Bruxelles, home to the European Parliament and many other European institutions, is a city that is bustling with life and in which different cultures, traditions and styles mix. If you think that Bruxelles is famous only for the institutions it hosts you are terribly wrong. The museums, the squares, the streets, the chocolate and the beer tradition, the shopping venues and the delicious food make Bruxelles a destination that every tourist must visit.
If you go to Bruxelles, the first monument that will strike you and will make you want to know its entire story will be the Manneken Pis, the sculpture of a child that is peeing in a fountain basin. The story of this statue is a definitely a funny one: the legend says that in the 14th century, when the city was under siege, a child urinated on the cord of a bomb, thus saving the city from destruction. The Manneken Pis is the symbol of the city and there are many similar monuments that are scattered all around Bruxelles.
If this first monument has aroused your curiosity and has made you want to see more of the Belgian capital, you will surely be delighted to visit the Belgian Comic Strip Centre. Here you will be able to go back to your childhood and admire the Smurfs and Tintin along with may other comic strips. Even if you are not a museum fan, this one is definitely worth a visit.
If you are an art lover, you must absolutely go to the Fine Arts Museum. You will really feel at home here, among works of art by various artists from different epoques that are on display in all their beauty in a unique setting.
If, on the other hand, you are more interested in modern art and architecture, don’t hesitate a second when it comes to visiting the Atomium, a spectacular modern structure located in the Heysel Park. The Atomium reproduces the structure of an iron atom enlarged 160 billion times. The spheres that are part of the structure often host public events and only 3 of them are open to the public. However, they offer breathtaking views of the city, so if you like watching the world from above go inside one of them and you will be able to see the whole city and its surroundings.
Bruxelles also boasts one of the most beautiful and admired squares in the world: the Grand Place-Grote Markt. The square is perfect from an architectural standpoint and has a magical atmosphere that is created by the games of light and shade. It is a fundamental stop of your Bruxelles tour. The splendour of the Grand Place-Grote Markt will remain impressed in your memory for a long time.
If you want to have fun, you will not be disappointed by the Bruxelles night-life. In the evening the young people, the music and the traditional Belgian beer take over the city. If you are a beer fan you must taste the famous white beer and you absolutely have to visit a monastery where the monks make their own beer: this will be an unforgettable experience.
Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t drink on an empty stomach. The Belgian cuisine will not disappoint you! The rivers of chocolate and the tons of biscuits that satisfy even the most demanding of tastes will accompany you everywhere on your visit to Bruxelles. If you aren’t crazy about sweets, you can always try something salty, like the famous moules et frites. The mussels and french fries are an old traditional dish in Belgium.
And if you cannot survive without shopping, you probably know that Bruxelles is home to many famous luxury stores that you will want to visit. At the same time, you will find that there is a large number of shops that offer wide choice of souvenirs of all kinds.
At the end of your visit I am sure you will agree that Bruxelles is a city that needs to be discovered bit by bit and in which tradition and modernity mix in order to create a fascinating scenery.