Sightseeing in Brussels

I arrived in Brussels in the morning of New Year’s Eve 2010 and decided to walk around a bit. I stayed in a hotel very close to the Brussels South Station from where the Thalys or the ICE (I don’t remember) would take me back to Cologne the next day in less than 2 hours. Brussels is a beautiful city, it has a lot of historic buildings but also very modern architecture and high rise office blocks. And it has that kind of big city atmosphere you would expect from the capital of Europe, unlike anything I have ever experienced in Germany; although Berlin was close. I highly recommend visiting it, especially if you live in or near Cologne because with the short train travel times, it is very easy to stay for a weekend or even just a single day. Now that I think about it, I haven’t been there for quite some time now…

Mont des Arts

A good starting point for sightseeing is the Mont des Arts, or Kunstberg in Dutch (and German). It is possible to walk there from the Station and then it is easy to walk around and explore the old town and see some of the beautiful parks and palaces in central Brussels. On the Mont des Arts itself, preparations for the public New Year’s Eve fireworks display were in progress. Unfortunately though, a thick fog descended on the city that night so all that the people got to see of the fireworks were faint glows of colors above the fog.

Manneken Pis

The Manneken Pis is another extremely popular tourist attraction in Brussels. It is easy to find because every other tourist eventually walks there. And if it weren’t for the tourists, it could be easily overlooked. Even though it is surrounded by blinking lights. The Manneken Pis is an actual size bronze statue of a baby that is urinating into a fountain. It has been around for a few hundred years, but that’s pretty much all there is to it.

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