The ECPA15 conference will be held in Europe’s Capital: Brussels. Brussels, is not only the home of the European Union and the center of Europe. It is also a city where you can find the best beer, chocolate and waffles around the world! Being at the crossroads of cultures (the Germanic in the North and the Romanesque in the South) and playing an important role in Europe, Brussels fits the definition of the archetypal “melting pot”, but still retains its own unique character. Other great features of Brussels are its picturesque medieval streets, lively squares, beautiful 19th century houses, cozy pubs, fabulous restaurants, and an active cultural live. From Brussels you can easily visit other Belgian cities such as Ghent, Bruges, or Antwerp: all of which are only a short train ride away (max. 1 hour). And in less than two hours a high-speed train can take you to Paris, Amsterdam or London.
When in Brussels…
Brussels (and all of Belgium) is a foodie’s/gourmet paradise, so you better skip your diet when you come to visit Brussels. No need to go into one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants to enjoy delicious meal. You’ll also find an incredible variety of local specialties- as well as internationally inspired cuisine – everywhere you go.
Several restaurants are within walking distance from the conference venue.
Le Quartier Latin serves some Belgian dishes, for example the famous Belgian meat stew with Belgian fries, stoofvlees met frietjes, is definitely something you must try when visiting Brussels.
Le Mess’s menu offers a wide range of tasty organic dishes following the rythm of the seasons using only local and healthy products.
Brussels has some of the most magnificent museums of Belgium, perhaps Europe.
You can learn more about the museum on the site of visit.brussels https://visit.brussels/en/category/museums-visits?baseLon=4.352425&baseLat=50.846935
The Grand Place
Hidden in the centre of the city you can find The Grand Place, only accessible on foot, which you are guaranteed to leave awestruck. In the centre of the Grand Place is the beautiful 15th Century city hall, but dotted around the square you will also be impressed by the six guildhalls and their striking architecture. On certain days there is a flower market in the square and visiting at night is recommended.
Le Botanique was historically the botanical garden of the city and still attracts a large number of guests in modern days. The greenhouse, which dates back to the 19th Century, now regularly hosts to a range of performing arts and turns the place into a cultural center rather than just a garden. However, if you are into greenery then the surrounding gardens are still intact and present in all their glory, and make for a welcoming change of pace from the city itself.
Although the Belgian royal family now spends their lives at Laeken, the Royal Palace in Brussels remains their official residence. The palace is open for tourists in the summer months and makes a worthy addition to any itinerary whilst visiting the city. The most notable room in the palace has a ceiling covered in the wings of beetles, forming an oddly beautiful mosaic. The artwork as well as the interior decor is also as splendid as you might expect from a royal palace.
This odd statue has risen to fame and is a popular tourist attraction in the city. The name simply translates to “little man pee” and it has been given this name for obvious reasons. The statue takes a little bit of skill in hunting down (unless you see it as part of a tour) but it is worth persevering. You will find it by taking the right lane away from the town hall. The statue is thought to date back to the early 17th Century when it was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy.
The Atomium, located in the Heysel Park in the North of the city, is a jaw dropping model of an atom, which just happens to be a whopping 100 meters tall. The building was made in 1958 to welcome a new and atomic age to Belgium and is an accurate depiction of an iron molecule except that it is about 165 billion times larger! .
Learn more about Brussels in 2 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzs4cKxziP4