The first thing we did in Brussels was probably my favourite – the Atomium! It was built for the World Fair in 1958 and the people of Brussels loved it so much they left it up – it’s now part of a tourist area with various attractions including Mini-Europe. We just did the Atomium though – it’s quite pricey but totally worth it.
First you go up in a lift to the very top sphere where there’s a 360° viewing area. The views are pretty amazing all round, but especially looking down on Mini-Europe! After that, you take various escalators and stairs around five of the other spheres, which contain permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The main exhibition is about the World Fair and the Atomium, with loads of great souvenirs and posters and press and photos from the time. The other exhibitions when we visited were about furniture design. Cleverly, the final floor had a collection of interestingly designed sofas to sit on so you could have a rest after all those stairs, plus try them all out.
The stairs and escalators were some of my favourite parts – the colours are amazing and there are super-long escalators that take you up and down the spokes. They’re really steep and a little bit scary, but they do have disco lights to keep you entertained.
Overall, it was brilliant, and I definitely recommend a visit if you’re in Brussels. It’s easy to get to on the Metro, and you can get close up and take some great photos even without going inside. It is worth doing the whole thing though, even just for the views. There’s also a shop and a couple of restaurants, one right at the very top.
Here’s a gif I made of my final trip down the almost endless disco escalator – wheee!