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26 Jan 2008

Brussels - Attractions Guide

List of most of the attractions in Brussels with quick information:

BB03 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Atomium and Mini-Europe

Details: Léopold II bequeathed the 202-hectare (500-acre) estate of Heysel to the city of Brussels in 1909. The large exhibition spaces are located here, to the northwest of the centre. Its most famous landmark, however, is the Atomium – a giant model of an oxygen molecule, built for the 1958 World Fair as a temporary structure, although never fully dismantled. It reopens in February 2006 following extensive renovation, including replacement of its metal ‘skin’. The highest sphere gives a panoramic view of the entire region. The science exhibition is of interest only to young children. Discover the symbol of the 1958 Brussels world fair from the inside. The Atomium was originally built for the 1958 World Fair and since its construction it has become the symbol of Belgium. The 102-metre-tall steel and aluminum structure is meant to be a symbol of the atom concept, increased by 165 billions times! It offers a superb panoramic view of Brussels and its surroundings.
Nearby Mini-Europe shrinks Europe to a size that can be covered in a short walk, with faithful miniatures of the Eiffel Tower, Westminster and the Berlin Wall in the process of being dismantled. Five new ‘countries’ were included for 2005, among them Cyprus and Lithuania.
Location: Atomium Boulevard du Centenaire
Bruparck, Boulevard du Centenaire
Tel: (02) 475 4777. Fax: (02) 475 4779.
Tel: (02) 474 1313. Fax: (02) 478 2675.
E-mail: info@atomium.be
E-mail: info@minieurope.com
Website: www.atomium.be
Website: www.minieurope.com
Transport: Métro Heysel, bus 84 or 89, tram 23 or 81.
Transport: Métro Heysel, bus 84 or 89, tram 23 or 81.
Opening hours: (From February 2006) Daily 0900-1900 (Apr-Aug), daily 1000-1730 (Sep-Mar).
Opening hours: Daily 0930-2000, (Jul-Aug), daily 0930-2400 (late Jul-late Aug) daily 0930-1800 (Sep-Mar).
Admission: €6 between Feb and Apr 2006, €8 from May 2006, concessions available.
Admission: €11.80, concessions available.

BB06 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Autoworld Car Museum

Details: Strictly for the car mad, this museum has over 400 cars on display. The entire 20th century history of the motor vehicle is covered from 1886 to the 1970s. There are rare pre-World War II models on show as well as cars from all over the world.

BB07 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: BRUPARCK

Details: Here you find a reconstructed Belgian village complete with café's and restaurants. You can have a tropical beach experience at the indoor Océade Océade swimming complex. Kinepolis: one of the largest movie complexes in Europe with 24 cinema rooms and a giant IMAX movie screen. If you go to the movies in Brussels always check if the movie is shown in the original language with subtitles, or dubbed in French.
Location: Situated at the Heysel. (Metro station : Heysel)
The price of a movie in Belgium is between 7 and 9 Euro.

BB08 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Brussels City Museum (Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles)

Details: The city museum is located in the King's House on the Grand Place. The museum tells the story of Brussels and how it grew from a tiny village to become the capital of Europe. Probably the most interesting exhibit is the outlandish collection of some 600 costumes donated to the Manneken Pis over the centuries. http://www.brussels-online.be/maison-du-roi/uk/

BB05 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée (Belgian Centre for Comic Strips)

Details: The history of the Belgian comic strip, including its links with silent movies and animation, is displayed throughout the airy and uplifting Grand Magasin Waucquez, designed by Victor Horta. Original drawings by early masters, such as André Franquin (who created accident-prone Gaston Lagaffe), and Georges Remi (Hergé) (who breathed life into Tintin) are complemented by modern-day cartoons, temporary exhibitions, an exhaustive academic library, children’s library and a brasserie.
A famous Belgian art form in
The Belgian Comic Strip Centre is housed in a charming art nouveau building designed by the creator of Lucky Luke, Spirou, the Smurfs and Gaston Lagaffe - Victor Horta. In the museum you will see how cartoons are made, learn about production techniques and see antique cartoon strips of many recognisable characters. The museum shop, packed full of books, gadgets and posters, is well worth a visita beautiful Art Nouveau Setting. Discover the history of Belgium's comic strip heroes (Tintin) and visit the beautiful shop with its many books and comic strip gadgets.
Location: Rue des Sables 20
Zandstraat / Rue des Sables 20 1000 Brussel
Tel: (02) 219 1980. Fax: (02) 219 2376.
E-mail: visit@cbbd.be
Website: www.cbbd.be
Transport: Train/métro Gare Centrale, bus 29, 38, 47, 60, 65, 66, 71.
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1800.
Admission: €6.20, concessions available, €2.50 (reference library).

