So while unrestricted travel seems like a far-fetched dream in the middle of the third wave, I have thought of revisiting some of my favorite, not so popular places about which I have not blogged earlier. In this post, I am mentally revisting ATOMIUM, the gorgeous symbol of Brussels in Belgium. I had visited the European city in the year 2019. And I had loved the street art there. Personally, I loved Atomium because it stands for science. It asserts its progressive nature. And, last but not the least, it also emphasizes on the goodness of science. The nine steel balls as part of a symmetrical solid steel structure look absolutely stunning from all angles.
Atoms, molecules, cells! Who is a chemistry lover? I was a big fan of the molecule theory. So when I learnt about Atomium in Brussels, I was pretty curious to know more about it. And when I saw the picture of it, I was mighty impressed. Though the name gives a hint, one can never be sure of what they will be seeing there. It is huge and alluring. Atomium is an iconic, state-of-the art structure that excites every modern art lover. It is a giant 165 billion times enlarged model representing an elementary iron crystal cell. The imposing metal structures had very state-of-the-art kind of look.
The best part is that one can even go and see what is inside these balls. Five of them are open for the public to visit as there is an on-site restaurant. I did not go inside because there was lot of waiting time and I had reached the venue around 4 p.m. The Atomium is open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. I would suggest to be there around 11 a.m to make the best of it and the nearby attractions. The ticket cost includes an entire visit to the Atomium, including the permanent exhibition, the temporary exhibition and the panorama. I am hopeful that I will visit Brussels again in future and I am gonna go for lunch inside it.
Story of Atomium
Today, Atomium is one of the most loved iconic structure’s of Brussels. Interestingly it was not supposed to be there for long. When it was built, it was not meant to be a permanent structure, but the good news is that 2018 was marked as its 60th anniversary. The story goes that it was built as part of Expo 58. The aim was to send a message that nuclear power is to be used for the benefit of all and not for destruction.
It also represented one unit cell of pure iron. The 102 meters tall structure was built by André Waterkeyn. The balls are made in such a way that one can go inside them. There are nine of them. And there are escalators inside. From I learn from research is that the original structure was different from today. The whole idea recieved a great response in the exhibition. And later, it underwent a rework to have a concrete structure. The idea was very ambitious for those years and it had the fastest escalators too.
Now, these atomic spheres have undergone renovation from wear and tear, a couple of times. External lights and LEDs have been added in the exterior. Apart from the five spheres used for restaurant, one is dedicately used for children now. If you wish to know more about it, you must read about Atomium here.
How to reach Atomium in Brussels?
Atomium Brussels is not located in the maintown. It is nearly 30 minutes journey from Brussels Central Station. It is located is in an area north of the city centre called Heysel. I remember alighting at the last stop on line 6 of the metro. From Heysel Metro Station, it is just 500 meters away.
I was so used to walking to most of the tourist spots that is why I am calling it a little far away. But you must not miss going here. And do plan your day in advance. Just next to the Atomium, there is this open-air museum Mini-Europe! Also, Design Museum Brussels (150m from the Atomium) might interest the museum lovers. Mini Europe takes you on a beautiful round trip of whole of Europe and introduces you to mini versions of several attractions. One can plan all the three and you can buy a combined ticket as well. And please prefer online booking. (Anyways in the age of pandemic, this will be the only way to go.)
I had a good time there!!
Atomium is not a building or a monument, it is a magnificent piece of art. It is an engineers play and an artists dream. It will make you happy and joyful and even awestruck for some time. And I quite liked it for its impactful meesage of science. I visited it twice during my stay of two weeks in Brussels. I missed the night shows there but even the day visits were worth it. Revisiting Atomium with a friend was all the more fun because I acted like a local guide.
10 thoughts on “Revisiting Atomium, Symbol of Brussels”
I have been to Brussels many years back but not visited the Atomium. I enjoyed reading your post about it, very interesting and Mini Europe sounds fun to visit.As you say the Atomiumt is not a building but rather a piece of beautiful art for all to enjoy.
I have seen pictures of Atomium but had no idea about the history of it or that you could go inside. I haven’t visited Brussels, but it will certainly be on my list of things to do when I go there. I had no idea it has been there so long and I can’t wait to eat in the restaurant inside.
Atomium in Brussels, is really an iconic piece of architecture to explore. It’s also nice to know you can visit it from inside and must be so exciting. Thank you for sharing!
My other half would love to visit Atomium. He loves anything science related and this place is for him. We’ll visit the next time we’re back in Brussels!
I spent a week in Brussels, and can you believe I never made it to this popular attraction. I think I need to return just so I can say I’ve seen it! It’s cool to learn a bit more about it from your article.
My husband and son will love Atomium. They love science while I will just tag along. It’s really cool that visitors can go and see inside the atoms. I think to experience that plus eating in the restaurant will be something that you will never forget. The souvenir is cute, too!
I drove by the Atomium when I was in Brussels but did not stop and go in. I am very curious what it looks like inside, good to know the wait times can be long
Wow! This is really cool. Love the idea of enjoying Belgian fries while watching. Will make sure to visit once we have the chance to be in Brussels again.
I am yet to reach Brussels. Thank you for taking me to Atomium in Brussels virtually. It’s so interesting to know about this landmark. What fascinates me the most is that one can visit inside as well. Great knowing details about an iconic structure through your blog.
I’ve never been to Belgium, but I would love to get there someday. This structure is really pretty, and I love the idea of revisiting locations at least in your mind while travel is still somewhat iffy.