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18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Brussels

Written by Jess Lee Updated Dec 28, 2023

Brussels, capital of Belgium, principal seat of the Belgian Royal Family, and capital of the European Union, is a remarkably small, easygoing, and human-sized city for all its importance.

Unlike beautiful Bruges and Ghent, with their hordes of tourists, Brussels is Belgium's main economic and educational hub, which gives the city a more workaday feel than other towns.

Here, you get a proper feel for Belgian life, especially its fantastic restaurant and café culture.

Although Brussels may not have the star tourist attractions of other Belgian towns, the capital has more than enough things to do to keep visitors occupied for a couple of days, with a clutch of world-class museums and art galleries, as well as quirkier sightseeing highlights, such as the Atomium, and some wonderful remnants of old architecture in the old town quarter.

Once you've craned your neck at Gothic and Baroque splendor, don't forget to stock up on Brussels' famous chocolate.

Find out more about the best places to visit with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Brussels.

1. Stroll through Grand Place (Grote Markt)

2. visit mannekin pis, 3. saint-michel cathedral (sint-michiels kathedraal), 4. see belgium's famed comic heritage at the belgian comic strip center, 5. tour the place royale (koningsplein), 6. view the masterpieces inside the belgian royal museum of fine arts, 7. enter the atomium, 8. explore coudenberg palace archaeological site, 9. view mont des arts, 10. admire the stained glass of notre-dame du sablon, 11. visit the museums of parc du cinquantenaire, 12. stroll the parkland surrounding château royal, 13. enjoy the cupola view at basilique nationale du sacré coeur, 14. explore the abbaye de la cambre, 15. learn about chocolate at choco story brussels, 16. meunier museum, 17. shop inside royal gallery saint-hubert, 18. find foodie treats at place du châtelain market, where to stay in brussels for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in brussels, brussels, belgium - climate chart, more must-see places to visit near brussels.

Grand Place (Grote Markt)

Right in the heart of Brussels Old Town, the city's main plaza (known as Grand Place) is one of the best preserved in Europe and the city's top tourist attraction.

Much of the square's elegant character is due to the unique architecture of its elegant Gildehuizen (guild houses) with their magnificent gables, pilasters, and balustrades, ornately carved stonework, and rich gold decoration.

Grand Place's defining character is its uniformity of Baroque style, with some Flemish influences.

The harmony of its architecture is achieved by the short period of construction here, with most buildings raised between 1696 and 1700.

The history of the Grand Place dates back much earlier though. It was first established in the 11th century and evolved soon after, to become the political and economic center for the city.

The most recognizable building on the square is the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), built in 1402 with the intention of upstaging the Stadhuis in the rival city of Bruges.

Inside are several magnificent rooms. Among the most impressive are the Maximilian Chamber, hung with Brussels tapestries; the large Council Chamber with a superb ceiling by Victor Janssens and tapestries to his designs; the great banqueting hall and the Marriage Chamber, both beautifully paneled; and the Escalier d'Honneur, with murals illustrating the history of Brussels.

Address: Grand Place, Central Brussels

Brussels Grand' Place - Layout map

Along the Rue de l'Etuve is Brussels' best-known landmark, the Manneken Pis, usually besieged by a throng of tourists.

Although he can be traced back to at least 1388, nothing much is known about the origin of the figure of a little boy urinating, popularly referred to as "the oldest citizen of Brussels."

The Manneken is, however, surrounded by various legends. According to one, the fountain is a memorial to a courageous infant who averted a conflagration, according to another, it commemorates the son of a count who succumbed to a pressing urge while taking part in a procession.

The present statue was made in 1619 by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder and has been stolen on several occasions though always recovered. During major celebrations, events, and festivals in Brussels, the statue is famed for being dressed in costume.

Note that to see a collection of the range of costumes Mannekin Pis has been dressed in over the years, visit Garderobe Mannekin Pis just down the road. This small museum displays around 140 costumes from the fountain's very extensive wardrobe collection.

Address: Rue de l'Etuve, Central Brussels

Official site: https://www.mannekenpis.brussels/en/

Saint-Michel Cathedral (Sint-Michiels Kathedraal)

Dedicated to St. Michael and St. Gudula (the patron saints of Brussels) this Gothic church was first founded in 1225 but only completed in the 15th century.

The facade is impressive, rising majestically above a broad flight of steps and crowned with twin 69-meter-high towers designed by Jan van Ruysbroeck.

The beautifully proportioned interior (108 meters by 50 meters) is lavishly furnished and is home to some outstanding stained glass windows created by Bernard van Orley.

Head to the transepts to see the finest examples depicting Charles V and Isabella of Portugal (south transept) and the Hungarian royal pair Louis II and Mary (north transept), and then into the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, to the left of the choir, where the window illustrates the story of the Miracle of the Host .

Address: Parvis Street Gudule, Central Brussels

Official site: www.cathedralisbruxellensis.be

St Michael's Cathedral - Floor plan map

This gorgeous 1906 building, designed by Victor Horta, is home to the wonderful Comic Strip Center, devoted to the history of cartoons and comic strips in the country that gave the world The Smurfs and Tintin .

A constantly rotating exhibition of 200 original comic strip drawings by Belgian and French comic artists is shown here.

In addition, the museum documents the rise in popularity of Belgian and French comic strips through a cleverly curated collection of original manuscripts, draft sketches, and imaginatively reconstructed sets including Lucky Luke's saloon and Tim, Struppi, and Captain Haddock's moon rocket.

Address: Maison Waucquez, 20 Rue des Sables, Central Brussels

Official site: https://www.cbbd.be/fr/accueil

Royal Palace on Place Royale

A favorite attraction for photo-ops, the most important building on this square is the Royal Palace (Palais Royal), which is used by the Belgian royal family as an official residence.

The Belgian flag, flown from the roof, signals the sovereign's presence, and a ceremonial Changing of the Guard takes place every day at about 2:30pm.

From late July to late August, free guided tours of the palace's interior, taking in the grand reception rooms and halls, are available.

Surrounding the palace are an ensemble of cultural buildings boasting Neoclassical facades.

The Palais des Académies, home of the Royal Academy of Sciences and once the residence of the Crown Prince of Orange, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Paleis voor Schone Kunste) on the west side of the plaza, designed and built in the 1920s by Victor Horta, are two of the finest examples.

Address: Place des Palais, Central Brussels

Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts

Belgium's Royal Museum of Fine Arts (1875-81) combines four separate art museums, which together are one of the largest and best art galleries in the world.

The museum grew out of a collection first set up in 1797 and was originally housed in the former palace of Charles of Lorraine. This was transferred to the newly established Musées Royaux in 1846.

The Musée Old Masters holds a collection of famous works by Flemish and Dutch Old Masters. Well-known works on display here include Gerard David's Adoration of the Magi , Rogier van der Weyden's The Mourning of Christ , Pietà by Petrus Christus, and Dirk Bouts' Judgement of the Emperor Otto .

The halls of the Musée Modern concentrate on artwork from the late 19th century to the present. It combines temporary exhibition halls with the basement galleries of the Musée Fin-de-Siècle, dedicated to artwork from the period between 1884 and 1914, when Brussels was one of Europe's cultural capitals.

Neighboring the main building is the Musée Magritte , dedicated to the work of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. This museum holds the largest Magritte collection in the world and is considered by many visitors to Brussels as the highlight of the city's many art tourist attractions.

Magritte (1898-1967) was one of the major artists of Belgium's surrealist art scene, and the museum displays its collection of his work chronologically, so visitors can view how his art changed across the years according to world events and his own personal and political influences.

Address: Rue du Musée 9, Central Brussels

Official site: www.fine-arts-museum.be

Atomium

Along with Manneken Pis, the Atomium is Brussels' best-known landmark attraction, and although it's a bit of a journey by tram to get out here, the bizarre 102-meter-high steel and aluminum structure, designed by the architect André Waterkeyn for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition, is the city's most surreal sight.

The building represents a molecule of iron magnified 165 million times.

Today, visitors can enter the building to explore its sci-fi-style interiors. The lower spheres are home to a permanent exhibition on the history of the structure. The upper sphere has incredible panoramas across the city.

Address: Eeuwfeestlaan 20, Boulevard du Centenaire

Official site: http://atomium.be/

Coudenberg Palace Archaeological Site

One of Brussels' most unique things to do is explore this active archaeological site, which was rediscovered in the 1980s.

Coudenberg Palace has been excavated to reveal the cellars and tunnels of the former Palace of Brussels, as well as forgotten streets that had been buried beneath the city for centuries.

The foundations of the medieval palace have been cleared to allow tourists the opportunity to explore, and the museum has free audio guides that take you through the dig site.

There are also interactive programs that encourage children to become involved, like the "Underground Treasure Hunt," which includes a flashlight, treasure map, period costume pieces, and a puzzle for them to solve.

Address: Place des Palais 7, Brussels

Official site: https://coudenberg.brussels/en

Mont des Arts

The Mont des Arts was created between 1956 and 1958, occupying the elevated site between the Place Royale and the Place de l'Albertine.

The architecturally imposing complex of large buildings includes the Bibliothèque Albert I and the strikingly modern Palais de la Dynastie and Palais Congrès.

From the square between them is a fine view of the lower central city. The Bibliothèque Albert I was founded during the period of Burgundian rule and comprises more than three million volumes together with a valuable collection of manuscripts and several interesting museums.

Address: Boulevard de l' Empereur, Central Brussels

Notre-Dame du Sablon

The 15th- to 16th-century church of Notre-Dame du Sablon (Onze Lieve Vrouw op de Zavel), generally considered one of the loveliest Late Gothic churches in Belgium, was built as a replacement for a small chapel first erected on the sandy expanse of the Sablon by the Crossbowmen's Guild in 1304.

The interior of the church is breathtaking, in particular because of its marvelous stained glass.

Also of interest is the burial chapel of the Thurn und Taxis family, partly the work of Luc Fayd'herbe.

Kept in the sacrarium is a figure of the Virgin, a copy, so legend has it, of a Madonna brought to the chapel in 1348 by a woman from Antwerp, Baet Soetens, to whom the Virgin had appeared.

Address: Rue de la Regence, Central Brussels

Parc du Cinquantenaire

The Parc du Cinquantenaire was established in 1880 to commemorate the country's 50th anniversary.

Its centerpiece is the monumental Palais du Cinquantenaire, the two wings of which, linked in 1905 by a massive triumphal arch designed by the French architect Charles Girault, house two of Brussels' most interesting museums.

The Royal Art and History Museum is home to Belgium's national archaeology collections, with pieces drawn from throughout the world, as well as one of the most extensive tapestry collections in the world.

The Belgian Army Museum and Museum of Military History (Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en van de Militaire Geschiedenis) provides an overview of the development of military technology and of the major campaigns fought on Belgian soil.

Address: Avenue de la Renaissance, Central Brussels

Parc du Cinquantenaire Jubelpark - Layout map

Although the Château Royal, home of the Belgian Royal Family, is not itself open to the public, the park surrounding it at Laeken is.

There are delightful footpaths and a number of attractions worth seeing, such as the monument to Leopold I at the center of the circular flowerbed in front of the palace.

The Japanese Tower , in the northernmost corner of the park, was originally built for the Paris Exhibition of 1900.

The hothouses, erected in Leopold II's time, are the highlight of the gardens and are open to the public during April and May when many of the plants are in flower.

Address: Avenue de Madrid, Laeken, Brussels

Basilique Nationale du Sacré Coeur

The Koekelberg district is dominated by the massive Basilique Nationale du Sacré Coeur (Nationale Basiliek van het Heilig Hart), the fifth largest church in the world and brainchild of Leopold II, begun in 1905 to mark the country's 75th anniversary.

The building was only completed in 1970. Not surprisingly, it displays something of a mixture of styles, impressing nevertheless by its sheer size (141 meters by 107 meters).

Inside is an excellent collection of art and an ongoing exhibition on the history of the basilica.

The picture of Christ giving his blessing, which hangs above the altar, is by Georges Minne.

From the cupola is a breathtaking view of the city and across the countryside to Antwerp . Binoculars can be rented on-site.

Address: Parvis de la Basilique 1, Koekelberg, Brussels

Official site: http://www.basilicakoekelberg.be/documents/home.xml?lang=en

Abbaye de la Cambre

In 1200, Cistercian nuns founded an abbey here, which was later destroyed in the 16th century but then rebuilt.

Now, set in lovely French gardens, the abbey houses the National Geographical Institute and an art college.

The former 14th-century abbey church is a slender, elegant building with Baroque vaulting.

Inside is a painting by Albert Bouts ( The Mocking of Christ) and the shrine of St. Boniface, a 13th-century Bishop of Brussels. The windows of the cloister are decorated with the arms of more than 40 abbesses and nuns.

Address: Rue du Monastere, Saint Gilles, Brussels

Chocolate-making demonstration

Right in central Brussels, this specialist museum's exhibits both tell the history of chocolate from the cocoa tree's early use by the Mayans and Aztecs through to the modern day, and show how chocolate is produced from the cocoa bean.

The museum's chocolatiers also do live chocolate-making demonstrations of Belgium's famous praline chocolates, with free tastings, throughout the day.

This is a good stop if you've got small children in tow, and you need to break up an itinerary heavy on art museums and architecture.

The museum also hosts chocolate-making workshops, where the chocolatier will guide you in creating your own chocolate.

Address: 41 Rue de l'Etuve, Brussels

Official site: https://choco-story-brussels.be/en

The house and studio of Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) is now home to a museum dedicated to his work.

Meunier was a Belgian artist who, in his later paintings and sculptural works, concentrated on a social realist style that was hugely influential on artists throughout the early years of the 20th century. His sculptures of industrial workers are particularly well known.

The museum displays a selection of approximately 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and plaster models from its collection of 700, providing an excellent grounding and introduction to Meunier's work.

The building itself, which Meunier had built towards the end of his life, is a good example of Brussels' vernacular terraced housing.

Address: 59 Rue de l'Abbaye, 1050 Ixelles

Official site: https://www.fine-arts-museum.be/en/museums/musee-meunier-museum#

Royal Gallery Saint-Hubert

This elegant shopping arcade was designed by Belgian architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer and opened to the public in 1847.

Built in the popular, ornate Italianate style, with a glass-panel roof and arched shopfronts, the grand 213-meter-long arcade revolutionized retail architecture in Europe, replacing the narrow market alleys that had gone before and becoming the continent's first shopping center.

Its opening set off a trend for building similar arcades both elsewhere in central Brussels and in other cities across Europe.

Today, the Royal Gallery Saint-Hubert is prime territory for shoppers, especially if you want to pick up and take home some of Belgium's famed specialist chocolates, with plenty of chocolatiers in residence along the arcade's length.

The cafés within the arcade are also a good choice for an atmospheric break between sightseeing in central Brussels.

Address: 5 Galerie du Roi

Official site: https://www.grsh.be/en/home/

Waffles in a Brussels food stall

Head to Place du Châtelain on a Wednesday for the weekly food market, where you'll find everything from fruit and vegetables to pop-up stalls and cafés selling both local Belgian foods and cuisines from across the world.

For visitors looking for foodie souvenirs, there are plenty of traders selling local cheeses and cured meats, as well as fresh produce and baked goods.

Many people head here, though, for the market's casual dining options, with food stalls here offering everything from waffles and vegan burgers to Vietnamese and Middle Eastern dishes.

The market takes place every Wednesday from midday to 7pm. The surrounding streets are also full of cafés and restaurants, so the area is a lively dining hub throughout the week.

The best place to stay in Brussels for sightseeing is within walking distance of Grand Place (Grote Markt). This wide square in the heart of the Old Town is popular for its great shopping, dining, and well-preserved architecture and is a great place from which to explore attractions such as the Mannekin Pis fountain and Saint-Michel Cathedral.

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Brussels, Bruges & Ghent : Brussels sits in the center of the country, making it the perfect home base for trips to some of Belgium's top tourist attractions , as well as sightseeing in neighboring countries. Near the coast to the northwest, in the Flanders region, the city of Bruges is a favorite tourist destination because of its medieval architecture and romantic canals. Between here and Brussels, the smaller city of Ghent has a similar ensemble of narrow alleys, beautiful buildings, and canal boats, without the mass of tourists.

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North Belgium & The Netherlands : To the north of Brussels, the town of Antwerp gained its fame as a center of art and craftsmanship and is home to several noteworthy museums. The border with the Netherlands is not far from here, where you can explore the stunning churches of Breda , enjoy vibrant entertainment in Rotterdam , visit the countless museums of The Hague , or even spend some time enjoying the iconic city of Amsterdam .

