As the seat of the European Union and NATO, the capital of Belgium is often called the capital of Europe. Brussels has earned this title for offering more than just government buildings. Thanks to its mix of languages and cultures, it is a perfect example of what the European project means.
This mixture is depicted in a vibrant scene of gastronomy and nightlife that attracts visitors from all over the world. Its wide cultural offer, which includes more than 80 museums, turbulent history, gastronomy and a unique brewing culture, is a sufficient impulse to cause the traveler to repeat the visit.
As you can see, we have more than enough reasons to take you to Brussels and show you all that you should not miss at this magnificent destination.
The classics: the Grand Place, the Place du Grand Sablon, the Palace of Justice
To get to know this city there is nothing better than diving into the centre and strolling through the most representative places of the Belgian capital.
Starting with the famous Grand Place, built as a market in the 13th century, which measures the pulse of life in Brussels, we’ll arrive close to the popular statue of the Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue of a urinating child that has become a symbol of the city.
Place du Grand Sablon is a good place to see the typical buildings of the city. Lovers of antiquities can delight in visiting the antique market that is organized on weekends. In addition, the square is full of restaurants where you can eat something at any time and the famous Belgian chocolate shops, authentic boutiques that treat and display chocolate as if it were a jewel.
The Palace of Justice stands out for its dimensions, being one of the largest stone buildings on the planet measuring 26,000 square meters and 104 meters high.
In the Place du Petit Sablon, uniquely curious on account of its physiognomy, we have a small game reserved for you: try to identify the trades represented by the 48 bronze statues dedicated to medieval guilds.
A second riddle awaits you when you go up to the top of the city. Arriving at the Royal Palace, check if the king of Belgium is in the city by looking to see if the national flag is flying on the central building
Crossing the park of Brussels, we arrive on foot at another highlight of the city: the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. It is one of the most important Gothic buildings in Belgium and stands out on account of its two symmetrical towers with their 49 bells and splendid stained glass windows.
For those who enjoy good views
From The Plaza Poelaert, located at the main entrance of the Palace of Justice, you get some of the best panoramic views of Brussels.
Mont des Arts, on clear days you get to see even the distant Atomium from here, another of the city’s icons.
In the Park of Cinquantenaire, located in the heart of the European quarter, you can climb to the lookout of the central arch to enjoy its views.
For the nostalgic people: the comic path
Your visit in Brussels will surely evoke memories of your childhood. Belgium is one of the driving countries of the comic, with Tintin as the most outstanding exponent. What began in 1991 as a solution to rehabilitate unhealthy and maintenance-free bare walls ended up as a cultural project that pays homage to national comic book artists. So don’t be surprised when, strolling through Brussels, you come across large-scale murals with scenes from Tintin comics, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Asterix and Obelix, Spirou… there is an authentic comic path where we can rediscover the child inside.
The art nouveau that invaded all of Europe is particularly represented in Brussels by more than a thousand buildings. Walking through the streets of Brussels, we can transport ourselves to the belle époque, feel the sound of a gramophone and that we are part of that liberal society, uninhibited and eager for new experiences that broke with the established rigidity and promised a new world.
French fries and beer
French fries in Belgium go beyond pure gastronomy and are part of the country’s culture. Wherever you look there is always a potato chip shop (frituur, friterie or fritkot) where you can taste this delicious delicacy.
Belgian beer culture was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016. In Belgium’s bars and restaurants, beer has a prominent place, so they usually have an exclusive menu where the types and brands of beer served by each place are presented: the Trappist, Pilsen, Flemish red, ale beer, Geuze beers… up to 1500 brands of beer and more than 700 different flavor profiles. Although you may find this an exaggeration, it’s worth traveling to Brussels just to try the chips and beer!
Do you want to personally convince yourself that we are not exaggerating?
SATO Tours includes the visit to Brussels in interesting combinations.
We look forward to introducing you to the European spirit and the city where the decisions about the future of our continent are made.