Grote Markt (The Grand Place) Brussels

Article updated on 23 Nov 2022

Brussels is a good tourist spot. It is a mix of the old and the new. Some of the areas exude old age charm. The cobbled streets, the quaint shops, cafes and restaurants really make you feel like staying there for more days. The most famous tourist spot within the city is the Grand Place which is a central market square. It has the Town Hall (Hôtel de ville), the Guild houses and the Breadhouse (King’s House). Each of these are magnificent. It was between 1402 and 1455 that the Town Hall was constructed. Town Hall or Hôtel de ville, Grand Place in BrusselsIt has a beautiful Gothic Tower, on which there is a statue of St. Michael considered the patron of Brussels. Before the present structure of the Breadhouse, it was a wooden building in the 13th century where bakers sold their produce. It was converted to a stone structure in the 15th century and later into the Neo-Gothic style edifice in the 19th century.

This is just across the Hôtel de ville and is also known as the Maison du Roi (or King’s House). It did not belong to the king ever but the King’s instructions were usually read from here. Hence the nomenclature. The Grand Place came under attack in the 17th century war with France. It was almost razed to the ground. But the square was rebuilt by the Guilds under planned supervision. Hence the new layout has an organized look though the styles vary from Gothic to Baroque to Louis XIV. In 1998 UNESCO named the Grand Place as a World Heritage Site.
The Guild halls have facades conforming to the relevant occupations or the original occupants. The Swan guildhall housed butchers, the Pigeon guildhall housed painters, the Brewer House the inevitable!. Today these guild houses have restaurants, hotels and shops. Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium
A flower market is held here every Sunday morning. Every even year in August the centre of the Square is covered in flowers. It is called the Tapis des Fleurs. The Square is a good place to hang out in. There are small eateries and good restaurants here where one can sit outside and enjoy the food and the place. This is also a place where musical performances take place at times. It gives a very festive, jovial feel to the place. It is a tourist favorite, so be sure to encounter large number of people in the square. The that adds to the charm.

There are a number of small streets leading from the square. They have a variety of shops and eateries. The most famous of them are the small shops selling Belgium Waffles. One must try these Waffles – they come with a number of toppings – cream and banana, strawberries, nuts et al.

Belgium waffle shop
waffle shop on Rue de l’Etuve
Belgium Waffle
Belgium Waffle

How to get to Grand Place (Grote Markt)-
The Central Station (Gare Central) is close by. You can also take the metro to De Brouckére or Parc. It is walking distance from these places. You can also take Taxi or car. You can check out the details of getting around in Brussels and other Tourist info here.
More details about means of transport at the official site.

Picture on the left: A waffle shop on Rue de l’Etuve

Picture on the right: Mmmm…a Belgium Waffle.

Picture below: A street in Brussels


Brussels Street
Street in Brussels

More details here.

Mercantile city of Northern Europe

Located in the heart of Brussels, La Grand-Place is the most famous square in the Belgian capital. It is a historical landmark that was built to serve the needs of local tradesmen in the early 14th century. The architecture of the Grand Place is an outstanding example of the eclectic combination of architectural styles used in the city.

The original Grand Place was made up of several buildings from the 15th to 17th centuries. These include the town hall and a row of guild houses that line one side of the square. The Grand Place was a central hub for market activities in the 17th century. The bell tower of the Grand Place is the most prominent landmark.

The Grand Place is a tribute to the success of Brussels’s mercantile class. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization saw the Grand Place as an example of a successful combination of architectural styles. The asymmetrical town hall and the row of guild houses that line one side of Grand Place are examples of this.

Brewers’ museum

Originally the Brussels Beer Museum was located in Ertvelde. It was later closed. Now the Union of Belgian Brewers have turned their old vaulted basements into a national brewers’ museum.

The Brussels Beer Museum is a baroque style building. It houses over 1,500 bottles of Belgian beer. It also has a gift shop. The museum displays include medieval brewing, industrialisation, and the impact of independence. It also features a video explaining beer’s history.

The equestrian statue at the top of the building is a replica of the mid-eighth century work of art. The building was originally constructed in the 15th century, though it was virtually demolished after three days of bombardment by the French army in 1695.

The Brewers’ Museum is a small, but very informative, museum in Brussels. Visitors learn about the raw materials, high-tech bottling lines, and impressive cylindric fermentation tanks of the modern malt industry.

Several historical pieces of brewing equipment are on display. Visitors can see a pre-industrial age brewing kettle and authentic brewing tubs. There are also vintage enamel advertising signs covering the walls.

Restaurants and cafes

Bruxellois have a passion for eating and patronize ethnic eateries along the narrow cobblestoned street of Rue de Bouchers. They also patronize gastronomic palaces in the Grand-Place area.

Brussels is a multicultural hub and the city’s restaurants and cafes offer a wide range of cuisine. The city’s cuisine includes French, Dutch, and Belgian foods. Belgian cuisine is considered one of the best in Europe, with a variety of regional differences.

There are several Michelin-star restaurants in Brussels, with more than a third of all restaurants having at least one star. In addition to this, Brussels is also home to more Michelin-star restaurants per capita than any other city in Europe.

Some of the best restaurants in Brussels include Le Manufacture, Comme chez Soi, and Ricotta & Parmesan. These three restaurants are acclaimed by foodie ex-pats for their innovative French and Italian cuisine.

Le Manufacture is an elegant gourmet restaurant with a menu devoted to French cuisine. The restaurant is popular for lunch and brunch, and offers an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is stylish and elegant, with a low ceiling and brick walls. The restaurant is also popular for its antipasti selection.

Famous buildings

Located in the center of Brussels, Grand Place is one of the most important attractions in Belgium. It is a medieval open-air market that became the center of commercial development of Brussels. The square is surrounded by imposing buildings and medieval guild houses. In addition to the buildings, a museum is also located here. The museum is open during the summer months and is a popular tourist attraction.

The most famous building in the Grand Place is the Town Hall of the Grand Place. This Gothic building was constructed during the Middle Ages and is one of the most important architectural monuments in Brussels. The facade of the building features statues depicting allegorical figures and saints.

The interior of the building is not very attractive. The museum has tapestries, paintings and other artifacts that show the history of the city. It is located on the top floor of the building. This building is only open for guided tours.