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Leuven, Liege & Germany: Back in Belgium, the small university town of Leuven sits east of Brussels on the way to Liège , the country's third largest city, which is celebrated for its industrial roots. Near the border with Germany, the cities of Cologne , Bonn , and Düsseldorf are easily within reach. West of Liège, Namur's central location at the junction of the Sambre and the Meuse Rivers made it an important trade city, and its citadel was a strategic military site, resulting in an interesting array of architectural choices.

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Mons & France: Farther west and sitting near the border with France, the city of Mons (Bergen) is between Brussels and Paris , and is known for its impressive buildings and festivals. The town of Ypres sits closer to Belgium's coast, famous for being the site of major WWI battles, and just to the south in France, the city of Lille has many Flemish influences.

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27 Top Attractions & Things to do in Brussels

Last updated on October 3, 2023 by Carl Austin and Spencer Leasca - 1 Comment

The capital of Belgium might be best known as the headquarters of the European Union and the seat of the country’s Royal Family. But it is also a fabulous tourist destination.

Whether you are visiting on a day trip to stock up on chocolates and beer, spending a weekend to immerse yourself in culture, or going there for your annual holiday, you will have a wonderful time in Brussels.

The city oozes charm and sophistication. It has gorgeous Gothic churches as well as a variety of other medieval buildings. The historic tourist attractions in Brussels blend well with it’s 21st century attractions. There are many fine museums and galleries, historic statues and lovely green parks. For sure, travelers won’t lack for things to do in Brussels.

In this post, we'll cover:

27. Place du Jeu de Balle

Place du Jeu de Balle

Also known as Vossenplein, The Place du Jeu de Balle is an historic square in the heart of the Marollen district. It is best known for a famous flea market that has operated there since 1873.

Fondly and appropriately referred to as the ‘Old Market’, this market is the only flea and antique market in the world to be open 365 days a year. When browsing through the various market stalls, you will find an eclectic mix of items for sale. They range from antique porcelain, vintage clothes and rare books to 19th-century crossbows, canvas artwork and old vinyl records.

The market is somewhere you can easily spend hours wandering around. Around the square, there are several shops you can browse in too.

26. Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

If you are fascinated by history and war, you will want to visit the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History.

Located within the historic Parc du Cinquantenaire, the captivating museum takes you on a journey from the Middle Ages to the dawn of the aviation age – focusing on battle, conflict and warfare. It showcases several galleries devoted to specific exhibits like the French empire, Russian Gallery and the Navy. Visitors can also take in its magnificent aviation hall and the arms and armour gallery.

Even if you are not a fan of the military or armed forces, it is worth coming here to see the outstanding panoramic views of Brussels from the top of the Triumphal Arch, which you can access from the museum.

25. Royal Theater Toone

Royal Theatre Toone

If you are traveling to Brussels with children or should you want to unleash the big kid in you, be sure to visit the Théâtre Royal de Toone.

Locally known as Toone, this folkloric theater specializes in puppet shows. Founded in 1830 by Antoine ‘Toone’ Genty, it is now the only authentic marionette performance still operating in the city. Notably, many of the plays they present are in Marollien or Marols. The traditional dialect of Brussels.

During the performances, other languages are spoken. These shows customarily incorporate the essence of zwanze – a quintessential form of sarcastic humor that is distinctly Brusselian. As well as the shows, the theater has a small museum of puppetry and a tavern.

24. Comic strip murals

Comic strip murals

Brussels has been synonymous with comic books since Tintin and Spirou launched around the 1930s.

Although the city hosts the iconic comic book museum – the Belgian Comic Strip Centre – it also boasts several murals devoted to characters like Lucky Luck, The Smurfs, Gaston Lagaffe, Tintin and Spirou. These murals illuminate the side of buildings and are so prevalent you can even book a guided bike or walking tour to see some of the most popular ones.

If you prefer to tour them independently, pick up a map and head off for a self-guided exploration. Be sure to have your camera ready when you check out Brousaille Wall, Victor Sackville Wall, Le Jeune Albert Wall and Olivier Rameau’s Wall.

23. Bois de la Cambre

Bois de la Cambre

If you want to relax during your visit to Brussels, there is no better place to do this than at The Bois de la Cambre.

One of the larger public recreational spaces in the city, the park was named after La Cambre Abbey. Its layout is reminiscent of the manicured parklands of England and features immaculately cut grass and bosky woodland. There is a lovely path to go walking or jogging on, and children will enjoy the opportunity to play on the playground or go on a pony ride.

Set within the center of the park, Chalet Robinson sits on Robinson Island. There you will find a terrific restaurant and will be able to rent out pedalos or boats and partake in a friendly game of pétanque.

22. Horta Museum

Horta Museum

If you are a fan of the Art Nouveau movement, make sure you take the opportunity to visit The Horta Museum.

Situated on Rue Américaine, this museum is devoted to the life, vision, philosophy and work of the acclaimed architect Victor Horta. Presented in his former townhouse residence, which dates back to 1898, the museum features on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

The museum showcases permanent displays of furniture, art objects and utensils. All of which were designed by Horta and his peers. You can also see documents that convey certain aspects of his life and the time. In addition, the museum showcases temporary exhibitions that further highlight the excellence of the man and his art. If you go there, be warned photography is not allowed in the museum.

21. Parlamentarium

Parlamentarium

You might be aware of the European Parliament. But do you know what it does and how it may impact your everyday life? Well, if not, then you might want to pay a visit to the Parlamentarium .

Situated within the impressive Espace Léopold on Place du Luxembourg, this serves as the visitor center for the European Union. Opened in 2011, it features notable attractions like a role-playing game, a massive interactive floor map and a 360° cinema.

Whilst at the Parlamentarium, you can do a self-guided tour – which is available in 24 languages. During it, you will gain a deeper insight into the sometimes maligned institution and learn more about what they are doing to counter some of the continent’s most pressing issues.

20. Museum of Natural Sciences

Museum of Natural Sciences

Are you fascinated by dinosaurs? Then pencil in a trip to the Museum of Natural Sciences .

You will have to head to Rue Vautier 29 to do so. But once you are there, you will experience the wonders of The Dinosaur Hall. Officially the largest museum hall in the world solely devoted to dinosaurs, it features the famous Ishango bone that the Belgian geologist Jean de Heinzelin de Braucourt discovered in 1960 in the Belgian Congo.

Incorporated within the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, other exhibits at the museum include a collection of fossilized Iguanodon skeletons uncovered in 1878. Dinosaurs aside, you can discover more about the evolution of the human body in the Gallery of Humankind and travel back in time via the Gallery of Evolution too.

19. Cantillon Brewery

Cantillon Brewery

Belgium is renowned for the quality of its beer. So, if you are a fan of amber nectar, it would be churlish not to try a few local samples. One of the best places to do this in Brussels is on a tour of the Cantillon Brewery.

A traditional family-run brewery which opened in 1900, you’ll find it at Rue Gheude within the Anderlecht district of the city. It features original equipment and beer cellars used by Paul Cantillon, who founded the establishment.

Whilst there, you can tour their facility and try out some of their fabulous lambic-style beers. These include Kriek, a brew made with cherries, or Fou’ Foune, a beverage derived from apricot. If any beer takes your fancy, you can buy some from their shop.

18. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

For art lovers, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium should be a massive drawcard during your visit to Brussels. Comprising not one but six different museums, they collectively house some of the country’s most important cultural and artistic treasures.

The six institutions are the Magritte, Oldmasters, Antoine Wiertz, Constantin Meunier, Fin-de-Siècle and modern museum. Between them, these venues showcase an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings that date back to the early 15th century.

Exploring the complex of museums is among most popular things to do in Brussels. Expect to spend a lot of your time marveling at the works of celebrated artists like Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden, Anthony van Dyck, Bruegel, Peter Paul Rubens and Jacob Jordaens.

17. Autoworld

Autoworld

If you love cars, then Autoworld is somewhere you will have to visit when you go to the Parc du Cinquantenaire. Situated in the South Hall, this fantastic vintage car museum boasts a vast collection of automobiles from Europe and the USA.

The collection spans the late 19th century up until the 1990s. It features a Bentley made in 1928 and a Cord and Bugatti from 1930. It also presents Minervas and several limousines owned by the Belgian Royal Family.

In addition, several Belgian-made vehicles like Fondu, Vivinus, Imperia and FN are on display. Along with various other sports cars, passenger cars, motorcycles, carriages and fire engines. Throughout the year, the museum also runs celebrated events for the automotive industry.

16. Royal Palace

Royal Palace

Separated from Brussels Park by a stately square called Place des Palais, the Royal Palace is one of the city’s most impressive examples of Neoclassical architecture. As construction started in 1783 and was not completed until 1934, this should give you an idea of how expansive the building is.

Although it is the official palace of the Belgian monarchy, the king and queen do not use it as their royal residence. However, as is tradition, they open their doors to the general public for five weeks every year in July and August.

At this time, you can visit it for free and gain access to certain rooms. Some of these rooms contain state portraits of Leopold I, Napoleon, Leopold II and Louis Philippe I.

15. Serres Royales De Laeken

Serres Royales De Laeken

Brussels can get a bit nippy in the winter. So, a good place to escape this chill is The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken.

Located within the Avenue du Parc Royal, this magnificent complex of classically designed, heated greenhouses features tropical, sub-tropical and cold zones. Created in 1874 on behalf of King Leopold II, under the jurisdiction of Alphonse Balat, the complex also features arcades, pavilions and several cupolas.

It now belongs to the Belgian Royal Family, who only open it to the general public a handful of days in the year. If you can visit it when it is open, you should see its famous Royal Botanic Collection. It includes the world’s oldest and largest collection of camellias cultivated in a greenhouse setting.

14. Parc du Cinquantenaire

Parc du Cinquantenaire

As previously mentioned, The Parc du Cinquantenaire is home to The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. However, there is much more than that to Jubelpark – as it is colloquially known.

The beautiful green space covers 30 hectares within the eastern part of the city’s European Quarter. It was inaugurated in the 19th century and has beautifully landscaped grounds with fountains, ponds, waterfalls and floral gardens.

The park features a U-shaped building complex that houses numerous institutions of high cultural relevance. These include a centerpiece memorial arch, the Art & History Museum and the Autoworld vintage car. It also features a monument dedicated to Belgian Pioneers in the Congo, The Temple of Passions and the Great Mosque of Brussels.

13. Rene Magritte Museum

Rene Magritte Museum

Art lovers should make a point of visiting the Magritte Museum . Situated on the Palace Royale, within the exquisite, neoclassical, five-storey Hôtel du Lotto, this terrific attraction presents the work of René Magritte.

An acclaimed Belgian surrealist artist, the museum features a permanent, multidisciplinary collection of his original drawings, paintings and sculptures. Amongst the notable works on display are ‘The Empire of Light’, ‘Scheherazade’ and ‘The Return’.

The museum serves as one of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium’s constituents. It is the largest archive of Magritte’s work anywhere in the world, with much of it coming from his widow’s private collection. Other exhibits include photography and short surrealist films that Magritte experimented on.

12. Train World

Train World

If you are into ferroequinology, your first stop in Brussels should be a trip to Train World .

Tucked away in the renovated buildings of the former Schaarbeek railway station, this attraction is the Belgian National Railway Company’s official museum. Overall it presents iconic steam locomotives like Le Belge and ‘L’Eléphant’, both built in 1835, and the Pays de Waes (1844). It also exhibits a railway bridge built in the 19th century and even provides an experience of what driving a train feels like.

Found at Place Princesse Elisabeth, the museum is open every day of the week except Monday. There is a restaurant onsite in case you get hungry, and you can rent audio guides in different languages whilst you are there.

11. Belgian Comic Strip Center

Belgian Comic Strip Center

If you’ve seen the comic strip murals, then you should be ready to visit the Comics Art Museum. If you make it down to its Rue des Sables 20 location, you will see another Victor-Horta-designed Art Nouveau building.

For over 30 years, this terrific attraction has been championing the leading players and characters of the 9th Art. it spans four floors, and there is plenty to see here. The first floor has a comic store, library, study center, restaurant and a room honoring Victor Horta.

The first floor comprises rooms with original pages of comic books and animation, as well as an auditorium. Whilst the second has a permanent exhibition of characters and publications. The top floor is devoted to merchandising.

10. Notre Dame du Sablon

Notre Dame du Sablon

Notre Dame du Sablon is a lovely 15h century Gothic Catholic church located in the historic Sablon district of Brussels. Also known as Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon, church parishioners included Belgium’s royalty and nobility. Indeed, some royals are buried in the chapel of St. Ursula.

This gray-white church is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows that are illuminated from the inside at night. Other must-sees are the two baroque chapels with funeral symbols carved into the marble and the statue of St. Hobart that once was stolen by Antwerp and recaptured by Brussels in 1348.

9. Mini Europe

Mini Europe

A visit to Mini Europe may remind many people of the old movie, “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium,” in which travelers make the Grand Tour of Europe in just a few days. At Mini Europe, however, they can see the best on the continent in just a few hours.

A tour of Mini Europe will take visitors from the gondolas of Venice to Big Ben in London. They can also experience Vesuvius erupting in Italy and the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. In all, Mini Europe offers 350 miniature settings that explore the best of Europe.

8. Musical Instrument Museum

Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is a must-visit for anyone who plays a musical instrument or just plain loves music. The museum houses more than 1,100 musical instruments, ranging from ancient to modern.

Considered one of the top musical instrument museums in the world, the museum also houses a concert hall in its uniquely designed Art Noveau and Neoclassical building. Exhibits feature keyboards, types of music from medieval to the 19th century, and mechanical and electronic instruments.

The most popular gallery features traditional musical instruments from around the world. Here, visitors may be surprised to learn the Scots weren’t the only ones who played bagpipes.

7. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

In a city replete with incredible architecture, it is a testament to how the design of The Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries manages to capture people’s attention.

Lording over the Galerie du Roi 5, just a stone’s throw from the Grand Place, it takes the form of a trio of ornate, glazed shopping arcades. Consisting of the King’s, Queen’s and Prince’s galleries, they opened in 1847 after being designed and constructed under the project management of Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer.

Representing the Italianate Cinquecento style, this historic monument features shopfronts with glazed arches separated by two upper floors and pilasters. Among the many upscale retailers are Neuhaus chocolatiers and the revered Delvaux leather goods. The Royal Theater of the Galleries is also within the complex.

6. Mont des Arts

Mont des Arts

Cats may have nine lines, but the Mont des Arts, a hill in the center of Brussels, is giving them a run for the money. Once a densely populated neighborhood, the buildings were torn down; the land lay vacant for many years. Then a garden was put in but it, too, was torn down to make way for buildings, which include the Royal Library and Congress Palace.

A new garden shares space with the buildings today. Visitors to the “hill of the arts” will find some of the best views of Brussels from here, with the Town Hall spires reaching up into the sky.

5. Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

The Manneken Pis is undoubtedly the most visited landmark in Brussels. While visitors may skip many of the fine museums, no one leaves Brussels without visiting the Manneken Pis: a unique water fountain that features a naked little boy urinating into a fountain.

The statue isn’t always naked, however, as it has a wardrobe that would make the Kardashians jealous: It has 900 costumes that are changed frequently. Visitors can view them at the City Museum. The small bronze statue has been amusing residents and visitors alike since the early 1600s, though there is mention of such a statue a century or two earlier.

4. Brussels Cathedral

Brussels Cathedral

The Brussels Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is a truly magnificent structure. The main part of this Catholic chuch dates to the 11th century while the towers were constructed in the 13th century. All told, it took about 300 years to build this impressive stone church.

Named after the country’s patron saints, it is Belgium’s main church. Visitors will be awed by the beautiful stained glass windows, especially the ones by Bernard van Orley, a 16th century painter. The Last Judgment window is lit from within at night.

3. Town Hall

Town Hall

While many cities rush to build modern town halls, the City of Brussels is sticking with its early 15th century Gothic town hall. It is the last remaining medieval building on the Grand Place. Of course, there’s a newer addition, but it’s not as interesting.

The old town hall is decorated with 137 statues of important people, like nobles and saints, in the city’s history. Visitors will only see copies there, as the originals are in the nearby city museum. The building is topped with an elegant spire that itself is topped with a 5-meter (16-foot) high statue of the archangel Michael.

Atomium

At first glance, the Atomium looks like a space-age Ferris wheel, but looks can be deceiving. This Brussels landmark actually represents a portion of an ion crystal that’s been magnified 185 billion times.

Built in 1958 as the main pavilion for the Brussels’ world fair, it was named the world’s most bizarre building in 2013 by CNN. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the Belgians love it. The Atomium consists of nine spheres, only six of which are open to the public. An elevator takes people to the top of the structure, but otherwise visitors travel between the spheres on escalators.

