Belgium’s fascinating capital, and the administrative capital of the EU, Brussels is historic yet hip, bureaucratic yet bizarre, self confident yet unshowy, and multicultural to its roots. All this plays out in a cityscape that swings from majestic to quirky to rundown and back again. Organic art nouveau facades face off against 1960s concrete developments, and regal 19th-century mansions contrast with the brutal glass of the EU’s Gotham City. This whole maelstrom swirls out from Brussels’ medieval core, where the Grand Place is surely one of the world’s most beautiful squares.
One constant is the enviable quality of everyday life, with a café/bar scene that never gets old. But Brussels doesn’t go out of its way to impress. The citizens’ humorous, deadpan outlook on life is often just as surreal as the canvases of one-time resident Magritte.
By Lonely Planet