Urbanity and formality are two of the hallmarks that identify the Belgian and Brussels. However, beyond these topics, the city also has space for its own singularities. The Atomium is the most characteristic cultural eccentricity in Brussels. Built for Expo 1958, the Atomium is a steel structure that represents the optimism with which its creator André Waterkeyn associated peaceful purposes with scientific discovery.
The magnific Atomium structure is as surprising as its curious dimensions. It consists of 9 steel balls simulating atoms increased 150 trillion times, at an altitude of 102 meters and weighing 2,400 tons. The Atomium is located in the neighborhood of Heizel, next to the Mini-Europe Park and offers a spectacular panoramic view of Brussels.
Bruges, the Venice of the North
Any time of the year
Belgium has its own Venice in Bruges, a city surrounded by canals that allow the visitor to sightsee the idyllic picture formed by the rich Gothic architecture of its buildings and squares with other attractions like the famous Cathedral of San Salvador, Grote Market, the Belfort tower, the Flemish houses and City Hall. Gothic architecture, culture and history, the melancholy in the air and the typical local cuisine; Bruges represent a singularity in Belgium worthy of a visit, by day or on a weekend getaway.
Carnival of Binche
7 Sundays before the Carnival and in the Carnival's own day
The more burlesque carnival of Belgium takes place in a village close to France called Binche, that celebrates in a special way an ancestral event considered by UNESCO as World Heritage.
During the 7 Sundays preceding the event, Binche celebrates with activities, dances and ceremonies. However, it is on the Tuesday of the carnival when all the color and excitement of the festivity is revealed in its entire splendor and sumptuous with the appearance of figures such as Mam'selle, harlequins, farmers and the unique Pierrots and Gilles.
Beer tasting in Brussels
In Belgium, there is appreciation, understanding and respect for the beer culture. There, the visitor will find in many bars and restaurants an extraordinary variety of beer, with quality as a standard.
Besides enjoying the beer in bars, cafes and restaurants, you can participate in factory visits, with explanations of the beer preparation process and, of course, tasting on the spot. At the Belle Vue Brouwerij (Anderlecht district) the Lambic Gueuze beer, traditional Brussels beer, used to be prepared. Tours take about an hour.
If the visitor does not have time to attend a beer tasting, some Belgian beers to remember are: Petrus Oud Bruin, Cantillon, Hoegaarden, Karmeliet, Maredsous, Palm or most popular Leffe and Grimbergen.
4 days in late May until early June
Rock Music has a must appointment every summer in Werchter, a small town near Brussels that celebrates a festival popular throughout Europe. The Werchter Festival has been elected several times as "the best festival in the world" by the quality of attendees and their organization.
Metallica, Muse, Björk, Arctic Monkeys and Pearl Jam are among the artists who come every summer to the Werchter Festival, the coolest event in Belgium.
Sablon Antiques Market
Brussels knows how to spread its charm around everyday events in the city life. One can enjoy the antique market in the picturesque district of Sablon, art galleries, squares and cobbled streets.
The Sablon antiques market is held Saturday and Sunday mornings at the foot of the church of Notre Dame. Other markets of interest are: Place du Jeu de Balle, Las Pulgas, Stockel, Gare du Midi, Chateleine, Ixelles, Saint-Alix, each with its own character and selling of various products, which give Brussels its vital pulse.
Christmas in Belgium - Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Ostend and Ypres
From late December until early January
Most Belgian cities celebrate Advent in a particular and cheerful atmosphere. The holidays have a playfulness that is extended throughout the country. In Belgium it is typically popular for Christmas the Winter Wonders Festival of Brussels, with an enormous Christmas market with a skating rink included, and the Festival of Ice and Snow Sculptures in Bruges, where many artists use ice to create beautiful sculptures.