Grand Place

Top choice in Brussels

BELGIUM - AUGUST 11: BELGIUM, BRUSSELS, The Grand Place in Brussels. (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

U. Baumgarten via Getty Images

Brussels’ magnificent Grand Place is one of the world’s most unforgettable urban ensembles. Oddly hidden, the enclosed cobblestone square is only revealed as you enter on foot from one of six narrow side alleys: Rue des Harengs is the best first approach. The focal point is the spired 15th-century city hall, but each of the antique guildhalls (mostly 1697–1705) has a charm of its own. Most are unashamed exhibitionists, with fine baroque gables, gilded statues and elaborate guild symbols.