The Grand Place Square in Brussels
The Atomium Landmark in Brussels
A Row of Belgian Beer in Glasses in Front of a Window Overlooking Gabled Houses
The Manneken Pis Statue in Brussels Urinating into a Fountain
Piles of Chocolate Bonbons in the Window of a Belgian Chocolate Shop
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Brussels

April - DecemberBelgiumEUR
European History
Architecture
Traditional Beverages

It feels as though everything in Brussels is tinted with gold. From the gilded rooftops of the old houses on the Grand Palace to the foil-wrapped bonbons piled in chocolatier windows, Brussels seems to sparkle and wink at you around every corner. Aside from the lustrous architecture and Trappist ales, this shiny city is probably still best known for its iconic street food options: salty, golden fries, and fluffy, honey-colored waffles. 


The capital of Belgium, Brussels is at the nexus of Western Europe. Tucked under the Netherlands, and resting on the shoulders of France and Germany, Belgium has a dual culture makeup of Walloon French and Flemish Dutch. Along with its chocolate, one of the pleasures of Belgium is the patchwork of languages you’ll hear spoken across the country. In Brussels, the lingua franca is French; however, Flemish-Dutch is a common tongue among residents, and the celebrations of Flemish culture are evident. Paintings by Flemish Primitive Bruegel the Elder grace the walls of the Oldmasters Museum. In restaurants all over town, steam rises from the hearty stews and pots of mussels that define Flemish cuisine. If you venture to Brugges or Ghent, just an hour or two away from Brussels, you’ll hear mostly spoken Flemish in those medieval old-world towns.    


While it is a major political center, home to international bodies such as the EU and NATO, don’t be fooled by Brussels’ stern ‘Eurocratic’ facade. Brussels revels in cheeky humor and mischief. The city’s beloved mascot, the ‘Manneken Pis’, is a statue of a small child urinating into a fountain, and Bruxellois find much mirth dressing this statue in festive-themed costumes. It’s no surprise the surrealist artist Magritte, one of the great visual tricksters of the 20th century, called Brussels home. 


Another unexpected source of Belgian levity is the country’s love of comic books. Comics are considered high art in Belgium, and the Belgian Comic Strip Centre is a Brussels museum devoted to the form. Brussels is a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously. After a few days exploring the city and taking in its sights and scenes, you’re sure to come away smiling.  

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Must See
A Sculpture of a White Goose with Gold and Green Trim
Grand Place
Historic Landmarks
The Atomium Landmark in Brussels
Atomium
European History
A Bronze Sculpture Group of Angel Figures
Royal Museum of Fine Arts
Museums & Galleries
The Manneken Pis Statue in Brussels Urinating into a Fountain
Manneken Pis
Historic Landmarks
The Royal Palace in Brussels and Formal Garden
Brussels Royal Palace
Castles & Chateaux
The Town Hall of Brussels with a Tall Tower
Town Hall
Architecture
The City Museum of Brussels with a Tall Tower
Brussels Museum
Museums & Galleries
A Dinosaur Skeleton in a Museum of Natural Sciences Display in Brussels
Museum of Natural Sciences
Museums & Galleries
A Row of EU flags in Front of a Large Glass and Steel Buildings
EU Parliament
National Site
Optional Day Trips
A Stone Medieval Castle with Multiple Towers
Ghent
European History
A Group of Brick Medieval Houses Reflected in a Canal at Night
Brugges
European History
A Statue of a Man Wearing a Cape and Extending his Hand Standing in Front of a Gothic Style Clock Tower and Church
Antwerp
Cultural
A Brick and Stone Formal Archway with Columns
Ypres
The Great War & WWII
A Plinth with a Lion on it Marking the Site Where the Battle of Waterloo Occurred
Waterloo
European History

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