The Arc de Triomphe of the Cinquantenaire Park. Something Leopold II, second king of Belgium, did not probably think about when he built the Parc du Cinquantenaire and the buildings in it, was that the triumphal arch that is located in the centre would have one of the best views of the city. You can access the Royal Museum of the Army and Military History located in the Cinquantenaire Park for free and visit its numerous collections: weapons and military uniforms, aircraft, models, maps, etc.
But if you don’t fancy military history, simply enter the lobby of the museum and to the left you will find the signs to access the top of the Arc de Triomphe via a lift. Once there and looking towards the centre of Brussels you can identify from the left a large number of modern buildings among which is the European Parliament, identifiable by its glass dome. In fact, what you see is the famous "European district". To the right of the Rue de la Loi, the great avenue that connects the Parc de Bruxelles and seems to dive right in front of the Cinquantenaire Park, you will see an X-shaped building, this is the Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Commission.
A little further away you will find another group of buildings, typical from the Brussels skyline, which are known as "Quartier Nord" or "le petit Manhattan", since it is one of the main business centres of Brussels. Among these buildings, but near the other end of the city, you can see the Basilica of the Sacre Heart.
The top of the arc is a great stop along the way if you are visiting the European district. You can take a seat on one of its benches and simply contemplate the Cinquantenaire Park; even children can tinker by counting the planes that take off from Zaventem airport, to the north.
From Tuesday to Sunday: from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 16:45 hours.
Closed: Monday, January 1st, November 1st, December 25th and election days.
PRICE OF ADMISSION
- Free entrance
Jubelpark 3, 1000 (Parc du Cinquantenaire), Brussels.
HOW TO GET TO THE CINQUANTENAIRE PARK
- Metro: Schuman and Merode, lines 1 and 5.
- Tram: Place Saint Pierre, lines 81 and 83.
- Bus: Gaulois, lines 22, 27 and 80; Merode, line 61.