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Tourist attractions in BrusselsVersion française

Top Attractions in Brussels

Grand Place & Town Hall
Grand Place, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
must-see Often called the most beautiful square in the world, the Grand Place is a jewel of the Brabantine Renaissance. The Gothic town hall is decorated with over 150 statues of historical figures.
Royal Palace
Royal Palace, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
must-see Built over the old palace of the Dukes of Brabant, the Neoclassical Royal Palace is lavishly decorated and has a longer facade than Buckingham Palace in London.
Law Courts of Brussels
Law Courts of Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding Built by Leopold II and inspired by ancient Egyptian temples, this 26,000 m² Palace of Justice is one of the largest pre-20th century edifices on Earth.
Jubilee Park & Arch
Triumphal Arch in the Jubilee Park, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding Laid in 1880 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the independence of Belgium, the Jubilee Park is endowed with the widest triumphal arch in the world. It is home to three of Brussels' top museums.
Sablons Square
Statues of the Counts of Egmont & Hoorn on the Petit Sablon, and Our Lady of Sablon's Church, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding The Grand Sablon is Belgium's prime location for antique shopping. The The adjacent Petit Sablon square faces Egmont Palace, former residence of the Dukes and Princes of Arenberg, and now seat of the Foreign Ministry.
European Parliament
European Parliament, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding It is in this enormous, glitzy, postmodern building that the bulk of European legislation is voted. The locals dubbed it the "Caprice des Dieux" (whim of the gods), both for its exorbitant cost and its shape reminding of the French cheese of the same name.
Atomium & Bruparck
Atomium, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding At the foot of the iconic are some of Brussels' most popular attractions with children: Mini-Europe, the Océade water attraction park, and Kinepolis, Belgium's largest cinema complex.
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding Part of the Castle of Laeken, official residence of the Belgian royal family, the greenhouses (only open in spring) are among the largest in Europe.
Brussels Cathedral
Cathedral of Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding Brussels's elegant Gothic cathedral features some impressive stained glass windows from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Royal Park & Parliament
18th-century houses along the Royal Park of Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good Facing the Royal Palace, this French-style classical park is lined with all the top Belgian institutions (parliament, top ministries), as well as the seat of Fortis Bank and the US embassy.
Royal Square
Belgian Court of Accounts building, Regency Street, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good Behind the Royal Palace, this white neoclassical square is home to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Magritte Museum, and the royal church of St. James-on-Coudenberg.
Ravenstein Street
Centre for Fine Arts, Ravenstein Street, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good Linking the Central Station to Royal Square, this street is famous for the Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings (notably the Old England building and Horta's Centre for Fine Arts).
Manneken Pis
Manneken Pis, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good Brussels' world famous peeing boy statue s dressed in a different costume for every special event. His collection of 700+ costumes can be seen at the nearby Brussels City Museum.
Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert
Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good Inspired by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the galleries opened in 1847 as Europe's first shopping arcades. It is a popular place to buy chocolate or luxury goods, or just to have coffee.
Congress Square
Congress Square, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good A neoclassical square dominated by the Congress Column. Taller than the Vendôme Column in Paris or Nelson's Column in London, the Congress Column rises above the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Colonies Street
Rue des Colonies, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good A short, hilly street between Central Station and the Royal Park. It is filled with massive buildings in the Beaux-Arts style from the Belle Epoque - now occupied mostly by banks and multinational companies.
Botanical Garden of Brussels
Botanical Garden of Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good Founded in 1826, this green isle in central Brussels runs from Rogier Square to Royal Street. It is renowned for its bronze sculptures made by 43 Belgian artists.
Koekelberg Basilica
Basilica of Koekelberg, Brussels (photo by by Markus Koljonen - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
very good This odd basilica blending neo-Gothic and Art Deco styles is one of the largest churches in the world.

