The list of things to do in Brussels is diverse, whether you’re snapping a photo of the colorful murals along the comic book strip or climbing to the top of one of the biggest churches in the world.
The Belgium capital’s a one-of-a-kind city. Visitors come here for the crisp waffles, smooth chocolate, and odd peeing statues.
The streets packed with larger-than-life gothic architecture, verdant parks, and quaint shops.
The atmosphere of Brussels seems business-centric. But once you peel back the layers, you discover a quirk, child-like vibe, pumping nightlife, and a long and proud history.
Because Brussels has different layers, it can be confusing figuring out what to do and where to spend our time. Or rather, it was confusing.
Below you’ll discover the top 40 things to do in Brussels. There’s enough to unpack here to keep you occupied for a week. However, even if you just have a couple of days in Brussels, you’ll find this list useful. Let’s get to it!
Things to do in Brussels
Grand Place in Brussels
You can’t miss the Grand Place in Brussels (aka the main city square).
Literally, you can’t miss it, as this massive area takes over a large portion of the downtown. The Grand Place in Brussels – flanked on all sides by medieval buildings and guild halls – has become known as one of the most beautiful city squares in Europe.
These 15th-century buildings combine elements from both baroque and Gothic architecture – making something truly different. And no building showcases this more than city hall. It’s the biggest and most beautiful building in the square. And a site worth waking up early to beat the afternoon crowds that flock to this glorious building.
There’s more to do in the square than just staring at buildings. Grand Place has restaurants, events, and nearby bars. Brussel’s famous flower market takes over part of the square almost every day. Visit the Grand Place at night; when the city squares enveloped by a seemingly quiet, yet lovely, atmosphere.
Before you go you should know a little Grand Place history. The grand place has remained relatively unchanged for over 300 years. The wonderful blend of gothic and baroque style makes it stand out from many other city squares in Europe. Sadly, in 1979, Grand Place suffered some damage by bombing. But now it has been restored to its former glory.
This strange statue has become world-famous and tops many of the lists of unusual things to do in Brussels. The name “Manneken Pis” roughly translates into English as the “little man pee,”. And that perfectly sums up this tiny statue which – as you have guessed by now – depicts a little man (or child) peeing.
I don’t quite get it myself, but no visit to the city is complete without having a chuckle when visiting Manneken Pis Brussels.
And while the statue’s not far from city hall, albeit it takes a little skill to find.
what is the story behind Manneken Pis?
Manneken-Pis has become one of the most iconic citizens of Brussels. It was first built in the 15 century as a way to help distribute drinking water in the city.
There are a couple of legends that surround Manneken Pis.
The first says that the statue is modeled after a boy who helped save the city from fire by peeing on the fuse on an explosive.
Another legend says the boy is frozen in time for peeing on a witches’ door.
Getting to Manneken Pis
A five minute walk will take you from the Grand Place to Manneken Pis. And while the it’s not far, it does take a little skill to find.
To get there map out the quickest route to where Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat meets with the pedestrian street Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat
This landmark, located in Heysel Park, comprises of 9 massive spheres connected by cell shaped iron rods. The design forms the shape of an iron crystal but built at 165 billion times bigger. The otherworldly design of the Atomium has made the building famous in Brussels. Not only has this become a popular tourist attraction – that draws over half a million tourists a year – it’s also considered a symbol of the capital.
From the top, you can grab a little bite to eat, sip on a beer, and enjoy sitting inside one of the world’s largest atoms. There’s also the Atomium museum where kids can learn more about the site.
One of the biggest draws is going inside – the Atomium interior looks like you stepped into a space ship in a scifi movie.
The building dates back to the late 1950s from the World Expo in Brussels but was renovated in the early 2000s.
Mini Europe Brussels
Don’t have time to venture to all the best places to see in Europe? Well, Brussels has the answer with Mini Europe; a park that can feed that craving. Sitting under the Atomium, this park lets you travel around all the most important sites in Europe in only a few hours. (Talk about reducing your carbon footprint, am I right?)
The mini-park features versions of Europe’s most memorable monuments built at a 1:25 scale. Hear the mini chimes of a mini Big Ben sound through the air. Or watch the sunset over a mini Eiffel Tower. Run from a mini model of Mt Vesuvius erupting, or see and the fall of the Berlin wall.
The park sets out to encapsulate the spirit of what makes Europe one of most beautiful places to visit in the world.
Sometimes the park has discounts, so plan your visit right and get a mini Europe Brussels discount. You can also get a mini Europe and Atomium combo ticket. If you want to knock off these two awesome things to do in Brussels, this will save you around 8 Euros.
mini europe opening hours
Operating season: March–October
From 09:30 to 18:00.
