Tintin poster, celebrating his 'birthplace,' Brussels, Belgium.
Gretchen Kelly

Experience Brussels

Check out the Cartoon Characters on Brussels' Walls
Hergé's cartoon creation Tintin is probably Brussels' most famous son, but he is not the only cartoon you'll find in the Belgian capital. Reveling in "the ninth art," the city is home to many vibrant murals of favored comic characters.
The Grand Place with Hôtel de Ville lit at night,Brussels, Belgium.
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Stroll Brussels' Grand Place at Night
The city's central square, the Grand Place (Grote Markt) is bordered on one side by Brussels' town hall (Hôtel de Ville), marked by a 315-foot (96-metre) tower, and brightly lit at night. The other sides of the square are fronted by various buildings with gabled roofs and intricate, decorative facades.
Carpet of Flowers, 2006, Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium.
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See Brussels' Grand Place by Day
By day the Grand Place is usually an open space -- great for viewing the medieval and Baroque splendor of the guildhalls, breadhouse, and town hall that border it -- but each August the square is given over to the Carpet of Flowers, a floral display writ large that fills the whole square.
The Atomium overshadowing Mini Europe, Brussels, Belgium
Naomi Kraus
Step from Brussels' Largest to Smallest Attractions
Brussels big and small. Built as the centerpiece of 1958's Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles, this giant representation of the atomic structure of an iron crystal is known as the Atomium. It towers over Mini Europe, a theme park that features miniatures of Europe's major sights, from the Doge's Palace in Venice to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
Restaurant Row (Rue des Bouchers), Brussels, Belgium
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Taste the Best Brussels has to Offer on Restaurant Row
Two blocks from the Grand Place, Brussels' Restaurant Row -- appropriately named Rue des Bouchers (Butchers Street) -- is the gateway to gourmet Brussels and is lined with an extraordinary array of ethnic eateries. Belgians have always taken good food seriously, and the capital caters to discriminating palates of every budget.
Jardin Botanique, Brussels, Belgium.
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Walk Around Brussels' Jardin Botanique
When Brussels' Jardin Botanique (botanical garden) was first laid out it was surrounded by fields, but it's now an urban park. A small stretch of formal gardens leads up to Le Botanique, the original glasshouse built by the Brussels Horticultural Society in 1826. Today the graceful building functions as a French-based cultural center.
Belgian chocolate shop, Brussels, Belgium.
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Indulge your Chocoholic Tendencies
Belgians know a thing or two about chocolate. The country produces 172,000 tons of chocolate every year, much of it sold in its 2,000 chocolate shops (including such famous names as Wittamer, Neuhaus, and Léonidas). As a point of etiquette: it's traditional to take a box of pralines if you're invited to a friend's house. No more excuses; get buying.
Belgian waffle, Brussels, Belgium.
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Savor Something Sweet at the End of the Day
After a day's sightseeing, what could be better than sinking your teeth into a Belgian Waffle? Readily available from street vendors, waffles are traditionally served with just a coating of sugar, but who can resist a dollop of cream and chocolate on top?