Belgium's capital is often overlooked by tourists in favour of Bruges and Ghent nearby, but this beautiful medieval city epitomises the region's mix of a rich historical past with a forward-looking present.
The centre of life in Brussels takes place in the Grote Markt (Grand Place), a medieval square surrounded by typical Gothic architecture including the Town Hall. Dotted around town are a number of stately palaces and historic buildings upholding Brussels' historic importance on the European political landscape. Be sure not to miss the the Manneken Pis; this particularly famous sight is a small bronze sculpture whose name translates to "Little Man Pee". It's pretty self explanatory!
Today Brussels is one of the most politically important cities in Europe and the world. It is not only home to all of Belgium's governmental functions, but houses, among others, the NATO headquarters, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. Even the European Parliament, which formally sits in Strasbourg, holds most of its meetings and does most of its business in Brussels.
If you're doing a road trip through Holland and Belgium or simply looking for a fun weekend city break destination, consider making a trip to Brussels. (And don't forget to buy some Belgian chocolate to take home with you).