(Some dates they’re open until 20:00) Check the opening hours here.
how to get to mini europe
Mini Europe sites next too Atomium, north of the called Heysel. Take tram line 7 from the city centre.
mini europe discount tickets
€12,00 / €16,50 / €16,50
Mini-Europe + Atomium (+ ADAM – Brussels Design Museum)
€18,40 / €29,00 / €27,30 €22,50 (12-18y)
€16,00 / €21,50 / €19,50
+ City Sightseeing (Hop on Hop off 24h)
€21,40 / €35,00 / €35,00
Photo by Delirium Village
There’s no doubt that little Delirium Café’s a contender for one of the best bars in Brussels. I mean, when’s the last time you’ve walked into a bar and seen over 2,000 beers on tap. No, your eyes didn’t deceive you; there are over 2,000 beers on tap! The Cafés also massive, and one of the largest (if not the largest) pub in Brussels and spans three floors.
Delirium Café draws an enormous crowd during Europe’s peak travel season. So those wanting to beat the crowd should plan a visit right at 10:00 A.M when it opens.
If chugging a pint first thing in the morning isn’t appealing, then you have until early afternoon, at the latest, before it’s shoulder to shoulder crowds with people from all over the world.
Delirium Café an icon of the city and hands down one of the best things to do in Brussels.
Of course, at the top of any foodie’s list of things to do in Brussels is eat chocolate. And what better way to indulge in the best chocolate in Brussels than by embarking on an unforgettable journey centered around the country’s most famous export.
There are dozens of chocolate tours to choose from around Brussels; however, I like this one by Airbnb. The tour takes you to 5 of the cities’ best chocolatiers. (With the Airbnb coupon code it basically pays for itself)
You will sample at least 8 different distinct types of chocolate. As you go, you’ll work your way up the cocoa content ladder and learn the science and history behind good chocolate. Not only that but there’s a lot of opportunities for free chocolate. And the tour teaches you how to determine high-quality chocolate from lower chocolate. So it’s a win-win-win.
Similar tours by or the ones below by Get Your Guide are well worth checking out as well.
Chocolate Tours in Brussels
Notre Dame Du Sablon
The gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame Du Sablon contains all the gusto you expect when checking off your list of things to do in Brussels. Notre Dame Du Sablon (better known as the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon) is a 15th-century church located in the historical center of Brussels.
Both the interior and exterior of the church are spectacular. The outside houses a Brabantine Gothic style. The dazzling interior features two baroque chapels, tall columns, and numerous colorful stained glass windows depicting crossbowmen.
Legend says that the church had a statue of the Madonna that had healing powers. However, the figure was supposedly stolen by a gang of thieves and is now lost to time. So when making make sure to pay Notre Dame du Sablon visit when exploring Brussels.
Another perks is that there isn’t a Notre dame Du Sablon entrance fee. It’s free!
Notre Dame Du Sablon opening hours
Opening hours during summer: 8 am to 6 pm.
Opening hours during winter: 10 am to 5 pm.
Getting to Notre Dame Du Sablon
Address: Rue des Sablons, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Royal Palace of Brussels
The Royal Palace of Brussels (Or Palais Royal – as it’s known locally) remains the official home of the king and queen of Belgium. Today the royal family spends most of their time at Royal Palace of Laeken. But the Royal Palace of Brussels remains the country’s seat of power and home to the federal parliament.
Since 1985, this extravagant palace has been opened up tours to the public. These informative tours showcase many of the important rooms and history of the palace. There’s one catch though, the palace is only open during the summer months.
The palace is still known as the headquarters of the Belgian constitutional monarchy. And still used for daily task, large state receptions, high profile functions, and the apartments for the foreign head of states visiting.
Palais Royal de Bruxelles opening hours
Palais Royal de Bruxelles is open to the public from the 21st of July until the beginning of September.
The Palace is open from Tuesday until Sunday at 10:30 am and closes at 5 pm.
Geting to Palais Royal de Bruxelles
Address: Rue Brederode 16, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert (Royal Gallery)
These galleries are modeled off the famed French passages, the couverts à Paris. (Which, on a side note, are one of the most unusual things to do in Paris). In Belgium, the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert act as a dazzling shopping hub in Belgium’s capital.
Under these glass passages the area’s awash with malls, local shops, restaurants covering two floors.
These galleries have been a part of life in Brussels for almost 200 years. And predate many of the similar shopping arcades in Europe. This is a great stop along the way to check out St Michael and St Gudula cathedrals, which are around a 5-minute walk away.
Belgium and beer go hand-in-hand like whiskey and Ireland, or Italy and Pasta. So it isn’t a shock to learn that Belgium’s one of the most beer fueled countries in Western Europe.
Speckled around Brussels are hundreds of places to grab a pint and mix with locals. For those looking for some place unique to grab a pint than head to Le Cercueil.
Although be warned, its sinister atmosphere might not be for everyone. In English, Le Cercueil transaltes to “The Coffin”.
Eerie skeletons and dark cloaked grim reapers hide in the corners of this dimly lit bar. Even beers and cocktails are served in the skull-shaped mugs and glasses. Put your courage to the test by grabbing a drink in Le Cercueil. It’s one of the bravest things to do in Brussels.
If that doesn’t sound appealing you can also head to Goupil Le Fol nearby.
Geting to Le Cercueil
Address: Rue des Harengs 10/12, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Bois De La Cambre
For those wanting peace, quiet, and some space to breathe in the crisp morning, European air in solitude should head to Bois De La Cambre. This is the biggest park in Belgium lying on the doorstep of Sonian Forest. Whether you want to take a stroll, jog, or bike ride, this is a cheap and fun thing to do in Brussels.