Top Museums in Brussels

Click on the title to access the official website, and on the picture to reach the neighbourhood description on Eupedia.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts
Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding
Royal Museums of Art and History
Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding
Museums of the Far East
Chinese Pavilion, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding
Brussels City Museum
Brussels City Museum, Grand Place, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good
Musical Instrument Museum
Musical Instrument Museum, Old England building, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good
Horta Museum
Horta Museum, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding
Belgian Comic Strip Center
Belgian Comic Strip Center, Brussels (photo by TADOR - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
very good
Magritte Museum
Magritte Museum on Royal Square, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good
Army Museum
Royal Museum of the Armed Forces & Military History, Grand Place, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good
Brussels Air Museum
Brussels Air Museum, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good
Autoworld Museum
Autoworld Museum, Brussels (© Eupedia.com)
very good

Tallest buildings in Brussels
  1. South Tower (Tour du Midi), 150 m

  2. Finance Tower, 145 m

  3. Dexia Tower, 137 m

  4. Madou Plaza Tower, 120 m

  5. Astro Tower, 107 m

  6. North Galaxy A & B, 107 m

  7. World Trade Center Tower III, 105 m

  8. Law Courts (Palais de Justice), 104 m

  9. Atomium, 102 m

  10. World Trade Center Tower I & II, 102 m

  11. Manhattan Center, 102 m

  12. Belgacom Tower I & II, 102 m

  13. Covent Garden Tower B, 100 m

  14. Brusilia, 100 m

  15. Hilton Hotel, 99 m

  16. Church of our Lady of Laeken, 99 m

  17. Town hall, 97 m

  18. Basilica of Koekelberg, 93 m

  19. Bastion Tower, 90 m

  20. RTBF/VRT Telecom Tower, 90 m

Madou Plaza Tower, Brussels North Galaxy and other towers, Brussels
Belgacom Towers, Brussels

Attractions in the outskirts of Brussels

Brussels' central location, and the small size of Belgium mean that all places in Belgium could be visited on a day trip from the capital. You could even plan for several destinations if you have a car.

There are however plenty of places in the immediate vicinity of Brussels (within 20 km), which do not require a full day trip, if you have just an hour or two to kill.

Leuven
Grote Markt and Town Hall, Leuven (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding The charming town of Leuven was the first capital of Brabant (before Brussels) and is home to the oldest Catholic university in the world. Leuven's townhall is possibly the most exquisite in Belgium, if not in all Europe.
National Botanic Garden
Bouchout Castle, inside the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Meise (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding The National Botanic Garden of Belgium in Meise has over 18,000 species of plants laid on 92 ha. Standing in the middle of the garden, Bouchout Castle was the residence of the deposed Empress of Mexico between 1867 and 1927.
Gaasbeek Castle
Gaasbeek Castle (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding Gaasbeek Castle is an imposing medieval and Renaissance castle that once belonged to the Count of Egmont, after whom Beethoven's famous Overture is named.
Gardens of Groot-Bijgaarden
Gardens of Groot-Bijgaarden Castle (© Eupedia.com)
outstanding The tulip gardens of Groot-Bijgaarden Castle are like a small-scale Flemish version of Holland's Keukenhof Gardens. The delightful Renaissance castle cannot be visited though.
Bluebells in Halle's Wood
Bluebell carpet in Halle's Wood (© Eupedia.com)
very good Every spring, Halle's Wood is covered by a carpet of bluebell flowers, one of the few of its kinds in continental Europe.
Beersel Castle
Lier (© Eupedia.com)
very good The 13th-century Castle of Beersel is one of the finest examples of moated medieval castle in Flanders.
Bois-Seigneur-Isaac Castle
Bois-Seigneur-Isaac Castle (© Eupedia.com)
very good Bois-Seigneur-Isaac Castle has been the home of the Counts Snoy et d'Oppuers for the last 200 years, whose most illustrious member signed the Treaty of Rome (1957) for Belgium.
Hélécine Castle & Abbey
Hélécine Castle & Abbey (© Eupedia.com)
very good The castle-abbey of Hélécine is now used as the provincial domain of Walloon Brabant and often hosts hot air balloon shows.
Horst Castle
Horst Castle (© Eupedia.com)
very good Built on a lake, the half-ruined Flemish Renaissance of Horst is said to be haunted by a former lord who comes back everyday at midnight in a carriage pulled by six wild horses.
Rixensart Castle
Rixensart Castle (© Eupedia.com)
very good The Renaissance Castle of Rixensart is one of the main residences of the Princes of Mérode.
Waterloo
Waterloo (© Eupedia.com)
very good Waterloo was the site of the battle that put an end to Napoleon's ambitions. It now has several museums retracing the events.


You could combine a visit to Waterloo and Beersel, both to the south-west of Brussels, on the same day, and another to Leuven and Horst, to the north-east, on another.

For something quite different, you could visit the House of the Future in Vilvoorde, just north of Laeken.

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