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When researching a trip to Brussels, it would be hard not to discover Atomium. A huge structure made of what seems like metal balls is something not to be missed. Make sure you read our top tips for visiting Atomium in Brussels!
Opening times are correct as of November 2022. Please check the Atomium website for up to date times.
- 7 days a week : from Monday till Sunday included
- From 10 am to 6 pm (ticket office closing and last entry in the building at 5:30 pm)
- 24 and 31 December : From 10am to 4pm
- 25 December and 1st January : From 12am to 6pm
Ticket prices are correct as of November 2022.
- Senior [65 and over]: €14
- Adult [18-64]: €16
- Child [115cm-17]: €8,50
- Child [under 115cm]: €0
- Student [with card (international)]: €8,50
- Person with a disability: €8,50
Discounts are available if you have a Brussels Card on the day of your visit.
A number of combo tickets are available when visiting Atomium in Brussels although these tickets must be bought in person and not online. Combo tickets can offer better prices if you’re also visiting places such as Mini Europe or the Planetarium. Some combo tickets also include entrance to the Design Museum, which is also across the road from Atomium.
Getting to Atomium
Place de l’Atomium / Atomiumplein 1
Access by public transport
Atomium is only a short journey away from central Brussels. Choose the right subway line and you can be there in around 15 minutes from the central station!
From the De Brouckère metro station (near Bourse / Beurs and the la Grand Place / Grote Markt):
- take line 1, in the direction of the Weststation / Gare de l’Ouest
- get off at Beekkant station
- change line at Beekkant (stay on the same platform / change side)
- take line 6 in the direction of Koning Boudewijn / Roi Baudouin
- get off at Heizel / Heysel station
- approximate length of the journey: 15 minutes
From Brussels south station / Brussel Zuid / Gare du Midi:
- • take line 6 in the direction of Koning Boudewijn / Roi Baudouin
- • get off at Heizel / Heysel station
- Approximate length of the journey: 15 minutes.
Information & prices: www.stib-mivb.be
Access by car
Unfortunately, Atomium does not have its own car park. However, there is a large carpark close by which seemed to be a popular choice. This could get busy if you visit later in the day as it is used for mutable attractions.
From January 1st 2022 the Brussels-Capital Region is a Low Emission Zone (LEZ). If you’re travelling by car or in a van, check lez.brussels for more information.
When is the best time to visit?
We chose to visit right at opening time, which seems to be quite a good option. For the opening time of 10am, we arrived at around 9:30 so we had time to take some photos beforehand and then join the queue. We already had our tickets and this definitely saves some time and means quicker entry.
At this time, we walked straight through the queue area and into a lift to take us to the first level. When we left a couple of hours later, around 11:30, there was quite long queues and fairly long wait to get to the elevator. I imagine that going later in the day would be quieter as well.
What is there to see at Atomium?
The Atomium was originally built for the 1958 Brussels World Fair and was never meant to last past that. However, demolition was put off and city officials decided a year later to keep it. Between 2004 and 2006, it was renovated, costing €26 million. Stainless steel was used, partially due to the fact it has high corrosion resistance.
Now, Atomium houses both permanent exhibits and temporary exhibits. In the permanent exhibits, you can learn all about the history and renovation of Atomium and why it was built in the first place. During our visit, the temporary exhibit was made up of different areas of light and sound, including up and down certain escalators. Think of it light a big light show in some of the different spheres.
In the upper sphere of Atomium, the viewing platform is fantastic and definitely my favourite area to walk around. You can see panoramic views of Brussels and we had loads of fun trying to find certain things, such as where our hotel might be. The surrounding area is absolutely beautiful and worth spending some time admiring. In the very top sphere you’ll also find the Atomium restaurant which now, looking back, I wish we had gone to.
Is Atomium family-friendly?
I would say that Atomium is somewhat family-friendly but it really depends on the age of your children. I initially thought that Erin might be quite bored, seeing as we didn’t really know what we were going to do. I think our experience was so positive because of Erin’s age and she enjoyed what there was to see. Being close to 7, Erin was interested in what there was to see and she could walk around on her own a little bit with us close to her. That being said, some children might not like the sound/ light area while others could possibly be bored by the more traditional, history area.
Atomium is not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs are also not allowed inside. There is, however, space to leave pushchairs. With younger children, you might find Atomium to be a bit of a struggle in places, especially with stairs and escalators. This is worth bearing in mind, should you want to visit Atomium as a family.
Tips for getting the best pictures
There are so many great places to get a good picture of Atomium. I spent quite some time trying to get pictures from different angles so here are some tips for getting the best images:
- Stand right underneath – take a different kind of picture and aim upwards. You’ll get a really different view and the picture will change depending on where you stand.
- Walk further away from Atomium – on either side of Atomium you’ll find a long stretch of either pavement or grass and these are great areas for photos. Be prepared to walk a little way down though if you want to get most of Atomium in the picture.
- Take a tripod – as a family, we found it really hard to get a photo of all of us without using a tripod. There are loads of places to pop it down for the photo and you’ll also see other people doing the same thing.
- Ask for help – if you’re maybe on your own or don’t have a tripod with you then you can always ask someone for help. I guarantee you that other people will want a picture taken of them so maybe offer to take one in return for someone doing the same for you.
- Visit Mini Europe which is across the road. There are so many wonderful angles and different settings to take a picture with. John laughed because I took so many photos while we were there.
- Go at night – You’ll get a completely different view of Atomium at night because you will be able to pictures when it is lit up.
Although we weren’t sure what to expect from the Brussels Atomium, we really enjoyed our visit. We didn’t spend quite as much time in the permanent exhibition as maybe me and John would have liked but there was a lot of reading and Erin wanted to move on to something a bit more fun. The temporary exhibition was by far the best thing for us and we could have stayed in those spheres for ages. It would be interesting to see what was there on a different visit and I imagine this is a great place for school trips.