The next course is only a proposal, because there are plenty of possibilities. In the morning you can first follow visit of half a day in Brussels and see the following sights:
- The Royal St. Hubert galleries
- The Grande Place/Grote Markt – Definitely visit, really worth it!
- Manneken Pis – The mascot of Brussels, a must!
and then continue via the former stock exchange until :
- De Brouckèreplein/Place Broukère – This square in the centre of Brussels, named after Charles de Brouckère (junior), is located on one of the main axes of the Brussels city centre. The square is dominated by buildings from the “fin de siècle”, but since the seventies modern buildings have also risen. The presence of theatres, a large cinema, hotels and restaurants makes it one of the most important venues and entertainment centres in the city. The Métropole Hotel (1895) is the only 19th century hotel in Brussels still in use. Jacques Brel sang about this turbulent square in Brussels, one of his most famous chansons. Recently, the Place de Brouckère/Brouckèreplein and the Avenue Anspachlaan have become car-free. The city of Brussels is currently rebuilding these two lanes !
As you continue, just beyond you will find the beautiful Métropole hotel – http://www.metropolehotel.com/en
- The Noorddoorgang better known in French as the “Passage du Nord“). This covered shopping arcade is located between the Place de Brouckère/Avenue Adolphe Max and the rue Neuve/Nieuwstraat and was erected in 1881 in an eclectic style. The beautiful glass dome and baroque statues are worth a visit. Today there are approximately 20 stores on the ground floor. There used to be a museum in this gallery. Today, the museum rooms serve as seminar rooms and rooms at the Métropole Hotel, but also as a fitness rooms. The only thing that remains of the museum are the two inscriptions: ‘Musée du Nord’ on the facade on the Avenue Adolphe Maxlaan. Nice to know: a ticket to the museum at that time cost 1 franc.
- The rue Neuve/Nieuwstraat – the Finistèrechurche – the Places des Martyrs/het Martelarenplein
The rue neuve/ Nieuwstraat is the most popular shopping street in Belgium with in the middle Our Lady of Finistère Church (Notre-Dame du Finistère church/Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Finisterraekerk ) – formerly stood here a small medieval chapel and now a classical baroque church. Since 1814, the church has had a statue from Aberdeen, Scotland, which would bring happiness to exams and games of chance.
Because a lot of people still jump into this church for a while, the Finistère Church is called the ‘confessional of Brussels’.
Place des Martyrs/Martelaarsplein – This square is home to a number of elegant neo-classicalist buildings where various Flemish ministers have their cabinets. The square is a national cemetery for the victims of the revolution.
- La Monnaie / De munt – The federal Opera House in the capital of Europe – https://www.lamonnaie.be/en
This jewel of European architecture used to be a coinage. The theatre was built between 1817 and 1819. Now it is a concert hall for opera, ballet and classical music. In 1830 the opera “De Stomme van Portici” by Auber was performed, which would play a role in the Belgian struggle for independence. The emotions became so heated that riots broke out against the North Netherlands army. This would lead to the Belgian Revolution.
- On the rue du Marché aux Herbes/Grasmarkt you will find the tourist services of both Flanders and Wallonia.
- The Théâtre Royale de Toone, rue du Marché aux Herbes/Grasmarkt 66, is worth a visit. This typical Brussels puppet theatre originated in the Spanish period. Today Theater Toone is at the same time a typical café, a ready-to-wear workshop for dolls (poodles, or polichinelles in “Brussels Vloms”), a library and video library and a puppet museum. – http://www.toone.be/spip.php?page=sommaire&lang=en
In the afternoon I recommend the following sights:
- The Mont des Arts/Kunstberg
- The Royal Square and one of the Brussels museums
- The Royal Palace – BELvue Museum – Parc of Brussels – The Bellevue museum – During the summer months, the Palace is open to the public.
- Museums – If you stay in Brussels for only one day, it is worth visiting one museum.
Click here for a visit of several days.