By Steven Cronin,
The Owner of the City Breaks website,
At the hub of European politics ??“
Brussels is the cosmopolitan capital of bureaucracy.
But when freed from the shackles of red tape, this
compact capital of Belgium is a fascinating fusion
of profound historical curiosity and contemporary
1. The Grand-Place
Brussels??™ central square is the focal point of activity
for locals and tourists alike. The heaving markets
are bursting with souvenir-seeking bargain hunters.
Look out for the town hall (Hotel de Ville), a magnificent
example of 15th century architecture.
2. Manneken Pis
This sacred 17th century bronze statue of the small
boy urinating is a Brussels landmark. Several legends
exist as to the origins of this statue. One says it
depicts a young boy urinating on a burning charge
destined to blow up the city walls when under siege
from a foreign army, thus saving the city from invasion.
Whatever the truth, he is undeniable cute and has
over 500 outfits, one for every occasion.
3. St Nicholas Church
Constructed in the 11th century, this fine example
of medieval architecture is the oldest church in Brussels.
If you are lucky, you may even catch one of the occasional
services given in English.
4. Royales Galeries Sint-Hubert
Europe??™s oldest glass arcade was designed by JP Cluysenaer
and built in 1847. Home to fashionable boutiques and
cool cafes, it was renovated and reopened in 2000.
The arcade is worth visiting if only to experience
the magnificent architecture.
5. Belgian Chocolate
No visit to Brussels is complete without experiencing
the world famous Belgian chocolate. It has a quality
all of its own and is the obvious choice for gifts
to take back home.
6. Avenue Louise
If you crave a shopping fix then the Avenue Louise
is the place to be. Designer shops aplenty provide
ample opportunity to flex your spending power. Popular
purchases include diamonds and antiques.
This local Belgian speciality is a kind of fish stew
and very popular with the locals. Other appetising
native dishes include mussels, waffles, and sweetbreads.
8. Pistes de Lancement
If you are travelling with children, be sure to catch
this clown festival during March. The Saint-Gilles
region is awash with circus acts entertaining children
and adults alike.
9. Flower Carpet
Throughout August, the Grand??™ Place is subjected to
a sea of colour as thousands of flowers are laid out
in stunning patterns.
10. Christmas Market
The festive period is a flurry of activity as traditional
Christmas stalls suddenly emerge. The effervescent
displays keep you entertained between purchases as
jugglers and musicians perform amongst the festive
About the Author: Steven Cronin owns
the City Breaks website featuring city break special
offers from luxury hotels to budget accommodations.
For more information please visit http://www.sargas.co.uk