The vast park hasan array of thick woods and verdant fields. Bois De La Cambre has places to relax, people watch or take a leisurely stroll. There’s also a Bois De la Cambre restaurant, or save some money and head to a small stand to grab a beer and a waffle (its Belgium after all).
The covers over 1.2 kilometers and sits on the southern part of Brussels. Bois de la Cambre events happen all year round, so visit the site to what’s going on during your visit.
Speaking of waffles, are there any waffles in the world better than those found in Belgium? (Hint, the answer is no.) So those looking for a fun little activity need not look any further than a waffle workshop. The workshop lasts 90 minutes and is run by three passionate locals.
During the workshop, you’ll learn about the history of waffles, how to prepare the traditional Belgian waffle dough, and how to cook it perfectly. The only question is…. How crazy will you get with your toppings?
It’s a great way to meet new people or a fun group event. This Airbnb experience makes using your Airbnb promo code worth it.
Eugène Flagey Square or Place Flagey
Eugène Flagey Square, better known as Place Flagey, has become a favorite square in Brussels. One reason for its surge in popularity is its location. Place Flagey comes together where ten streets merge, making it one of the best-connected crossroads in the city and a popular place to hang out.
There’s a cultural house, a concert hall, countless bars, and places to eat and beautiful ponds and a movie theater. If you want to indulge in that famous Belgium dish of fries, head to Flagey Brussels Frites for the best fries in the area.
Geting to Eugène Flagey Square
Address: Place Sainte-Croix, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Place Flagey Market Hours
There’s even Place Flagey market, which runs from 7 am – 1 pm Monday through Friday. The market sells fresh flowers, national delicacies, and local goods.
On Sundays, they hold an Oyster tasting in the market area. If you are looking for a fun night out, then Place Flagey’s a good place to go.
brussels comic strip walking route
Brussels claims itself as the home of the comic strip. The ancestral grounds of comic legends such as Tin tin and the Smurfs. Whether that’s true or not, the city has a few fitting tributes to comics around the city.
The massive murals spread around the city, popularly known as the Comic Strip Route are worth visiting. Currently, there are over 50 murals speckled throughout downtown Brussels. (With more starting to pop up in nearby cities.)
Along the Brussels comic strip walk route, almost everything you can imagine is decked out in comic book art styles. Even the decoration of restaurants to hotel rooms seems like it was pulled from the Sunday paper. The gigantic comics ( the most popular being the Tintin murals) are highly detailed and gorgeous. There is nowhere else in the world where you’ll find anything like it – making it a unique thing to do in Brussels.
There’s also Brussels street art walking tours that take combine the art and history of comics in Brussels. Even if you’re not on a tour, this is one of the best things to do in Brussels.
Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art
In the same vein as the Comic Book Murals scattered around the city, there’s also the Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art. Like how visiting the Peanuts Museum’s one of the top things to do in Santa Rosa, no comic fan would visit Brussels without coming to this comic mecca.
Essentially the center’s a hall of fame for comic strip characters. Celebrated here are a variety of famous comic strips for a verity of time periods. The two most popular are arguably Tintin and the Smurfs. The Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art features original drawings, statues, prints, and more to explore.
Place de la Bourse (Former Stock Exchange)
Near to the Grand Palace lies the stunning building known as the Place de la Bourse. The architecture’s the biggest draw to this building as both exterior and interior of this building are mesmerizing. The building also plays an enormous part in Belgium’s history, and for a long time, this elaborate building was used as the Belgium stock exchange.
However, today it’s used to showcase special exhibits and immersive city experiences. These detailed exhibits give you a glimpse of everything from the city’s history and to global events.
The upper levels are a beer museum, which is one track to upon in 2020. And honestly, one more thing to do in Brussels that I can’t wait to check out.
MIMA – Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art
The MIMA or Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (yeah, MIMA’s much easier to say) busted onto the scene in 2016.
In true Belgium form, this famous museum’s built in an old brewery and overlooks a canal. (Can you get more stereotypical than that?)
The museum focuses on what they call “culture 2.0.” art. This means it covers a wide range of creative art styles from graffiti to digital to subculture.
This site might not be for everyone. However, if you’re into art, then this museum showcases a bold collection of pioneering art styles that you’ll appreciate.
Palais De Justice
Welcome to the Palais De Justice. Constructed in 1883, this building has become one of the most important buildings in Europe and the most important building in Brussels. The Palais De Justice is the biggest courthouse in Europe and grand in both scale and design.
Large white columns flank the beautiful pearl color stairs and rooms. A newly dome was built after the original dome suffered from a fire during WWII. The entire building’s stunning.
The Palais De Justice is free to enter. And so there’s no excuse for why it shouldn’t be on your list of things to do in Brussels.
Royal Greenhouse of Laeken
These heated greenhouses envelop a big portion of Laeken palace. Laeken’s a lavish estate in downtown Brussels and the most amazing creation from King Leopold II of Belgium.
