Place des Martyrs
It is on the Place des Martyrs, formerly the Place de la Blanchisserie, for its linen-drying train that occupied the premises, that the Juliana Hotel has taken up residence, slipping a nod to history. This neoclassical square is noble and luminous. In homage to those who died in the Belgian revolutions of September 1830, it houses a basement of arched arcades surmounted by a magnificent sculpture by Guillaume Geefs; the Statue of Liberty, with the Belgian lion at its feet.
The Grand Place, the soul of Brussels, is only a few steps from the Juliana. You can reach it by the rue du beurre, des chapeliers or des harengs... It is there, masterful, "The most beautiful place in the world" according to Victor Hugo. It all began in the 11th century, with the first markets, then the 'Maison du Roi', the trades houses with evocative names and Flemish architecture: La Louve, l'Arbre d'Or, la Brouette, le Moulin à vent. The Grand Place alone will turn your head ...
We spend the day there. This district which adjoins the Palais and the Place Royale with its national museums is fascinating: a small neo-renaissance garden, an antique landmark, a cobbled square with gastronomic terraces. It was not intended to become the hive of demanding tourism. And yet ‘Les Sablons’ have become a must with their little boutiques and period architecture, especially on weekends for the antiques market. All of Europe is walking there.
The Galeries Royales Saint Hubert
When the pavement is wet, people have been running for refuge there since 1847. This very first shopping arcade is truly royal. A glass archway overlooks the period blue stone. We smell the scent of its chocolatiers and stop by its shops, theater and restaurants. An unforgettable Italian touch of rebirth.
The Mont des Arts
An airy link between the top and the bottom of the city, this district of the Universal Exhibition of 1910, hosts the urban complex of Mont des Arts. You can admire the Royal Library of Belgium, the General Archives of the Kingdom and French gardens. Since 2009, a magnificent glass cube "the Square" has hosted the Brussels Meetings Center. Do not miss the Mont des Arts carillon from the 24 bells on the facade of the Palace of the Dynasty. Its melody is happiness.
Antoine Dansaert Street
Belgian-inspired fashion and design are the spirit of this popular street, where chic stores and fashion workshops rub shoulders with trendy snacks and jazz bars. In the center of the capital, a stone's throw from the Grand Place, this Dansaert district is both young and contrasting. Urban activity is dense there, spilling over onto Place Sainte Catherine, animated by its restaurants and tourism.
Toison d'Or - Stéphanie and Louise
At the top of the city, between the Palais de Justice of Brussels and Place Stéphanie, the Toison d'Or is the kingdom of luxury brands that tear themselves away from the worthy boutiques of New York's Fifth Avenue. The district bordering Avenue Louise, the artery leading to the famous Bois de la Cambre, is an unmissable shopping place and a must for all Brussels residents and visitors.