Brussels, officially called the Brussels-Capital Region, is the capital of Belgium. The city is also considered as the largest urban area in the country. The Brussels-Capital Region consists of 19 municipalities including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium in law.
Brussels enjoys an oceanic climate thanks to its proximity to coastal and wetland areas. It is usually very damp with an average of 200 days of rainfall per year making the country colder than it is. Summer months enjoy an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius while in the winter months the temperature drops off even further.
Traveling internationally to Brussels can be done by plane although it is accessible by train or by bus from different European countries. The city’s main airport is Brussels Airport (BRU) where several airline carries operate flights including the local Brussels Airlines, owned by Lufthansa Airlines. Brussels Airport is still locally referred to as Brussels National or Zaventem.
To travel to Brussels’ city center from the airport, visitors can take the Belgian Rail while leaves every 15 minutes from the airport to three main stations in the city. Another option would be by bus. Several buses such as the STIB Buses and De Lijn Buses offers a couple of bus services that travel from the airport to several stops in the city. Taxis are also readily available at the airport although this may be more costly compared to the train or bus.
Another airport located in Brussels is the Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL) where several budget airlines, including Ryanair and Wizzair, operate flights. Antwerp Airport (ANR) is also an option as there is a good train connection from Antwerp to Brussels.
When planning your holiday in Brussels, here are just a few of the highly recommended tourist destinations and sites to visit:
Manneken Pis – Literally meaning, “Little Man Pee”, this is a small bronze sculpture found in Brussels depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. This small structure is now considered a landmark for the city. It is located in 100 Brussels at the intersection of Rue de l'Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat.
Atomium – Originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair or Expo 58, this building was designed to the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. It is 335 feet tall and has nine stainless steel-clad spheres that are 59 feet in diameter. These spheres are connected by tubes along the 12 edges of the cube and all 8 vertices to the center. There are five habitable spheres which house exhibit halls and various public spaces. The top sphere offers a nice panoramic view of the city. Atomium was named by CNN as Europe’s most bizarre building.
Mini-Europe – Located in Bruparck at the foot of the Atomium, Mini-Europe is a miniature park that has reproductions of various European Union monuments spanning 80 cities and 350 buildings. These miniatures are done at a scale of 1:25. Mini-Europe also has live-action models such as an erupting Mount Vesuvius as well as working cable cars and trains.
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