These domed glass gardens are overflowing with exotic plants and tropical flora and fauna.
Sadly, visiting these gardens requires excellent timing. And the Royal Greenhouse are only open for a limited window in the springtime.
But the stunning domes, lush colors, and overwhelming good smells stick with visitors long after they return to their hotel rooms. If you have a chance to visit Laeken’s Royal Gardens, then don’t pass it up.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
History buffs, like myself, will quickly fall in love with the Natural Science Museum. The museum offers plenty to take in from the Dinosaur Hall to the North and South Pole Tunnels. Explore prehistory, vertebrates, invertebrates, and entomology.
The museum’s a magnificent tool to learn about everything from prehistoric life to the conditions of the arctic. The natural science features exhibits that cater to kids; but it’s also a favorite thing to do in Brussels among children of any age.
Jeu de Balle flea Market
Shoppers grab your bags, open your wallets, and head to Jeu de Balle flea market (also known as the Old Market) with your bargaining skills in tow. This market contains every object you can ever imagine, from clothes to lampshades, from jewelry to furniture. Throughout history, “the old market” was a junk and rag market. And from first glance, it might seem that it still is a junk market.
However, savvy shoppers will see through the mess and chaos and see it for what it is “a treasure trove.” Although, you’ll need to prepare to do a little digging in order to find the best things.
The markets open every day of the year. It’s an excellent place for local shopping for small trinkets for friends and families.
Maison du Roi
Maison Du Roi translates from its French roots to “The Kings House.” And while the building is ornate and elaborate enough for royalty, no king or queen ever called it home. To this day, the building is considered a neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece and one of the best buildings in Brussels. These incredible buildings should be at the top of any things to do in Brussels list.
Located in the Grand Place (the historic center of the city, the Maison du Roi is the “can’t miss” museum in Brussels. They have massive collections of cultural artifacts, art, sculptures, and monuments from over 600 years of Brussels history.
Ok, so maybe the waffle making class, we briefly discussed earlier, isn’t your cup of tea. But it’s virtually a crime to leave Brussels without overindulging in these sweet treats.
And while Belgium’s basically attached its name to waffles, the ones found in Brussels vary greatly from many other places in the country, like Liège.
Waffles in Brussels are heartier, bigger, thicker, and better. They are cheap, delicious, and come with a variety of different toppings ranging from chocolate to whipped cream.
Musical Instrument Museum
By this point, it’s clear that Brussels isn’t your ordinary city. Instead, it has a quirky, almost innocent atmosphere. So it shouldn’t be surprising that Brussels has an odd museum that’s entirely dedicated to a collection of musical instruments. The Musical Instruments Museum houses over 7,000 instruments from all different periods.
Visitors are given a pair of headphones that correspond with the displays upon arrival. As visitors make their way through 4 levels of exhibits, they not only learn the history of these instruments but also get to listen to how they sound. It’s a cool experience, and one I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. To visit the museum, head to the famed Art Nouveau building.
Eat Traditional Food
I’m a big advocate for wayfarers to try traditional eats at the places they visit, like the food in the best place to visit in Thailand.. Food gives a glimpse into the culture; it lets you connect with the country in a new way, and tells you something about their history.
And Brussels has a handful of dishes – besides waffles and chocolate – that are important to try. Let’s take a quick look at the best foods to eat in Brussels.
Frites (Moules and Frites)
The first and most important are the Frites (fries). And if you are a fan of seafood, then add Moules (Mussels) to that order. Why this might seem like a simple meal you could get anywhere, this is a dish that screams Brussels, and an exciting take on a classic meal.
Raw beef, anyone? No, well first off let me tell you all are missing out. But eh, that’s more for me.
Belgium’s steak tartare often comes with onions, mayonnaise, capers, an egg yolk, and a mix of other things. These various ingredients add an exciting spin, and it’s one of the best things you’ll eat in the entire country.
Also commonly labeled as Carbonnade à la Flamande. This beef stew’s made with onions, beef, and beer. All things Belgium loves, and a stew worthy of seconds.
Cinquantenaire’s a lesser-known, yet offers a handful of fun things to do in Brussels in the capital. The Palace of Cinquantenaire is located on the east side of Cinquantenaire Park (Or Parc du Cinquantenaire). This Brussels park’s the second largest and most important in the capital. It’s great for a lazy day, a small stroll, or just getting some fresh air.
The major draw to the park’s undoubtedly Cinquantenaire Palace. The main site on the exterior of the palace is the towering arch, which slightly resembles Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The palace interior’s home to three of Brussels museums – the Royal Military Museum, the Cinquantenaire Museum, and Autoworld.
Parc de Bruxelles (Park of Brussels)
Why we are discussing parks, let’s talk about the most famous park in the central urban area of the capital, the Park of Brussels. As you would expect, this park draws locals and travelers from all over the world.
The Royal Palace sits on the south side of the park, making it easy to knock off two things off your list of things to do in Brussels. In fact, this par has taken over, what was once, the king’s hunting grounds.
The park is close to some other museums like the Musical Instruments Museum and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium.
If Belgium has an abundance of one thing, it is chocolate. And it’s almost a crime to leave Brussels without first eating your weight in this dark delight.
