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The History Of Mini-Europe In 1 Minute

Picture of Nana Van De Poel
Updated: 12 May 2017
A haven for those who long to take in the Old Continent’s marvellous sights but find themselves without a penny in their pocket, Mini-Europe hasn’t stolen its name. Appropriately located at the foot of Belgium’s own hallmark monument, the theme park has shrunken down Europe’s architectural masterpieces to a fraction of their size. It’s all of Europe in one convenient location.

A visit to the Atomium might well be followed up by a sightseeing tour of the rest of Europe. Since 1989, a small village of famous towers, castles, walls and windmills lie stretched out underneath the massive steel balls. King Philip – a young prince at the time – had the honor of officially approving and opening the tiniest of metropolises. Like its mascot – a friendly cartoon turtle in a sleeveless shirt with the European flag on it – would say, it’s ‘the best of the best.’

A miniature Grand Place with tiny Brusseleirs | © Sergej/Flickr; A Mini-Europe harbor | © Mini-Europe, Courtesy of; The whole theme park at the foot of the real Atomium | © Mini-Europe, Courtesy of

A miniature Grand Place with tiny Brusseleirs | © Sergej/Flickr | A Mini-Europe harbor | © Mini-Europe, Courtesy of | The whole theme park at the foot of the real Atomium | © Mini-Europe, Courtesy of

The outdoor collection has proven to be an immensely fun family outing time and again, and a great way to show your little ones how incredibly rich and diverse European cultures are. Walking down the small winding paths, kids come across extremely detailed replicas of everything from the romantic Venetian gondolas to the crooked tower of Pisa and the windmills of the Netherlands. All miniatures are built to an exact 1/25 scale, including the tiny spectators attending the bullfights of Seville and the figurines enjoying a drink on the terraces of Brussels’ Grand Place.

Interactivity is woven throughout the park. You can follow the Thalys train set that glides through the French area to come face to face with the first level of the Eiffel Tower. Or play God by making the Vesuvius erupt with lava on your own time, and unite Germany by pushing over the Berlin Wall. The ambiance is taken care of by the resounding bells of the Big Ben and the seagulls squeaking at the famous harbors.

Of course, as the European Union continues to grow, so does Mini-Europe. In over 25 years, the collection has expanded to over 350 models that represent more than 80 cities. Every time you come back, chances are a new monument will catch your eye. Sure, it’s no backpacking trip through the continent, but it might just inspire you to take one. More than anything, Mini-Europe is an invitation to learn more about the world surrounding you.

📅 2016: Every day from 9:30am to 6pm and to 8pm during the summer months of July and August. From 10am to 6pm starting the 1st of October.