- Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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Whether you're just passing through Brussels or here for a week, you can't miss the Grand-Place. This square marks the heart of Brussels' Lower Town district. Flanked by ornate Gothic and Baroque-style buildings, the Grand-Place is probably the best place to begin your tour of historic Brussels; it is within walking distance of many of the city's main attractions, including the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral and the beloved Manneken Pis. This is also a great location to grab a cup of coffee or a beer and watch the world go by.
No matter when you're in town, you can count on something going on at the Grand-Place, from street performances and flower shows to the nightly light shows in summer. But if you can, try to plan your trip around the Ommegang Pageant (the first week in July). This centuries-old festival recreates the celebration held when Emperor Charles V first entered the city in the 16th century. Another good time to visit is around Christmastime, when the entire square is illuminated by a massive Christmas tree.
Travelers love the Grand-Place for its stunning architecture. Recent visitors suggest visiting during the day and night; during the day to see the details of the architecture, and at night to witness the vibrant life that takes over the square. Some even recommended taking a guide book, as the information about the surrounding buildings will provide for a richer experience. The only complaint tourists had were the crowds, but that's to be expected at such a big attraction.
- Thing to Do