The capital of Belgium and the European Union, Brussels, is a perfect blend of the old and the new. Often referred to as "the city of chocolate", it offers travelers numerous chocolatiers and places to taste this delicious Belgian-style treat, which is noted for its high quality around the globe. Local waffles and beer are also worth a taste when in Brussels.
Despite the relatively tiny size of the city, which is actually small than Brooklyn, there's much to see and do. The historic part of Brussels, dominated by the Grand Place market square is an absolute must-see for first-timers. The square houses many outstanding well-preserved buildings, most of which date back to the 17th century.
The petite bronze statue Manneken Pis created in 1618 is also worth a stop. For a pleasant leisurely stroll, head down to the vast Jubelpark, also called Cinquantenaire, where you can see the large U-shaped complex built in 1880. For a taste of the futuristic side of Brussels, a visit to the Atomium is a must, this landmark that is a museum today was built for the World Fair, that was held in Brussels in 1958.
Among the top places not to miss during a tour to Brussels are:
- Grand Place central square
- Maison du Roi Museum
- Royal Palace
- the Gothic Brussels Town Hall built in 1420
- the famous Manneken Pis statue
- the Atomium World Fair landmark
- Parc du Cinquantenaire with the imposing arch
- Mini-Europe miniature park