The Atomium was possibly my favourite thing that we did in Brussels, although picking just one in a city full of culture, food and sights is a seemingly impossible task.
This ‘building’, perhaps better described as a structure, was built as part of the Expo 58 which Brussels hosted in…you guessed it, 1958. The structure was apparently not supposed to outlast the event, however outlast it did and it has since become a symbol of Belgium to the rest of the world.
But what is it?
Shaped like a molecular structure, the spheres are rooms creating the Atomium museum, with the “bonds” between the spheres acting as staircases or escalators to take you between them.
Entry is €8 for students, a price I was more than willing to pay to see inside the historic structure…also because I’d seen pictures on Instagram and knew there were totally Insta-worthy pic opportunities inside!
The museum inside dedicates different rooms to architecture in Belgium, and a whole room to the Atomium and the history of it and Expo 58.
The top sphere of the Atomium has a 360 degree viewing platform with incredible views over Brussels and even looking down into Mini Europe (which, at the time when we visited was not due to re-open until March…thanks winter!).
If you go up the stairs inside that same sphere, there is also a restaurant which smelt amazing but seemed out of our student budget.
On the way back down, we were way too entertained by the downwards escalator which went through a dark tunnel with flickering coloured lights. As the old saying goes – “small things amuse small minds” – so we did it twice. Still entertaining the 2nd time!
This attraction is a little further out of the main centre of Brussels and trying to get a train or a tram back was a nightmare because the machines would only accept pre-bought rail cards. However we managed to get a bus for about €2.50. An Uber ride out from the centre of Brussels cost us about €18 on a Saturday.
This attraction is cool and unique and totally worth a visit. The history, view and sights are awesome and it’s not overpriced. In the warmer months, you can visit Mini Europe just next door which makes the trip a little more worthwhile, however there are museums right next door which you can also visit!
You can watch my video HERE about what we got up to in three busy days in Brussels!