Politics Trips to Brussels

Brussels is the centre of the European Union and also the pivotal centre of business and international politics in Europe, ideal for students of Law & Politics.

From the Belgian National Bank, to Council of the European Union and European Commission, Brussels is a bustling hub of international commerce and politics. Home to the European Parliament, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world. 

Your group can also embark on other exciting visits during your stay, including The National Bank of Belgium and Parliamentarium Brussels.

Why not visit Brussels for your next Law & Politics student trip, or take a look below for more inspiration.

Itinerary

Tour Day 1

Morning
Depart for Brussels
Afternoon
Check in to your accommodation and free time for orientation
Evening
Evening meal

Tour Day 2

Morning
Parlamentarium: The European Parliament's Visitors' Centre
Afternoon
Enjoy a guided tour of the European Parliament
Evening
Evening meal

Tour Day 3

Morning
Explore Brussels' European Quarter
Afternoon
Visit to the European Commission
Evening
Evening meal

Tour Day 4

Morning
Enjoy some free time in Brussels before setting off on your return journey to the UK

Curricular Links

A-Level

AQA Politics:

 

The European Union:

  • EU institutions
  • aims of the EU and the extent to which they have been achieved
  • the impact of the EU on UK politics and policy making.

 

Pearson Edexcel Politics:

 

The aims, role and impact of the European Union on the UK government:

  • The aims of the EU, including the ‘four freedoms’ of the single market, social policy, and political and economic union, and the extent to which these have been achieved.
  • The role of the EU in policy making.
  • The impact of the EU, including the main effects of at least two EU policies and their impact on the UK political system and UK policy making.

 

Regionalism and the EU:

 

  • Factors that have fostered European integration and the major developments through which this has occurred.
  • Formation, role, objectives and development of the European Union
  • Establishment and powers of its key institutions and the process of enlargement.
  • Key treaties and agreements.
  • Economic and monetary union.
  • Debates about supranational versus intergovernmental approaches. Significance of the EU as an international body/global actor, including the constraints and obstacles affecting:
  • Its political, economic, structural and military influence in global politics.

Study Visits

European Parliament (closed at weekends)

Tours

The European Parliament, together with the Council of the European Union and the European Commission exercises the legislative function of the EU.

Informative visits of the parliament are organised for groups that last around an hour that include a general introduction by an EP official to the role and work of the European Parliament.  On occasion, this could be followed by a discussion with an MEP if parliamentary business allows.
When the European Parliament is in session, groups may be able to observe MEPs' debates 'live' from the visitors' gallery. 

Role Playing Games

Step into the shoes of a Member of the European Parliament. At the Parlamentarium, take a fast-track course on how Europe's democratically elected body works. You will need to negotiate with fellow pupils to build the future you want for Europe. In imaginary political groups, you will discuss issues such as water solidarity and micro-chipping and will need to find a compromise in order to legislate. This lasts 2 ½ hours, is free of charge and can take a maximum of 32 students.

 

Parlamentarium: The European Parliament's Visitors' Centre

Dynamic, interactive multimedia displays guide our visitors through the journey of European integration and the impact this has on our everyday lives.

We take a virtual trip through Europe, finding out along the way what contribution the European Union has made to each of the Member States. We also hear accounts by fellow Europeans of what the Union means to them.   Free of charge.

 

European Commission

There are 3 levels of visit here.  We recommend the ‘Specific Information Visit’.   This comprises of an introduction on the role of the European Commission within the EU followed by a presentation on a specific EU policy of direct interest to the group. Visit lasts 3 hours  and booking in advance is essential.

Cultural Visits

The European quarter

The European quarter in Brussels is made up of lively squares, original shops, exceptional green spaces, world-renowned museums and, on top of all that, the incredibly interesting and attractive offer from all the European institutions. It’s a must!

Four important squares act as four great reference points when you are working your way around the European quarter.

  • The best place to start is Place du Luxembourg - Luxemburgplein. This classic example of a neoclassical station square, nicknamed Plux, is blessed with numerous terraces and restaurants on and around the square making it the major meeting point for young expats from the EU institutions, especially on a Thursday night. A good tip: order a cool aperitif at the trendy organic market on a Tuesday or in Noordzee, a little further along Rue du Luxembourg -  Luxemburgstraat. It’s the ideal place to experience international Brussels first hand!
  • Place Jourdan - Jourdanplein is an international and local hub, with terraces, cafés, nice restaurants serving local and international food.
  • Rond-point Schuman - Schumanplein (known as Schuman roundabout) on the other hand offers an incredible view of two of the three centres of EU decision-making. Tip: at night, the latter is beautifully lit which makes for a lovely evening stroll by the beautiful Europa building. You also get a view of Cinquantenaire park’s triumphal arch thrown in for good measure.
  • Place Jean Rey - Jean Reyplein is the new place to be when it comes to EU squares. Gourmet events and trendy shops and businesses have recently breathed new life into the square.

 

Grand Place

The central Grand Pace is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe with architecture from 3 different eras (Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV) making their marks on the square. The Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Grand Place is always a popular location for tourists to gather. Overlooking them is the glowing Gothic tower of the Town Hall. It acts as a great landmark because you can see the tower from most corners of the city.

 

Atomium

Originally built for the 1958 World Fair and restored in 2006, the Atonium is 102 metres tall, and has become one of the icons of the city of Brussels: capital of Europe, with which it has a special relationship. Thanks to its location on a naturally elevated plateau on the outskirts of town, the Atomium offers the only true 360° panoramic view of the 19 municipalities of Brussels. This landmark that many people call the most Belgian monument is also a museum with its permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.

 

Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe is the only park where you can visit the whole of Europe in a couple of hours. A truly unique voyage takes in visit 28 countries and 90 cities in just 2 hours. With 350 monuments and animations reproduced in the smallest details at the scale 1/25 invite you to travel across the old continent in miniature.

Located next to the Atomium means you can easily combine both activities.

 

Bowling

Always a popular evening activity, there are a couple of suitable bowing venues in central Brussels where groups can spend the evening.

 

Shopping

Shopping Arcades (Malls)

Brussels has one of the oldest shopping arcades in the world and a variety of others. Unlike ordinary shopping malls, galleries or arcades offer high quality brands and luxury items. They are normally set inside old buildings, great for escaping the rain and shine to shop at leisure.

Shopping Streets

Luxury brands and boutique shops can be found on Brussels two renowned shopping streets – Boulevard de Waterloo and Rue Antoine Dansaert. The ‘regular’ shopping street is called Rue Neuve, a pedestrian only street with a large selection of shops and a large shopping mall called City2.

Brussels Markets

To all local Brussels people, Brussels markets are the place to be any day of the week. There are hundreds of open markets operating throughout the week in small squares all over the city. Usually serving up fresh vegetables, handmade cheese, freshly chopped meat and knick-knacks for the home. On the Sundays the biggest markets are open for eager shoppers with small trolleys.