Officially named Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region, Brussels is easily mistaken as the capital of Belgium by many. Included in its 19 municipalities is the City of Brussels, which is the lawful capital of Belgium. Brussels is one of the largest cities in the country. It is home to 1.1 million French and Dutch-speaking people and might very well be considered the capital of the European Union for its long history of hosting the Union’s institutions.
Brussels is known for its art museums and galleries. Finding the time to visit here will surely be a memorable experience. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium is one of the must-visits. It features remarkable works of Belgian and Dutch artists from the 14th to 21st centuries such as those of Van Gogh, Dalí and Ernst and even that of local artists like Magritte, Delvaux and others like De Braekeleer and Permeke. The museum was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801.
Other museums to visit here are the Musical Instruments Museum, the Musée Royal de l'Armée, Musée du Cinéma-Filmmuseum, Natural Sciences Museum of Belgium and the Belgian Comic Strip Center. Being an Art Nouveau, The Belgian Comic Strip Center (originally Waucquez Warehouse) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belgium. It features exhibits, a library and bookshops all dedicated to promotions and development of comic strips. This will be an enjoyable visit for the young and the young-at-hearts alike. In other words, it is suitable for people of all ages.
A visit to Brussels will never be complete without stopping at the Grand Place or Grote Markt. It is one of the most important landmarks in Belgium since it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was also named the most beautiful square in Europe three years ago by a Dutch website. The Grand Place features one of the world’s most beautiful and oldest architecture. Some buildings are over 300 years old. Make sure to visit here when travelling to Brussels. Watch people while having a drink or a waffle, visit various shops and cafés, or simply sit there and admire the flower carpet of colorful begonias. It is a tradition of setting up and displaying flower patterns with a total area of 1,800 square meters. This happens every two years in August.
Of course, no Belgium travel will ever be complete without sampling what the city has to offer best. Find the best Belgian chocolates at Marcolini, taste the vast variety of their local beer served at Beer Mania and shop for the famous Belgian Lace, which is one of the best in the world, at the Grand’ Place-Grote Markt. A visit to the world’s very first shopping mall, Galeries Saint Hubert-Sint Hubertusgalerjen, opened in 1894, will also prove to be a very worthwhile activity in Brussels.