Marvel at the steel ball oddity that is the Atomium
Ever since the World Fair came to town in ’58, the Brussels skyline has been defined by a bizarre 102-meter-tall creature hovering over its horizon. Quite the feat of balance and technical prowess, the Atomium was modeled after an elementary iron crystal. Its nine steel-clad balls are all held together by tubes that house the elevators and staircases that allow visitors to get around in this massive oddity. Five of the spheres are open to the public as they house the permanent exhibition on Expo ’58, other temporary exhibits, and a panorama restaurant with an unequaled view of Brussels by night.
Sample local brewskis at Moeder Lambic
The mother hen of all Brussels beer cafés, Moeder Lambic has over 400 beers on offer that range from the most obscure Belgian draughts to international bottled specialties. The Saint-Gilles establishment has been an institution among local and international beer lovers since 2006 thanks to its highly knowledgeable and helpful staff and has even opened a second venue on the Place Fontainas due to popular demanded. With 40 Belgian beers on tap in an authentic red brick décor, Moeder Lambic is the ideal place to discover what your favorite Belgian beer is by sampling the night away.
Bargain your way to antique treasures at the Place du Jeu de Balle Flea Market
To immerse yourself in the local atmosphere of the Marolles, head to the Place du Jeu de Balle at the heart of this authentic neighborhood. Turning the corner, you’ll face a glorious chaos where bric-a-brac is king, and haggling your way to a good deal is mandatory. A sea of old silverware, used clothing piles, skis, coffee grinders, old posters, jewelry, and just about everything else presents you with the challenge of finding the treasures buried within. The market is open every day of the week, and while the early bird might uncover a hidden gem during the quieter weekdays, weekends are bustling with locals as it’s the better time to hunt down antique treasures.
Munch on a delicious gaufre
Walking around the city center, you’re bound to catch a full-on whiff of Belgian – or Brussels – waffles. Their sweet fragrance makes it impossible to resist, and most visitors end up caving when they bump into one of the signature yellow waffle trucks. Crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside, this street treat often comes with a snowy layer of sugar or even strawberries and cream on top.