Small Ring Walking Tour (Self Guided), Brussels

The Small Ring is a road in Brussels which surrounds the historic center of the city. It was built on top of the city's former fortifications, originally constructed in a pentagonal shape. Today, the Small Ring is home to several significant sites, such as the Egmont Palace, impressive memorials, as well as the last remains of the city's fortifications, the Halle Gate. Take this two-hour walking tour to visit the most important attractions on Brussels' Small Ring.
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Small Ring Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Small Ring Walking Tour
Guide Location: Belgium » Brussels (See other walking tours in Brussels)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Author: audrey
1
Halle Gate

1) Halle Gate

The Halle Gate is a fortified city gate dating back to the medieval times. It was part of the second walls of Brussels, which were constructed in the late 14th century. The gate’s name comes from the name of the city which the gate faces, Halle. Historically, the gate included a drawbridge over a moat. This is one of seven original gateways, but the last one that remains today. Through time, it was used as a prison, a customs house, for grains storage and even as a church. Belgian architect Henri Beyaert, a prominent architect during the 19th century, undertook a restoration of the building in 1868. His renovation included the addition of neo-Gothic features, turrets and a large roof. In the later part of the1800s, Halle Gate housed items from the Museum of Armor, Antiquity and Ethnology. Additional restorations took place in 1976 when the building was in a state of dangerous disrepair. In 2007 a more ambitious restoration was undertaken, which included opening up of the St. Gilles entrance with the drawbridge feature. The museum has displays on the building’s history, the city of Brussels and the role of the gate and the wall in the defense of the city. Each floor of the museum focuses on a specific historical aspect, from armor and armaments, to the history of trade guilds, to temporary exhibition spaces.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Cite Hellemans

2) Cite Hellemans

The Cite Hellemans is an architectural complex designed in an Art Nouveau style. Inaugurated in 1915, Hellemans blocks were used as social hostels for a large number of families. Built according to plans drawn up by the architect Emile Hellemans, Hellemans housing estates remain a fine example of the Art Nouveau style.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Infantry Memorial

3) Infantry Memorial

The Infantry Memorial is a monument to the memory of Belgian foot soldiers who took part in World Wars I and II. The monument represents a symbolic column and a number of soldiers at its foot. The Infantry Memorial is also a significant monument in the history of Belgium. Designed by Edouard Vereycken, the memorial stands in front of the Palais de justice de Bruxelles and across the Place Poelaert from the Anglo-Belgian War Memorial. The memorial rests on a raised platform that overlooks the city centre of Brussels. Translated in English the inscription reads: "To the infantrymen who died for their country".
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Palace of Justice

4) Palace of Justice (must see)

The Palace of Justice, commissioned by King Leopold II, was built over a 20-year period and was completed in 1880. It was the work of architect Joseph Poelaert and features an Assyro-Babylonian style, which is essentially an eclectic mix of architectural patterns. It is dominated by columns and a 24,000-ton golden dome. The palace holds the honor of being the largest secular building constructed in the 19th century. It stands an incredible 105 meters (344 feet) tall and covers 24,000 square meters (260,000 square feet). For comparison purposes, this is larger than Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica. The site of the building, which provides sweeping views of Brussels, is known as Gallows Hill. In the middle ages, it was the site of criminal executions. The construction of the Palace of Justice was controversial, as 3,000 homes in the city’s poorest area had to be removed. During World War II, fleeing Nazis exploded bombs in the basement and set fire to the structure. This resulted in extensive damage, including the collapse of the dome. Repair of the building took three years and the dome was replaced. The building still functions as the supreme court of law in Belgium with 245 small and 27 large courtrooms.

Why You Should Visit:
Entry is free for tourists and it is a pleasure to be able to take a walk through a piece of history still in use. The interior is like a movie from another era.