1. Grand Place

Grand Place

The Grand Place is indeed grand. As the city’s central square, it is a most visited landmark, home to two of the main attractions in Brussels, the Town Hall and City Museum, as well as former guildhalls. Also known as Grote Markt, the Grand Place was a major market place that dates back to the 10th century.

The large square is filled with a carpet made from flowers every second August. Today it’s lined with many cafes, making it a good place to sample traditional Brussels’ foods, such as moules (mussels), waffles and french fries, which originated in Belgium, not France.

Map of Things to do in Brussels

Map of Things to do in Brussels

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November 20, 2017 at 8:42 am

Just so you know, the Musical Instruments museum is not very tourist friendly if you don’t speak one of the three languages in Belgium. I lived in Belgium for 6 years and visited two years ago with a friend, and found that there was nothing written in English. Therefore, I had act like a translator for a friend. Also fun fact: there is also a peeing dog and a peeing girl statue in Brussels. If I can recommend one more thing to add to the list, it would be the Magritte Museum. Fantastic art museum of the famous surrealist painter.

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Brussels   Travel Guide

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brussels main tourist attractions

19 Best Things To Do in Brussels

Updated February 2, 2023

Discover your inner child at the Belgian Comic Strip Museum , take a whirlwind tour of the continent at Mini-Europe or tickle your taste buds at a chocolate shop ( Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a good place to start). The Grand-Place is another

  • All Things To Do

brussels main tourist attractions

Grand-Place Grand-Place free

Whether you're just passing through Brussels or here for a week, you can't miss the Grand-Place. This square, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits in the heart of Brussels and is renowned for its many Gothic and Baroque-style buildings. The Grand-Place is close to many of the city's main attractions, including the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral and the beloved Manneken Pis . At Christmas, enjoy the Winter Wonders light show at night along with a massive Christmas tree, and every August, admire an enormous carpet made of flowers inside the Grand-Place.

Travelers love the Grand-Place for its stunning architecture. Recent reviewers suggested visiting during the day and night; during the day to see the details of the architecture, and at night to witness the vibrant life that takes over the square. However, a common complaint among tourists was the constant crowds (and higher prices), but that's to be expected at such a big attraction. 

brussels main tourist attractions

St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral free

Built in the Brabantine Gothic style and so named for its chapel dedicated to St. Michael and for housing the relics of St. Gudula, this cathedral's current structure dates back to the 11th century and took some 300 years to build. Inside, you will find stained-glass windows, statues, paintings, a new Grenzing organ and a crypt that may contain the remains of St. Gudula with ancient Roman graffiti on it. Below the current church are the remains of a 10th-century Romanesque church. Outside the cathedral is a square where you can sit on benches under the shade of honey locust trees.

Past visitors appreciated the architecture of the church, with some noting the beauty of the stained-glass windows in particular and described it as "amazing" and "stunning."

brussels main tourist attractions

Musical Instruments Museum Musical Instruments Museum

A former Old England department store built in the 19th century, the Musical Instruments Museum, also known as the "MIM," is housed in an Art Nouveau building located about a half-mile from the Grand-Place . Inside you'll find more than 1,200 instruments from around the globe displayed across four galleries. The museum gives visitors the opportunity to hear what these instruments sound like, as well. Inside, a restaurant touts fantastic views of the city.

Recent visitors were impressed with the variety of instruments inside the museum, as well as with the building itself. Some advised that there are few signs in English, so it can be a bit confusing. Many suggested parting with a few more euros to take advantage of the audio guide. Travelers also recommend taking a trip to the cafe, which offers great views of Brussels.

brussels main tourist attractions

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Parc du Cinquantenaire Parc du Cinquantenaire free

Meaning "50th anniversary," Cinquantenaire Park was built in 1880 in honor of the 50th anniversary celebration of the independence of Belgium. It is a large French-style park inside the city surrounded by museums and filled with gardens with a large triumphal arch. The park also hosts a variety of festivities throughout the year, including concerts, fireworks and sporting events.

Past visitors said the park is a relaxing and peaceful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Brussels. They also recommend checking out the car tunnel that runs underneath the park.

brussels main tourist attractions

Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert free

Want to get in a little shopping while visiting Brussels? Make time for a visit to Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, a Renaissance-style arcade built in the mid-1800s. With a glass roof once known as the "umbrella of Brussels," the building is worth seeing whether or not you want to indulge in any retail therapy. Around 6 million visitors come to the Galeries every year to enjoy stores selling everything from clothing to chocolate to diamonds. The Galeries Royales also house restaurants, art galleries, a cinema and theaters. Victor Hugo even once enjoyed hanging out here.

Past visitors said it makes a great place to see on a rainy day and described the building as stunning. Many also recommended checking out the extensive chocolate shops.

brussels main tourist attractions

Horta Museum Horta Museum

Art lovers should not pass up the chance to see where Victor Horta – one of the founders of the art nouveau movement – lived and worked. The home, which was built between 1898 and 1901 features murals, stained glass and mosaics that are largely intact from its original construction. As you walk through, keep your eyes open for Horta's influences, from the wing-like skylights to the winding banisters to the overhead lights stemming down from the ceiling like vines.

Recent travelers said the museum is a must-see attraction for architecture aficionados, but warned that you cannot take photos inside the museum and that lines are sometimes long.

brussels main tourist attractions

Cantillon Brewery Cantillon Brewery

When it comes down to it, a trip to Brussels isn't complete unless you've sampled the beer. Cantillon has been brewing traditional Belgian beers, including lambic, gueuze, faro and kriek, since 1900. During your tour, you may learn about brewing, bottling or even how barrels are cleaned, and if you plan ahead, you can even attend a public brewing session to see the action first-hand.

Recent visitors said they enjoyed exploring the brewery and learning how the beer is made. Others enjoyed sampling the unique taste of lambic beer. Reviewers recommended signing up for a guided tour to make the most of your visit.

brussels main tourist attractions

Mini-Europe Mini-Europe

This theme park north of central Brussels features scale models of more than 350 of Europe's most famous landmarks, from Athens' Acropolis and the canals of Venice to London's Big Ben and Paris' Eiffel Tower. Each replica comes complete with visual and sound effects. Be sure to bring your kids: Many of the park's miniature attractions are interactive, such as Naples' Mount Vesuvius and the Berlin Wall. 

Many past visitors agreed that Mini-Europe is a great place to bring children. They described it as adorable, cute and informative and recommended adding it to your itinerary.

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Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, located in Brussels' historic center, is a group of six different art museums: the Oldmasters Museum, Modern Museum, Meunier Museum, Wiertz Museum, Magritte Museum and the Fin-de-Siècle Museum. Together, they offer a collection of 20,000 works, dating from the 15th century to modern day. Walking through the halls, travelers will be able to see works from Rubens, Rodin, Gauguin, Magritte and many more. There's also an impressive collection of works from the Flemish school, including Pieter Bruegel.

Past travelers were impressed with the museum's vast collection of art. Considering the size of the collection, many suggested allotting 2 1/2 or more hours to not just see the works, but to appreciate and enjoy them.

brussels main tourist attractions

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

For those interested in military history, this museum makes for a great afternoon. Located within Cinquantenaire Park , the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History traces the world's military history over the last 10 centuries, displaying weaponry, uniforms and airplanes from various points in time. Spend a fair amount of time in the airplane hangar, which features some 130 aircraft, including zeppelins, F-16s and more. 

Recent visitors said this museum is well worth a visit and recommend seeking out the view of the city atop the terrace of the triumphal arch. Some warned that no cash is accepted and advised allotting several hours to spend in the museum.

brussels main tourist attractions

Museum of Natural Sciences Museum of Natural Sciences

Set aside plenty of time to spend at this museum, which will delight the science and dinosaur lovers of all ages. With some 38 million specimens on hand (only a fraction of which are on display), this museum has the largest natural history collection in Europe behind those in Paris and London. Don't miss the dinosaur gallery, the largest room in Europe devoted to dinos, to see a replica of the largest and most complete male T. rex known today, along with 30 complete iguanodon skeletons that were discovered in Belgium 1878. 

Past visitors said the museum is a great activity for kids, with many praising the dinosaur collection. Some reviewers advised visiting a weekday to avoid crowds.

brussels main tourist attractions

Atomium Atomium

The most popular tourist attraction in Brussels, the Atomium is a depiction of an iron crystal magnified more than 100 billion times that was originally built for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. Today, it houses multiple exhibitions, a panoramic view over the city and a restaurant with excellent views, and is considered to be a symbol of both Brussels and Belgium.

If there's one reason to head to the Atomium, it's the spectacular views of the city, according to many recent visitors. Travelers advised that it is far from other attractions, however, and that there can be long lines.

brussels main tourist attractions

Église Notre-Dame du Sablon Église Notre-Dame du Sablon free

Just south of the Grand-Place , the impressive  Église Notre-Dame du Sablon – which dates back to the 14th century – is worth a visit, according to recent travelers. The church's interior features two chapels dedicated to saints and decorated with marble statues. There are also statues of St. Paul and St. Augustine inside.

Past visitors said they were impressed by the statues and stained-glass windows in the church and used words like "stunning" and "magnificent" to describe the interior.

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Belgian Comic Strip Center Belgian Comic Strip Center

Belgium is the birthplace of many legendary comic characters, including Tintin and the Smurfs, and is also home to more than 700 comic strip artists. So it's no wonder the city pays tribute to the comic art in the form of a museum. The Belgian Comic Strip Center tells the story of European comics from their beginnings to modern day through a variety of permanent and temporary collections and a Comic Strip Library boasting more than 60,000 works.

Recent visitors enjoyed their experience at the Belgian Comic Strip Center with many feeling nostalgic to learn about comics they recall growing up. Past travelers were also impressed with the beauty of the art nouveau building, which was designed by architect Victor Horta (you can learn more about him at the Horta Museum).

brussels main tourist attractions

Manneken-Pis Manneken-Pis free

This little boy has become a renowned Brussels landmark. The Manneken Pis (which translates to "little man pee" in Dutch) is a bronze statue of a child relieving himself that also serves as a public fountain. Though the original statue dates back to the 17th century, the statue on display is actually a replica. Located just south of the Grand-Place , the statue has been the recipient of about 800 different costumes, many of which you can see at the Museum of the City of Brussels. He's even been kidnapped and returned multiple times. The statue's origin story is a bit disputed, but wherever it came from, its allure has endured.

Recent travelers were torn over Manneken Pis. Most agreed they were surprised by the boy's small size, and some maintain it's a must-see, while others say to skip it. Past visitors also warned that it is crowded at most times of the day.

brussels main tourist attractions

Train World Train World

Train enthusiasts will enjoy a stop at Train World, which sits about 3 miles north of the Grand-Place . Inside you can see restored train stations, dating to the late 1800s and early 1900s, learn about the history of Belgium's railway, see the oldest remaining steam engine in Europe, explore the reasons people use trains from travel to commuting and more.

Past visitors said they loved the interactive exhibits and that their kids did not want to leave. They also recommended a visit to the on-site restaurant.

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BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts

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13 classic experiences to have in Brussels

Alex Reynolds

Sep 1, 2021 • 6 min read

Brussels, Belgium - August 16, 2019: People at the tables of Le Pain Quotidien cafe inside Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, an ensemble of glazed shopping arcades in central Brussels.; Shutterstock ID 1937750464; your: AnneMarie; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Brussels best of article

Spending time at a quintessential Brussels cafe is a great way to spend an afternoon © Alena Veasey/Shutterstock

Brussels is a city of nuance. Its beauty lies in its details: wrought iron flourishes on seemingly plain houses, locals’ wry jokes paired with warm welcomes, provocative murals that make you do a double take. If you only have a few days, here are some of the top things to do in Brussels to experience the little delights of Belgium’s underrated capital.

Grand Place

Though Brussels’ central square, the Grand Place, is its most touristy spot, you can’t deny that it’s, well, grand. If you only have one day in Brussels, head there. To dig deeper, rather than treating it as a big gilded selfie backdrop, take a moment to sit and take in the intricate details of each building: a swan rearing where Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto, the boatmen guild’s gable shaped like a ship’s stern, a bas relief of Romulus and Remus with their wolf mother.  

Mannekin Pis statue in Brussels

Find the peeing trio

Manneken Pis , the “little pissing man,” is a perfect example of Belgians’ cheeky humor. Most tourists stop at the bronze boy with the bottomless bladder, but he actually has two urinary comrades. Since 1987, Jeanneke Pis has been squatting behind a red fence near Rue de Bouchers. Manneken’s best friend was added in 1998: a statue of a dog, Zinneke , casually answering nature’s call on a Rue des Chartreux bollard.

Eat waffles like a Belgian

Countless tourist shops offer “authentic” Belgian waffles loaded with all kinds of sugary additions. Sprinkles, nuts and whipped cream have their time and place, but Belgians usually skip the shops and mountains of tops. Freshly made and sticky sweet Liege waffles (Luikse in Flemish) are best enjoyed sans toppings. Waffle vans serving piping hot waffles wrapped in paper can be found all over Brussels –  city parks and weekend markets are good places to look.

Drink a beer in a brown cafe

Cramped seating, smoke-darkened wooden panels, and an extensive (but tasteful) beer list are defining features of classic Belgian “brown cafes.” Tables packed with friends laughing into the early hours are proof: having a beer in a brown cafe is one of the best things to do in Brussels at night.

No matter where you stay , there’s sure to be at least one brown cafe nearby, but centrally located favorites include Moeder Lambic in Ixelles, Poechenellekelder by the Manneken Pis, and Nüetnigenough near the Grand Place. Delirium Café  merits an honorable mention: though it’s objectively touristy and often sloppy, it does have the world’s biggest beer menu.

Musee Horta in Brussels

Visit the home of an Art Nouveau master

Curling steel vines and floral flourishes were signatures of illustrious architect Victor Horta. Considered to be one of the fathers of the 19th century Art Nouveau movement, his work influenced countless elegantly understated façades found throughout Brussels today. To honor his work, his family home in Ixelles’ Chatelain neighborhood is now open to the public as a museum. It’s not hard to find Art Nouveau’s influences in Brussels, but the Musée Horta is one of the few places where travelers can see the inner workings of Horta’s artistry.

Devour a cone of frites

Belgians love their perfectly crispy fries so much that they want the vendors’ stands placed  on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage list! Snacking on fries is a must do while in Brussels. Portions come in many shapes with many sauces—mostly variants of mayonnaise—but the classic method is to eat the fries straight from a paper cone. Maison Antoine in Place Jourdan is a centrally located cult favorite, but prepare to wait in line!

Exterior of Africa Museum outside Brussels

Take a historic tram to Tervuren’s Africa Museum

Belgium’s colonial history is dark: “crimes against humanity” was a phrase used to describe King Leopold II’s genocide in Congo. After decades of denial, Belgium is slowly coming to terms with its crimes. Tervuren’s palatial Africa Museum is a must-visit to see the changes in progress. Tervuren is connected to Brussels by a century-old wooden tram line that passes towering trees and stately mansions on Avenue de Tervuren.

Sample gueuze beer at Cantillon Brewery

Subtly sour and extra effervescent? Must be a gueuze beer! The curious lambic-style beer hails from the Senne Valley around Brussels. Some say the doubly fermented brew is a craft substitute for champagne, others find the flavor unsettling. The only way to determine that on your own is to do a tasting at the family-run Cantillon Brewery and museum in the west of Brussels.

Savor the world’s best chocolate

Belgians will never agree on which chocolatier is best. What they can agree on is that some of the finest chocolate is in Brussels. Connoisseurs should head to the Sablon neighborhood: there you’ll find names like Wittamer, a master of the “older” generation, alongside newer chocolatiers, like Marcolini, who are more experimental with their creations. High quality comes at a high price, so if you’re traveling Brussels on a budget , the Neuhaus factory is a more budget-friendly alternative.

Walk the comic book route

Comics are a huge deal in the “comic book capital” of the world. Literally huge: Brussels is decorated with more than 60 multistory murals honoring famous comic strips! One of the best things to do in Brussels is follow the comic book route across the city, seeking out characters like Tintin and The Smurfs, plus local Belgian favorites like Suske and Wiske and Rode Ridder.

Treat your ears at the Musical Instruments Museum

Musical instruments might seem a strange choice for nonmusicians, but the interactive MIM is one of the best things to do in Brussels with kids. They can play for hours, exploring the sounds of squiggly horns and plucky pipe organs neither children nor adults have ever heard of. Once done, MIM has a rooftop restaurant that offers spectacular views of central Brussels through arched Art Nouveau windows. It’s a welcome change from somber art museums.

