A modern city rich in tradition and charm
As the headquarters of the European Union, Brussels is set squarely in the middle of world events. As Belgium’s capital, it also has a long and fascinating history. Centuries-old traditions and buildings form the fabric of its old centre. At the city’s very heart is the beautiful Grand Place – the old market square and home to the Town Hall, surrounded by edifices from bygone centuries ranging from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque. Brussels incorporates all the best elements that European culture has to offer, including a friendly and casual atmosphere.
No one should visit Brussels without whetting their palate with its world-famous Belgian chocolates and pralines, as well as at the city’s excellent restaurants – not to mention the extensive range of superb Belgian beer. But the city also offers plenty of sights and unique places of interest. Many visitors have their picture taken at the Manneken Pis, the famous sculpture of a little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin at the Rue de l’Etuve, just off the Grand Place. From there it’s a short walk to the enchanting old districts Ilôt Sacré and Sablon. We recommend exploring the Notre Dame de Sablon, a magnificent Late Gothic church dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Among the city’s many great museums is the Musée d’Art Ancien, which boasts works by Rubens, Van der Weyden, the Brueghels and Bosch. What’s more, Brussels is an ideal base to explore nearby cities, including the historic and very attractive Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges.