Brussels was a city for me that I did not expect what I was about to see. When people say that every European city is the same, Brussels certainly runs away from that.
I will tell you a bit about my experience, what I visited and when I had the best feelings about it.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the richest area in the whole Belgium. It has over 2 million habitants and it is considered as the capital of European Union.
What to visit in Brussels?
- Grand Place of Brussels – Central square, that carries heavy history since X century. It is considered UNESCO patrimony since 1998 and considered one of the most beautiful squares in whole Europe. Buildings, history, proximity with attractions makes this square a great starting point. To visit it is free and it is nice if you chosse one restaurante/bar to sit at the terrace and just enjoy the view to the square. The time you will be spending there, depends of you and how long you want to stay there.
- Manneken Pis, Jeanneke Pis and Het Zinneke – Away from the Grand Place (but not so much, less than 5 min) , take time to walk and search for these 3 city icons. All 3 sculptures are made of bronze with Manneken Pis being the oldest one, from XVII century. The replica now available is from 1965 with the original kept in the Brussels City Museum. Depending on the situation, bank holiday or occasion, Manneken Pis will be dressed accordingly. It is very interesting to go and search these sculptures as they are smaller than the pictures on social media and there is always people around. Manneken Pis represents independence of mind. Jeanneke Pis, on the line as Manneken Pis, was erected in 1987 and represents loyalty. At last, but not least, Het Zinneke represents a bronze sculpture of a dog, urinating. It is from 1998. Those sculptures are free to watch and all close by Grand Place.
- Atomium – A beautiful building made for Expo 58 in Brussels. It represents unit cell magnified 165 billion times. With more than 100 meters high, it is the home of a beautiful view, restaurants, expositions. It costs 16 eur and a whole afternoon should be enough to spend there. It is definitely the symbol of Belgium and Brussels.
- Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula – Or Brussels cathedral, is a gotic style cathedral that took 300 years to be built. It is very easy to see similarities with Notre Dame in Paris. Entrance is free, however if you intent to visit the crypt the price is 3 eur and the treasure is 2 eur. Being a cathedral from VIII century it is a perfect place for a trip into the past. Take the time you need, but a few hours should be enough.
- Mont des Arts – Or literally translated, Hill of the Arts. A hill from where you can have the most beautiful view from Brussels. From Grand Place I would go here for the sake of the amazing views and this cultural artistic feeling in the air. In a good day you can even see the Atomium from there. Totally worth to spend the whole afternoon there and also it is free.
- Cinquantenaire Park – Several gardens, monuments and museums in this area. A leisure center where nature mets with culture. Free entrance and good to spend a whole afternoon.
Brussels requires more than just one day. With the amount of things to be seen and done, one day is very quick. I would say, around 3/4 days.