The Atomium is one of the most recognizable structures in Brussels, and one of the strangest. The futuristic steel building features nine stainless steel balls connected by large metal tubes to resemble an iron crystal. It was originally constructed as the centerpiece for Belgium’s 1958 World Expo. Today, the newly renovated Atomium can be seen from across town or photographed from below in the beautiful Ossegempark. The public can visit four of the Atomium’s upper spheres. One of the spheres contains a restaurant while others contain permanent exhibitions. The Atomium is the most popular attraction in Brussels and will appeal to families, history enthusiasts and those with an appreciation for innovative design.
Approach the Atomium from the southeast to appreciate its stature against the beautiful surroundings of Ossegempark. The Atomium is located at the park’s northwest corner. The best photo opportunities can be found on the promenade that flanks the park.
Once you reach the Atomium, take an escalator to reach the upper spheres. Visit the permanent Expo 58 exhibition and learn about the story behind its creation. While an engineer designed the outside, the inside is the work of two Belgian interior architects. The apartment-sized spheres are spacious and otherworldly. Photographs, brochures and stories from the Expo appear throughout the exhibition. Another sphere hosts revolving temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Take the central elevator to reach the topmost sphere, home to a panoramic restaurant. Enjoy stunning views across the city as you order from the restaurant’s a la carte menu. International fare and Belgian classics are offered at reasonable prices. Reservations are needed only in the evening.
The Atomium is located on the edge of Ossegempark and can be reached by car or metro. Streets surrounding the complex have paid parking. The Atomium is open daily and there is a modest admission fee.