Mini-Europe is located in the Heysel area of NW Brussels and features a large area of model buildings and street scenes from each country of the EU. I arrived early on a Monday when the park had just opened and had the whole place to myself to wander around in and marvel and the intricately designed models. Each model has a scale of 1/25 and 55 professional workshops from 9 EU countries were contracted to carry out the mammoth task in making the 100 plus models.
As you walk round the models you can play each countries national anthems by pressing a big red button on top of a sign that shows population and area figures for that country. The models are very well done. Favourites for me are the House of Parliament (UK), Grand Place (Brussels!), Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Pisa (Italy), Mount Vesuvius (Italy - where you press a button and it erupts shaking the ground and sending smoke into the air), Prague and all the models in Holland and Belgium.
If you pick up a leaflet from your hotel it may have a €1,00 off the entrance coupon which is handy to take as the entrance fee is a rather hefty €12,00. You're given a good booklet that outlines all the models in each country when you pay.
Open: 9.30am - 6pm daily or 9.30-8pm daily in summer. Admission: €12,00.
In the shade of one of Brussels most, if not the most, renowned features, The Atomium, lies Mini Europe as a part of the leisure park Bruparck. It is a collection of famous buildings from all over (western) Europe. Depending on how meticulously one scrutinises the craftily reproduced models the visit can last from about three hours up to half a day or more. A cafetaria is at hand to quench ones thirst or have a meal or just enjoy a drink on the terrace overlooking the scene. A souvenir stand is present on the premises as well as a souvenir stand in the cafetaria itself. Linked to the attraction is "The Spirit of Europe", an interactive exposition revealing the many facets of the united Europe as we know it today through a number of games and quizzes.
The largest stadium in Belgium (50,000 seats) was opened in 1995 after a ten year programme to rebuild the former Heysel Stadium. The new name of the stadium is Koning Boudewijnstadion / Stade Roi Baudouin named to the predecessor of King Albert II.
The opening match of the Euro 2000 championship was played here.
The former stadium built in 1930 was of course most notorious for being the site of a terrible disaster in 1985, when thirty-nine Italian and Belgian fans died and hundreds were injured. A retaining wall separating the Liverpool followers from Juventus supporters in sector 'Z' collapsed and many were crushed or trampled when panicking Juventus fans tried to escape.
The Football Association has banned the English clubs from playing in Europe following this tragedy.
Just next to the atomium.
Here you find famous and important buildings from all over europe in repliks in 1:25 dimension. It´s for children as for a adults a very interesting place. There´s a little bit animation in some models like the belling Big Ben, a starting Ariane rocket and other sounds.
We´ve never been in London together, but now we have a photo with Cecilia in front of the parliament ;-) Fantastic work, one of the best works for me here in Mini-Europe....
Take your time to read a bit of the information a little guide book gives. You can get it in several languages at the entrance.
Open from 9:30 to 17:00, have a closer look at the website
MINI EUROPE is a miniature world displaying models of major events in the history of Europe. Some are hands-on such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Visitors can make it happen. There are even scaled down replicas of the Channel Tunnel and the Ariane rocket !
Mini-Europe is located at the Atomium complex - and is a fun place to take kids to.
It has miniature models of European landmarks, and some of which are interactive and have moving elements.
The park is rather small - it take about an hour to go through it so you can wrap it around a trip to the Atomium itself.
They are open daily from 9.30am to 6pm; and in the summer to 8pm
Ticket cost Euro 12 for adults, small children can enter for free (they have a rather peculiar rule, based on height rather than age so children under 1.2m can enter for free).
Looking at this picture might be misleading, this is not the real City Hall but the miniature one in Mini Europe - one of the must see of Brussels - in the Brupark near the Atomium. The hall is in fact taller than a human, and the Grand Place is pictured during the flower carpet festival.
It's a large area where people who know Europe decide to creat its minature. You can see popular monuments of countries -members to European Union. It's in the Bruparck, a little far from the city centre, next to Atomium.
The impressive was that I was taller than Eiffel Tour or Vezuvius volcano. There are also buttons you can press for listening every country's traditional music or you can see something special for that monument. For example when we pushed abutton to Vezuvius the land started trembling!
At the exit there are games concerned what you see (questions, quizz etc.)
Mini Europe is a great walk around Europe.
Ticket costs: 12E/adults and 9E/children 12
I had a good time in Mini Europe, although, when I got in, I was pissed off because of the Atomium "fraud". We had a chance of taking photos jumping over Big Ben and other childish things that felt nice.
I was a bit dissapointed because of the Parthenon location though :((
Are we even since I'm telling all this bad stuff about the Atomium then?
This is a place where you may see minatures of most popular buildings and monuments located in Europe... MINI-EUROPE is the only park where you can have a whitlestop tour around Europe in a few short hours.
The incomparable chimes of Big Ben welcome you to the heart of London. The gondolas and mandolins will invite you to discover the charms of Venice. Follow the T.G.V. from Paris to the other end of France. You can make the models work yourself : the eruption of Vesuvius, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the bullfight in Seville and many more…
The Mini-Europe exhibition attempts to boil down the essence of Europe into a 24,000 meter square park filled with 350 scaled down buildings. It's detailed, accurate and big: with a 25:1 scale Big Ben is four meters tall, and the Eiffel tower as high as a three story building. There's a lot of little details, quite a bit of dynamic scenery, vehicles that move around the park, and even some interactivity.
It was built in 1989, and that shows in its representation of the new European Union countries. All three Baltic nations are squeezed together so tightly in one corner it's hard to tell their displays apart. They also take up less space than a single French location, like Charles de Gaul airport. There's a definite French bias too, with that countries exhibits taking up more space than Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK combined. There's also a strong focus on Belgium, but that's to be expected as the host nation.
It's a great place for kids, and you will find lots of them running around. And if they get bored of the park there's a pirate ship playground outside the entrance gate.