Belgium, and Brussels in particular, have mastered a variety of praline chocolates. But they have a firm grasp on most varieties, so you really can’t go wrong. The Sablon area’s a great part of the city to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
Three Sablon Brussels Chocolate shops not to miss are Leonidas, Passion Chocolat, and Neuhaus Sablon.
To begin with, we first need to get the name right, and while it is commonly known as Brussels Cathedral, that’s not it. The real name is St. Michael and St. Gudula; or if you want to get more technical, Cathédrale Saint-Michel et Sainte-Gudule. Whatever you choose to call it, there’s no doubt that this cathedral stands as an impressive landmark.
This stunning Gothic Cathedral dates back to the 8th century when a chapel set on this spot. The construction of the cathedral we see today started hundreds of years later. One mind-boggling Brussels Cathedral facts is the massive church took 300 years to complete.
The outside of the cathedral’s entirely built of stone, and its Gothic style resembles Notre Dame. The imposing towers reach over 180 feet tall.
Inside this impressive cathedral, you’ll see the relics of Saint Gudula. And let’s not forget the Brussels Cathedral Organ, made up of three parts, four keyboards, and weighs thirty tons.
Unlike many churches in Europe that are free, St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral entrance fee is 1 Euro.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart
This Art Deco building stands at an impressive 89 meters tall and 167 meters long.
Having trouble picturing that?
Then latch on to this thought, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest church in the world.
The church’s built from red stone and houses an enormous green dome—this larger-than-life site in one of the best things to do in Brussels if you’re into architecture.
To visit this masterpiece, head to Koekelberg Neighborhoods just outside the city. And while it is a bit of a trek to get to it, the views from the observation deck make it worth the journey.
Because it’s a little out of the way, those pressed for time might want to skip this site. And the basilica Brussels tickets start at 6 Euro.
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Brussels for my fellow nerds and I involves visiting the European District. The European District of Brussels (Quartier Europée) acts as the headquarters of the European Parliament.
Located in the lesser-known Leopold Quarter, here you will find the Berlaymont building, the main building on the EU, as well as a bunch of other EU buildings. The areas are great for walking around and exploring the extraordinary buildings and styles.
There are also some Brussels eu tour operators if you want to learn more about the European District.
The BELvue museum takes travelers on a remarkable journey through the history of the country. The museum starts with the 1830 revolution and recounts the events of the country until the federal state of 1993.
Next to the Royal Palace and the Palace of Coudenberg, this museum was a former luxury hotel in one of the nicest parts of Brussels.
Today, it serves as a reminder of where the country has come, and where they want to go. It’s worth visiting for anyone interested in the history of Belgium.
If you’re lucky enough to visit the Royal Palace, make sure not to miss Coudenberg. These ruins underneath the royal palace are the remains of the ancient palace of Brussels.
Ruins that date back almost a thousand years to the 11th century.
The ruins are fantastic, are alive hundreds of years of rich history, and play an important part is the story of Belgium.
If you got a kick out of Manneken Pis then checking out his sister, Jeanneke Pis, is a must.
And while this girl isn’t as popular as her male counterpart, it’s equally odd. The statue depicts a little girl hunched down and peeing into a limestone bowl.
Jeanneke pis statue is found in the center of Brussels and acts as a counterpoint to her brother.
Now don’t get fooled. While Manneken Pis is over 400 years old, his sister Jeanneke Pis was built in the 1980s. Making her much younger at just over 35.
Strange, but eh, that’s Brussels.
Nearing the end of our list of things to do in Brussels is a site car lovers will flip over. Autoworld’s exactly how it sounds. Visiting is to step a massive vintage car museum.
There are over 300 classic and vintage cars from all different eras. The collection as distinct as it is impressive, and it’s a see-worthy site in the capital.
Prices for adults start at 12 Euros, and it’s open from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. And while it might be near the end doesn’t mean Autoworld should be overlooked.
Drink Some Belgian Beer at Cantillon
If you’re looking for a unique experience in Brussels, then you should definitely check out Cantillon Brewery. Located in the Anderlecht neighborhood of Brussels, this brewery has been producing traditional Belgian beer since 1900. With over 20 different beers to choose from, there is something for everyone at Cantillon.
The brewery offers tours that will take you through the entire brewing process and give you a chance to sample some of the beers. You can also purchase bottles of beer to take home with you. The brewery is open from Tuesday through Saturday, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.
At Cantillon, you’ll get a chance to experience the traditional Belgian brewing process firsthand.
Eat Speculoos at Maison Dandoy
Maison Dandoy is a must-visit spot for anyone who loves Belgian treats. Located in the heart of Brussels, Maison Dandoy has been serving up delicious pastries and cookies since 1829. One of their most popular items is Speculoos, a traditional spiced biscuit that is often served with coffee or tea.
The Speculoos from Maison Dandoy are made with a special blend of spices and brown sugar, giving them a unique flavor that is hard to find elsewhere. The cookies are also made with all-natural ingredients, making them a healthier option than many other treats.
