Which today remains the world's fifth largest Catholic basilica is another megalomaniac work by King Leopold II. It is not only among the top five largest Catholic churches in the world, but it also holds the title of the largest Art Deco building in the world. This is explained by the fact that Leopold II had a major inferiority complex. He continuously compared his country with the greatest European powers. This together with his admiration of the monumental Paris led him to try to imitate the French capital.
Access to the Basilica is free of charge, however going up to the base of the dome costs 5€ per person (€ 4 per person for groups of ten or more visitors). However, the 360° views are worth it. Tickets are purchased in a machine that only accepts credit or debit card, so be sure to have one!
Once you have the ticket, you have to climb through an elevator to the first floor and through a second elevator to the base of the dome. There you can walk around the dome and enjoy the views of the centre of Brussels, framed between the two imposing towers of the Basilica of Koekelberg; you will also see the Atomium or the nineteenth-century neo-Gothic church of Notre Dame de Laeken, whose importance lies in being the pantheon of the Belgian Royal Family.
Also remember that a few metres from the nearest metro station (Simonis station, metro line 6) is the factory one of the greatest Belgian chocolatiers, Godiva. Around the corner, towards the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, you will find a outlet shop of Godiva, where you can find chocolates with very good discounts, ideal for bringing a nice gift to family and friends.
So either to visit the basilica, perform one of the best photographs of Brussels, buy chocolate or stroll through the quiet Elisabeth Park frequented almost exclusively by residents of the neighbourhood, coming to this part of the city can be a very interesting option to enjoy a sunny day far from the touristic city centre.
- Summer: from 9:00 to 17:00 hours.
- Winter: from 10:00 to 16:00 hours.
- The basilica: Free admission.
- The dome: 5€ per person or 4€ per person for groups of more than 10.
Parvis de la Basilique, 1. Koekelberg. 1000, Brussels.
HOW TO GET TO THE BASILICA OF THE SACRED HEART
- Metro: Simonis and Elisabeth, lines 2 and 6.
- Tram: Bossaert-basilique, line 19.
- Bus: Riethuisen, lines 49 and 87.