The City of Brussels (map) is the largest municipality and historical centre of the Brussels-Capital Region, and the capital of Belgium, together with Flanders and Wallonia. It is the administrative centre of the European Union, thus often dubbed, along with the region, the EU’s capital city.
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The historic Flemish town centres are better preserved in cities like Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Leuven, and Mechelen. Here are some popular destinations within the City of Brussels:
The Grand Place (map) is the central square of Brussels and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is renowned for its stunning architecture, including the City Hall and guild houses with their intricate facades. The square is a hub of activity, surrounded by shops, cafes, and restaurants.
One of Brussels’ most iconic landmarks, the Atomium (map) is a futuristic structure built for the 1958 World Expo. Its unique design represents an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Visitors can explore the various spheres, including exhibition spaces and a panoramic viewpoint offering breathtaking city views.
When strolling along architectural sights and museum display cases feels overwhelming, the Sonian Forest (map) to the south of the city will offer a welcomed change of scenery. This vast section of nature, with lakes and century old beech trees, is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site and a true heaven for fans of outdoor activities.