This quirky architectural structure in Brussels is a much-loved symbol of the city.
Soaring more than 90 metres into the air, this relic of the 1958 World’s Fair at the Heysel Exhibition Park is now Brussels’ most famous modern structure. Intended to celebrate the local steel industry, “the Eiffel Tower of Brussels” represents an iron crystal, magnified 160 billion times.
The Atomium was not intended to survive beyond the World’s Fair, but like the Eiffel Tower, its popularity has ensured its survival. Today, the structure is the most popular attraction in Brussels, drawing around 550,000 visitors a year, who enjoy the panoramic views across the city and beyond offered from its spheres. Four of the Atomium’s upper spheres are open to the public. One of these spheres houses a restaurant, while the others hold permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Admire the magnificence of the Atomium as you approach it from the southeast via the Ossegempark. It is situated in the northwest corner of this picturesque park. You will find the best photo opportunities on the promenade that borders the park.
Inside the Atomium, you can reach the upper spheres via escalator. Make sure you take time to visit the permanent exhibition “Atomium: from symbol to icon”, which is spread over 3 floors. Through photos, brochures, and stories from the World’s Fair, it tells the history of the structure. At the exhibition, you can also find out more about how the structure was created. Temporary exhibitions are held in one of the other spheres.
If you get hungry, take the central elevator to the highest sphere, the panorama, which is home to a restaurant with 360-degree views across the city. The a la carte menu offers both local and international dishes at reasonable prices. Don't forget to book in the evening. Even if you are not hungry, it's worth heading up to the panorama level for the fantastic views.
The Atomium is situated in Ossegempark and can be reached by car or metro. Paid parking is available in the streets nearby. It is open every day and an admission fee is charged.