If you take the question “What is the most boring big capital city in Europe?” and use it on Google, you will see that there are several forums and other sites, all pointing out to the same city.
I have been living for more than two decades just 25 kilometers from Brussels, and I have visited it only when I had to apply for some visas when I traveled. I do not think that I was there more than 15-20 times or so. That is how exciting the city looks to me.
But it would be fair to say that I have not visited all big capital cities in Europe, and cannot say from my own experience that this is indeed the most boring big capital in Europe.
However, there are many texts around that claim exactly this, that it is the most boring city even on the continent. Some of them appear to be based on some surveys of travelers. Most likely, this is exaggerated, but there may be some truth in it.
If you did not know, Brussels is the proud capital of European Union, and also the capital of Belgium, one of the least important EU countries.
I use the word “proud” on purpose. See how one of the most important EU politicians sees the EU, and this should apply to its capital as well. He calls it a garden, and the rest of the world a jungle, have a look:
In case you missed it, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy says, “Europe is a garden. We have built a garden… The rest of the world… is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle. The jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it.”
If you would like to hear more about this garden, his full speech is available here.
My guess is that Brussels was chosen partly because of geography, it is centrally positioned in the EU. The other more likely reason is that Belgium is a very unimportant small country. So it was convenient to have the capital in such a country rather than in big centers of more powerful nations, like in Berlin or Paris.
The stress on the words in the title should be on ‘Big Capitals’. I cannot imagine that Brussels, which is a large city with plenty of things to offer, could be more boring than some other tiny capitals in EU. Think about Bratislava, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Vilnius, and similar small capital cities of so many tiny countries in the EU.
But have you ever visited Warsaw? Well, this is a big city, bigger than Brussels of course, and I am sure it is far more boring than Brussels.
There is an article in a site and also discussions on several forums that look devastating for reputation of the European Capital. You will see even a statement that this is ‘the most boring city on the continent.’ They base their statement on a survey of 1400 travelers.
There is yet another article by Bloomberg with a very clear title “Brussels Most Boring City in Europe”. So this seems to be not only about capitals. Poor Brussels.
It may be surprising for some people to read in some articles that Brussels is also one of the most dirty and overrated capitals in the EU.
I wonder how come that Mr. Borrell from the video above is not aware of this. His office is in Brussels, he should be able to see what others see in his capital. It appears that he still has some work to do in his garden, and there may be more exciting places even in the outside jungle.
Thank you for reading. There is a comment box below so let me know what you think. Any contender for the most boring big capital in the EU?