BB09 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Galéries St. Hubert

Details: The Galéries St. Hubert is a grand 19th-century shopping arcade near the Grand Place in central Brussels which has been recently restored to its original grandeur. Once the stomping ground of such names as Baudelaire and Victor Hugo - who kept his mistresses in an upstairs apartment - the arcade is now a welcome escape from modern day shopping. With its cinema, cafés, bookshops and theatre, there is plenty to see and do. Indulge in some chocolate tasting at the original Neuhaus shop - famous for Belgium Pralines - which opened its doors back in 1857.

BB04 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Grand-Place and MUSIC AND LIGHT SHOW AT THE GRAND PLACE

Details: A web of narrow cobbled streets suddenly opens out into the vast Grand-Place – economic and social heart of Brussels since the Middle Ages. The array of filigree Gothic buildings is dominated by the asymmetrical Hôtel de Ville, built in the 15th century. Its 96m (315ft) spire is topped with a gilded copper statue of St Michael. Opposite the Town Hall and almost as grand is the Maison du Roi, commissioned in 1515 and faithfully rebuilt in the 1890s. Sometime pied-à-terre of the Hapsburg monarchy, the building now hosts the Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles and its small collection includes tapestries and altarpieces, as well as the costumes worn by the Manneken-Pis. A series of lavish Guildhouses complete the rectangle of the square – number 10 still houses the guild of brewers, Maison de l’Arbre d’Or. Events, displays and markets are often held in the Grand-Place.
Described by Victor Hugo as "the most beautiful square in Europe," the Grand Place is located in the very heart of Brussels. The square contains numerous impressive baroque and gothic buildings, many of which have dazzling gilt details. The Hôtel de Ville (town hall), a gothic masterpiece dating from the early 15th century, is also located in the square. Don’t miss a guided tour of the town hall, which takes you into many of its art-adorned rooms. During the summer months there is free nightly entertainment including fireworks and light shows.
Location: Grand-Place
Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles
Tel: (02) 279 4350. Fax: (02): 279 4362.
Transport: Métro Bourse, De Brouckère or Gare Centrale.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700 (Closed Jan 1, May 1, Nov 1 and 11, Dec 25)
There are two sessions of aproximately 15 minutes each night (between 21.30 h and 23.15 h, depending on the sunset).
Admission: €3.

BB10 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: La Maison d’Erasme (Erasmus House Museum)

Details: Dedicated to the great 15th/16th century traveller and scholar, this interesting museum is located in the Anderlecht district to the west of the city centre, and with the adjacent Anderlecht Convent, is the oldest public museum in Belgium. It houses collections of art, furniture and literature relevant to the time and studies of Erasmus, who stayed in the house in 1521. It also features attractive gardens.
Location: Rue du Chapitre 31
Tel: (02) 521 1383. Fax: (02) 527 1269.
E-mail: info@erasmushouse.museum
Website: www.erasmushouse.museum
Transport: Métro line 1B to St Guidon, tram 56 to St Guidon, bus 49 to Formanoir.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700.
Admission: €1.25.

BB11 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Manneken-Pis

Details: The Rue de l’Etuve leads from the grandeur of Grand-Place to this allegory of irreverence and symbol of Bruxellois self-mockery – a bronze statuette of a urinating boy. If it were not for the occupation of the young child, the sculpture might resemble an angelic putto, such as the ones decorating the façade of the nearby Bourse (Stock Exchange), said to have been sculpted by Rodin. Jérôme Duquesnoy cast Manneken-Pis in the 1660s, perhaps as a reference to the peasant lads of legend, who extinguished fires with their urine. Manneken-Pis is regularly kitted out in a choice of some 500 outfits supplied by companies, charities and other organisations wishing to promote their name or brand.
Location: Rue de l’Etuve
Transport: Métro Bourse.

BB13 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Musée Belvue (Belvue Museum)

Details: Re-opened in July 2005 to coincide with Belgium’s 175th anniversary celebrations after major re-modelling work, the Musee Belvue is dedicated to the 12 major periods of the country’s history. The exhibitions are themed around the reigns of each of the country’s 12 monarchs. The building itself is located at the scene of the 1830 Belgian Revolution which led to the establishment of an independent state.
Location: Hôtel Bellevue, Place des Palais 7
Tel: (02) 545 0800. Fax: (02) 502 4623.
E-mail: info@belvue.be
Website: www.belvue.be
Transport: Métro Trône, Porte de Namur or Parc, tram 92, 93 or 94, bus 38, 60, 71.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1800 (Jun-Sep), Tues-Sun 1000-1700 (Oct-May). Closed Jan 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, Dec 25.
Admission: €3, concessions available.

