One of Belgium's most famous exports, Jean-Claude Van Damme was honored with a bronze statue in his hometown in 2012. The legendary bodybuilder and martial arts master, JCVD, also known as "the muscles from Brussels", starred in numerous Hollywood movies such as Bloodsport, Timecop and Kickboxer. Now it's your turn to perform your best karate kick in front of the statue and snap a selfie with the great JCVD.
433, boulevard Sylvain Dupuis,
Not far from the Grand Place, on the corner of Rue de l’Etuve, you'll find the iconic Manneken Pis. This bronze statue of a small boy gleefully peeing is one of the symbols of Brussels. A quirky icon to say the least, it reflects the Belgians' mischievous, self-mocking nature. The 17th century original has been stolen several times over the centuries and was found in two pieces at the bottom of a canal in 1966.
The Parc du Cinquantenaire is a pleasant green space in the east of the city. As well as being a great spot for a picnic, this jubilee park is home to several top Brussels museums, including the Royal Art and History museums, with antiquities from around the world and Autoworld which boasts over 400 remarkable vintage vehicles. The park's triumphal arch and arcade make a great backdrop for the fitness sessions and open air cinema nights which take place in summer.
In the east of Brussels, near the European quarter, lies a real treasure trove of dinosaur skeletons, fossils and so on. The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is one of the largest and most important collections in the world. Fancy seeing a chunk of moon rock? How about a Tasmanian wolf and a unique insect collection? The kids will be riveted, and so will you!
Explore the intriguing world of Victor Horta, the most famous Belgian Art Nouveau architect, with a visit to the Victor Horta Museum. A unique townhouse that Horta designed, lived in and used as his studio, the museum's interior is a play of light and space, characterized by the organic movement and the elegant lines of Art Nouveau. Nature and organic forms appear everywhere, from door handles to mosaic floor tiles. A must-see during your trip to Brussels.
King Leopold II flattened this area in the 19th century in order to make way for a cluster of museums, and built a garden here. Now the Mont des Arts is home to several of the city's best museums and cultural institutions, including the Royal Museums of Fine Art, the Museum of Cinema (Cinematek) the Royal Library of Belgium and the Bozar. From the top of this hill, there's a stunning view over the gardens towards the Grand Place.