Moules-frites, mussels and fries

Tuck into a hot pot of moules

Moules-frites, steaming pots of mussels served with sides of fries, are a Belgian classic. Some restaurants dish up pots of mussels year-round, but Belgians claim the best mussels are only available in months whose names contain an “r.” If you’re in Brussels at the right time of year, don’t pass on the chance to tuck into fresh mussels at Le Zinneke or Le Chou de Bruxelles . Pro tip: dip your fries into the sauce at the bottom. You won’t regret it.

Hunt for bargains in Le Marolles

Long a neighborhood of the working class, Marolles is the historic heart of Brussels. The original Brusseleer dialect can still be heard on its streets today. Though times are changing and accents are fading, Marolles is still a place to get a glimpse of the past at bargain prices. Both trash and treasure are sold at the Place du Jeu-de-Balle flea market running 365 days a year, and shopping streets Rue Haute and Rue Blaes around the square are equally rife with shops selling antiques and vintage clothes.

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Top attractions in Brussels

Top attractions in Brussels

Top monuments, churches, parks and architecture in Brussels. Discover the best things to see and do in Brussels with prices, maps and opening times.

Grand Place La Grand Place (Grote Markt) is the central, geographic and historic heart of Brussels. Discover the square’s history and the Grand Place's main buildings.

Bruges Bruges is a medieval fairy-tale town and Belgium’s most visited city with 7.8 million people exploring Bruges every year.

Ghent Ghent is a stunning medieval city not far from Brussels and one of Belgium’s favourite places to visit. Find out Ghent’s top attractions and things to do.

Manneken Pis The famous Manneken Pis is a statue of a small boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. Discover why it has become a landmark in Brussels and its legend.

Atomium The Atomium is for Brussels what the Eiffel Tower is for Paris. The monument was created for the World Fair exhibition and has become Belgium's symbol.

Palais de Justice Le Palais de Justice (Justice Palace) in Brussels is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in Europe.

Musical Instruments Museum The Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels has over 7000 musical instruments from the Middle Ages to the present day. It is a worldwide point of reference.

Cinquantenaire The Cinquantenaire Palace and Park of Brussels is a national landmark and was built for the Belgian independency in 1880.

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert were designed in 1847 as the first glazed shopping arcade in Europe. Today, they are still the most impressive.

Mini Europe Mini Europe is a miniature park with 350 miniatures that represent the most important landmarks from the countries in the European Union.

Tourist attractions

Royal Palace The Royal Palace of Brussels is situated near the Parc de Bruxelles and is one of the most famous buildings. Discover it and when and how to visit it

Brussels Cathedral The Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula is one of the most important landmarks in Brussels. Information on this impressive temple and when to visit it.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Brussels is an architectural masterpiece and is the fifth largest temple in the world.

Notre Dame du Sablon Located in the upper town of Brussels, Notre Dame du Sablon is a remarkable 15th century Late Gothic church and one of the most beautiful in Brussels.

Parc de Bruxelles The Parc de Bruxelles (Brussels Park) was designed in the eighteenth century and is currently one of the most important parks of Brussels.

European District The European District of Brussels comprises the headquarters of the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and European Commission

Jeanneke Pis Jeanneke Pis is the female replica of the Manneken Pis, a statue of a little girl squatting and urinating who looks more audacious than her older brother.

Palace of Coudenberg Located under the Place Royale (Royal Square) are the ruins of the former Palace of Coudenberg, the ancient seat of government.

Museums and galleries

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium The Brussels Fine Art Museum has over 20.000 paintings, drawings and sculptures that date from the beginning of the fifteenth century to the present day.

Magritte Museum The Magritte Museum in Brussels features the largest collection of works by one of the most prominent Belgian artists from the twentieth century, Rene Magritte. Find out here.

Military History Museum The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels houses numerous aircrafts, uniforms, tanks and arms and is one of the best war museums in the world.

Autoworld Autoworld is a vintage car museum in Brussels that explores the history of the automobile and features numerous relics of the car industry.

Museum of the City of Brussels The Museum of the City of Brussels, housed in the Maison du Roi in the Grand Place, is dedicated to the history of Brussels. Discover it!

Cinquantenaire Museum The Cinquantenaire Museum, part of the Royal Museums of Art and History, is dedicated to the history of the human evolution.

Natural Sciences Museum The Natural Sciences Museum in Brussels is dedicated to the natural history. It has one of the most important dinosaur galleries in Europe.

Belvue Museum The BELvue Museum reflects the national history of Belgium from the Belgian Revolution until it became a federal state in 1993.

Horta Museum The Horta Museum, built between 1898 and 1901, was owned and designed by the best-known architect of Art Nouveau, Victor Horta.

Charlier Museum Charlier Museum is housed in a nineteenth century mansion remodelled by Victor Horta and owned by Henri Van Cutsem, a wealthy art collector.

Belgian Comic Strip Center Belgian comics played a very important role in the expansion of European comics. The Belgian Comic Strip Center has over 6.000 original comic strips.

Nearby sights

Antwerp Antwerp is known as the Diamond Capital of the World. It is the second most important city in Belgium after Brussels. Discover things to do in Antwerp.

Amsterdam Amsterdam is one of the most popular day trips from Brussels. This capital has a unique charm that will capture all, so discover all its highlights!

Two Days in Brussels

Two Days in Brussels

You may also be interested in.

In the below albums you will find a selection of the best photos of Brussels: here is where we have compiled all the photographs of Brussels which you can find in our guide.

The Grand Place, the Atomium, Brussels, Ghent... make the most of your trip to the Belgian capital and its surroundings by visiting the top 10 unmissable sights in Brussels. 

brussels main tourist attractions

Full Suitcase Travel Blog

23 BEST Things to Do in Brussels (+Map & Insider Tips for Top Places)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: October 4, 2023

23 BEST Things to Do in Brussels (+Map & Insider Tips for Top Places)

Visiting Belgium’s capital city for the first time and wondering what to see and do in Brussels? In this article, you can find our recommendations for the very best places to see and things to do in Brussels. It will help you to make the most of your trip and explore the city just a bit deeper. Take a look!

Good to know: We are from Belgium and have lived in and near Brussels for several years. So I can immediately tell you that there’s so much more to see in Brussels than you’d ever be able to cover on a short visit… Therefore, in this guide, we mostly focus on the most popular attractions that first-time visitors shouldn’t miss .

For each place and activity, we also share our insider tips and recommendations.

Read on to learn more about the most beautiful places to see in Brussels, the very best things to do, and the most typical Belgian experiences that will make your trip more memorable!

TIP: In order to help you plan your trip, we also created this map indicating all the best places to visit in Brussels. That way, you can see where everything is located and can easier plan your sightseeing itinerary.

How to use this map:  Use your computer mouse (or fingers) to zoom in or out. Click on the icons to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the index. Click the star next to the map’s title to add it to your Google Maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’. If you want to print the map or see it in a bigger window, click on ‘View larger map’ in the top right corner.

Best places to see and things to do in Brussels Belgium

Good to know: We list the main landmarks and tourist attractions in the center of Brussels first, followed by places a bit further away.

In addition to all the ‘must-sees’, we include some of the most typical Belgian food experiences as well. After all, no visit to Brussels would be complete without tasting Belgian waffles, beer, or trying moules-frites . Find out!

BEST OF BRUSSELS IN A NUTSHELL: * MUST-SEE: Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Royal Galleries, Mont des Arts, Royal Palace, and Magritte Museum . * FUN TO DO: Belgian Beer World , Atomium , Mini-Europe , EU headquarters, food tours . * MUST TRY: Brussels waffles, moules-frites, Belgian beers, and Belgian chocolate. * WHERE TO STAY:  See our guide to the best areas to stay in Brussels and also to the most popular hotels in Brussels . * DAY TRIPS:   Bruges , WWI Battlefields , Antwerp . Best day tour – Ghent & Bruges in a day .

Here are the best things to do in Brussels:

1. Grand Place & Brussels Town Hall

If there is one place that you absolutely have to see in Brussels, it’s the Grand Place (or de Grote Markt , in Dutch). Grand Place is the main town square of Brussels, home to the impressive Brussels Town Hall and the most beautiful guild houses in the world.

Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe. Even if this would be the only place you see in Brussels, Grand Place is worth a trip on its own!

Brussels Grand Place is amazing at any time of the day and in any season. Lots of big events take place here, including the annual Brussels Christmas Market in winter and the bi-annual Brussels Flower Carpet in summer. Often, there are (free) light and music shows at the town square in the evenings. It’s always magical!

But even if there is nothing special going on, I recommend visiting Grand Place during the day and also in the dark. The buildings are beautifully lit at night and it’s well worth coming back for it.

Practical info: You can visit Grand Place at any time and it’s free of charge. Brussels Town Hall can also be visited inside, but only with a guided tour that runs just a few days a week. More info here .

Best places to see in Brussels - Grand Place

2. Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert

The Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert is one of the most beautiful landmarks of Brussels! In fact, there is not one, but two connecting galleries – Galerie du Roi (Gallery of the King) and Galerie de la Reine (Gallery of the Queen).

Opened in 1847, these impressive galleries not only transformed the formerly poorer part of the city, but also put Brussels on the map as one of the greatest cities in Europe at that time. It quickly became the place to see and to be seen, attracting the rich and the famous. The former Café des Arts (now Taverne du Passage) was a popular meeting place for writers and artists, such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and many others.

Nowadays, this impressive arcade houses many luxury boutique shops, beautiful cafés, and stores selling local delicacies and traditional Belgian chocolates. Inside, you’ll also find the Cinéma des Galeries, the historic movie theatre dating from 1939.

Practical info: The Royal Galleries are always open and it doesn’t cost anything to walk through them. The shops and the restaurants inside have varying opening times.

Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert in Brussels

3. Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis (the peeing boy) is the quirky symbol of Brussels. And while you’ll most likely be underwhelmed by the sight of this tiny statue, it’s one of the main landmarks of Brussels that every first-time visitor absolutely has to see.

A popular legend has it that a small boy stopped a fire from spreading in Brussels by peeing on it. And so the city was saved and the little peeing boy became its symbol. However, this is just one story and the origins of Manneken-Pis could be totally different – see below)…

The current statue dates from the early 17th century, but archives show that there was a similar fountain here as early as the 14th century.

Manneken Pis is normally naked, but he also has a huge collection of costumes that he wears for a variety of different occasions. He received his first set of clothes in the late 17th century and his oldest surviving costumes date from the 18th century.

Nowadays, Manneken Pis has over 1000 costumes, with 20-30 new items added to the collection every year. If you want to see his wardrobe and learn more about this peculiar little statue, check out the museum GardeRobe Manneken Pis .

LEARN MORE: The Real Story of Manneken-Pis in Brussels

Manneken Pis in Brussels

TIP: If you have the time, you may also want to locate the statue of a little peeing girl – Jeanneke-Pis . While not as famous as Manneken Pis and usually locked behind metal bars, this little fountain has always been a popular ‘hidden gem’ in Brussels. If you want to check it out, I indicated its location on our map above.

And no, that’s not all. Brussels has something with ‘urinating’ statues. There is also a Zinneke Pis , which is a statue of a peeing dog. This – for now – completes the trio of peeing statues of Brussels. But tourists sure seem to like them, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few more of those appearing in the future.

Practical info: You can see Manneken Pis and other statues at any time and there is no fee. If you are interested in the museum, check the above link for more information.

Manneken Pis is one of must see things in Brussels

4. Brussels Cathedral

One of the most impressive buildings of Brussels – St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral – is another must-see in the city. It’s just 5 minutes walk from Grand Place and well worth the short detour.

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral is the main church of Belgium, where all the Royal religious ceremonies take place. This is where Belgian Royals get married, princes and princesses are baptized, etc.

The exterior of the Cathedral is really impressive. However, it’s very hard to appreciate its beauty because it’s literally squeezed in between different streets and buildings, which makes it difficult to see it in its full grandeur. The front façade is best visible as there is a small square in front of it, giving you a better perspective in order to admire this colossal building.

The interior of the Cathedral is beautiful too and can be appreciated much easier than its exterior.

Practical info: The Cathedral is open daily and you can visit freely. So if there’s no Mass celebration at that time, definitely take a look inside.

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral in Brussels

5. Mont des Arts

Mont des Arts (Hill of the Arts) is a little hill in the center of Brussels, offering one of the best viewpoints of the city . As you walk the stairs all the way to the top, you get to see a beautiful panorama of the Brussels skyline. This is the typical postcard view of Brussels.

Historically, this hill connected the lower working-class part of the city with the upper part where aristocrats used to live. The Royal Palace of Brussels can be found on top of the hill, whereas the Town Hall can be seen below.

At the bottom of the hill, you’ll find the statue of Belgium’s King Albert I and the landscaped Mont des Arts Garden . Another thing to look out for is the Carillon of Mont des Arts . It has 24 bells and an impressive star-shaped clock, but is a bit hidden out of sight and often overlooked by first-time visitors. However, it’s also well worth seeing, so make a little effort to locate it. You can find it on the eastern side of the archway above the street of Mont des Arts.

Practical info: All these places are outdoors and can be seen at any time. Also, don’t worry about the stairs – this is not a steep hill at all. Furthermore, if you don’t want or can’t do the stairs, you can just take the sidewalk of Mont des Arts Street that brings you to the top of the hill.

Mont des Arts Brussels

6. Musical Instruments Museum

Just at the top of the Mont des Arts, stands an impressive Art-Nouveau-style building that houses the Museum of Musical Instruments (MMI). This is one of the most beautiful examples of the Art Nouveau architecture that Brussels is famous for.

MMI has been established in 1877 and now has over 7000 musical instruments from all over the world and from many different periods. This is one of my personal favorite museums in Brussels.

Every visitor receives headphones that start to play the music of the instrument near you. This makes the visit even more special.

But even if you have no time to visit the museum inside, you really shouldn’t miss this beautiful building. It’s located on the popular tourist route anyway, so no need to make an extra effort or get out of your way for it.

Practical info: The museum is open daily except on Mondays and some public holidays. For more up-to-date information and opening times, please check the official website . This is one of the museums that’s included with the Brussels Card .

Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels

7. Royal Palace & Place Royale

Belgium is a monarchy and we have a beautiful Royal Palace right in the middle of Brussels. The Royal Family actually lives in another palace in Laken, on the outskirts of Brussels. The palace in the city center is where the Belgian King works. It’s also used for various ceremonies, state dinners, and other official occasions.

Normally, you can only admire the palace from the outside. Nevertheless, it’s worth passing by here because it’s a truly impressive building. Also, you can’t really miss the Place Royale Bruxelles , a big square with an equestrian statue of Godefroid de Bouillon in front of the Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg Church .

Good to know: The Royal Palace is only open for visitors for a brief period of time in the summer. It opens to the public after the 21 st of July (Belgian National Holiday) and stays open until the last week of August. You can visit every day except Monday and it’s free of charge. If you happen to be in Brussels during this time, it’s definitely worth a visit, but be prepared for the crowds.

Royal Palace - must see in Brussels

8. Brussels Park

Right in front of the Royal Palace, there is a nice small city park – Royal Park , also known as Brussels Park . Located on the former hunting grounds that in the past were reserved for the aristocracy, this public park was established in the 18th century.

Brussels Park is quite small and you can see everything in 15-30 minutes. It has several fountains and beautiful statues, and you can escape the hustle and the bustle of the city for a few moments here. There are also one or two cozy outdoor cafés in the park.

Practical info: The park is open daily, from 6 AM to 10 PM, and is free to enter. It’s more lively in the afternoons and on the weekends.

Brussels Park (Royal Park) fountain in summer

9. Petit Sablon Neighborhood

Just a short walk from the main tourist attractions, in the heart of Brussels, lies a very nice local neighborhood called Petit Sablon . It’s an area where historic architecture and modern artsy lifestyle mingle to create a very unique atmosphere. This is one of the nicest, trendier, but also very local parts of Brussels.

Don’t miss the Église Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon (Church of Our Lady of Victories at the Sablon). It’s one of the most beautiful churches in Brussels! The little park at the Square du Petit Sablon , just opposite the street from the church, is also very nice. Don’t miss it.

For the rest, just stroll through the neighborhood, following the information panels that indicate all the main sights. One of my favorite places here is the town square Place du Grand Sablon . It’s lined with art galleries, trendy boutiques, artsy cafes, and luxury chocolatiers. On the weekends, this is where you’ll find Brussel’s most famous antique market.

Petit Sablon church and park in Brussels

10. Rue des Bouchers

Probably the most famous restaurant street in Belgium, Rue des Bouchers is another top tourist attraction in Brussels. It’s a colorful, lively pedestrian street, packed with bars and restaurants. Most of them offer all kinds of seafood, and you’ll see impressive displays of shellfish on ice all over the place.