BB01 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Musée du Cinquantenaire (Royal Museums of Art and History)

Details: Everything conceived by Léopold II was on a grandiose scale and the Parc du Cinquantenaire, built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence, is no exception. The Musée de l’Armée, situated in the north wing, has an interesting display of vintage aircraft and free entrance. However, the Musée du Cinquantenaire, formerly known as the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (Royal Art and History Museums), is the major draw card of the area. Boasting collections from five continents, ranging from prehistory to the present, it includes Art Nouveau furniture designed by Victor Horta and fine examples of centuries-old lace. Comic strip fans might find some pieces familiar – the large Egyptian collection was the source of inspiration for Belgium’s artists, including Hergé.
The Cinquantenaire Museum houses a very valuable collection of works from different civilizations throughout the world. Its artefacts give an overview of the history of mankind in five continents (with the exclusion of Africa) from prehistory to the present day. Recently modernised and expanded, the new "treasure room" is worth a look as well as old favorites like the array of European decorative arts, the folklore section and the antiquities.
Location: Parc du Cinquantenaire 10
Tel: (02) 741 7211. Fax: (02) 733 7735.
E-mail: info@kmkg-mrah.be
Website: www.kmkg-mrah.be
Transport: Train/métro Mérode or Schuman, tram 81 or 82 (to Mérode), bus 21, 67, 80.
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 0930-1700, Sat-Sun 1000-1700.
Admission: €4, free first Wed of the month 1300-1700.

BB14 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Musée Horta (Horta Museum)

Details: Architect Victor Horta (1885-1946) worked to produce some 110 buildings, first in neo-Gothic style, famously in Art Nouveau and latterly in sparse Modernist style. Many (such as the Hôtel Solvay, Avenue Louise 224, and Hôtel Van Eetvelde at Avenue Palmerston 4) are still standing. However, the Musée Horta (the architect’s former home and studio) is beautifully preserved and open to the general public. Attention to detail sweeps through the building, from the vertical letterbox and finely scripted number 25 on the façade to the sculpted staircase and dining room floor, where a marble mosaic encircles the finest American ash. A theatrical arrangement of secret front doors allowed the architect to welcome guests from different social and religious backgrounds without their being aware of each other’s presence.
Location: Rue Américaine 25
Tel: (02) 543 0490. Fax: (02) 538 7631.
E-mail: info@hortamuseum.be
Website: www.hortamuseum.be
Transport: Tram 81, 82, 92 (Place Janson), bus 54.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1400-1730.
Admission: €4.95, concessions available.

BB15 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (Belgian Royal Museums of Fine Art)

Details: The most important of Belgium’s museum complexes is located close to Place Royal. It boasts two rich museums, their collections ranging from the 14th century to the modern day – the Musée d’Art Ancien (Museum of Ancient Art), housed in the former court of Charles de Lorraine, and the underground Musée d’Art Moderne (Museum of Modern Art), inaugurated in 1984. The Musée d’Art Ancien (also known as the Museum of Fine Arts) excels in its collection of the Old Masters, with works by Rubens, Bouts and Memling. Collections of Brueghel the Elder and Younger and Hieronymus Bosch are small, as Belgium’s foreign masters took most of these treasures away with them. A passageway leads to Musée d’Art Moderne, with its splendid collection of the Belgian Surrealists. René Magritte is given pride of place, although the haunting works of Paul Delvaux are also of interest. Picasso, Chagall, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon are also represented.
Location: Rue de la Régence 3
Tel: (02) 508 3211. Fax: (02) 508 3232.
E-mail: info@fine-arts-museum.be
Website: www.fine-arts-museum.be
Transport: Gare Centrale, tram 92, 93 or 94 (to Royale), bus 20, 38. 60, 71, 95 or 96 (to Royale).
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700.
Admission: €5, free first Wed of the month from 1300.

BB16 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Muséum des Sciences Naturelles (Natural Sciences Museum)

Details: Close to the European Parliament and containing what is claimed to be one of the finest dinosaur collections in the world (‘starring’ the iguanadons of Bernissart) this fascinating museum additionally features a special presentation on the Arctic and Antarctic regions. There is an extensive permanent marine mammals exhibition. All forms of wildlife, extinct and extant, plus mineralogy, are represented here.
Location: Rue Vautier 29
Tel: (02) 627 4211. Fax: (02) 646 4466.
Website: www.naturalsciences.be
Transport: Métro Maelbeek, Trône, bus 34, 80.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1645, Sat-Sun 1000-1800.
Admission: €4, concessions available, free first Wed of the month from 1300.

