The European Quarter (French: Quartier européen, Dutch: Europese wijk) in Brussels, Belgium is a large office area east of the center which is mostly taken up by the European Union. The district also houses the large Parc de Cinquantenaire and a beautiful, but expensive, residential area on its northern edge.
Metro line 5 goes straight through the district, and 6 also traverses the western edge.
Brussels is considered to be the de facto capital of the European Union, having a long history of hosting the institutions of the European Union within its European Quarter. The EU has no official capital, and no plans to declare one, but Brussels hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, European Council, as well as a second seat of the European Parliament.
- 1 European Parliament, Rue Wiertz/Wiertzstraat 60 ( or Luxemburg), ☏ , fax: . M-Th at 10:00 and 15:00; F at 10:00 only; closed official holidays. Multimedia-guided tours in all official EU languages. Don't forget to bring an ID card/driver's license with you. Free.
- 2 Parlamentarium, Wiertzstraat 60 ( or Luxemburg), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M 13:00-18:00, Tu-F 09:00-18:00, Sa-Su 10:00-18:00. The Parlamentarium is the visitors' centre of the European Parliament and is in the Parliament's Espace Léopold complex. The official opening was on 14 October 2011 by President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek. The permanent exhibition contains hundreds of multimedia components, explaining the European Parliament and other European Union institutions. The entrance to the centre is on the Parliament's esplanade. Each visitor is provided with a personal multimedia guide which guides them through the exhibition, location is used to display content relevant to each area. It is also needed to activate each installation and shows in-depth information, plays audio using an in-ear speaker and displays short films in the visitor's selected language. All content in the Parlamentarium is available in the 24 official EU languages. Tours are held for children, blind and deaf people. Note that unusually strict security measures enforced at the Parlementarium entrance, with airport style bag and visitor scanners at the entrance. Be prepared to leave restricted items like pocket knives at the security desk, where they can be picked up again at the end of your visit. Lockers are available free of charge to store backpacks. Free.
- 3 European Commission, Wetstraat 200 ( ). Guided tours not available. Presentations available for groups of 15 or more, booked in advance.
- 4 European Council, Wetstraat 175 ( ), ☏ , fax: . Guided tours not available. Presentations available for groups of 15 or more, booked in advance.
- 5 House of European History, Belliardstraat 135 ( ). M 13:00-18:00. Tu-F 09:00-18:00. Sa-Su 10:00-18:00. Closed on international holidays such as Christmas, New Years Eve, New Years Day, 1 May and 11 November. This European Union owned museum showcases the history of the European continent and people as well as the revolutions that took place in this part of the world that resulted in the Europe that we can see and feel today. Free entrance.
- 6 Sri Chinmoy Peace Tree, Belliardstraat 125 ( ). Tree dedicated to humanity's aspiration for World Peace. The memorial plaque reads: "From man's inner realisation of peace, World Peace will grow and mankind will become a Oneness-World Peace Family. In this process the oneness of the European nations is a significant achievement, therefore this tree is also dedicated to the United Europe."
- 7 Cinquantenaire Park (Parc du Cinquantenaire - Jubelpark) ( , exit at Schuman and walk east or exit at Mérode and walk west). 24/7. This park with a monumental arch was developed in 1880 for the National Exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgium's independence. Definitely check out the Arc de Triomphe-Triomfboog on the east side of the park. It is possible to go up to the terrace above the arch, from where you'll have a good view of the city. Entry is through the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History and is free, but a supplement must be paid for access to the arch. Any backpacks or luggage must be stored in small lockers at the entrance, so don't take too many belongings along if you plan to enter the museum. The arch is beautifully lit at night, and usually less crowded. Free.
- 8 Cinquantenaire Museum (Musée du Cinquantenaire - Jubelpark Museum), Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark 10, ☏ . Tu-F 09:30-17:00, Sa Su and holidays 10:00-17:00. Part of the Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis (KMKG) - Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire (MRAH) (Royal Museums of Art and History) group of museums. This museum has an important collection of art objects from different civilizations from all over the world. The museum was founded in 1835 and was in the Hallepoort/Porte de Hal, one of the last remaining medieval city gates of Brussels. The gate is still operated as a separate museum by the same museum foundation. €8.
- 9 Autoworld, Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark 11 ( or stations Merode or Schuman, tram 81, or bus lines 20, 28, 36, 67, 80), ☏ . Apr-Sep: 10:00-18:00, Oct-Mar: 10:00-17:00. Automobiles from the dawn of the motoring age to 1970s including the earliest Mercedes, Renaults, BMW Isettas, Tatras, Ford T-birds, even a jeepney from the Philippines. Adults €10, 65+ €8, students €7, children aged 6-11 €4, children younger than 6 free.
- 10 Belgian Army Museum and Museum of Military History (Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en van de Militaire Geschiedenis - Musée Royal de l'Armée), Jubelpark-Parc du Cinquantenaire 3 ( or stations Merode or Schuman, tram 81, or bus lines 20, 28, 36, 67, 80), ☏ . Daily 09:00-16:45. In the north wing of the Cinquantenaire Palace, this museum provides an overview of the development of military technology and of the major campaigns fought on Belgian territory. The museum has three principal sections: Belgian military history (documents, uniforms and weaponry from the Middle Ages to the present day, including a most comprehensive collection of medieval arms and armor); the Armored Vehicle Hall with artillery, tanks, etc. from the two World Wars; and the Air Section (Brussels Air Museum) with a collection of aircraft from World War I onwards. The Brussels Air Museum's high point is its collection of original aircraft from World War I. €8.
- 11 Natural Sciences Museum of Belgium (Museum voor Natuurwetenschappen), Rue Vautier-Vautierstraat 29 ( ), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:30-16:45; Sa, Su and during school holidays (except the Summer break) 10:00-18:00; Summer break 09:30-16:45; weekends 10:00-18:00. The museum is well-known for its collection of iguanodons (dinosaurs discovered in the Bernissart coal mine in the Belgian Hainaut province). The dinosaur collection includes discovery activities for the children. Other parts of the museum feature gems and geology, wildlife in Brussels (BiodiverCITY exposition), and the development of life. There is also an exhibit of all animals that live in our houses and a collection of mammals. between €4.50 and €7, free the first Wednesday of each month from 13:00.
- 12 Antoine Wiertz Museum, Vautierstraat 62 ( ), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-F 10:00-12:0o, 12:45-17:00. The museum, which has preserved its original atmosphere, is dedicated to painter, sculptor and writer Antoine Wiertz (1806-1865), a somewhat controversial artistic figure of the Belgian Romantic movement. Wiertz loved the spectacular, painting giant canvasses to indulge his thirst for the excessive, like the more than 8 m long Greeks and Trojans fighting over the body of Patroclus. Wiertz is also known for his dramatic subjects and horror scenes, such as his Premature Burial. His most famous painting is probably Two Girls (La Belle Rosine), in which a young woman faces a skeleton, reflecting the artist's fascination with death and the fragility of human life. Wiertz also produced numerous portraits and self-portraits. The construction of this workshop-museum in the Léopold district of Brussels was agreed in 1850 between Wiertz and the Belgian government. During the year following the artist's death, the entire collection of works then in his studio was bequeathed to the state. Since 1868, the Wiertz Museum has been part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Free.
- 1 Filigranes, 39 Avenue des Arts-Kunstlaan. open 7 days a week. The largest bookshop in Brussels, features a small bar/café inside and quite often live music.