Capital city of both Belgium and the European Union, Brussels has more than a million people, from more than 100 nationalities, living together. The quality of life in this cosmopolitan city attracts a growing number of expatriates. The wide variety of cultural events and its many historic places do not only make it a much appreciated year-round destination but also a place that is suited for families and young children.
Depending on the weather (yes, it does rain a lot in Belgium but do not be scared away.... just keep reading!), you may want to be outside or inside.
I am very confident in sharing that when the sun shines (or when the clouds are not too rainy-like), Brussels is among the most beautiful cities in Europe: colorful azaleas and narcissus on every corner in spring; fountains, events and people-filled squares in summer; warm nuances and creaking leaves in autumn and shiny, ice-covered branches and bushes in winter. It is really amazing how just by strolling in any part of the city, so many little details will bring a smile on your adult face and will tickle your children's imagination and playful minds. It is really not rare to find families, in any season, chilling around the Fontaine des Comtes et de Horne, a beautiful fountain immersed in a green park. Many families also enjoy snacks and pic-nics in the Parc Du Cinquantenaire, which is a lovely green spot, perfect for energy-filled children and in-need-of down-time parents :) .
A nice spot for spending some quality outdoor time with your family in Brussels is the Mini-Europe, a place with all the main European spots in a small-scale and meant for helping the children learn about the European cultural landscape while having fun.
And last but surely not least, the beautiful Abbaye de la Cambre: a well maintained park that is amazing in every season. It is located at the very heart of the city and it is therefor a lovely stop after a walk in the center. The Quartier du Sablon is also a very nice spot, which is really nice for a stroll on a nice afternoon.
When it rains, pours or the cold just kicks in too hard, Brussels is the right place to be because of the large offer of indoor activities that the city has for its visitors. So pack your rain jacket, boots and umbrella and venture the city's streets towards some of the best museums in Europe. Some of the best museums you should visit with your children (or without, depending on your interests) are the Natural Science museum, the Fin de Siecle museum and the Comics museum. If you are into art or want to share some great inspiration with your children, do not forget the Magritte and Horta museums, both are really worth a visit. In case you are not really interested by museums, you should then visit the Royal Palace, which is stunning. The Notre-Dame du Sablon church in the Sablon neighborhood is also very nice and interestingly located in a wonderful area, le Sablon, which is in any season and weather really worth a visit.
Clearly, Brussels has so many ever-green spots that are always inspiring and worth a visit. Strolling with the tick-tocking rain on the cobblestones, it will already be a fascinating and very North European experience and your children will just love it (and you will be surprised by the many children enjoying the rain in the streets). If it is hot, do not worry and just be on the look out for the many ice-cream trucks that drive in Brussels and will be a refreshing break (if you do not see one, you might hear it as they normally have a song playing every time they stop). Surely, they will be around in the Grand Place, the most iconic square in Brussels and arguably the most beautiful one. If it is around lunch time, you might want to be in the Atomium, the iconic symbol of Brussels where many delicious restaurants are located.
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