BB02 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Palais Royal (Royal Palace)

Details: Some of Brussels’ most opulent buildings and key attractions are clustered around the centrally located Parc de Bruxelles, a formal 1870s park with poker-straight tree-lined avenues and a central fountain. The southeast edge is graced by the Palais des Académies, a former residence of the Prince of Orange and Place du Trône, an impressive statue of Léopold II astride a horse. Nearby, Brussel’s Royal Palace and museums are congregated. Opposite the Parc de Bruxelles lies the Palais Royal, begun by King William I (1815–30) in the 19th century and later expanded by Léopold II. The royal family now resides in Laeken, in northern Brussels. However, the palace is still used as royal office and for state functions. From the end of July until early September, the palace, with its Throne Room, chandeliers, tapestries and gracious dining room, opens to the public.
Located in the centre of Brussels, the sumptuous public apartments are only open for about 6 weeks during the summer, starting from July 21st each year. Originally a 12th century fortress, the building has since then overlooked the Park of Brussels across the road. In 1731, the Palace burned to the ground and the present neo-classical palace has been modified several times during subsequent Austrian, French and Dutch rule. The palace is currently used as the state offices of King Albert II as well as for state receptions, royal audiences and court ceremonies. Take a guided tour and visit the impressive 150 foot long Throne Room with its intricate mosaic parquet floor and majestic chandeliers. The Blue Room, the Louis XVI Music Salon, the Goya Room, the Empire and the Mirror Room are equally breathtaking. If you’re in Brussels during the summer months, this tour is not to be missed.
Location: Rue Bredeorde 16
Tel: (02) 551 2020. Fax: (02) 502 3949.
Website: www.monarchie.be/en/visit/palace/
Transport: Métro Trône or Parc, tram 92, 93 or 94, bus 20, 21, 22, 34, 38, 54, 60, 71, 95 or 96.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1030-1630 (mid Jul-mid Aug), times can vary due to official events. Information on (02) 513 8940.
Admission: Free.

BB17 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: Place du Grand-Sablon

Details: Although the smartest square in town, the Place du Grand-Sablon remains laid-back. Notre-Dame du Sablon dominates the square. Although it began as a humble chapel for the guild of archers, the arrival of a statue of Mary (with reputed magical healing properties) from Antwerp, in 1348, dramatically increased its popularity. The building was expanded into an impressive Gothic church, which still hosts the annual Ommegang procession (see Cultural Events and Special Events). The area is a major centre for antiques dealers and hosts an busy antique and books market at the weekend. It is worth wandering around the Sablon district. Intriguing cul-de-sacs lead off from the square to shady spaces – such as the charming Impasse Saint-Jacques. The nearby Place du Petit-Sablon is a small, green square, surrounded by 48 bronze statuettes representing the 16th-century guilds, with larger statues at its heart, including the martyr-heroes, Egmont and Hornes, and Mercator, the cartographer.
Location: Place du Grand-Sablon

Transport: Bus 20, 34, 48, 95 or 96, tram 92, 93 or 94.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700, Sat 0930-1700, Sun 1300-1700.
Admission: Free.

BB18 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: The Brussels Gueuze Museum (Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze)

Details: Brussels' Gueuze Museum is located in the last artisan brewery of Gueuze Beer in Brussels. Gueuze is a dark, semi-sparkling beer, slightly acidic and often regarded as "the burgundy of beers." It is a speciality of Brussels. This museum includes a brewery tour which allows you to taste the beer.

BB19 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: THE FLOWER CARPET

Details: Every two years, during the third week of August, Belgian begonia cultivators decorate the Market Place with a beautiful flower carpet. Every two years there is a different decoration theme.

BB20 City: Brussels

Details: One of the most beautiful collections of Dinosaur skeletons can be seen in the Museum of Natural Sciences. The skeletons of the Iguanodons were found in the 19th century in the south-Belgian village of Bernissart.
Location: Location Waversesteenweg / Chaussée de Wavre 260

BB21 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: THE OMMEGANG

Details: Every year at the end of June and the beginning of July, an historical procession, called the Ommegang, takes place at the Market Place. This procession goes back to the 16th century and was originally created to welcome Charles V in Brussels.
Tickets and information: Brussels Tourist Office.


BB22 City: Brussels
Name of Attraction: TOONE THEATER

Details: Pub dating from 1696, with excellent choice of Belgian beers. On the first floor is the famous Toone Puppet Theater. Beautiful 'marionettes' perform classical opera's or Brussels folk stories in different languages (on demand).
Location: Location: Kleine Beenhouwersstraat / Petite rue des Bouchers , near Grand' Place.
Open: every day from 12 am to 12 pm.

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