Headquarters of the European Union, Brussels is known as the capital of Europe, and its cosmopolitan flavor, vibrant art scene, and rich culture ensure it lives up to the title. From the iconic Atomium to the La Monnaie and celebrated traditions like the stunning Flower Carpet, Brussels is a city everyone can enjoy.
Visit the Atomium, one of Brussels most popular landmarks and an architectural spectacle, built for the 1958 World’s Fair and designed based on the structure of an iron molecule. Take in the panoramic view of the surrounding area from the topmost sphere, which overlooks Mini-Europe, located at the foot of the building.
Tour this miniature version of the European continent featuring hundreds of replicas of the region’s most well-known landmarks. Including interactive displays of both manmade structures and natural phenomena, it’s an ideal family experience that’s fun and educational at the same time.
Explore the charm and history of the Grand Place, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful squares. This well-preserved 13th-century marketplace features Gothic and Baroque architecture and often hosts concerts, as well as a colorful flower market during the warmer months, when it’s also ideal to sit at a nearby café and people-watch.
Be captivated by the Flower Carpet, one of the city’s most iconic installations occurring in the Grand Place every two years. Countless begonias of varying colors are elegantly arranged in a design that stretches some 20,000 square feet across the center of the square.
Experience the fine arts at Le Monnaie, the city’s opera house, or at the Royal Music Conservatory where you can enjoy live classical music. Discover Brussels’ contemporary side at the Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art, which features world-famous locally created characters like Tintin and the Smurfs.
There’s also a vibrant nightlife scene where you can experience what the locals call an "apéro," which is going to a club or a bar for a small bite and a drink. Visit some of the more lively districts across the city including Place Chatelain, Place du Luxumburg, and Place Flagey.
When heading out to enjoy a meal consider sampling some of the local cuisine, like Waterzooi, a truly Belgian stew traditionally made with fish and vegetables, or try the Flemish style mashed potato with stewed vegetables, called Stoemp.
Find an inspiring selection of cuisine in the picturesque Place de Grand Sablon. Along with traditional restaurants, you can also find chocolatiers to satisfy your sweet tooth in this historic square.
Explore other popular places for dining across the city including Rue St Boniface and Place du Chatelain. Place Stephanie has smaller restaurants scattered throughout, especially along Rue Breckmans.
When it comes to shopping, the two streets known for high-end stores are Boulevard de Waterloo and Avenue Louise. While the former is one of the city’s most popular streets and the latter one of the oldest, they both boast some of the world’s most fashionable brand names.
See what you can find on one of the longest shopping streets in Brussels, Rue Neuve. Always bustling with activity, especially on weekends, you can find mid-range stores here and enjoy a long stroll down this pedestrianized avenue.
You can also find out more about the long history of lace making in Belgium, which is known for producing the world’s most intricate lace patterns. See the work firsthand at the Museum of Costume and Lace, and if you are so inclined, take lessons in the traditional trade.
You can wander through the quaint cobbled streets of Durbuy, known as the "smallest town on earth," admire the ancient stone houses, and visit one of the world’s largest topiary parks. With an array of restaurants and cafés, it is especially popular for long summer walks.
The medieval city of Ghent is rich with history, from the Castle of the Counts to the medieval district, which it overlooks. Explore the city on foot or by bicycle, or take a boat through its serene canals and waterways.
Tornai, another ancient city worth exploring, and features famous historic buildings like The Belfry, the oldest in the country, and the Castle of Beloeil, which along with being centuries old is home to an impressive collection of art and books. This city is also where the Museum of Tapestry and Textiles is based, featuring tapestry weaving, repair, and research.
Explore the cobbled streets, charming canals, and picturesque market squares of Bruges, a very popular tourist destination. You can sample handmade chocolates, visit the walking bring and stunning views in Minnewater, or wander through the historic Markt, where horse-drawn carriages and open-air restaurants will greet you.