Brussels – a quirky, offbeat capital

Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium, but also the capital of Europe and a city of culture and gentle hedonism. Surrounding the city’s major set piece, the Grand'Place, a visitor to Brussels will find the finest restaurants, endearing bars, and some of the world’s finest works of art and astounding architecture. The vibe here is laissez-faire; so relax, go with the flow, and let Brussels slowly soak into your spirit.

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Famous Brussels park

Famous Brussels park Editors' Note

If it’s overblown and neo-classical in Brussels, it’s probably the work of Léopold II. 300 laborers worked day and night to complete the massive Arc de Triomphe that stands at the center of the single largest, most impressive and best-known of the Brussels city parks, Parc du Cinquantenaire.

The overdrive was an attempt to meet the deadline of Belgium’s 50th anniversary, celebrated in 1880. In the event, construction of Parc du Cinquantenaire was not completed in time and the Arc had to be substituted by a wooden stand-in for official ceremonies. It wasn’t completed until 1910, a year after Léopold’s death. Hugely impressive in scale, it is a monument that singularly fails to stir the emotions – a reflection perhaps of Léopold’s own failed ambitions of glory.

Parc du Cinquantenaire
Parc du Cinquantenaire 11, 1000 Brussels
+32 2 741 72 11