Brussels travel guide: top attractions to see

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is accessible by car, plane, and train. Doing a Brussels travel tour is easy because it has a good network of transportation.

It is home to the European Union offices, the NATO and a few other international organisations making it a very cosmopolitan city.

The city itself is not too large that you can visit lots of places in a day or two. Most of the attractions are near each other. If you get tired of walking, take the metro, tram or bus. Taxis are not that expensive compared to other European capitals.

For the brave, there are plenty of bicycles for hire and on a good day, this is another way of sightseeing.

Top attractions

The Grand Place

Any visitor on a Brussels travel tour must see the Grand Place that is a central square in the heart of the city. Boasting of 17th century architecture, you can view the magnificence of several buildings like the Hotel de Ville (city hall) and the Maison du Roi (King's House). Right on the square are cafes and restaurants where you can sit on a fine day to admire the architecture quietly. Get your Belgian chocolate high by visiting the two chocolatiers on the square (Neuhaus and Godiva).

If you love shopping, a lot of shops and galleries are nearby such as those on Rue Neuve and Anspach Boulevard.

Place Sainte-Catherine

From the Grand Place, it is a short walk to the Place St. Catherine where the fish restaurants and markets are located. Sample Belgian cuisine by visiting any of the fine dining places across the canal.

During Christmas, the entire square is transformed into a Christmas market with sellers plying their wares in little wooden cabins. There is even an outdoor skating rink for those who like to ice skate.

Sablon Area

Continue walking (follow the signs) and you'll arrive at the Sablon area where the you can check the Gothic cathedral (Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon) with its ornate work. Antiques and other collector's finds are on display in the flea market every Saturdays and Sundays. The Sablon is known for its art galleries and there are restaurants around the area for you to enjoy. Stop by at Wittamer, a famous chocolatier and patissier.

Royal Palace of Brussels

Open to the public beginning July until the first week of September, the Palace is another place worth visiting. Admission is free.

From the palace, you can go to the Museum of Natural Sciences on Rue Vautier. Also on the same street is the Antoine Wiertz Museum and the massive number of buildings that house the offices of the European Parliament.

Cinquantenaire Park

Covering nearly 30 hectares, the Cinquantenaire or Jubel Park is easily reached by Metro stop Montgomery or Jubel Park. Have a look at the Royal Military Museum, Auto World Museum and the Art History Museum.

And more

Whether you are on a short Brussels travel break or an extended business stay in this European capital, you'll find plenty of things to do in the city. Brussels is a place not to be missed if you are heading to the European Mainland. It boasts ancient but quaint architecture, historical museums, shopping areas and fine gastronomy.

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