Visitors to Maison Dandoy can enjoy their Speculoos in the cafe or take some home for later.
See the Art of rené magritte at the Magritte Museum
The Magritte Museum in Brussels is a must-see for any art lover. Located in the heart of the city, this museum houses an impressive collection of works by the renowned surrealist artist René Magritte. Visitors can explore more than 200 original pieces, including some of his most iconic paintings such as The Treachery of Images and The Son of Man.
Visit the triumphal arch
The Triumphal Arch of Brussels is a stunning monument located in the heart of the city. It was built in 1859 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence and stands as a symbol of national pride. The arch is made up of two large pillars, each topped with a bronze statue representing Belgium’s two main regions: Flanders and Wallonia. The arch also features sculptures depicting Belgian history and culture.
Visiting the Triumphal Arch is a must-do for anyone visiting Brussels. The arch is located in the city center, making it easily accessible to tourists. Visitors can take a guided tour of the arch or simply admire its beauty from afar. The arch is lit up at night, making it an impressive sight to behold.
Sample Lambic Beer
Sample Lambic Beer is one of the most popular things to do in Brussels. Lambic beer is a type of Belgian beer that is brewed using wild yeast and bacteria, giving it a unique flavor. It’s often served with fruit, such as cherries or raspberries, which adds to its complexity. Sample Lambic Beer can be found in many bars and pubs throughout the city, and many breweries offer tours and tastings. If you’re looking for a unique experience, sampling Lambic Beer is the perfect way to explore Brussels’ beer culture.
You can also find it in many supermarkets and specialty stores, so you can take some home to enjoy with friends or family.
Wander the Grand Place Square | A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Grand Place Square in Brussels is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Located in the heart of Brussels, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most iconic places in Belgium. The square is surrounded by beautiful 17th century buildings, including the Town Hall and King’s House, which are both stunning examples of Flemish Gothic architecture.
Visit the Art Gallery at Galeries Royales | Perfect stop for any art lovers
If you’re an art lover looking for something to do in Brussels, then a visit to the Art Gallery at Galeries Royales is the perfect stop. Located in the heart of Brussels, this gallery houses some of the best works from both Belgian and international artists. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, photography, and more from renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Gogh.
The gallery also has a variety of interactive activities, such as guided tours and workshops, to help visitors learn more about the artworks on display. Visitors can also explore the museum’s library and archives, which contain documents related to the history of art in Brussels. In addition, there are regular exhibitions featuring works from both emerging and established artists. It is one of the best art musuems in the city. And host vast collection of art that you will love to explore.
Walk through history at Parc du Cinquantenaire (Park of the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence)
Parc du Cinquantenaire is a beautiful park located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence in 1880. The park is home to many monuments and attractions, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brussels.
The centerpiece of Parc du Cinquantenaire is the Triumphal Arch, which was built in 1905 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence. The arch is made of white marble and stands at a height of 35 meters. It is decorated with sculptures depicting important figures from Belgian history, such as King Leopold I and Queen Louise-Marie.
Eat All the Belgian chocolate
If you’re looking for things to do in Brussels, then you must try all the delicious Belgian chocolate! Belgium is known for its high-quality chocolate and there are plenty of places to find it in Brussels. From traditional chocolatiers to modern shops, you can find a variety of flavors and styles. Whether you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate, there’s something for everyone. You can also find unique flavors like praline, orange, and even beer! If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the more unusual flavors like chili pepper or lavender. No matter what your preference is, you’ll be sure to find something that satisfies your sweet tooth in Brussels.
Hop on Train World at the Museum of Natural Sciences
Hop on Train World at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels is a great way to explore the history of Belgian railways. And a great adventure for kids or any Train Enthusiasts. This interactive exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time, from the early days of steam locomotives to modern high-speed trains. Visitors can explore a variety of historic locomotives and carriages, as well as learn about the development of railway technology over the years. It is one of the best Art Museums for people traveling with kids. Or any Train Enthusiasts.
Eat Fries at Maison Antoine Food Truck
If you’re looking for a unique experience while visiting Brussels, then you should definitely check out Maison Antoine Food Truck. Located in the heart of the city, this food truck serves up some of the best fries in all of Belgium. The fries are made with fresh potatoes and cooked to perfection in beef fat, giving them an unbeatable flavor.
Go to Choco-Story Brussels
ChocoStory Brussels is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves chocolate. Located in the heart of Brussels, this interactive museum offers visitors an immersive experience into the history and culture of Belgian chocolate. From learning about the origins of cocoa to exploring the production process, ChocoStory Brussels has something for everyone.
historic city center
The historic city center of Brussels is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. This area is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Brussels, including the Grand Place, Manneken Pis, and the Royal Palace. The Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful squares.
The Finde-Siècle Museum in Brussels is a must-see for anyone interested in the history and culture of Belgium. Located in the heart of the city, this museum offers visitors an opportunity to explore the rich history of Brussels from the 19th century to the present day. The museum houses a variety of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Brussels’ past, including its architecture.