Most restaurants here are really oriented towards tourists, with pictures on the menu, food displays, and waiters trying to convince you to sit down at their restaurant. It will take some willpower to cross this street without actually sitting down for a meal. But it’s also a very well-known place to see in Brussels, so even if you don’t plan to eat here, you should definitely check this street out!

Good to know: Rue des Bouchers is a popular place to try the traditional Belgian ‘moules-frites’ (mussels and fries) . However, in general, you’ll get better value for money in the more local restaurants. The best season for Belgian mussels is from the beginning of July to around mid-April.

Rue des Bouchers in Brussels

11. Place de la Bourse & Belgian Beer World

Place de la Bourse (Stock Exchange Square) is a town square in front of the old Brussels Stock Exchange building. It’s a popular place for all kinds of events and also political demonstrations.

The Stock Exchange building itself doesn’t really have an official name and is often simply called Palais de la Bourse (the Stock Exchange Palace).

This colossal 19th-century building has an impressive facade that makes you think of Greek temples. It’s even guarded by lion statues on the sides. After year-long renovations, the building is now beautifully restored and is home to the newest attraction in Brussels – Belgian Beer World .

This is an interactive family-friendly exhibition that introduces you to Belgian beer culture. At the end of the visit, you get to sample some beer at the Sky Bar. The bar is located on a beautiful rooftop terrace and offers nice city views – another great reason to come here.

Practical information: Stock Exchange Square is located just near Grand Place, so it’s really easy to include a visit here in any itinerary. If you want to visit Belgian Beer World, you can find more information and get tickets here .

Good to know: During the opening hours of the museum, you can only visit the rooftop terrace with a ticket. But in the evenings, when the museum is closed, you can go up to the Sky Bar for free.

Brussels Stock Exchange - Palais de la Bourse

12. Saint Catherine & Fish Market

Another really nice and more local area to see in the Brussels city center is the Saint Catherine neighborhood . It’s concentrated around the Saint Catherine Church and several town squares. The best-known square is Marché aux Poissons (Fish Market), where the old Brussels port used to be.

There is no actual fish market here. However, this part of Brussels is also a good place for (sea)food lovers and you’ll find many restaurants and cafes lining the streets. If locals go for seafood in Brussels, they’ll likely come here and not to Rue des Bouchers. Prices tend to be higher here as well, but you also can expect better quality.

In winter, this is one of the places where the Brussels Christmas market takes place. And in summer, you’ll find a lively area with outdoor restaurant terraces and a very pleasant vibe.

TIP: Don’t miss the Tour Noire (the Black Tower), a restored medieval tower surrounded by modern buildings.

Fish Market and Saint Catherine neighborhood in Brussels

13. Atomium

While most of the main Brussels tourist attractions mentioned above can be found in the city center, the most remarkable landmark of Brussels – the Atomium – requires a separate visit. It’s located on the western side of Brussels and can be reached by metro or with a hop-on hop-off bus (more info on the bus below).

The Atomium was built in 1958 as the flagship building of the Brussels World’s Fair, Expo 58. The nine spheres represent an iron crystal (magnified 165 billion times) and it was supposed to be torn down soon after the event, but it quickly became an unmistakable symbol of Brussels. It has recently been renovated, looks more impressive than ever before, and nobody can imagine the city without the Atomium anymore.

At the moment, Atomium is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Brussels. It’s impressive both, from the outside and well as on the inside. Inside, you’ll find is a museum, a panoramic restaurant, and a magnificent 360° panorama with unparalleled views over Brussels and its surroundings.

Practical info: You can see the Atomium from the outside at any time and it’s beautifully lit at night. For visits inside, see practical info and get your tickets here .

Best things to do in Brussels - Atomium

14. Mini-Europe

If you already make it all the way to the Atomium, then definitely visit the adjacent Mini-Europe as well. Here, you’ll find miniature buildings and landmarks from all over Europe, scaled to the size of 1:25.

It’s a fun way to discover the main landmarks from various European countries and maybe even find some travel inspiration for future trips. And if you ever wanted to take some fun pictures with the mini versions of the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben, this is your chance!

Mini-Europe is great for all ages. It’s fun for families visiting Brussels with kids, but it’s definitely not only for kids.

Practical info: Mini-Europe is an outdoor attraction, but is open daily, all year round, and is just one of the many places you can also visit in Belgium in winter . See here for more info and tickets.

TIP: If you are planning to visit both, Atomium and Mini-Europe, you can get a combi-ticket that saves a few euros.

Mini Europe is one of the best tourist attractions in Brussels

15. European Quarter

Brussels is the capital of Europe and there are many EU institutions in the city. Most of them are concentrated around Place Schuman, Place du Luxembourg, Place Jourdan, and Place Jean Rey. All these places are a few metro stops from the old town.

If you want to get to know more about the EU, then it might be interesting to visit the European Parliament in Brussels. There are several unique experiences that you can choose from, and it’s also free of charge. You should book in advance.

Practical info: You can see all the buildings from the outside at any time. For more information for a visit inside, please check the official website of the European Parliament in Brussels.

European Parliament in Brussels

16. Cinquantenaire Park

Located outside the city center, a short walk from the EU Quarter, the Parc du Cinquantenaire (Park of the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence). This is one of the biggest and most famous parks of Brussels. It has nice lawns, flower displays, fountains, playgrounds, a huge triumphal arch in the middle, and several big museums.

The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History is a nice place to see all kinds of military equipment, armory, but also tanks, and even aircraft. More info .

Autoworld is a car museum, with a big collection of vintage vehicles. This is one of the best museums to visit in Brussels with children and it’s not just for boys. More info .

The Art & History Museum has an impressive collection of works of art dating from various periods of time, from Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, and more. More info .

Most tourists who come to Brussels just for a day don’t get to this part of the city. But if you take a hop-on hop-off bus (more info below), you’ll definitely pass here. If you have more time, take a stroll through the park and visit one of the museums.

Practical information: You’ll need at least 30-45 min for Autoworld or for the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces. The Art & History Museum requires at least 2 hours of your time. For more information and opening times, please check their websites linked above.

TIP: All these museums are included with the Brussels Card .

Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels

17. Hop-on Hop-off Bus

If you want to see a lot of Brussels in a short time, then consider taking a hop-on hop-off bus . It’s especially convenient if you are planning to visit the attractions located a bit outside the city center. For the Atomium, Mini Europe, but also the EU buildings or Cinquantenaire Park, the hop-on hop-off bus is the best way to easily get there.

There are two routes and your ticket covers both of them. For the western side of the city including Atomium, take the Blue Route (aka Atomium Route). For the easter side, including the European quarter and Cinquantenaire Park, take the Red Route (aka Europe Route).

The advantage of taking the sightseeing bus is that it also passes the Royal Palace in Laken, the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg, the Japanese Tower at the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, and several other interesting Brussels landmarks. You also get to see some colorful neighborhoods of Brussels that you’d totally miss otherwise.

Brussels sightseeing bus (hop on hop off bus)

18. Brussels Museums

Brussels has many museums and, depending on your interests and the time you have, you could consider visiting a few of them. However, with so many choices, it can be really overwhelming to decide where to go. So here are a few more suggestions, in addition to the ones already mentioned above. (You can also find these on our map of Brussels attractions).

In the heart of Brussels and just near the Musical Instruments Museum, you’ll find the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium . This is a complex of two museums – the Old Masters Museum and the Magritte Museum . You can visit one or both of them (combination tickets are available). The building is so large that you can spend a big part of the day here. More info here . If you have time for just one museum in Brussels, make it the Magritte Museum !

For nature, history, and dinosaurs, head to the Museum of Natural Sciences . The museum houses the largest Dinosaur Gallery in Europe and is a favorite among kids. However, it’s located somewhat far away from all the attractions in the city center. So you really have to make an effort in order to visit. More info here .

Brussels City Museum , located at the Grand Place town square, is dedicated to the city of Brussels. This museum is a great place to learn about Brussels and its history from the Middle Ages to modern times. More info here .

Other Brussels museums that are also worth considering are Comics Art Museum, Train World , BOZAR, and Choco-Story Brussels . But even if you’d somehow manage to visit all of these, you’ll just scratch the surface of all that there’s to see in Brussels.

TIP: If you are a museum fan and plan to visit several of Brussels museums in one trip, then definitely get Brussels Card . It will save you a lot of money.

Autoworld Brussels

Now that we covered all the best places to see in Brussels, here are some additional experiences that you don’t want to miss. Ok, you can skip the shopping but definitely don’t skip all the food and drinks that Belgium is famous for. Take a look at our suggestions with some insider tips!

19. Shopping at Rue Neuve or Avenue Louise

In addition to all the tourist sights and attractions, many people come to Brussels for shopping. It’s a great place for that indeed, with countless options and plenty of choices for all styles and budgets.

The busiest place in Brussels, Rue Neuve is the main shopping street of the city. It’s lined with big chain stores and looks and feels like any other big shopping area in the world. But if you’d like to do some shopping, this is the place to be.

For a more high-end shopping experience, head to Avenue Louise on the other side of the city center. Here, you’ll find expensive designer boutiques, with names as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & co, Michael Kors, and similar.

Tiffany & co store in Brussels

20. Belgian Chocolate

No trip to Brussels would be complete without tasting some really good Belgian chocolate . There are probably hundreds of shops selling chocolate in the center of Brussels. And you can also visit Choco-Story Brussels , where you can learn more about Belgian chocolate and taste some of it.

TIP: If you are looking to taste some truly good Belgian chocolate, I recommend checking out the shops of traditional Belgian chocolate brands such as Neuhaus , Godiva , Leonidas , or Pierre Marcolini .

The traditional Belgian chocolate brands such as Neuhaus (est. 1857), Leonidas (est. 1913), and Godiva (est. 1926) have a long history, whereas Pierre Marcolini is the newcomer that opened his first shop at the end of the 20 th century.

Leonidas offers some of the best price-quality Belgian chocolates. Godiva and Neuhaus are somewhat more expensive and some of their chocolates require an acquired taste that not everybody will appreciate.

The chocolates of Pierre Marcolini are more contemporary and often quite daring. They come with a high price tag as well. But if you want to taste some of the best chocolate in the world, then definitely stop by one of their shops in Brussels.

Our personal favorite Belgian chocolate is the white ‘Manon’ praline from Leonidas . These pralines have coffee-flavored buttercream in a shell of white chocolate, with hazelnut in the middle. You can find them without hazelnut, with milk chocolate or dark chocolate as well, but definitely try the original one too! They were invented back in 1934, but are just as popular nowadays as they were almost a hundred years ago.

Our kids’ favorites are the Côte d’Or Praliné chocolates that come in many different varieties. You’ll find them in all Belgian supermarkets. They are much better and much cheaper than the chocolates sold in tourist stores.

Pierre Marcolini chocolate shop in Brussels

21. Belgian Waffles

It’s impossible to not mention Belgian waffles when writing about any major city in Belgium. You’ll see and smell the waffles in all the tourist areas in Brussels. And they’re so hard to resist.

There are so many different types of Belgian waffles, but the tourist places usually all sell just one or two kinds – the Brussels waffles and the Liege waffles . Usually the latter. The Brussels waffles are somewhat bigger, more ‘airy’, and not as sweet. They are rectangular in shape. Whereas the Liege waffles are quite thick and heavy, and they also contain more sugar. They are also somewhat more rounded than the Brussels waffles.

In addition, you can choose extra toppings that vary from whipped cream and chocolate to fresh strawberries and many others. If you dare, try a few toppings at once. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to try to eat it all while standing in the busy street, with hundreds of people walking by. This is the reason why we usually simply opt for a plain waffle when buying Belgian waffles from the street shops.

Still, the best traditional waffles are the ones you’ll find at these street stands and not at restaurants. Definitely give it a try!

TIP: If you have a few hours to spare, you can also check out this waffle-making workshop . It’s something fun to do in Brussels that you won’t find in many other places.

Belgian waffles for sale in Brussels

22. Belgian Beer

One of the best things to do in Brussels is go bar-hopping and try different Belgian beers in various pubs and cafes. There are many tourist-oriented places, but for a more authentic experience, look for older, traditional pubs and cafes.

Some of them have hundreds of different Belgian beers , many on tap, and always with their own matching glasses (see more about this in our guide to fun facts about Belgium ).

Here are just a few of the best beer cafes in Brussels (we also indicated them on the map): Delirium Café , Moeder Lambic , Café Mort Subite , Bier Circus , etc.

Don’t settle for the typical mass-production Belgian beer that you find all over the world. Make sure to ask for some local suggestions and try something that you can only find in Belgium!

Good to know: Some Belgian beers are very strong, so be careful if trying more than one or two of them on the same evening. On the other hand, there are also very light, fruity beers, that you will enjoy even if you are not a big fan of beer, like me.

Local’s recommendation: My husband’s favorite Belgian beers are the Trappist beers: Westmalle , Westvleteren ,  Orval , Rochefort , Achel , Chimay , and La Trappe . In Brussels, Lambic , Geuze , Mort Subite , La Chouffe , or Rodenbach are just a few popular choices.

TIP: If you want to taste various Belgian beers, but are not sure where to start or what to choose, check out this popular pub crawl or – if you are in the mood for more – this highly-rated tour that includes 7 beers and snacks .

Cafe Mort Subite in Brussels

23. Belgian Fries with Mayo

No visit to Belgium would be complete without trying some typical Belgian fries with mayo (and no, it’s nothing like fries or mayo that you’ll find anywhere else in the world). And while you can find good fries in the restaurants as well, the best ones come from the street stands called ‘ friterie ’ or ‘ fritkot’ .

For a couple of euros, you can have a delicious and quick meal. It’s perfect when you don’t want to sit down for a long meal during the day and rather spend your time sightseeing.

And yes, it’s not the healthiest option, but with all the chocolate, waffles, and beer, you’ll likely need to loosen your belt in Brussels anyway. So why not go for a full experience and try it all!

TIP: The most popular place to taste traditional Belgian fries in the center of Brussels is the friterie called Fritland , located on the western side of the Stock Exchange building. No matter what time of the day, there’s always a queue here, you can’t miss it. Another good place is Friterie Tabora , very close by to the Grand Place as well. I indicated both of these on our map, but there are many, many more good places throughout the city.

Belgian fries with mayonnaise

Where to Stay

There are so many nice hotels in various areas of Brussels that it’s really difficult to recommend just a few accommodations. For sightseeing, we recommend staying in the city center, close to Grand Place – this area really has it all and is also easy to access by public transport.

Here are some of the best hotels in the heart of the city center, close to Grand Place, for all budgets:

  • €€€€€ Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo .
  • €€€€ Warwick Grand Place .
  • €€€ NH Collection Brussels Centre .
  • €€ Motel One Brussels .

READ ALSO: Where to Stay in Brussels (best areas & hotels for all budgets) & Most Popular Brussels Hotels (top 10 most-booked hotels in the city center)

So, this is our guide to the top things to do in Brussels and the main tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss when visiting the Belgian capital. I hope that this will help you make the most of your visit and get to know Brussels a bit better.

If you are visiting other Belgian cities as well, make sure to also check our guide to the best things to do in Bruges and also the best things to do in Antwerp (+ don’t miss our favorite local places in Antwerp ).

TIP: If you are looking for ideas on how to plan your trip, see our suggested Belgium itinerary for 3-4 days . It also includes tips for where to stay and how to get around. Check it out!

Have a great trip to Brussels!

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

What to see and do in Brussels

More travel inspiration for some of the most beautiful cities all over Europe:

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Thursday 28th of December 2023

Heading to Brussels early May. Also side trip to Luxembourg. Any tips on that? Also thinking of day trip to Ghent - worth it?

These guides are amazing. Thanks.

Friday 29th of December 2023

@Jurga, Thanks... Yes Luxembourg is a far ride so planning to stay two nights. Your site was very helpful. Thanks much.

Hi Janet, you can easily take a train from Brussels to Luxembourg and visit for a day, but it's a rather long train journey so start early. Ghent is much closer and you don't necessarily need a full day if you just want to see the main highlights, but it all depends on your interests. Some people love it more than any other city in Belgium. You could also combine it with Bruges. If you have time, I highly recommend visiting Antwerp. It's a very easy day trip by train and you can easily fill a day or even more there. It's our personal favorite. You can find several detailed guides on Antwerp and Bruges on our website - see here for an overview. Unfortunately, I haven't published anything about Ghent or Luxembourg city itself. In Ghent, the nicest place to be is around Korenlei/Graslei and St. Michael's Bridge. Don't miss Gravensteen Castle and Lam Gods painting at Saint Bavo's Cathedral. In Luxembourg, visit the old town around Grand Ducal Palace. We personally always love walking around Grund (this area is by the river and can be reached via elevators from old town). Also don't miss Bock Casemates. Hope this helps.

