"Atomium" Atomium Tip by toonsarah
Atomium, Brussels: 137 reviews and 220 photos
This monument dates from the Exhibition of 1958 and has become the Eiffel Tower of Brussels. The Atomium is the visual representation of the concept of an "atom", and symbolizes an elementary iron crystal with its 9 atoms, magnified 165 billion times. It was built to honour the metal and iron industry and the new belief in the atomic power.
The monument is coated with aluminium and is 102 meters high. Each sphere has a diameter of 18 meters. It has recently been restored and makes for very striking photos especially when the sky is blue.
We stopped here on our ?hop-on, hop-off? city tour, and in retrospect should have limited ourselves to taking those photos, but instead we decided to go inside. For this we paid 9 EUR. The main point of going inside seemed to us to be to go to the top, so we queued for about 40 minutes (it was a busy Saturday afternoon and this seems to be a popular outing for local families as well as tourists) for the lift that takes visitors to the uppermost sphere. To be honest we wished we hadn?t bothered. The views were OK but not spectacular as the city is rather distant and it was hard to pick out any landmarks apart from the infamous Heysel Stadium which lies just at the foot of the Atomium. I think we spent about 10 minutes looking at the view, if that, and then waited a further 20 minutes in another queue to descend. There is a small restaurant in this sphere, so a visit to that might justify the ascent ? otherwise I would say don?t bother.
The lower spheres can be visited by means of escalators and stairs, and I enjoyed this a bit more as you get a better sense of being inside this strange monument. There were several small temporary exhibitions in these, including a slightly surreal collection of Barbie dolls.
Address: Blvd. du Centenaire, BruPark
Directions: Metro: Heizel/Heysel
Phone: +32 2 475 47 75
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