What to do in Brussels
Music and film feature most prominently in the Brussels calendar of annual festivals , although flower lovers and those who appreciate dance and fine art, will not be disappointed. The more traditional festivals - the medieval-style Ommegang and the Planting of the Meiboom - centre on the Grand-Place, while most of the modern ones like the jazz or film festivals take place in various venues around the city and bring the whole of the capital to life. For information on the dozens of mini-festivals held in Brussels during the year, check The Bulletin or ask at the tourist office. Alternatively, it's well worth catching a train to one of the many festivals held in the towns outside the capital. In particular, the Procession of the Holy Blood, held in Bruges, is famous throughout Belgium for its medieval pageant.
Brussels is a funny mixture of old and new.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Go see the Grand Place. At night. Awesome. Some evenings a music and light show is provided with the buildings serving as a canvas.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ At the Grand Place, have a "Gauffre Liegoise" (Belgian waffle with caramelized sugar) -- the best ones are available from the little shops off the northeast corner of the Grand Place.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Manneken Pis: just a short walk from the Grand Place is the Mannekin Pis, a small bronze statue thought to represent the "irreverent spirit" of Brussels. http://www.manneken-pis.com/
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The AtomiumÃ‚Â (http://www.atomium.be/) and Europe in miniatureÃ‚Â (http://www.minieurope.com/) are worth a trip. Take Metro line 1A direction Heysel. The Atomium is closed until January of 2006 for renovation work.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Brave the tourist-trap restaurant gauntlet of the rue des Bouchers.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ See the history of film-making at MusÃƒÂ©e du CinÃƒÂ©ma, it's free to look around, and classic and cult films are shown at low prices. Rue Baron Horta-str., walk from Gare Centrale.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Definitely check out the Arc de Triomphe on the east side of town. It's in the Cinquantenaire Park. Take Metro line 1 east, exit Schumann and walk east or exit Merode and walk west.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ MusÃƒÂ©e BDÃ‚Â (http://www.jije.org/) is located in Europes earliest Shopping-Mall (a shine Jugendstil palais). There is a permanent exposition featuring the early beginning of comics as well as it's development. There is enough room for other varying expositions. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Prices: 6.00Ã¢â€šÂ¬ adults, 4.00Ã¢â€šÂ¬ students/seniors. The librarie Bd at the ground floor sells many different comics.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Snapping up a Bargain at the Flea Market. Each day, from 7am to 2pm, the MarchÃƒÂ©-aux-Puces in place du Jeu de Balle offers everything from the weird to the wonderful at rock-bottom prices.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Taking a Ferry Trip. The ferry in question is a tiny, electrically operated pontoon that makes a 1-minute crossing to Robinson's Island in the lake at the heart of Bois de la Cambre.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Shopping at Galeries Royales St-Hubert. The world's first shopping mall, opened in 1847, is a light and airy triple-gallery enclosing boutiques, bookshops, cafÃƒÂ©s, restaurants, and a theater and cinema.