R. Robinson

Monday 18th of September 2023

Your travel guides are amazingly helpful! Thank you very much. I used the Iceland guide in June and currently in Brussels.

Thursday 21st of September 2023

Glad to help. Hope you enjoyed Belgium!

Colin Peart

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Thanks for the great tips. The best blog I’ve found for Brüssels.

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Glad to help, Colin. Have a great time in Brussels! (and don't forget that there's more to Belgium than its capital ;))

BRUSSELS: 20 Best Things to Do & Places to Visit

BRUSSELS: 20 Best Things to Do & Places to Visit

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Brussels may not be among the first places that come to mind when the topic of traveling to Europe is brought up. Brussels get only 10 million visitors per year, which is still considerable but much lower than the 30 million tourist arrivals that tourism juggernauts like Paris and Rome record annually.

But Brussels is worth checking out, too! As the capital of Belgium, it is a well-developed and progressive metropolis that offers iconic landmarks, convenient transportation systems, and unforgettable experiences. And oh, not to mention the finger-lickin’ fries, mouth-waterin’ waffles, and mind-blowin’ beer!

If you’re planning a Euro tour and considering a stop in Brussels, here are some of the best things to do and places to visit here! In this post, we’re including links to Klook guided tours and tickets for your convenience.

WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

THINGS TO DO

1. brussels city tour.

Brussels boasts a multitude of storied structures and monuments, most of which are clad in Gothic or Art Deco architectural styles. Some of the notable landmarks are the Grand Place (city hall and guild houses), St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, the Royal Palace, the King’s Castle, and the Congress Column.

brussels main tourist attractions

Aside from the historical attractions, you can also visit the modern tourist attractions like the Atomium .

You can definitely pull a D-I-Y if you are more comfortable exploring on your own or if you are on a budget. But if you want to get more insights into each attraction, consider joining a guided tour. FREE Walking Tours usually start at the Grand Place and take visitors around the surrounding area to check out nearby landmarks. As is usually the case, although it is free, you’re expected to tip the guide depending on how much you enjoyed the tour.

If you’d rather join a smaller group and pay, Klook is offering a half-day city tour which takes about three hours. This is inclusive of a multilingual guide. The stops include the abovementioned notable attractions.

brussels main tourist attractions

2. Belgian Chocolates Sampling

Your Brussels itinerary is not complete without trying the country’s world-famous chocolates! The term Belgian chocolate has become synonymous with the best choco treats in the world. You mention Belgium and more often than not, it will be the first one to pop in mind. (Well, at least in my mind. LOL.) Belgian chocolate is one of the major contributors to the country’s economy and deeply integrated into the culture. There are about 2,000 chocolatiers in the country.

brussels main tourist attractions

Cacao, the raw ingredient in chocolate-making, is not locally produced but the Belgians managed to own the industry, rivaling the Swiss in producing the best chocolates in the world. The industry dates back to the 17th century but started to flourish as an industry in the 19th century.

Its global reputation started when Belgium invented its own version of praline in 1912. The Belgian version has soft filling wrapped in a chocolate shell, different from the pralines found in France and the United States. Belgian chocolates are said to have higher cocoa content than other producers.

If you want to learn more about the history and the best chocolate shops in the city, you can join a guided chocolate tasting walking tour. Aside from visiting shops and sampling, other guided tours include a chocolate-making workshop in the package. Here are two options from Klook.

3. Beer Tours

Raise your glass (or bottles), beer lovers! You’ve set foot in the land of UNESCO-inscribed Belgian beer culture. Judging from the number of beer festivals in the country, you will know that beer is huge here. In fact, the Belgians also incorporated beer in some of its dishes. The country has over 200 breweries — international and traditional — making it one of the top producers of beer in Europe.

brussels main tourist attractions

The beer brewing history in the country can be traced back to the 12th century. The religious orders were the pioneers of beer brewing in Belgium and had a key role in the evolution of the brewing method through the years. One of the famous beer types in the country is the Trappist beer, produced by monks in, well, the Trappist monasteries.

The majority of beers in Belgium are sold in bottles and special ones are mostly served in their specific glassware.

If you want to know more about the other types of beers in Belgium, the beer-making methods, and the history of beer brewing in Belgium, you can join a guided beer tour. Your professional guide will lead you to the best beer places and even the hidden taverns and oldest pubs. Klook has two options inclusive of beer tastings and beer snacks samplings.

4. Fries Tasting

brussels main tourist attractions

The British call ’em chips. Most of us call ’em French fries . But in this part of Europe, where some claim this universally-loved potato snack originated, it is known as frites . And boy do the Belgians love their frites!

It is said that frites started in the fishing settlements along the Meuse River in Belgium. The fisher folks were believed to substitute potatoes for fish during the winter season. According to a National Geographic feature, term “French” fries likely came about during World War I when the Belgians served the fries to the English-speaking troops who associated it with the French language spoken by the Belgian Army.

At its core, fries are very simple: potatoes cut into strips and deep-fried. There are different versions of fries across the globe, varying in thickness, shape, texture, seasoning, and dips. But the Belgians take pride in their double-frying method.

Currently, Brussels has a LOT of fries stalls; the most popular are Maison Antoine, Fritland, Frit Flagey, and Fritkot Bompa. Our team tried the last three. For us, hands down, the best was Fritkot Bompa. And the owner was very charming and warm. He even showed us his tattoo of fries and took our camera so he could film how he fried the potatoes. (He offered. We didn’t ask.) Maison Antoine was closed when we visited.

5. Belgian Waffles

brussels main tourist attractions

The Belgian waffle has established itself as a staple snack in the country. It is not only popular in Belgium but also abroad, like the United States with its own version of the snack and is also served as a breakfast meal.

There are two famous types of waffles in Belgium: Brussels Waffle and Liege Waffle. The larger rectangular-shaped Brussels waffles use beaten eggs as leaveners and are sprinkled with powdered sugar, while the smaller but thicker round-shaped Liege waffles use yeast as the leavener and contain sugar grains. Some waffles in Belgium are considered street food and are eaten with hands.

6. Mussels in Brussels

brussels main tourist attractions

Considered a poor man’s meal in the past because of the abundance and affordability, but now regarded as a prized ingredient, mussels (moules) have warmed the dining tables of Belgian households, especially in the winter season.

One of the famous mussel dishes in Belgium is the moules-frites , the country’s national dish. To prepare, the mussels are cooked (or steamed) with onions (or shallots), celery, and other fresh herbs in white wine sauce and butter, and finally served with fries.

brussels main tourist attractions

Other mussel dishes to try are moules à la bière (with beer) and moules à la crème (with cream). If you are pressed for time but want to taste Belgian cuisine staples, you can have the moules-frites, beer, and waffle in one of the restaurants. We had our share at Chez Leon restaurant, just around the Grand Place, and we loved it!

PLACES TO VISIT

7. grand place.

brussels main tourist attractions

The Grand Place (Grand Square), also called Grote Markt (Grand Market), is the main square of the city. Its history dates back to the 11th century as an open-air market. It used to be the venue for public executions. Later on, buildings mushroomed around the square, particularly the guild houses.

Strategically located along the commercial road, it became the hub for business and commerce, developing parallel to the rise of merchants and guilds in Brussels.

The Town Hall and the King’s House are the most prominent buildings. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; hence, this is one of the key attractions and the most visited in Brussels.

Nearest Train Station: Brussels Central Station Nearest Tram Station: Beurs Station (Tram 3, 4, 32) Nearest Bus Stop: Beurs Stop (Bus 33, 48, 95) Opening Hours: 24/7 Entrance Fee: FREE

8. Palais Royal

Built on the site of the former Palace of the Dukes of Brabant , which was destroyed in the 18th century, Palais Royal’s original structure dates back to the first half of the 19th century. The structure we see today is mostly the product of King Leopold II’s modification projects at the turn of the 20th century.

Today, it serves as the official palace of the Belgian monarchs but not their official royal residence. This is the seat of power where most of the state duties are accomplished, the state’s guests are welcomed and entertained, royal wedding banquets are hosted, and royal interment are held. But it has been open to tourists during the summer season since 1965.

The Palais Royal faces Brussels Park. It features an archaeological site and museum (Coudenberg).

Nearest Metro Station: Trône/Troon Station Nearest Tram Station: Royale/Koning Station or Palais Station (Tram 92, 93) Nearest Bus Stop: Troon Stop (Bus N11, 27, 38, 54, 71, 95) Opening Hours: 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Tuesday – Sunday), CLOSED (Monday). The palace tours are available only in summer, usually from the third week of July up to the first week of September. Entrance Fee: FREE

Conceived in the 1950s, the Atomium has become one of the most iconic landmarks in Brussels and a national symbol of Belgium. Built for Expo 58 (1958 Brussels World Fair), the Atomium reflects the high regard given to science at the time of conception. It was eventually converted into a museum.

Designed by engineer André Waterkeyn, together with two architects André and Jean Polak, the contemporary functional structure towers over 100 meters, featuring spheres and tubes.

Out of the nine spheres, six can be accessed by the public. These spheres carry temporary and permanent exhibits, while the tubes enclose stairs, escalators, and an elevator (central tube). The lift shuttles tourists to the top sphere which houses a restaurant and an observation deck that presents a 360-degree view of the city.

Nearest Metro Station: Heizel Station Nearest Tram Station: Heizel Station (Tram 7, 19) Nearest Bus Stop: Heizel Stop (Bus 14, 83, N18, T7) Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Friday – Monday), CLOSED (Tuesday – Thursday) Entrance Fee: €16 (Adult), €14 (Senior), €8.50 (Children, Students, PWDs0, FREE (Children 115cm and below)

This is one of the main tourist attractions in the city, so expect long lines for the tickets. But if you don’t want to wait inline, you might want to check Klook’s skip-the-line ticket offer which includes admissions not only to the Atomium but also the nearby ADAM – Brussels Design Museum.

10. Notre Dame Du Sablon

The 15th-century Notre Dame Du Sablon is located in the historic center of Brussels, particularly in Sablon (Zavel) district, a short walk past Palais Royal. Its proximity to the nation’s official palace made it a favorite among the nobility and the affluent society.

Its exterior, Gothic in style, commands attention. The interior is equally stunning with stained-glass windows. Some interesting features are the Baroque pulpit, the two Baroque chapels, and the crypt.

Nearest Tram Station: Princesse Clementine Station (Tram 62, 93) Nearest Bus Stop: Kleine Zavel Stop (Bus 33, N06, N08, N09, N10) Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM (Monday – Friday), 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Saturday – Sunday) Entrance Fee: FREE

11. Notre-Dame de Laeken

Commissioned by King Leopold I, the Notre-Dame de Laeken was built in memory of his wife, Queen Louise-Marie. The construction started in the mid 19th century and finished in the early 20th century. Located near the official royal residence, Royal Castle of Laeken, the neo-Gothic church hosts the Royal Crypt where the tombs of the Belgian royal family are housed.

Aside from the crypt, the church also features three ornate spires. The tombs of some of the prominent figures in Belgium are found just a stone’s throw away from the church in the Laeken Cemetery.

Nearest Tram Station: Petit Sablon (Kleine ZavelStation) Station (Tram 92, 93) Opening Hours: January 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Tuesday – Saturday); February to November 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Tuesday – Sunday); CLOSED (Mondays and December). The opening schedule for the Royal Crypt varies per day but on Sundays, it’s open from 2PM to 5PM. Entrance Fee: FREE

12. Manneken Pis

brussels main tourist attractions

This statue of a little boy urinating into a fountain spews volumes not just about the city’s art but also sense of humor. It is one of the most visited and most photographed statues decorating the city.

There are several legends surrounding the statue but one of the most famous is the victory of the two-year-old Duke Godfrey III of Leuven and his men against their enemies with the help of his urine during the battle.

The original bronze statue dates back to the 17th-century and is displayed on the second level of the Brussels City Museum. The one flocked by tourists at the original site, a short walk from the Grand Place, is a replica. To manage your expectation, this statue has a height of about two feet. Yep, it’s pretty small, but that doesn’t stop tourists from flocking around it.

Don’t be surprised if you see the statue in a costume or uniform because it’s a normal occurrence. It actually has more or less 900 outfits.

The exact location is at the intersection of Rue de l’Étuve and Rue du Chêne. Use Google Maps if you plan to walk from Grand Place.

Nearest Bus Stop: Manneken-Pis Stop (Bus 33) or Grand Place Stop (Bus 33, 48, 95) Opening Hours: 24/7 Entrance Fee: FREE

13. Tintin Murals

brussels main tourist attractions

Created by the Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (Hergé), The Adventures of Tintin became one of the most loved comic series in Europe. It skyrocketed to fame in the 20th century and has been published in several languages, reaching hundreds of millions of readership and following.

The map of Brussels is dotted with a number of Tintin-themed murals. You can start your mural hunting not far from the Manneken Pis along Rue de l’Étuve, right after Choco-Story and before you reach Rue du Lombard. If you are coming from the Grand Place going to Manneken Pis, you will spot this mural a few meters before you reach the statue.

Mural Hunting Map: You may get/purchase the mural map from the tourist office located at Grand Place.

14. Autoworld

Autoworld is located on the southern portion of the 30-hectare Cinquantenaire Park in the European District of the city. The museum was launched in the 1980s, showcasing a collection of about 250 kinds of vehicles.

brussels main tourist attractions

If you are a car enthusiast or just curious about the evolution and history of automobiles, especially those from the late 19th century up to the late 20th century, this will be worth your time. It has a huge collection of vintage models, as well as iconic racing cars and some modern cars!

Nearest Train Station: Merode Station Nearest Tram Station: Merode Station (Tram 81) Nearest Bus Stop: Gauls/Gaulois Stop (Bus 22, 27, 61, 80, N06) or Merode Stop (Bus 27, 61, 80, N06) Opening Hours: Weekdays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (April – September), 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (October – March); Weekends 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (all year round) Entrance Fee: €12 (Adults), €10 (Senior), €9 (Student, PWD), €5 (6-11 y/o), FREE (Below 6 y/o)

Book your ticket in advance via Klook!

15. Mini-Europe

The European Union has no official capital, but Brussels is where you’ll find the official seats of several of its bodies including the European Commission, Council of the European Union, European Council, and European Parliament. Hence, it is widely regarded as EU’s de facto capital.

brussels main tourist attractions

So it’s just apt to find an attraction that represents something from all of Europe in Brussels. If you want to see the subcontinent’s iconic landmarks in a couple of hours, you can bet on Mini-Europe to deliver with fun and cuteness.

The park boasts about 350 miniature models of Europe’s famous landmarks and interactive installations recreating the important events and moments like the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rocket launching of Ariane V, and the Mt. Vesuvius eruption.

You can explore on your own or get the service of a guide to further explain the displays. The park is located near the Atomium.

Nearest Metro Station: Heizel Station Nearest Tram Station: Heizel Station (Tram 7, 19) Nearest Bus Stop: Heizel Stop (Bus 14, 83, N18, T7) Opening Hours: The schedule varies per month but it usually opens at 9:30 AM or 10:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM or 8:00 PM. The park is closed from first week of January to second week of March. Again, the schedule might change without prior notice, so better check before you visit. Entrance Fee: €16.50 (Adult, Senior), €12 (Children, Students, PWDs0, FREE (Children 115cm and below)

You can book your ticket prior to your visit via Klook!

16. Choco-Story

Choco-Story is a small museum dedicated to chocolate-making. Discover how the chocolate came to Europe by tracing back its roots to the Mayans and Aztecs who cultivate cocoa trees. From there, you will learn how cocoa captured the heart and sweet tooth of the Europeans and how the beans are made into chocolates.

brussels main tourist attractions

A master chocolatier will also demonstrate how to prepare pralines before you are treated to a delightful chocolate tasting! The museum is located near two popular attractions — the Manneken Pis and one of the Tintin Murals.

Nearest Bus Stop: Manneken-Pis Stop (Bus 33) or Grand Place Stop (Bus 33, 48, 95) Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Monday – Sunday). Last entry is at 5:00 PM. Entrance Fee: €9.50 (Adult); €8.50 (Senior, Students); €6.50 (6-11 y/o); FREE (5 y/o and below)

Currently, the museum only accepts online purchase of tickets. You can book yours from Klook. This is inclusive of admission, audio guide, and demonstrations, and chocolate tasting.

17. Le Botanique

Opened in 1984, Le Botanique was the former orangery of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium until its relocation to the outskirts of the city in 1958.

The botanical glasshouse remains and was transformed into a cultural complex, hosting art exhibitions, theater acts, and concerts. It has a restaurant that opens during lunch hours. The vast green space fronting the Le Botanique is now called the Botanical Garden of Brussels.

