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Belgium is a small country that is part of the Benelux trio of countries that make up the middle of Western Europe. Belgium is in western Europe neighboring France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands. Belgium is officially one of the founding members of the European Union which consist of 27 European countries. Belgium also borders the North Sea which plays a big role in Belgium's tourism with its world-famous Aquarium, sandy coastline, fine cuisine, beautiful resort towns, and other attractions. Top Belgium attractions include Tongeren which is the oldest town in Belgium rich in Roman history and culture. Bruges is another beautiful town known as the "Venice of the North" with its sparkling canals, ornate bridges and cobblestone streets. Antwerp an hour drive from Brussels with a unique personality, famous for its diamond trade, was one of the richest and inventive cities in the 1600 & 1700’s. Antwerp has one of Europe’s ornate Gothic Cathedrals, Cathedral of Our Lady.
Brussels is the capital and largest city in Belgium. The diversity sets this European city aside from the rest. The beautiful architecture, history, roman influence and modernism distinguishes this captivating city. There are numerous art museums and historic museums sprawled throughout the city of Brussels. Areas of historical interest include the Grand Place located in the heart of Brussels. It’s here you will enjoy the gothic buildings dating back from the 15th century. The Congress Column is another main attraction in Brussels which ultimately created the constitution of Belgium.
The Belgian culture is ingrained in Comics. Tourists come to Brussels to spend time in the Tintin Museum, housing the largest Japanese, American and European collection of Comic Art. Set in Hyde Park is the famous Atomium, a trademark of Belgium which is a model of a molecule magnified over a billion times its size, constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair, held in Brussels. Brussels is also home to many famous breweries, Michelin star restaurants and beautifully landscaped parks as well. Throughout the year you find the city bustling with food trucks, weekend festivals, street theater and an exciting nightlife. In the winter, tourists flock to month long Christmas market. The Sainte Catherine District opposite the stock exchange is the trendy modern district known for its shopping, dining and some of the best gourmet restaurants in Brussels. Sample mouthwatering Belgium chocolates at some of the fine chocolate shops. You can learn all about its rich history at the Choc Story Museum. Designed and built by Jean Pierre Cluysenaer (1846 – 1847), A UNESCO World Heritage site, is the stunning, ornate, indoor mall, the Galleries Royales Saint-Hubert. You can spend hours window shopping the luxury stores, or visiting one the theaters, cafes and unique boutiques. The Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide open cobbled medieval main square, will dazzle the eye in its rich history and grand architecture.
A visit to Antwerp, Belgium offers a unique history lesson into one of Europe’s most important cities. With its grand port history and collection of Rubens, the world famous 17th century painter who lived in Antwerp, most people come to Antwerp to shop for diamonds. Antwerp is the epicenter of the diamond trade. Its not just diamonds that attract tourists to Antwerp. It’s the cool coffee bars, abundant vinyl record stores and galleries, museums and amazing modern architecture. Other attractions included: the biggest Gothic Church in Europe, Cathedral of Our Lady, notable for housing the Peter Paul Ruben House, the former artist’s studio. The Red Star Line Museum (tells the stories of emigrants who left Europe in for America for a better life) and the MoMu Fashion Museum and the Museum Plantin-Moretus the only UNESCO museum.
Bruges is a city of medieval architecture, though much of it was rebuilt in the 19th and 20th centuries to reflect an earlier age. Start in the central square, the Market, which is where you’ll find the famous Belfort. Climb the 366 stairs for a fantastic view of the city. Also nearby is the town hall building and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, where supposedly they have a few drops of Christ’s blood. If museums are your thing, check out Groening museum, which features art from the 14th to 20th centuries, or Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, which houses Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child, a marble statue that was the only art by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime. Located near the coast, you can Take a canal tour throughout the many canals in Bruges, to get a glimpse into Belgian life.