The Wiertz Museum is a must-see for art lovers visiting Brussels. Located in the heart of the city, this museum houses the works of Antoine Wiertz, a 19th century Belgian painter. The museum was established in 1868 and features some of Wiertz’s most famous works, including his large-scale paintings depicting historical and mythological scenes.
Mont des Arts
Mont des Arts is a public square located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. The Mont des Arts is home to several museums, including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Magritte Museum, and the Musical Instruments Museum.
Rue des Bouchers | The Most Famous Restaurant in Brussels
Rue des Bouchers, or Butcher Street, is one of the most famous restaurants in Brussels. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a great place to experience traditional Belgian cuisine. The street is lined with dozens of restaurants and cafes, each offering their own unique take on classic dishes.
The atmosphere at Rue des Bouchers is lively and vibrant.
Mannekin Pis is a famous bronze sculpture located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It depicts a small boy urinating into a fountain and has become an iconic symbol of the city. The original Mannekin Pis was created in 1619 by Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder and is believed to be one of the oldest public sculptures in Europe.
Eat all the Brussels Waffles
If you’re looking for something to do in Brussels, why not try eating all the Brussels waffles? This delicious treat is a staple of Belgian cuisine and can be found in many cafes and restaurants throughout the city.
Brussels waffles are made with a light, fluffy batter that is cooked on a special waffle iron. The result is a crispy, golden-brown exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. The waffles are usually served with a variety of toppings such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and even ice cream.
natural history collection
The Natural History Collection in Brussels is a must-see for anyone interested in the natural world. Located at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, this collection contains over 10 million specimens from all around the world. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind in Europe.
Taste Test At The extensive chocolate shops
If you’re looking for a unique and delicious experience in Brussels, then you should definitely check out the extensive chocolate shops. With so many different types of chocolate to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one to try. Fortunately, the shops offer a taste test option that allows you to sample a variety of chocolates before making your purchase.
Dinosuar Lovers Head to the dinosaur collection and Dinosaur Gallery
The Dinosaur Collection and Dinosaur Gallery in Brussels is a must-see for anyone interested in dinosaurs. Located in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, the collection features over 1,000 dinosaur fossils from around the world. The gallery also houses a variety of interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history of dinosaurs and their evolution.
Visitors to Brussels can explore the world of dinosaurs at the Dinosaurium, a museum dedicated to the study and appreciation of these ancient creatures. The museum features over 200 life-size models of various species of dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and more. Visitors can learn about the anatomy and behavior of these prehistoric animals as well as their evolution over millions. This is a great place for dinosaur lovers to visit.
Take in medieval architecture style buildings and Stunning architecture
Brussels is a city full of stunning architecture and medieval style buildings. From the iconic Grand Place to the beautiful Cathedrale des Saints Michel et Gudule, there are plenty of architectural wonders to explore in Brussels.
The Grand Place is one of the most famous landmarks in Brussels and it’s easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the most stunning architecture in the city.
Take in the Spectacular View at Atomium
The Atomium is a must-see attraction in Brussels, Belgium. Located in the Heysel Plateau, it was originally built for the 1958 World’s Fair and stands as a reminder of the city’s past. The structure consists of nine steel spheres connected by tubes, representing an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Visitors can take an elevator to the top sphere and enjoy a spectacular view of the area. To get the most fantastic view visit the restaurant.
Visit the Grand Place
The Grand Place in Brussels is one of the most iconic and beautiful squares in Europe. Located in the heart of the city, it is a must-see for anyone visiting Brussels. The square is surrounded by stunning gothic architecture, including the Town Hall and King’s House. It also features a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops that make it a great place to spend an afternoon.
Exploring the Royal Palace of Brussels
The Royal Palace of Brussels is a magnificent building located in the heart of the city. It is the official residence of the King and Queen of Belgium, and it is open to visitors throughout the year. The palace was built in 1782 and has been home to many royal families over the centuries.
Take a Tour of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are a must-see for anyone visiting Brussels. Located in the grounds of the Royal Palace, these magnificent greenhouses were designed by Alphonse Balat and built between 1874 and 1895. The greenhouses are home to an impressive collection of exotic plants from all over the world, including orchids, ferns, palms, and cacti.
The greenhouses are open to the public for guided tours from April to October. During the tour, visitors can explore the different sections of the greenhouses and learn about their history and architecture. The tour also includes a visit to the Royal Palace gardens, which feature a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers.
Grote Markt is one of the most popular attractions in Brussels, Belgium. Located in the heart of the city, it is a large public square surrounded by beautiful architecture and historic buildings. The Grote Markt is home to many festivals and events throughout the year, including the bi-annual Flower Carpet event which draws thousands of visitors each year.
The Art Nouveau Façade of the Old England Building
The Old England Building in Brussels is a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture. Built in the early 1900s, the building was designed by architect Paul Saintenoy and features an ornate façade with intricate details and vibrant colors. The façade is composed of two stories, each with its own unique style.
Visit the Temporary Collections at the Museums Before They Are Gone
If you’re looking for something unique to do in Brussels, consider visiting the temporary collections at the city’s museums before they are gone. Many of these exhibitions are only available for a limited time and feature some of the most interesting and innovative works from around the world.
