Brussels is a bilingual city in that they speak both French and Flemish. It is the headquarters of the European Union. Very modern buildings dominate the city and mingle with the old. The Grand Palace delights visitors and it is said that the most beautiful square in Europe is in this city.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN BRUSSELS
- The Grand Place is a magnificent square, which was originally a market. Even today it is still used for this purpose. Visit in the morning hours and you can see the flower stalls set out. The Gothic style Hotel de Ville (or City Hall) was built in 1402 and forms the oldest part of the Grand Place. It is possible to go inside.
- The Maison du Roi is the Municipal Museum of Brussels. Besides historical relics there is a collection of dresses and decorations that were granted to the Manneken Pis. It is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 12.30pm and from 1:30pm to 5pm (October to March). At weekends entry is from 10am to 1pm.
- A few steps from the Grand Place is the official cathedral of Brussels, St. Michel, built in the eleventh century; its windows are worthy of admiration. You have to enter through a side entrance as the main doors only open on special occasions.
- Manneken Pis is a statue of a boy who stands a few meters from the Grand Place and is considered to be a symbol of Brussels.
- Musée d'Art Ancien is located 30 metres from the Place Royale. It has a large collection of Flemish art and is open Tuesday through to Sunday from 10am to 12pm and from 1pm to 5pm. On the same street is the Musée d'Art Moderne which displays works of contemporary Belgian artists. You can find several works by Magritte, there are also works by Miro, Picasso and Dali. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm.
NIGHTLIFE IN BRUSSELS
The Grand Place and streets around it at night have intense activity. The square is completely lit and it is common to see street artists performing and even opera singers. Also in this area there are several little pubs that are open till late.
GETTING AROUND IN BRUSSELS
Brussels has three major railway stations: Gare Centrale (Central Station), Gare du Nord (North), Gare du Midi (the South). The information office at the Gare Centrale is open daily from 6.30am to 9.45pm. Zaventem Airport is 14km from the city. It connects with Brussels by train every 20 minutes and arrives at three main stations in the city.
Less than an hour away is the city of Bruges. You can go for the day but we advise you spend at least one night this beautiful place. From Brussels you can take the train and find yourself three hours later in London.