, make sure to walk around this area and you’ll see the sophisticated and polished square that deserves the UNESCO World Heritage distinction. Check out other parts of the city to see charming old neighborhoods that sit side by side with contemporary and rather impersonal commercial buildings.
Locals go about their own stuff and, treat visitors like anybody else. After all, they are used to foreigners; many of them are foreigners in fact. About 25% of all people in Brussels (more than 2 million) are foreigners, and more than 25,000 are EU officials. What’s great about this is that very few places in the city are tourist traps.
So when you eat out, it is very likely that you’ll be dining out where locals usually hang out, enabling you to have a genuine taste of the Belgian capital’s gems—its food, especially beer and chocolates. And by beer and chocolates, we mean numerous shades and varieties of flavor—bottled, kegged, tapped, bars, pralines, sweet, or dark.
Open yourself up to Brussels and you’ll realize how complex its culture and people are. Beneath the subdued exterior is a passion and quirkiness for the otherworldly and fantastic. In fact, the city’s most popular iconic attraction is the Manneken Pis, that strange but extremely cute little boy pissing into a pool. Another icon is Tintin, that cartoon character with a very funny haircut, who always saves the day, with companion Captain Haddock and dog Snowy.
Nowhere is the awareness of individuality, art noveau (for example, mixed media, comics, etc.), and the unpredictable celebrated with such unassuming enthusiasm as in Brussels. So include this Belgian wonder in your tour. Its exquisite cuisine alone is worth your visit.
The City of Brussels, capital and largest city in Belgium, is the epitome of a truly Cosmopolitan city. It is a city in the world. Although both Dutch and French are considered as the national language in Brussels, there is no street or plaza where you do not hear the world speak other languages fluently.
Brussels ideal central location ensures optimal accessibility from all directions. High-speed trains link Brussels with London, Amsterdam, Paris and Cologne, in one or two hours. Brussels Airport provides access to and from the world. Belgian road network is well developed, free in its origin and well lit at night.
Although Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the European Union, it remains eminently accessible. You can reach any point in the city through the extensive network of bus, tram, metro and train network. However, thanks to a manageable size of Brussels, you can also often get around easily on foot or by bicycle.
From its medieval center with its impressive 21st-century temple to surrealism, the new Museum Magritte, Brussels offers the visitor much more than just beer and chocolate.
The compact city center of Brussels is clustered with bars, restaurants and museums established along the cobbled streets, which is open suddenly in the Grand-Place. With its ornate guild houses, impressive Town Hall and the lively atmosphere, it would be difficult to find a most beautiful square in Europe.
Enter a cafe or a museum and you would see a multitude of faces from different races, from olive-skinned, rose-skinned to chocolate browned skinned, those with red, blond, brown and ebony black hair, blue, green, hazel, black and brown eyes, all of these features and languages are harmoniously blended in a cultural hodgepodge known as Brussels.
Belgian city of Brussels is considered as a crossroads of Europe, and this can be seen through the contrast of cultures, art and architecture adorning this European city. From Squares and plazas, such as Koningsplein where thousands of tourists flock by there in to palaces and cathedrals such as Notre Dam Church of Laken and the King’s House. Architectural styles from past eras remain very much alive. Fountains, statues and parks are located throughout the city, relics of past art and the focus of tourists is the cameras and interests.
The Brussels is proud of its modest sense of intellectual humor, supported by a strong appreciation of the bizarre. The city has a history of long-term love with the Surrealist art movement, pioneered by René Magritte, and the classic comic, played by the child hero of Hergé, Tintin. There is irony in the fact that the city’s best known brand is the Manneken-Pis, a statuette of a little boy urinating.