Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Top Photo Spots in Brussels, Belgium
Are you traveling to Brussels, Belgium? Are you looking for the best places to take photos in Brussels? Well, I spent a few days there and took quite a few pictures, and have compiled a list of the best spots to take photos in Brussels!
If you love history, architecture, culture and all that European goodness, this is the place for you! There are incredible churches, historic buildings, statues, monuments, and even graffiti! It's all good!
Brussels is really a beautiful town, and the historic center (where most of these spots are) is easily walkable since it is a fairly compact area. So get the camera, and the tripod, and let's head out and take some shots!
1.) Grand Place
Grand Place is the town square, and I will go on record here and say it is the most beautiful one I have ever seen! The architecture is stunning, there is always something going on in the center, and it's just incredible! Pictures really don't do it justice, so be sure and start (and end!) your day in Grand Place - you will not regret it for a second!
Selling art in Grand Place...
Dining in Grand Place...such rich architectural details.
2.) Rue de Bouchers
Rue de Bouchers is just a short stroll away from Grand Place, and well worth a visit. In Medieval times this street was where all the meat-sellers had their shops, hence the name (butchers). These days it is full of restaurants - and they have a lot of fresh food on display outside their shops! It's a fun place to stroll!
3.) Side streets off Grand Place
As I said above, Grand Place is the place to be, but be sure and also check out a few of the side streets that lead into Grand Place. They are full of such character - you will not want to miss it. There are restaurants and bars all around, with folks hanging out and enjoying life. It's just so European. I love it.
These two shots were taken on the street right behind the main building in Grand Place, known as the Rathaus. Super easy to find, and they just glow at blue hour.
A busy bar in Brussels...
A Little Delirium in Brussels...
4.) Mannekin Pis
Ah, Mannekin Pis. This is the famous statue of the little boy who just couldn't hold it any longer. He stands there, peeing into the fountain basin. This too is just a short stroll off Grand Place, and though it isn't that big a deal, it's one of those landmarks that people recognize. Why not stroll by?
Note: the statue is only about 2 feet tall. It's not big at all. Sometimes, he gets different outfits, so you many not find him fully nude - he might be dressed up for the day!
5.) The Royal Galleries of St. Hubert
Yep, this is a shopping area, or arcade, technically. I dislike shopping as much as any guy, but when I wandered in here I was amazed, and very glad to have found it! The architecture is incredible and with that glass ceiling it just really is worth a visit. It too is just a short walk from Grand Place (like I said, everything is pretty close) and when you walk through, it actually leads you to Rue de Bouchers, so you get another spot on the list right after this one!
6.) Graffiti at Brussels Chappelle train station
I don't remember where I read about this, but just knew I had to find it when I went to Brussels. This is a train station that is a short walk from Notre Dame de la Chappelle (#8, below) so you get a two-for-one. It is also known as Kapellekerk. Google will help you find it, and you will be very pleased - assuming you like graffiti. If you dislike graffiti, skip this place entirely. In fact, run the other way. The entire place is like a graffiti museum - inside and out, it is covered with graffiti. I had a great time shooting here!
This is another famous landmark in Brussels, but this one is not in the city center. I took a train ride out to this spot, which was a short 20 minutes or so, but well worth it. This is a recreation of a cell of an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times (per Wikipedia). You can get inside and at the top you get some pretty incredible views! Well worth a visit, since it is just such a unique structure.
8.) Notre Dame de la Chappelle
This beautiful church sits very near the train station that I referred to in #6 above, so you get both of these spots done around the same time. It too is about a 10 minute walk from Grand Place. It took me 20 minutes, but it was raining so I was moving a little slow. No issues with tripods here - I walked in, and fired away to my heart's content. Yippee!
9.) The architectural details...
Ok, you got me, this technically isn't a "spot" but rather a suggestion. Here is it: keep your eyes open and moving around. There is so much to see here - architecturally speaking - that all the little details can be easily overlooked. I took so many photos there, and I am sure I missed a million more. With such a rich history and such great architecture, just be sure and keep your eyes open and you will not be disappointed!
10.) Random street scenes and shop windows...
Ok, just like the last one (and along the same theme as #3 above) there a million interesting shops and storefronts that are worth photographing. In #3 I was specifically referring to the particular streets just off Grand Place, but in this one I implore you to explore a little further afield and keep the camera at the ready. I found this one a few blocks away, and really who doesn't want to go to a place called Beer Planet? I'm there!
Ok my friends, that covers it - the best places to take photos in Brussels, Belgium! I hope you enjoy this list and can use it on your travels. Let me know other great spots in the comments section below!
Thanks for stopping by!