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Brussels

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Brussels, a city that continues to surprise and move you. This city-region-capital of 500 million Europeans is waiting to share its treasures with you. It’s a fair bet that its stormy history is the reason for its open-mindedness, warmth and friendliness. You’ll feel right at home in Brussels! As well as its historic monuments, Brussels has so much to share with you: its comic strip speech bubbles, its Art Nouveau façades, the talent of its stylists and designers, its delicacies and its surrealism, which can be found on every street corner.
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Do and see
In order to get to know Brussels, there are places you just have to go and see ASAP!
On and around the Grand-Place
On and around the Grand-Place The Grand-Place is a Unesco World Heritage site. Its construction began in the 15th century; first, some covered market halls and a few guild houses, then a Town Hall to establish the authority of this centre of trade. It was bombarded by the French army in 1695 and almost completely destroyed. But, like a phoenix, it was to rise from the ashes in 3 years. This is why four styles stand side by side there: it’s a hotchpotch of Gothic, opulent Baroque, Neoclassical and Neogothic.
Mont des Arts and its many museums
Mont des Arts was dreamed up by King Leopold II, who wanted to surround his palace with beautiful things and fine minds. Imagine the wealth of treasures to be found here : within a radius of 300 m there’s the Musée Magritte Museum, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts, the Coudenberg archaeological site, the Espace cultural ING (ING Cultural Centre), the BELvue Museum, CINEMATEK, not to mention the Musical Instruments Museum. An abundance of culture that you really can’t afford to miss!
Comic strip
Comic strip in Brussels is a sector that’s constantly evolving, it’s living from day to day! Every year, new comic strip frescoes are added to the trail. Specialist galleries and shops are opened, attractions are created, and exhibitions dedicated to various authors or characters are always running all over the region. Two must-see museums of the 9th art are the Belgian Comic Strip Center (Centre belge de la Bande Dessinée) and the MOOF. Belgian Comic Strip Center Rue des Sables 20, Brussels 1000 Tel. : +32 2 219 19 80 www.cbbd.be MOOF- Museum of Original figurines Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes 116, Brussels 1000 Tel.: +32 2 265 33 25 www.moof-museum.be
The European district
Brussels is the capital city of 500 million Europeans. It’s a city bubbling with life, where there’s always a cosmopolitan ambience on offer, thanks to the mixed nature of its culture, with cultural influences from past and present as well as from here and elsewhere. In the European institutions district, there are a lot of businessmen and businesswomen to the square metre but Place du Luxembourg is a real world stage and the favourite “terrace” of an international crowd who get along well together in every language. Several places worth seeing: the Parlamentarium, Parc Léopold, the Wiertz Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the museums of Parc du Cinquantenaire. And all this just a few yards away from the European Parliament.
Atomium
A seminal symbol of Brussels and unique achievement in the history of architecture: today the Atomium is the most popular attraction in the capital of Europe. It was built for the 1958 World Fair. The Atomium is the representation of an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times. Visitors can walk through its tubes and spheres and the Atomium also presents a permanent exhibition dedicated to its history as well as temporary exhibitions for the general public.
Palais Royal (Royal Palace)
Begun in 1820 under the reign of King Guillaume (William), it was altered in 1904 under Leopold II, who had it rebuilt in the Louis XVI style. The side wings date from the 18th century and are flanked at their far ends by two pavilions. The Royal Palace opens to the public every year from mid-July to mid-September.
Manneken-Pis
This bronze statuette, produced in the 17th century by J. Duquesnoy the elder, embodies the rebellious spirit of Brussels. From the status of a public fountain, today it’s presented as a legendary figure. With numerous costumes and decorations, its wardrobe includes some 800 pieces.
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau was more than an artistic movement, it was a new way of living and thinking. In Brussels, the years from 1893 saw houses spring up that were unlike any others before, and every element of everyday life was adorned with organic or geometric lines: façades, wrought ironwork, mosaics, furniture, tableware, carpets, etc. The best way of discovering Art Nouveau is to visit the Horta Museum or walk around Square Ambiorix. But other residences will also welcome you in, such as the Maison Autrique and Hôtel Hannon (grand townhouse). The Horta Museum Rue Américaine 25, Brussels 1060 Tel.: +32 2 543 04 90 www.hortamuseum.be Maison Autrique Chaussée de Haecht 266, Brussels 1030 Tel. : +32 2 215 66 00 www.autrique.be
Information
Railway stations
Five main railway stations serve the Brussels-Capital Region, all linked to each other. For all information on travel and transport: www.sncb.be    > Gare Centrale  Carrefour de l'Europe 2 - 1000    > Gare du Midi  rue de France 2 - 1070  To London: Eurostar / To Paris: Thalys / To France : TGV / To Amsterdam : Thalys   > Gare du Luxembourg place du Luxembourg - 1040  To Luxembourg   > Gare Schuman  rond-point Schuman - 1040  Serves the European institutions.   > Gare du Nord  rue du Progrès 85 - 1210 
Airports
> Brussels Airport Situated in Zaventem, 14 km from the centre. Information: www.brusselsairport.be     The STIB Airport Line takes you to the centre of Brussels from the airport. Buses 12 and 21 also connect the city centre with Brussels national airport. First departure: 5 a.m.; last departure: 11 p.m. (every 30 minutes) A special train links the city with the airport. The journey takes around 30 minutes.  Info: +32 2 753 24 40 or +32 2 528 28 28    > Brussels South Charleroi Airport  Situated 46km from Brussels’ Grand-Place. Information: www.charleroi-airport.com    Every hour, a shuttle bus links Brussels South Charleroi Airport to Gare du Midi railway station in Brussels (the shuttle leaves from the junction of Rue de France and Rue de l'Instruction, follow the "Thalys" exit at Gare du Midi). Tickets are sold either at www.voyages-lelan.be or in the terminal of Brussels South Charleroi Airport or on the bus leaving from Brussels.   You can reach Brussels South Charleroi Airport easily from any Belgian railway station. Ask for the ticket "code 814 one way or code 815 return" at the ticket desk of your station. On arriving at Gare de Charleroi Sud (Charleroi South station), simply catch the direct bus (bus A), which takes you to the airport terminal in a few minutes.   Similarly, when you arrive at the airport, you can buy a “bulk ticket” at the information desk. This covers your transfer by bus to Charleroi Sud railway station and the train journey to any Belgian destination. The bulk ticket can be bought only at the airport.  
Urban transport
Brussels has a local transport network consisting of the metro, trams and buses. Information: www.stib.be
Taxis
The two main companies are: Taxis Bleus  Tel. : +32 2 268 00 00 www.taxisbleus.be Taxis Verts  Tel. : +32 2 349 49 49 www.taxisverts.be
Telephone
Country code: + 32 Area code: 0