One of the more retro attractions in Brussels the Atonium has been pulling in visitors since the 1950s and shows no sign of stopping. A short ride on the metro out of the centre of town takes you to the attraction – where there is a mini model Europe thrown in for good measure. It’s a stunning piece of 1950s design, managing look ultra modern and retro space age at the same time!
We bought our tickets for 19 euros a piece and headed in. On the first level there were some pretty interesting historical exhibits from when the attraction first opened as well as some general 1950s scifi posters. We ascended in the high speed lift, which our guide told us was the fastest in the world until the 1960s, and ended up on the top floor.
At the top of the Atonium are several lookout points, where you can see some majestic views of Brussels, the mini Europe exhibit and the Hysel stadium. Follow some stairs up from this point and you will end up in a restaurant. It’s great, like the rest of the Atonium it feels modern and dated at the same time, I can say it’s kind of close to being on a set for the restaurant at the end of the universe in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We had a delicious cheese board and some wine before we went to explore further – the cheeseboard was amazing, I still dream of the Gorgonzola a little.
After having a bite to eat we realised we had to get back into Brussels so sped through the rest of the Atomium a little quickly. We did see an amazing light and sound show that had been installed on one of the levels by a French art and music collaboration. We also explored some of the other levels traveling via the high speed escalators connecting everything. These contained more displays on the history of the building, the worlds fair it was built for and some predictions of the future from the 1950s. All in all it felt a little like being in an old episode of Dr Who.
When visiting Brussels, the Atonium is something you have to see at least once! The changing exhibits and fascinating history of the place, combined with the incredible views and quirky restaurant make it a great day out!