Belgium, located in Western Europe, is a small sovereign and highly developed state that ranks high in the Human Development Index. The place is known for its historic sites, and development in arts and culture. When it comes to art there have been many famous painters and artists who emerged from Belgium, and span the Early Netherlandish time-period and the Mosan art era, the Flemish Renaissance and the Baroque painting, and Gothic Art or the Romanesque drawings. Another reason for Belgium’s fame is the presence of high end restaurants that provide high quality, delectable cuisines.
The capital of Belgium, Brussels is a French Community. When the Second World War ended, it was then that Brussels become the center of arts, politics, and industrial development. Due to an increased number of migrations, Brussels has become a multilingual state. Occupation of the city started at the year 580, but it is said to be officially founded in the year 979 by the Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia. There are many things to do in Brussels. Basically a historic state that is known for its arts and culture, Brussels offers varieties of museums, art galleries, preserved architecture, along with modern entertainments like parks, sports, day trips and night tours as well as night life. Some of the places that top the list for tourists include the fountain of Manneken Pis, Laken Castle, Royal Palace, Grand Palace, town hall and Bruges. There is a lot of things to do in Brussels for all kinds of people.
When in Belgium, there are plenty of things to do in Brussels. These are taking day tours around the city to walking along the ancient walls of Brussels, taking biking or bus rides to boat rides and canoeing, checking out Museums to visiting the ancient libraries and art galleries, having peaceful picnics at nature parks to enjoying thrilling rides at amusement parks, eating at 5 star restaurants to hanging out at the best city bars and dancing in the clubs. In simple words, there is something of interest for everyone in this magnificent city. Some of the must see places in Brussels include, Bois de la Cambre and Foret de Soignes, Museum of Natural Science, Guildhouses, Autoworld, Parlamentarium, Cantillon Brewery, Jardin du Petit Sablon, Place du Grand Sablon, Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Town Hall, Grand–Place, St Michael and St. Gudula Cathederal. Additionally, the Musical Instruments Museum, Serres Royales De Laeken, Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Train World, Les Galeries Royales Sainty-Hubert, Notre Dame du Sablon, Moof Museum, and Sightseeing tours of the city and its surrounding areas are other valuable options. There are also many places for fine dining and dancing the night away at bars and clubs. The city of Brussels is always thriving and has hundreds of options for all its visitors.
Do you want to see all of Europe’s sight in a few hours? Well them Mini Europe is the place for you. It is a miniature park spread over 24,000 m² and contains miniature replicas of almost all the famous and beautiful sights that Europe has to offer. If you are in Brussels then this needs to be on your to do list. It is very fun and informational and people of all ages can enjoy it. There is even an interactive museum at the end which shows information about all the places depicted in the park.
The collection of buildings that have been reproduced is seriously impressive. There are more than 350 buildings in the miniature park, representing monuments from more than 80 different European cities. This park makes for a fantastic photo opportunity, and with a few perspective tricks you can take photos which make it seem like you are at the real monuments. You will see well known constructs like the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower, and will also get to learn about beautiful buildings that aren’t as well known. Mini Europe is located close to the Atomium, and we would recommend visiting both in the same day.
Parks are often the best representation of a city. We haven’t been to a bad city with a good park, and we haven’t been to a good park located in a bad city either. Judging by this logic you can see that Brussels is a fantastic place, as the Parc du Cinquantenaire is absolutely beautiful. First off, the park is absolutely massive, covering a staggering are of 30 hectares. The most iconic part of the park is the triumphal arc in the center of the park which was built in 1905. It really elevates the park and makes it an iconic historical site.
There are many sights to see in Parc du Cinquantenaire. There are three great museums within the park. One is the military museum, in which you can see the history of the armies of this city and country. Another is the art and history museum, which, as the name suggests, covers art and history of the region. Autoworld is very interesting; it is a vintage car museum which boasts a collection of many iconic cars. The oldest mosque in Brussels is also located within the park. We would recommend coming here in good weather and spending the whole day.
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, in our opinion, a must in every tourist’s things to do list. The first thing that jumps out at you when you visit this place is how different it looks. It was given the nickname of ‘iron church’ due to its peculiar appearance. Also do note a very important thing; you can only visit the greenhouses during 2 weeks a year. The reason is that you are only allowed to visit the complex when all the flowers are properly blooming, because if you were to visit it at any other time the flowers would not be booming and it would not look beautiful.
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken is famous for the heated greenhouses. When it does open the lines for tickets are long and it is hard to get in, so if you want to see one of the most novel greenhouses in the world then you’ll need to plan accordingly. Usually the two weeks come in between April and May, but it depends on the season and we would highly recommend looking at the schedule of the greenhouse before planning a visit. The view is just as great from the inside as it is from the outside.
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium were established in 1803, and they have grown their collection and displays immensely since then. There are six different museums which come within this group, and all of them are worth a visit. The museums all focus on different periods of art and some of them are specifically made to showcase one artist. The group of museums collectively boasts more than 20,000 art pieces in its collection.
The museums exist in 4 different locations. Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum, which focuses on art from 1900 and onwards, Musée Oldmasters Museum, which focuses on classical art by the masters, and Musée Modern Museum, which focuses on modern art, are all housed in the same building. Musée Magritte Museum is in the Place Royal, Musée Meunier Museum is in Abdjistraat, while Musée Wiertz Museum is in Vautierstraat. We would recommending taking a day out and visiting as many of the museums as you can, beginning with the 3 which are in the same building. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium also have many temporary exhibitions by new and old artists, and we would recommend checking their schedule before making a trip.
The St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral is one of the most magnificent churches we have seen. One thing we love about this church is that instead of spreading horizontally like most churches do, it seems to keep going upwards. It gives it a very imposing yet majestic presence, and it seems to be reaching for the skies, which is a fantastic look for a church. The church, as we see it today, was built over a period of 300 years. Not because the work was being done slowly, but because there have been many additions to it ordered by many different leaders.
Some records suggest that there was some sort of a church here already around 900AD. However the current building of St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral we see was started in 1047, and then later on the towers were added to it in the 13th century. The church is just as great from the inside as it is on the outside. This church looks a bit similar to the Brussels Town Hall because they follow the same architectural style. If you are into history, or like going to churches, then you cannot afford to keep this church off your things to do list.