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is one such museum that has a variety of temporary collections.
Maison de la Bellone
Maison de la Bellone is a cultural center located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It is housed in a beautiful 18th century building and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. The center hosts art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, workshops, and other events throughout the year. Visitors can also explore the permanent collection of artwork from local and international artists. Maison de la Bell is also home to a café and restaurant, where visitors can enjoy delicious Belgian cuisine. The café also serves a variety of drinks, including Belgian beers and wines. Maison de la Bellone is the perfect place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of Brussels.
In addition to its cultural offerings, Maison de la Bellone also provides educational programs for children and adults.
Shop for Everything from Chocolate to Diamonds at the Galeries
The Galeries in Brussels is a shopping paradise for anyone looking to find something special. Located in the heart of the city, this large shopping center offers an array of stores and boutiques that cater to all tastes and budgets. From high-end designer labels to affordable fashion finds, there is something for everyone here.
st gudula cathedral
St Gudula Cathedral is a beautiful and historic landmark located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It is one of the most important religious sites in the city and has been a place of worship since the 11th century. The cathedral is dedicated to St Gudula, who was an 8th-century Christian martyr from what is now modern-day Belgium.
Explore lower town
Exploring lower town in Brussels is a great way to experience the city’s rich history and culture. Lower town is home to some of the oldest buildings in Brussels, including the Grand Place, which dates back to the 14th century. The area also features many historic churches and cathedrals, such as St. Michael’s Cathedral and Notre Dame du Sablon.
galeries royales saint hubert
Galeries Royales Saint Hubert is a shopping arcade located in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It is one of the oldest shopping arcades in Europe and was opened in 1847. The arcade is made up of three interconnected galleries, each with its own unique character and style. The galleries are filled with a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants, and other attractions.
belgian comic strip centre
The Belgian Comic Strip Centre (Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée) is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Brussels. Located in the heart of the city, this museum celebrates the rich history of Belgium’s comic strip culture.
brussels town hall
The Brussels Town Hall is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Located in the Grand Place, it stands as a symbol of the city’s rich history and culture. Built in 1402, this Gothic-style building has been home to many important events over the centuries, including royal weddings and coronations. Today, visitors can explore its grand halls and admire its intricate architecture.
Fine art at the brussels city museum
The Brussels City Museum is a great place to explore the fine art of Belgium. Located in the heart of Brussels, this museum houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from the 16th century to present day. Visitors can explore the galleries and view masterpieces by renowned Belgian artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and Jan van Eyck. The museum also features temporary exhibitions.
Jean-Claude Van Damme’ statue
It doesn’t matter if you love or hate his movies (Say nothing bad about Bloodsport or Kickboxer!). Think he’s a martial artist god, or just eye candy. You simply can’t leave the city without getting a photo next to the mussels from Brussels.
Opened this 2012 this statue depicts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme standing in his iconic pose. The statues located in front of the Westland Shopping Center.
You might find it odd that one of the best things to do in Brussels is to leave and venture to nearby cities. But the truth is as wonderful as Brussels is, there are some other nearby places worth visiting – if you have the time.
The best example is Bruges. Every inch of this medieval canal city is teeming with charm, character, and beauty. The waterways criss-cross through the narrow lanes and stony houses. A watery moat surrounds the old city, a reminder of a Gothic past, and there are towering bell towers, holy relics, and some of the best chocolate in Belgium.
Bruges was the first city I visited in Belgium, and my experience there has brought me back to the country numerous times. If you have an extra day to spare in Brussels, then Bruges is the best choice you can make!
If you’ve already been to Bruges as part of a tour, then consider taking a day trip to Ghent instead. Ghent lies in the East Flanders province and is the third-largest city in Belgium.
Like Bruges, Ghent’s has waterways, a scenic old town, and medieval buildings. The network of Canals and a medieval city centre that was restored in the 80s.
And throughout history Ghent, has had an easier go than Bruges, though, meaning that many of the buildings are in prime condition.
A few popular things to see in Ghent (other than the old town, of course) are the Korenmarkt, Saint Nicholas’ Church, Bavo’s Cathedral, and the Gravensteen.
It takes around an hour to get from Brussels to Ghent. And it’s a journey well worth taking if you have the time.
Let’s talk about one more thing to do in Brussels. Actually, it’s not in Brussels itself. Instead it’s a day trip outside the city.
Let’s venture by train to the historic city of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam often gets a bad rap for its infamous red-light district, and legal drug scene. However, the cities much more than just sex and drugs, in fact, it’s easy to avoid those things if you want.
Amsterdam is – surprisingly – clean, charming, and peaceful!
The city’s filled with a massive network of stony canal ways, cobblestone streets, and a historic old town. All of which lend themselves to great photos, or a romantic setting.
If you are looking for a day trip from Brussels by train, then I highly recommended trying to make it to Amsterdam.
Brussels has more than meets the eye, which is what I find most appealing about the city. The capitals a strange mix, but a combination worth visiting. And as we have seen, the city has many see-worthy sites.
Follow this list of things to do in Brussels, and you’ll have a packed trip filled with unforgettable sites, moments, and experiences.