If you are planning a trip to Brussels, the Grand Place (also known as Grote Markt in Dutch) is a must-visit destination. This vibrant square is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by stunning architecture, historical landmarks, and cozy cafes. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a picturesque spot to take some photos, the Grand Place has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the highlights of this bustling square and uncover its beauty and history.
Explore the bustling heart of Brussels
The Grand Place has been the centerpiece of Brussels for centuries and remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belgium. It is surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic buildings, including the Brussels City Hall (Town Hall), the King’s House. The square is also home to numerous cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, making it the perfect place to take a break and soak up the atmosphere.
Uncover the beauty and history
The Grand Place has a rich history that dates back to the 15th century when it was a bustling marketplace. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of Brussels’ cultural and architectural heritage. The Brussels City Hall (Town Hall), which dominates the south side of the square, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and features a 96-meter-high tower with a famous bell tower. The King’s House, which houses the Museum of the City of Brussels, is another impressive building with a stunning facade and intricate sculptures.
Another highlight of the Grand Place is its unique blend of architectural styles, which reflects the city’s diverse past. The Breadhouse, which now serves as a museum of Belgian Brewers, is a classic example of Flemish Renaissance architecture. The Guildhalls, which line the east and north sides of the square, are a mix of Gothic and Baroque styles and feature ornate facades and intricate details.
Don’t miss must-see events in summer and winter
There are some events that you should definitely not miss at Grand Place. One of the most beautiful events that takes place in this square is the Flower Carpet festival, which is held every two years in mid-August. During this event, a beautiful carpet of flowers measuring 77 x 24 meters is laid out on the square, made with over 500,000 begonias. It is a sight to behold and a unique experience that you will never forget.
Another must-see event at Grand Place is the Ommegang, which is held every year in July. This procession commemorates the tribute created in 1549 during the coming of Charles the Fifth in Brussels to present his son, the future Philippe II. During this event, you will see people in beautiful traditional costumes marching through the streets, accompanied by music and other performances. It is a true celebration of Brussels’ history and culture.
During the holiday season, Grand Place becomes even more magical with the arrival of the Christmas Market. This is a beautiful sight, with the tree decorated in sparkling lights and ornaments. It is a perfect place to visit with family and friends during the holiday season, with plenty of activities and events taking place.
Grand Place is located in the heart of Brussels and is easily accessible by public transportation. The nearest metro stations are Bourse/Beurs and Central Station. It is also within walking distance from several bus and tram stops.
Hours and Fees
The Grand Place is an open-air square and is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, individual businesses and attractions within the square may have their own operating hours.
There is no admission fee to visit Grand Place as it is a public square. However, there may be fees associated with visiting specific attractions within the square, such as museums or guided tours.
The best time to visit Grand Place in Brussels is typically during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is mild and the square is lively with outdoor events and festivals such as Flower Carpet. However, it can also be crowded during this time. For a quieter visit, consider visiting during the spring or fall.
The best view of the whole Grand Place can be seen from the top of the City Hall, which is located in the southwest corner of the square. The City Hall tower offers a panoramic view of the entire square, including its beautiful architecture and landmarks such as the guildhalls and the King’s House. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a small fee and enjoy the stunning view of Grand Place and the surrounding area.