Hallo from Belgium!
I’ve wanted to pop over to Belgium for ages & I’m so glad I’ve finally got to tick it off my travel bucket list. Over 3 days I managed to fit in museums & attractions, a trip to Bruges and a whole lotta waffles! I purchased a 48 hour Brussels Card for €53 which gave me entry to over 40 attractions as well as unlimited Hop On Hop Off bus access which meant I could visit places all across Brussels.
Day 1: I decided to follow the Blue Line as the weather was lovely and I wanted to get to the attractions that were outside whilst the sun was out. Starting at Central Station I stayed on until Stop 3 – hopping off at The Atomium. The most visited attraction in the Belgian capital stands at 355 feet and consists of 9 large silver spheres some of which hold exhibitions including the permanent ‘Atomium: From Symbol to Icon”.
After taking lots of photos, I walked 2 minutes to the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium which was free using my Card. Unfortunately I couldn’t access the museum as it was (understandably) written in French or Flemish – the 2 native languages. This again made me think about inaccessibility for international visitors in small museums – many of which fail to provide resources for international visitors. Things such as translated interpretation, subtitled videos or audio guides can support engagement and accessibility – something I am looking into for a Museum Scholar paper.
I instead went to Mini-Europe – the best place I visited during my trip! Yes, it may sound totally geeky but I don’t care; it was AMAZING! Around 80 cities and 350 buildings have been recreated at a scale of 1:25, showcasing some of the recognisable sights in Europe. Interactive buttons at each county play National Anthems whilst a comprehensive & useful guide book is provided to visitors in the language of their choice. It was so fun finding places & monuments that I’ve seen in real life on a teeny tiny scale – they’re all so well built and instantly recognisable. Although it wasn’t free it was discounted with the Brussels Card which was great.
The rest of my day was spent exploring Brussels on the open top bus & taking in sights such as Koekelberg Basilica, the Royal Residence of Laken and Grand-Place. After that I stuffed my face with fish soup and waffles because hey, it’s Brussels after all!
Happy Museum Musings!