Brussels is home to three main railway stations, Midi-Zuid, to the south of the city, Central-Centraal, in the centre and Nord-Noord, in the North. Passengers on high-speed trains to Brussels such as TGV lines from France, the Eurostar from London and Thalys trains from Paris, Amsterdam or Cologne arrive at Midi-Zuid station first and then go on to Central-Centraal. Trains from Germany on the ICE line stop at Midi-Zuid, Central-Centraal and Nord-Noord. Those traveling on a NMBS/SNCB (the Belgian national train line) service along BeNeLux train routes will arrive at Central-Centraal. The three train stations are all connected along one line and those arriving at Midi-Zuid or Nord-Noord can easily board a connecting train to the center of Brussels. All three stations are also connected to the simple and efficient Brussels Metro.
Considered by many to be the capital of Western Europe, certainly of the European Union, Brussels enjoys a pleasing mix of Germanic and Romanesque cultures as well as its own distinct character. Brussels is an architectural melting pot from the medieval buildings of the old quarter to its many Art Nouvaeu and Art Deco buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries. By night visitors should head to the Grand Place, or Grote-Markt, a beautifully illuminated historic area. Key landmarks also include the iconic Atomium structure that symbolizes Brussels’ forward thinking attitude. Get a sense of the city’s bohemian side and melting pot-culture in the Saint-Gilles area, head to leafy Uccle to see well preserved period villas or take yourself to vibrant Ixelles for a day of shopping.