Tip:
Good views over Brussels from the square in front!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Anglo-Belgian War Memorial

5) Anglo-Belgian War Memorial

The Anglo-Belgian War Memorial is dedicated to the Belgian people who helped the British prisoners of war during World War I. It is located near the Belgian infantry memorial in the Brussels Place Poelaert. The memorial was funded by the British Imperial War Graves commission and designed by Charles Jagger (1885-1934), a British sculptor. Jagger actually served during World War I himself, and after completing the service he went on to sculpt many works revolving around the theme of war. The monument is carved from Brainvilliers stone. It was unveiled by the Prince of Wales and presented to the people of Belgium in 1923 as a sign of appreciation. The sculpture depicts a Belgian and British soldier. The sides show Belgian peasants, in a relief form, providing care to the wounded British soldiers. The casts of the peasant reliefs are located in the Imperial War Museum and the casts of the Belgian soldier is located in the Musee de L’Armee in Brussels. During World War II, Belgians would lay flowers at the memorial as symbol of contempt to the German occupiers. A reciprocal monument was presented to the British from the Belgian people to be placed on the embankment of the Thames in London.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Egmont Park

6) Egmont Park

Egmont Park is a protected garden located opposite the Egmont Palace. The park is known for having a number of statues such as the statue of Peter Pan and Prince de Ligne. Egmont Park is considered one of the greenest and the prettiest parks in the city of Brussels.
7
Avenue Brussels Night Club

7) Avenue Brussels Night Club

A hot nightlife establishment found in Brussels on Avenue de la Toison d'Or, Avenue Brussels Nightclub features an intense dance party that goes on all night long where guests regularly get down to an eclectic variety of sounds, from funk and R and B, dance music, raga, and Latin beats served up by the hottest local DJs and resident spin doctors the club presents throughout the week. Monday evenings are particularly popular when salsa night takes the crowd by storm which includes dance lessons for beginners by experienced veterans starting at 7:00 PM, which leads into the fabulous salsa and bachata party later on where DJs keep hips shaking into the wee hours.

Operation Hours: Thursday – Saturday from 10.30 pm
8
Leonidas

8) Leonidas (must see)

Leonidas Confiserie SA is a chocolate producer with an international presence, based in Belgium. The company's focus is pralines (chocolate shells with soft fillings, called Belgian Chocolate in English-speaking countries); it also sells marzipan, solid chocolates, and other confections. The company is named after its Greek founder, Leonidas Kestekides, a confectioner who moved from Anatolia to the United States in the late 1800s. The logo used on Leonidas chocolates shows an effigy of the Greek warrior Leonidas, King of Sparta. Leonidas has over 1400 retail outlets all over the world.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-6:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Brussels, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Brussels

Create Your Own Walk in Brussels

Creating your own self-guided walk in Brussels is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
The Sablon Sights Walking Tour

The Sablon Sights Walking Tour

The Sablon is a hill and neighborhood in the historic upper town of Brussels. At the top of the hill we find the twin squares of Grand Sablon and Petit Sablon, divided by the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon. The area is especially known for a great variety of antique dealers, chocolate shops and art galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 km
Marolles and Matonge Nightlife

Marolles and Matonge Nightlife

Brussels' nightlife is represented by the variety of its clubs, among which are not only out and out discotheques, but also clubs that host world-famous DJs and live music. Brussels is home to some of the most fashionable night clubs in Belgium. Take this walking tour to visit the most famous venues located in the Marolles and Matonge districts of Brussels.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Laken Park Walking Tour

Laken Park Walking Tour

Laken, also known as Laeken, is a park in a residential suburb of Brussels. Laken Park was formerly the official home to the Belgian Royal Family and is home to the Royal Castle, the Royal Greenhouses, the statue of Leopold I of Belgium, and more. Take this three-hour walk to visit the most famous attractions of Laken Park in Brussels.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
City Center Museums

City Center Museums

Known as the cultural capital of Belgium, Brussels has a large number of museums located in the heart of the city. Brussels is famous for such museums as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, the Magritte Museum, the Museum of Brussels, the Museum of Musical Instruments, etc. This

tour includes the most popular museums in Brussels City Center, all within a pleasant walking distance.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
City Center Orientation Walk

City Center Orientation Walk

Brussels is a major European capital with a remarkable history and cultural heritage. It features a large number of architectural sites, museums and world -famous specialty shops. Take a walk and discover the main landmarks of Brussels such as the world-renowned Grand Place and the Royal Palace.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Leopold Quarter Walking Tour

Leopold Quarter Walking Tour

Built in 1837, the Leopold Quarter is a popular district in Brussels and features some of city's most significant buildings, like the Paul-Henri Spaak building, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and Antoine Wiertz Museum. The district is also home to the popular Leopold Park and Jean Rey Square. Check out this next three-hour tour and enjoy the best sites of the Leopold Quarter...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km

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