Nearest Metro Station: Botanique Station Nearest Tram Station: Botanique Station (Tram 92, 93) Nearest Bus Stop: Botanique Stop (Bus 61) Opening Hours: Front Desk 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Regular Days), 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Shows or Concerts); Exhibitions 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Wednesday – Sunday) Fees/Tickets: The ticket prices vary per show or exhibit.

18. Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts

A Royal Decree was made in 1845 to make a museum that will keep and exhibit the works of deceased and living Belgian artists; thus, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium rose from the ground near the Royal Palace of Brussels (Palais Royal).

This complex nestles a group of six museums that carry a total of over 20,000 works of arts — paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Some of the masterpieces date back to as early as the 15th century, laying down the history of fine arts in Belgium. Contemporary arts are also included in the collection. Here are the six museums within the complex: Magritte Museum, Fin-de-Siècle Museum, Oldmasters Museum, Modern Museum, Meunier Museum, and Wiertz Museum.

Nearest Tram Station: Royale/Koning Station (Tram 92, 93) Nearest Bus Stop: Royale/Koning Stop (Bus 27, 33, 95, N11) Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Tuesday – Sunday), 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Weekends), CLOSED (Mondays and some holidays) Fees/Tickets: The ticket prices vary per museum. It’s €10-15 for adults, €8-10 for seniors, €3-5 for students and PWDs, and FREE for children and youth under 19 years old. FREE admission for Meunier Museum and Wiertz Museum.

19. Parc Du Cinquantenaire & Triumphal Arch

Parc du Cinquantenaire (Park of the Fiftieth Anniversary), also called Jubilee Park, was commissioned by King Leopold II to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the nation’s independence.

The 19th-century pentagon-shaped park covers 30 hectares of land outside the city center in the European District. The extensive public park is decked with floral gardens and fountains. It is also home to three museums: Autoworld, Art & History Museum, and the Royal Military Museum. The centerpiece is the 20th-century Triumphal Arch topped with a bronze sculpture of four horses and a woman carrying the flag.

You can access the top of the arch for free from the National Military Museum and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the city.

Nearest Train Station: Merode Station Nearest Tram Station: Merode Station (Tram 81) Nearest Bus Stop: Gauls/Gaulois Stop (Bus 22, 27, 61, 80, N06) or Merode Stop (Bus 27, 61, 80, N06) Opening Hours: 24/7 Entrance Fee: FREE

20. Palais de Justice

After its completion in 1883, Palais de Justice was recorded to be the biggest building in the world. Today, covering an area of almost three hectares, it is one of the largest and most monumental courthouses in Europe. It is one of the most notable landmarks in Brussels, being visible from almost anywhere in the area due to its high location in the Marollen district.

It was designed by the Belgian architect Joseph Poelaert, who also drew the blueprint for Notre-Dame de Laeken. The two floors and the basement are all open to the public. Some of the notable features are the massive neoclassical doors, the marble staircase, the main entry hall, and the dome.

Nearest Train Station: Louise Station Nearest Tram Station: Poelaert Station (Tram 92, 93) Nearest Bus Stop: Poelaert Stop (Bus 33) Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Weekdays), CLOSED (Weekends and holidays) Entrance Fee: FREE

Top Hotels & Apartments in Brussels

brussels main tourist attractions

  • B&B Be In Brussels. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • B&B X2Brussels. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • B&B Villa 36. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Pillows City Hotel Brussels Centre. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Place Rouppe Brussels. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • EU Guesthouse. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • 9HOTEL CENTRAL. Check Rates & Photos! ✅

Search for more Brussels Hotels!

Edited by Asta Alvarez

2021 • 3 • 30

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Home » Travel Guides » Belgium » 15 Best Things to Do in Brussels (Belgium)

15 Best Things to Do in Brussels (Belgium)

The capital of Belgium , Brussels, is a fascinating place with stunning architecture and fascinating history packed into every street and alleyway. The vibe of the city is hard to put your finger on. Sometimes it seems very business and bureaucracy focused, it is after all the administerial centre of the EU, but at other times it feels laid back and does not take itself too seriously: think Manneken Pis and The Comic Strip Centre.

It is this multi-layered atmosphere that makes Brussels such a great city to visit. It truly has something for everyone and offers European staples such as art and architecture alongside more unusual attractions. Don’t visit Brussels if you are on a diet as the fries, mussels and beer will soon have you indulging.

Spending just a couple of days in the city will allow you to see all of the major and most popular sights but if you are here for a week, you will be able to visit some more obscure, but equally fascinating attractions. Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Brussels:

1. Be Inspired by the Grand Place

Grand Place, Brussels

The Grand Place in Brussels is hidden away in the centre of the city but when you enter on foot, you are guaranteed to be left awestruck.

At the centre of the Grand Place is the beautiful 15th Century city hall but dotted around the square you will also be impressed by the six guild halls and their striking architecture.

The square is worth visiting several times at different times of the day. On certain days there is a flower market in the square and visiting at night is recommended.

2. Step back in time at the Old England Building

Old England Building

The Old England Building in Brussels was formerly a department store and was built in the very last year of the 19th Century.

The building attracts visitors because of its stunning facade but also due to the fascinating and vast musical museum it houses. The museum is home to more than 2000 musical instruments with historic value and gives guests a chance to listen to many of them.

The cafe on the roof of the building provides memorable panoramic views of the city.

3. Visit Brussel’s Notre Dame Du Sablon

Notre Dame Du Sablon

This spectacular Gothic cathedral began life in the 14th Century when it was used as a chapel by the Archer’s Guild.

It was extensively expanded in the next century to the popularity and supposed healing powers of the Madonna statue located within. The statue was allegedly stolen by a husband and wife team of thieves in a rowing boat.

The location of the statue is unknown but the story is commemorated by a lifesize model inside the building.

4. Learn about lace in the Costume Museum

Museum of Costume & Lace

Lace is one of Brussels’ oldest crafts and the art of needlepoint lace, which was first developed in Italy, was one of the main industries in Brussels.

The museum details of lace outfits were made as well as displaying many historical outfits.

The exhibitions are ever changing but are always well presented.

5. Admire Le Botanique

Le Botanique

Le Botanique was historically the botanical gardens of the city and still attracts a large number of guests in the modern day. The greenhouse, which dates back to the 19th Century, now regularly plays host to a range of performing arts and makes the place feel like more of a cultural centre than just a garden.

However if you are into greenery then the surrounding gardens are still intact and present in all their glory, and make for a welcoming change of pace from the city itself.

Ps: Le Botanique is included in the Brussels Bard which you can get here .

6. See the Palais Royal

Palais Royal, Brussels

Although the royal family of Belgium now spend their lives at Laeken, the Royal Palace in Brussels remains as their official residence.

The palace is open for tourists in the summer months and makes a worthy addition to any itinerary whilst visiting the city. The most notable room in the palace has a ceiling covered in the wings of beetles, forming an oddly beautiful mosaic.

The artwork as well as the interior decor is also as splendid as you might expect from a royal palace.

7. Laugh at the Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

This odd statue has risen to fame and is a popular tourist attraction in the city. The name simply translates to “little man pee” and it has been given this name for obvious reasons.

The statue takes a little bit of skill in hunting down (unless you see it as part of a tour) but it is worth persevering. You will find it by taking the right lane away from the town hall.

The statue is thought to date back to the early 17th Century when it was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy.

8. Get your fill of art at the Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts

Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts

If you are craving some top notch art (and you should be when in a European Capital) then look no further than the Musee Royaux Beaux Arts.

The museum incorporates collections of modern and ancient art across a range of styles. Famous works at the museum include the Fall of Icarus and various paintings by the Antwerpen painter Peter Rubens. There are also works by Anthony Van Dyke and Hans Memling on display.

Allow close to a full day to be able to fully appreciate the museum.

9. Relax in the Parc Du Cinquantenaire

Parc Du Cinquantenaire

The Parc Du Cinquantenaire has been around since the reign of Leopold II.

It is a great place to visit for a number of reasons, whether you plan on having a picnic on the grass whilst absorbing the stunning architecture, or whether you intend to appreciate the vast collection of 35,000 artifacts housed in the museums here, a trip to the Parc Du Cinquantenaire should be part of any trip to Brussels.

10. Enjoy a beer tour of Brussels

Beer Tasting in Brussels

Belgians are very proud of their beer and it has played an important role throughout the history of the city.

Tours are available that allow beer aficionados to experience the best pubs in the city as well as learning about the history of the beer and seeing how it is made in one of the city’s breweries. Whether or not you are a beer fan, this tour is worth considering due to the pride and historical value associated with beer in the city.

Tip: check out this Brussels Beer Tasting Tour

11. Appreciate the lesser known history of Brussels

Belgian Comic Strip Centre

It is not widely known or as appreciated by tourists as other aspects of Brussels history but the city is actually known for its comic book history.

The city has a museum which is dedicated to comics; The Belgian Comic Strip Centre but aside from that, you will also get a feel of how important comics are to the city when you gaze up at larger than life comic book murals on the side of building walls.

Hunting these murals down is an exciting way to get around the city too.

12. See and be seen at Cafe Belga

Cafe Belga

Something of an institution in the city of Brussels, the Cafe Belga is hugely popular with locals, expats and tourists alike.

Located at the heart of Place Flagey (which is itself somewhat of a cultural mixing pot), the Cafe has great views, a buzzing atmosphere and great, affordable Belgian cafe food. The cafe gets busy in the summer but this is part of its charm.

Whilst you are in the area, Frit Flagey is well worth visiting and serves some of the best fries in the city.

13. Enjoy the nightlife

Nightlife in Brussels

The nightlife of Brussels is varied and entertaining and has something to suit all tastes and budgets. One of the most worthwhile nights out is Madame Mustache, a club with waiters clad in sailors attire that plays a variety of different music.

Entry is free on weeknights but not weekends (it is also busier at the weekend). Dancing is the best way to enjoy your night here but if that is not to your liking there is always a table football room on offer.

There’s also a 4-Hour Locals Pub and Club Crawl which you can book here .

14. Learn about the city in the Broodhuis

Broodhuis

The Flemish name of this building translates to “The Bread House” due to the many centuries that the city’s bread market was held here.

Fittingly, the building is now home to a museum focusing on the history of the city of Brussels. The exhibitions range from the middle ages to the present day and are set over multiple floors.

If you had chance to visit the Manneken Pis, then you may be interested to see his costumes which are on display here.

15. Marvel at the Atomium

View from the Atomium

The Atomium, located in Heysel Park in the West of the city, is a jaw dropping model of an atom which just happens to be a whopping 100 metres tall.

The sculpture was made in 1958 to welcome a new and atomic age to Belgium and is an accurate depiction of an iron molecule except that it is about 165 billion times larger! The glass roofed lift takes guests to the top in a time of only 20 seconds, there they can enjoy a beer and snack before descending.

Admission ticket can be booked here .

15 Best Things to Do in Brussels (Belgium):

  • Be Inspired by the Grand Place
  • Step back in time at the Old England Building
  • Visit Brussel's Notre Dame Du Sablon
  • Learn about lace in the Costume Museum
  • Admire Le Botanique
  • See the Palais Royal
  • Laugh at the Manneken Pis
  • Get your fill of art at the Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts
  • Relax in the Parc Du Cinquantenaire
  • Enjoy a beer tour of Brussels
  • Appreciate the lesser known history of Brussels
  • See and be seen at Cafe Belga
  • Enjoy the nightlife
  • Learn about the city in the Broodhuis
  • Marvel at the Atomium
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Where to go in brussels — top 12 must & best places to visit in brussels.

brussels main tourist attractions

The first impression when coming to Brussels , Belgium is that the trees and flowers are overflowing everywhere, giving visitors a pleasant and comfortable feeling. It seems that Brussels is separate from the hustle and bustle of other Western capitals. As one of the ancient city of culture of Europe, Brussels is famous for its long-standing, magnificent architectures such as: Grand Palace, Royal Palace, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and Musical Instruments Museum (MIM)… So, where to go in Brussels (where to go out in Brussels)? Let’s check out our the 12 top places to visit in Brussels including must visit places in Brussels, best places to visit in Brussels, must see places in Brussels and famous places to visit in Brussels to help you make a perfect trip to the capital of Belgieum as well as European Union.

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The European Parliament

Best places to visit in Brussels — Grand Place

  • Address: Grote Markt, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: 1998
  • Entrance ticket: Free

Grand Place will definitely be the first place to visit that anyone will mention when talking about top tourist attractions in Brussels. This place is located right in the heart of the city and is known as a hub culture of Brussels as well as recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Grand Place was built in the 11th century with an area of ​​​​20,000 square meters. This place is ranked in the TOP of the list of the most beautiful squares in the world and the best preserved in Europe. I was truly mesmerized when I came here and witnessed the magnificence, majesty of this place. If you need a highlight to talk about the beauty of Belgium, the Grand Place is the correct example. In addition, you can find the way to the statue of a peeing boy called Manneken Pis. This is also a very famous symbol of Belgium and is only a few minutes walk from the Grand Place.

brussels blog,brussels on a budget,brussels travel blog,brussels travel guide,brussels visitor guide11

Where to go in Brussels: Atomium

  • Address: Pl. de l’Atomium 1, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Opening hours: Summer 10am – 6pm (ticket counter closes at 5.30pm)
  • Construction started: 1957
  • Opened: 1958
  • Admission: €15/Adult; Children under 17 years old and over 115cm: €8; Students, seniors (over 65 years old): €8

,brussels blog,brussels on a budget,brussels travel blog,brussels travel guide,brussels visitor guide,

Brussels is also known as the “capital of museums” with a system of more than 90 large and small museums. The most famous one is the Atomium – Science and Technology Museum, a giant building designed to simulate the structure of an iron molecule and built in 1958 on the occasion of the 58 World Fair (Expo 58). It’s considered as a symbol of the modern city of Brussels and has become one of the hottest tourist attraction in Brussels today.

Atomium,brussels travel blog,brussles blog (4)

Located near the King Baudouin Stadium in Heysel Park, Atomium is 102m high with a weight of 2,400 tons divided into 9 crystal spheres – the atomic symbol for the crystal structure of the element iron (Fe). You can walk in each sphere, climb to the top of this sphere and then down to the top of another sphere while can enjoy the view around the construction area and have the best overview of the city.

Atomium,brussels travel blog,brussles blog (1)

Must visit places in Brussels: Mini-Europe

  • Address: Av. du Football 1, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Admission: €15.5 or €27.5 to access both Mini-Europe + Atomium Museum
  • Online ticket booking link . If you intend to come here, you should buy tickets online in advance because I saw there were quite crowded people queuing to buy tickets.
  • Hours: 10AM to 6PM (last entry at 5pm)

brussels main tourist attractions

The Mini-Europe model park is located right next to the Atomium, home to 350 miniature versions of the most famous landmarks in the European Union.

Despite called miniature model park, each model is made in 1/25 of real size, with all the same delicate details as the original versions. You can even hear Big Ben’s bells or Venice’s mandolin.

brussels main tourist attractions

Top places to visit in Brussels: Palais de Justice (Law Courts of Brussels)

Address: Pl. Poelaert 1, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium Opening hours: 9AM-5PM weekly Entrance ticket: free

brussels main tourist attractions

The Palais de Justice has long been one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brussels Belgium. Every year it welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world. Palais de Justice was built in nearly 20 years from 1866 to 1883 and is considered the most important building in Belgium. This place acts as a witness to the history of Brussels.

This building is a very massive architectural complex, with a dome of 104 meters high and weighing up to 24,000 tons of gold resting on huge pillars. The layout of the building is divided into 8 large courtyards, 27 large courtrooms along with 245 small court rooms and many rooms for other purposes.

brussels main tourist attractions

To get to this place, you should take tram 92 or metro from the center to stop Louise. (tram 92 can be caught from the park or the Royal Palace).

Must see places in Brussels: St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

  • Address: Pl. Sainte-Gudule, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Opening hours: 7am to 6pm (Monday-Thursday)/Saturday: 8.00 am to 3.30 pm/Sunday: 2pm to 6pm
  • Admission: free

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church and an important historical monument of the city of Brussels. Most parts of the church that have survived to this day wass built in the 13th century in Gothic style.

However, after a great remodel and the discovery of 11th-century Roman ruins at the foot of the cathedral, the church quickly became one of the city’s most visited religious landmarks.

brussels main tourist attractions

Before reaching the church, you will pass through a small park, often shaded by the two 64 meter high twin towers of the church. The park is a great place to stop for pictures of the surrounding area, and there are also beach-style loungers.

