Brussels Belgium is the location of the European Parliament and thousands of staff who work for the EU live there and many others commute from all over Europe.
A wide variety of nationalities and cultures makes Brussels a very diverse and interesting city with a very lively night life and many different ethnic restaurants.
The city also has some fine art museums, churches and stunning buildings.
Shopping is a big feature of this city which has all the leading high street brands as well as some smaller local shops including many outlets for the famous Belgian chocolate.
Size Population and Language of Brussels
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and its largest city. The city itself has a population of about 1.2 million but the metropolitan area has about 2.1 million.
French is now the main language of most of the population but Dutch and Flemish is also spoken. Because of the presence of the European Parliament and the influx of staff from many other European countries many languages can be heard in Brussels and many shops and businesses can conduct business in English quite well.
Landmarks of Brussels Belgium
Brussels is a city of fine old architecture, monuments and many open green spaces and parks.
- The Grand Place (Grote Markt) in Brussels is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The Brussels Town Hall, a fantastic Gothic Building with spectacular tower and sculptures.
- The European Parliament Building – Tours of the parliament can be arranged.
- The Royal Palace was modified in 1904 under Leopold II in Louis XVI style.
- Manneken-Pis, dating from the 17th century has become one of the most famous landmarks in Brussels despite its undwerwhelming size.
- The Atomium, constructed for EXPO 58, represents an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times and is the most visible landmark.
- The Bois de la Cambre a small park of 1.25 square kilometres with a small lake and an island in the centre.
Things to do in Brussels
Brussels is a lively city which combines the historical old city and the modern administrative centre of Europe..
- Take a walking tour. There are many guided tours available to lead visitors through te historical heart of Brussels.
- Visit The Grand Place (Grote Markt) – buildings, shops, market, sometimes performances.
- Visit Notre Dame Du Sablon, a spectacular 14th Century Gothic cathedral.
- Visit Le Botanique, the botanical gardens of the city but now as much a cultural centre as a garden.
- Visit the Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts with works including by Rubens, Van Dyck and Memling.
- The Broodhuis (Bread House) in Grand Place has a museum focusing on the history of Brussels.
- Browse the delicacies in some of the many chocolate shops.
- Take a guided tour of the European Parliament
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Food of Brussels
Brussels is noted for its chocolate and all around the city you can find shops with a huge variety of chocolates.
Typical Brussels cuisine includes fries, mussels and waffles.
Because Brussels is a cosmopolitan city there are numerous restaurants of various cuisines. Like most large cities there are lots of tourist fast food joints and restaurants.
Transport in Brussels
Brussels National Airport and the Brussels-South Charleroi Airport serve the city and there is an extensive road and rail system serving other Belgian cities and the rest of Europe.
The city has a good public bus, tram and metro system operated by STIB. Check timetables and tickets here.
The city has many private bus operators also as well as a Taxi service and Uber.