Léopold II bequeathed the 202-hectare (500-acre) estate of Heysel to the city of Brussels in 1909. The large exhibition spaces are located here, to the northwest of the centre. Its most famous landmark, however, is the Atomium - a giant model of an oxygen molecule, built for the 1958 World Fair as a temporary structure, although never fully dismantled. It reopened in February 2006 following extensive renovation, including replacement of its metal 'skin'. The highest sphere gives a panoramic view of the entire region; the base sphere has an exhibition on Expo 58 and the centre also hosts temporary exhibitions.
Things to see in Brussels
Rue Royale 2, Grand-Place
Tel: 02 513 8940.
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1800.
There are also tourist offices at City Hall, Grand-Place and at Bruxelles-Midi train station.
The Brussels Card (www.brusselscard.be) gives free entry to over 30 museums and unlimited travel by STIB public transport for 24, 48 or 72 hours. It also offers reduced prices in selected shops, restaurants and bars. This Brussels pass is sold at BOOTIK agencies, tourist information offices, hotels and museums.