Mini-Europe – A Whistle Stop Continent Tour

Two days of total immersion in the sights and sounds of World War 1 and Son was ready for something a little bit different. In charge of itinerary planning for the next day, light relief and fun were top of his list, a whistle stop tour of Europe in the morning at Mini-Europe in Brussels and then a closer look at the Atomium was his plan. All fine by us.

08.07.01 - Mini Europe

An hour’s easy drive from Bruges and we were just north of Central Brussels at Bruparck, site of Mini-Europe and a number of other attractions. Having been aware of this place for years, I’d always given it a miss on previous visits. A child’s paradise, not much there for adults was my reasoning but let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised.ย Tickets purchased we headed inside and were given a guidebook to refer to and help us around the park. I was expecting something a bit like Legoland with plenty of cute little buildings. At first glance that is exactly what it was like – models of Europe’s biggest and best landmarks with everything from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Eiffel Tower to Big Ben.

08.07.15 - Mini Europe

08.07.35 - Mini Europe

The guide book was fabulous. Son wasn’t too interested in reading it, I was happy to hog it for myself. It had stacks of information about the park and the 350 plus miniature structures but also fascinating facts on various European countries and places – our never-ending travel wish list instantly got longer.

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The whole place is built on an exact scale of 1:25. The nerd in me loved this and the fact you could see different landmarks closeย to each other and instantly see how they compare in height.

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We strolled around Paris, London and Venice while checking out the canals of Amsterdam, the windmills of Spain and the Brandenburg Gate. The models took years to build and the attention to detail is amazing to the extent there is real glass in the windows. The craftmanship is simply incredible.

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Interactive stuff aplenty too, there were ferries that moved, trains that whizzed around and much fun was had driving our own radio controlled boats through the waterways of Europe.

Too early to see the flower carpet in the Grand Place in Brussels, at least we got to see it in miniature here.

08.07.12 - Mini Europe

A little Flanders Field area with cemeteries and war graves was poignant considering our last couple of days.

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We loved the Channel Tunnel in miniature and a model of the ship in which we actually sailed over that waterway. Mind blowing how huge it really was – it wouldn’t have fitted inside the Grand Place.

08.07.25 - Mini Europe

08.07.22 - Mini Europe

A European Interactive Exhibition at the very end was a bit of a letdown and then there was the requisite visit to the gift shop before leaving. Outside in a sunny beer-garden with drinks in hand we all agreed our whistle-stop European tour had been lots of fun and the perfect way to spend the morning.

40 thoughts on “Mini-Europe – A Whistle Stop Continent Tour

  1. There’s a similar thing called Minimundus in Klagenfurt, Austria. I visited that one:) I visited the Atomium but didn’t want to visit Mini Europe because I’ve done the one in Austria:)

    • They are a bit similar Diana, all those little models but what I loved about this place was they are exact replicas of the real things. Also as it is all to scale, you get to compare the Leaning Tower of Pisa with the Eiffel Tower for example, I just loved that. It was a really fun family day out.

    • A bit of a mixed experience at the Atomium Jules. I’d seen it from the outside on several previous visits, this time thought we really should explore inside but felt it was just a bit of a let down. It was incredibly busy when we were there, a queue of 45 plus minutes just to go in the lift to the top level and the views were not that great really. Then you could move freely among the other levels but it was far too packed to be enjoyable and I just thought the exhibitions were a bit lacking really…

      • Aww thanks Joy! We are there during the Christmas Market so might have a rough time of it as well. I will leave it as a bad weather thing to do. Thanks for the response!

  2. What a fun introduction to all the sights of Europe! I’ve never heard of this before. I was particularly interested to see the Channel Tunnel having taken the train through it.

    • I loved that too – we’ve been through it a couple of times as well but never really thought how it would look. The whole place was fascinating, especially since it is all to scale.

  3. Thanks for sharing this one – it would usually be something I would avoid, but your comment about seeing the scale of all those landmarks compared to eachother has piqued my interest! My children would love it, and it’s so true that they deserve to have a part in the adventure choosing… What is the big silver thing?

    • I had avoided this place in the past too but just loved our visit. It was that thing about seeing the Eiffel Tower next to Big Ben etc. and just seeing how they compared – utterly fascinating. The big silver structure is the Atomium – it’s separate to this place, we went inside and explored there too, probably going to do a post about that!!

  4. It looks like the whole family had a thoroughly enjoyable morning Joy ๐Ÿ™‚ I particularly like the photo of the “Grand Place” in Brussels, with the model people in the foreground, and the ‘giants’ in the background ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love the look of this place Joy – anything like this in miniature has always appealed to me must be my inner child! The craftmanship as you say is amazing and the attention to detail is outstanding! I would never have thought to go here myself so thanks for highlighting it in your post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’ve avoided it in the past Rosemary, our son really wanted to go and that was why we did. It was so much fun though, I loved the models too and the fact everything is to scale – so fascinating to compare iconic landmarks and buildings – we just had such a great day out.

  6. This is the type of place that I would’ve missed (personal preferences), but now I’m intrigued because I’d love to see the different landmarks of Europe in a side-by-side comparison. Although I would have some difficulty with NOT acting out some crazy “Godzilla-stomping-on-Europe” scenes.
    Looks like a great afternoon of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’d missed it out too in the past for the same reason, loved it this time though Melissa, like you say the comparison thing is so fascinating. Glad our son didn’t think about the Godzilla thing – that might have made for quite a different visit!!

  7. What a marvelous place! I’d totally love to visit here, and like you would be engrossed by the guidebook too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am intrigued by the structure with the strange round silver balls in the second picture – is that the ‘Atomium’?

    • That guidebook was a little gem – so many interesting facts, like I said the travel wish list got longer thanks to all that information!! The big silver ball structure is the Atomium – we visited in the afternoon and another first for me, we went inside. Having seen it from the outside in the past we decided to finally check that off the list too!!

  8. Pingback: Travel plans 2016 – BCBL. Big Cities Bright Lights.

  9. What a beautiful life you have having all these lovely places you’ve been to! I love the blue clogs! In Holland , they have a place like this called “Madurodam”. Thank you so much leaving so much love in my page & for following.

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