Brussels Travel Guide
One of Europe’s most prominent cities, Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium and its largest city, but also the capital of the European Union and the site of NATO’s headquarters. Though more often associated with politics than tourism, Brussels boasts plenty of world-class amenities and cultural attractions which are worth a look.
This important city is divided into 19 districts, with the Grand Place and its historic square at the center of all the action. The southeastern area of the city center, known as Upper Town, is where most of the museums, parks and other tourist attractions are found. Efficient public transport will get you from place to place, but Brussels is also an excellent city to walk around.
The other half of Brussels, primarily a working-class district, is known as Lower Town. Anderlecht, with its churches and historic buildings, is one of the more interesting districts here, while Ixelles is the site of quiet leafy parks and the Abbey de la Cambre. De Broukere is the city’s entertainment hub, commercial district and the best place to feast on Belgium’s plentiful fresh seafood. Incredible shopping can be found along avenue Louise, which leads to Bois de la Cambre, the city’s largest and most popular park. ****
Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudule: this stunning 13th century Gothic masterpiece is the architectural highlight of Upper Town, renowned for its beautiful stained-glass windows and soaring towers.****
Grand Place: one of Europe’s most magical town squares, lined with medieval guild houses, the Grand Place is the hub of Brussels’ tourism and the best place to start your explorations of this invigorating city.
Parc de Bruxelles: one of the city’s most popular parks contains some wonderful architecture, in the form of the expansive Palais du Roi, to go with all the greenery.
Place St Catherine: the traditional atmosphere of this historic square provides a more down-to-earth feeling than the Grand Place thanks to its lively markets, lack of crowds and excellent people-watching potential.
l’Ilot Sacré: this festive district is a great place to sit outside at one of the dozens of small cafés and bars and watch as street performers entertain the crowds.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts: two museums are connected to provide visitors with a sublime and staggering collection of both historical and modern art with a special emphasis on the Flemish masters.