Today we’ve already seen a number of distinctive Brussels heritage sites, but now it’s time for a quick tour of the classics. It takes about 20 minutes to walk back to the city centre. The iconic Grote Markt/Grand Place is simply breath-taking. This square is steeped in history and lined with stunning buildings, including the centuries-old guild houses, with their golden and decorative sculptures. Don’t forget to look at the lace-like façade of the Museum of the City of Brussels. Then there’s city hall, with its monumental tower, a masterpiece of the flamboyant Gothic style. After a quick look around, it’s easy to see why UNESCO has listed the entire square as a world heritage site.
A short walk will then take you to the iconic Stock Exchange Building. This impressive building is home to the Belgian Beer World experience centre, an ode to our liquid heritage. It will guide you chronologically through the rich, Belgian beer history. Touch screens will provide you with fascinating facts and stories about our brewing culture. At the end of your visit, you will be invited to the roof terrace, where you can enjoy a delicious drink and a magnificent view over the city.
While you’re at it and since you’re here, you must visit Brussels’ most famous resident: Manneken Pis. This statuette – of a little boy peeing – is one of Brussels’ best-known ambassadors. Manneken Pis is dressed in a new costume several times each week, to mark important (feast) days. However famous this little landmark is, nobody knows the real reason behind its origin. Is he peeing to put out a fire? Did he have the leader of some enemy forces in his sights? Or is the truth to be found in one of the many other legends? Who knows! His female counterpart - Jeanneke Pis – is equally special. Her statue is just a short walk away.
Folklore and grandeur, in Brussels they go together like bread and butter... A short stand walk leads you to the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert. It was here, in this magnificent covered shopping gallery, that Jean Neuhaus invented the praline, that quintessential Belgian treat, in 1912. You can still find his chocolaterie - which is managed by his descendants - in the gallery. Many of his other famous colleagues, such as Pierre Marcolini and Leonidas, also have shops here. Start by enjoying the view in the magnificent galleries, and then take some time to sample all the delicious chocolates on offer. Don’t forget to take a box home. Your family and friends will love you even more.
As you walk to your accommodation, box of chocolates in hand, your 48-hour trip to Brussels gradually draws to a close. Hungry for more? Brussels has so much more to offer. We'll tell you more about this next time. See you soon.