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  • Free attractions in Brussels, Belgium

    The very center of Brussels, Grand Place

    The very center of Brussels, Grand Place

    Arguably, Brussels is one of the most important cities in Europe. Not only is it the capital of Belgium, but also kind of the capital of the European Union, since so many of its institutions are located there. Brussels is also somewhat of a Western European cocktail that brings together Germanic and French influences.

    Although the history of Brussels is very rich, there is not as much evidence of its as in other Belgian cities, as the historic center is quite small. Still, there are more than enough attractions that can keep you busy. So grab your umbrella and check out these free attractions in Brussels, Belgium.

    Grand Place

    photo by Ana Freitas

    Grand Place-Grote Markt should be one of the first stops for tourists, because it is one of the most lovely spots in the city. The square is surrounded by old buildings, especially former guildhalls.

    The square dates back to the 11th century, and has served as the heart of Brussels ever since the city was established. It’s not difficult to while away a couple of hours in the square, watching people and buildings, or maybe indulging in a plate of Liège waffles.

    Manneken Pis

    photo by Niels Mickers

    This funny little statue has become somewhat of a symbol of the city, and it’s supposed to represent its nonconformist and irreverent nature. There are several legends surrounding the  statue of the little boy, or example the one according to which the statue represents the son of a merchant who thought the child went missing, and when he found it, he donated a statue to the city in gratitude.

    Parc du Cinquantenaire

    photo by magnusfranklin

    This impressive public park was built by King Leopold II to commemorate Belgian independence, and today it is one of the best places to take a breather in Brussels.

    The main attraction of the park is the huge u-shaped triumphal arch. There are several museums located within the park, and you can visit the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History for free.

    Royal Palace

    The Royal Palace of Brussels is actually still the residence of the royal family, although they don’t officially live there anymore. The palace is impressive both through its size and its architecture, and its interior is just as awe-inducing as its exterior. It has several galleries and some very interesting state-rooms.

    European Parliament

    photo by Xavier Larrosa

    The European Parliament is one of those mighty important places where the fate of Europe is decided (or part of it, anyway), and surprisingly, you can visit it for free. You can get a guided tour through the Parliament building in all of the official EU languages.

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