The interior of the church is quite empty compared to a typical Gothic style church. However, the ceiling with domes is extremely delicately decorated. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures inside because I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside. Inside the church, there are a few small exhibitions with tickets for you, the ticket price ranges from €1-2.5 only.

brussels main tourist attractions

The Church of St. Michael’s is just a few minutes’ walk from the center of Brussels and is open daily. It can be said that this is the most beautiful and majestic church among the churches I have ever visited. If you have come to Belgium, you should not miss this Brussels tourist attraction.

Best places to visit in Brussels : Mont des Arts Garden

Address: 1000 Brussels, Belgium

This park is also very beautiful. View from above can see almost the whole city. You can go from Grand Place for about 10 minutes walk or go from St. Michael’s Church then come here and go to the park complex, Royal Palace.

Best time to visit Brussels is in Spring or Summer

Best places to visit in Brussels: Place Royale (Royal Square)

It is one of the most important historical sites in Brussels and takes a central point in your exploration of the city’s history. This area is the royal residence and occupies a large area on the hill overlooking Brussels. Today, the whole area is called Place Royale and is administered by royal offices. This Brussels tourist attraction is always in the top of the famous Belgian attractions.

brussels main tourist attractions

At the center of the square is a statue of Godfrey of Bouillon, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1100, on horseback, majestic in the middle of the Place Royale until 900 years after his death.

Place Royale is located in the center of Brussels and right next to the park so it’s easy to find. There is no fee to visit the square.

Where to go in Brussels: Royal Palace of Brussels

  • Address: Rue Brederode 16, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Hours: 10:30AM–3:45PM/Monday: Closed
  • Construction started: 1783
  • Opened: 1934

royal palace brussels

Although the King and Queen of Belgium live in a palace to the north of central Brussels, the Royal Palace is the main workplace. Most of the year visitors can only see the palace from afar, however, in the summer, the palace is open to the public every day, except Monday, completely free of charge.

Just cross Brussels Park to the Royal Palace. The large parkland is surrounded by some of the city’s most important buildings and is the ideal location for panoramic shots of these buildings.

Royal Palace of Brussels Empire Room

The Royal Palace of Brussels is located right opposite the park.

Top places to visit in Brussels: Brussels Park

  • Hours: 6AM–10PM

Brussels Park is one of the city’s largest green spaces, covering more than 13 hectares (32 acres). Today, the park is spread out in the middle of the city center and holds an extremely important position for city residents.

Following the main road to the focal point is a large lake, with panoramic views of the Court and the Royal Palace.

brussels main tourist attractions

To the north of the park are the Brussels Parliament Building and the Royal Palace to the south. You can walk through the park to visit these two important architectures. In short, these 3 Brussels tourist attractions are right next to each other and located right in the city center, so you can all explore on foot.

Must see places in Brussels: Parc du Cinquantenaire

  • Address: Parc du Cinquantenaire 10, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Hours: 9:30AM–5PM
  • Monday: Closed

The Brussels Jubilee Park, or Parc du Cinquantenaire, is both a national monument and an urban park. The park was built during the reign of King Leopold II, to mark 50 years of independence of the Kingdom of Belgium. The magnificent archway stands out among the wide promenade streets and lush grasslands, welcoming visitors upon entering the park. There are 3 museums within Jubilee Park.

Arcades du Cinquantenaire (Triomfboog van het Jubelpark),brussels travel blog (1)

The south part is home to Autoworld, one of Europe’s largest car museums with over 400 cars with origins dating back to 1886. In the second area in the south wing is the Art & History Museum Parc du Cinquantenaire, which includes Art zone for the visually impaired – helping people with visual disabilities to perceive art by touching.

brussels main tourist attractions

On the north wing of the park is the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. Here, you will have the opportunity to go through the history of the Belgian military with F-16 fighters and military relics from the 19th century.

Arcades du Cinquantenaire (Triomfboog van het Jubelpark),brussels travel blog (1)

Brussels Park is open to visitors every day. You do not need to buy tickets to the park, but each museum has its own entrance ticket. In my opinion, this is a tourist destination in Brussels that is worth visiting.

Best places to visit in Brussels: Bourse Building

Address: Pl. de la Bourse, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

The Brussels Stock Exchange Building is also known as the Bourse for short. This work has been one of the attractions in Belgium worth a visit.

The building was built at the request by Napoleon in 1801 as the largest stock exchange center in Belgium. The construction was not started until 1868 and completed in 1873.

brussels main tourist attractions

The Bourse building was designed to blend styles of the two artistic trends of the Neo-Renaissance and the Second Empire. This unique combination is expressed from the exterior architecture to the interior decoration.

Must see places in Brussels: Manneken Pis

Legend has it that when the Spaniards withdrew from the city of Brussels, they set fire to the city. At that time, there was a boy who dared to stand up in the middle of a fire to be a “firefighter”, extinguishing the fire by “peeing”, saving the city from being burned.

Peeing Boy Statue – Manneken Pis,brussels travel blog,brussels travel guide,brussels city guide (1)

That story has covered the statue of Manneken Pis with patriotism and made it famous around the world. Manneken Pis was designed and carved in stone by François Duquesnoy in 1619. In 1817 it was replaced with a bronze statue. Coming to Brussels, visitors all feel very curious and interested in this statue. Before leaving, everyone did not forget to take a commemorative photo with “The peeing boy”.

brussels main tourist attractions

In short, personally, there are many tourist attractions in Brussels that you should not miss. Actually, I don’t think Brussels is so beautiful and has so many attractive places to visit while the cost of travel, food or hotel is much cheaper than Amsterdam. Please refer to the article of sharing my Brussels travel guide to know about the reasonable route between these attractions. Unlike Germany or the Netherlands, most of Brussels’ tourist attractions are centrally located and within walking distance. Jubilee Park or Atomium, the Supreme Court only need to take a bus from the center or from Brussels Park.

brussels free walking tour, brussels travel blog

Above are the top 12 tourist attractions in Brussels, Belgium that I feel most impressive and interesting. There are also quite a few other places such as museums, EU Parliament, Brussels Parliament Building… If you have time, you can come and try to visit. The EU Parliament is just a 5-10 minute bus ride from Jublee Park, and the stock exchange is centrally located on the main street of Brussels, about 5.7 minutes walk from the Grand place. In the summer, people often gather quite a lot on the stairs here to watch the street.

Musical Instruments Museum,brussels travel blog,brussels blog (1)

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Brussels you can refer to

  • Private Brussels Airport (BRU) Transfers for Brussels
  • Private Charleroi Airport (CRL) Transfers for Brussels
  • Bruges Day Tour from Brussels
  • Brussels Hop On/Hop Off Bus Day Pass and Trip by Rail from London
  • Ghent and Bruges Day Tour from Brussels
  • Bruges Guided Day Tour from Paris
  • Brussels City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours
  • Brussels Card
  • Brussels City Sightseeing Bus Pass

brussels main tourist attractions

Are you looking for more top things to do in Brussels : Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here . And Belgium guide here .

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  • 13 Best Places To Visit In Brussels In 2024 That Highlight The Charm Of The City

23 Mar 2023

Brussels, the unassuming, easy going capital city of Belgium and the administrative hub of European Union offers the quintessential Belgian experience without the touristy hype.

Grand facades, magnificent cathedrals, some amazing and quirky museums, the unique and imposing Atomium and melt in mouth Belgian chocolates – there are a lot of places to see in Brussels that await your presence. So if you’re on a holiday, then this fascinating small city with big surprises and a glorious history will delight you.

13 Best Places To Visit In Brussels

Here is a list of the best places to visit in Brussels city that you must go through before you leave. Take a look!

  • Grand Place
  • Atomium & Mini Europe
  • Belgian Comic Strip Centre
  • St. Michael And St. Gudula Cathedral
  • Royal Museum Of Fine Arts
  • Manneken Pis
  • Jardin Du Petit Sablon
  • Notre Dame Du Sablon
  • Mont De Arts
  • Villa Empain
  • Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
  • Magritte Museum

1. Grand Place

splendid with flowers

The grand city centre oozing with history, magnificent architecture and a splendid flower-carpet (twice a year) is one of the best places to visit in Brussels to feel the vibe of the city. Probably the largest and most beautiful square in Europe, flanked by the majestic Gildehuizen (guild houses) is one of the best places in Brussels to enjoy a drink, pick a tour or simply sit and feel the pulse of this vibrant city. The ornate historical buildings surrounding the cobblestoned square displaying intricate stone-work, stunning gold decoration, baroque gables and awe-inspiring architecture give the Grand Place its unmatched grandeur and elegance. You can stroll over to breathe in the fragrance of local flower market thrice a week and be awed by its surreal beauty when it is lit up at night. Ideal for: Architecture, History, People-watching

Suggested Read: In Pictures: 35 Most Beautiful Cities In Europe Will Make You Want To Trip There

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2. Atomium & Mini Europe

iconic steel aluminium wonder

The impressive and iconic steel-aluminium wonder is to Brussels what Eiffel Tower is to Paris. It’s amazing to look up at this model of an iron atom magnified to 165 times its size and a thrilling experience to be whisked to the top of this 100m high gleaming architectural marvel. You can combine the trip and ticket with a visit to Mini Europe which is equally riveting and exciting for kids as well as adults. With detailed models of the best European cities, interactive sections and working models this miniature wonder is a popular Brussels attraction.

Ideal For: Family time, Photography

Suggested Read: 10 Places For Shopping In Brussels That Will Give You A Shopper’s High

3. Belgian Comic Strip Centre

filled your heart with joy

Let the child within gaze with delight and wonder at those familiar comic strip characters that have made you laugh and filled your heart with joy. In this magnificent 19th century art deco building designed by the master architect Victor Horta, you can walk through a 3D Smurf village, visit Captain Haddock’s moon rocket and peep through Lucky Luke’s salon. With dedicated sections for Tintin, Asterix, Smurfs and many other Belgian and French comic strips, you can delve deeper into the magical world of your favourite characters. The detailed history of comic strips and the journey to their present day graphic novel form is fascinating.

Timings: 10AM to 6PM every day Entry fee: 10 Euros/adult; 3.5 Euros/child. Concessional fee for senior citizens, students and group tickets

4. Town Hall

masterpiece of gothic achitecture

The most spectacular building around the Grand Place, the Town Hall has several grand rooms displaying its magnificence. With its spire towering above all other buildings, the Town Hall is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. While the impressive facade adorned with numerous sculptures is a sight to behold, the opulent interiors will leave you spellbound. Rich tapestries and stunning ceiling of the Council Chamber, beautifully panelled walls, amazing artwork and murals will take your breath away. The seat if the Mayor of Brussels, the Town Hall also hosts many free concerts and looks stunningly beautiful when lit up at night. Ideal for: Architecture, History

Suggested Read: These 12 Hostels In Brussels Will Add Comfort To Your Experience

5. St. Michael And St. Gudula Cathedral

impressive archways, pretty sculptures

Dedicated to the patron saints of Brussels, this majestic poetry in stone is as beautiful on the inside as it is spectacular on the outside. The magnificent preaching stand, impressive archways, pretty sculptures and the gorgeously detailed stained glass windows are a treat to the eyes. A short walk from the main station, this fantastic Gothic-style cathedral is a must-visit on your Brussels sightseeing itinerary. It is worth spending an hour here reading up on its history, architecture and spiritual significance and stealing some tranquil moments.

Ideal for: Tranquillity, Photography, Architecture

6. Royal Museum Of Fine Arts

finest place to visit in brussels

Even though not as famous as the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay, Belgium’s Royal Museum of Fine Arts will surprise you with its amazing collection of jaw-dropping art and is one of the finest places to visit in Brussels for art aficionados. Curated into three different and interesting sections, it is one of Europe’s largest art galleries featuring the works of masters like Rubens, Van Dyke, Rembrandt, Magritte and Brueghel.

Timings: 10AM to 5PM (Mon-Fri); 10Am to 6PM (Sat-Sun) Entry fee: 13 Euros for all three sections. Free entry on first Wednesday of every month.

7. Manneken Pis

landmark attraction of brussels

Undoubtedly one of the most popular Brussels tourist attractions, this quirky bronze sculpture of a small boy urinating in the fountain must not be missed while in Brussels. A copy of the original one (which is now in the Brussels Museum), this landmark attraction is an embodiment of Belgian humour and rebellious spirit. Manneken Pis (literally meaning the small man) has a wardrobe of more than 900 costumes which he is dressed up in couple of times a year on special occasions. Ideal for: Photography, History

Suggested Read: 15 Most Romantic Cities In The World

8. Jardin Du Petit Sablon

breath in the refreshing air

This serene oasis in the heart of the city is a great place to take a break from the hectic Brussels sightseeing and breath in the refreshing air. The charming landscaped garden with an impressive Egmont and Hornes Fountain is studded with 48 bronze sculptures depicting historical occupations. It’s the perfect spot for a truly European experience while soaking in some history on the side.

Ideal for: Relaxation, History

9. Notre Dame Du Sablon

striking beautiful cathedral

As you stroll through the city ticking off the best places to visit in Brussels, don’t miss out on this strikingly beautiful cathedral. Displaying an elegant amalgamation of the Gothic and Renaissance styles of architecture, the church interiors are adorned with exceptional stained glass windows and an ornately carved pulpit and organ. After visiting the church you can stroll to the beautiful park nearby, sip a coffee at the local cafes and marvel at this majestic structure.

Ideal for: Architecture, Photography

Suggested Read: These 10 Best Craft-Beer Bars In Brussels Will Leave You Wanting For More

10. Mont De Arts

panormic city view

A lovely little hill dotted with as many as 10 museums and an atmosphere that can’t be beaten, Mont De Arts is surely one of the top places to visit in Brussels for experiencing the best that this charming city has to offer. You simply sit here and enjoy the street performances, walk up to some of the interesting (Magritte Museum for art lovers, the unique Musical Instruments Museum, amongst others) or marvel at the panoramic city views. Sunset is a great time for some picture postcard-worthy shots of the city, and then witnessing the glittering spectacle as night sets in. Ideal for: Photography, Museums, Relaxation

11. Villa Empain

Villa

Image Source

Built by the famous Swiss architect, Michel Polak in 1930-1934, Villa Empain is a place that you ought to add to your list of places to visit in Brussels. It was a private house before but after its restoration in 2009-2011, it was opened for public. Villa Empain is a marvelous piece of artwork which is popular throughout Belgium due to its stunning interiors.

Ideal For: Art Lovers

Suggested Read: 11 Churches In Brussels That Will Make Your Experience Worth Remembering

12. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is Europe’s first covered shopping arcade and if you are a shopaholic you should totally visit this great spot in Brussels. Designed by architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer in the years of 1846 and 1847 and since then it attracts a lot of tourists every year. You must visit all the three galleries which are called The King’s Gallery, the Queen’s Gallery and the Prince’s Gallery on your shopping spree to make the most out of it.

Ideal For: Shopping buffs

13. Magritte Museum

Magritte Museum

Opened in 2009 to the public, Magritte Museum is one of the most frequented places to visit in Brussels. All the travelers who love art and history must pay a visit to this museum which is dedicated to the Belgian artist, René Magritte. The museum has 200 original sculptures, Magritte paintings, and drawings. You can have a look at the famous artworks like Return, Scheherazade and The Empire of Lights once you step in this museum.

Further Read: 10 Most Popular Europe Trips To Plan Ultimate Escape

There is no end to the Brussels attractions and experiences to savour in this wonderful city. At the end of a long day of sightseeing, sip some uniquely Belgian beer and let the city work its magic. And now you must plan your European vacay with TravelTriangle and enjoy a personalized itinerary and trip.

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Brussels

Where should I go near Brussels?

There are so many places you can visit near Brussels like: 1. Gaasbeek Castle 2. Flemish city of Ghent 3. Villers Abbey 4. Lion’s Mound 5. Hallerbos 6. Antwerp 7. Sonian Forest

What is Brussels famous for?

The cuisine and gastronomy are the two things Brussels is famous for. You will find a number of historical and architectural landmarks, some of which are listed under UNESCO. Try waffles and fries when in Brussels. There is a huge variety of beer that you will find in Brussels.

Is Brussels a good tourist destination?

Yes, Brussels is absolutely amazing destination where there is so much to explore and see. From chocolate to beer, Brussels is famous for quite a things. If you like exploring medieval cities with cobbled streets, then you are going to love this place. Besides, you will find a lot of lively cafes and restaurants in Brussels.

How many days do you need in Brussels?

If you want to explore Brussels at its best, then you should spend 3-4 days otherwise a couple of days are fine if you can’t squeeze in much time.

Do they speak English in Brussels?

Most people speak French in Brussels. The english-speaking native speakers are very less but it is safe to assume that they understand Engish language.

What to pack when visiting Brussels?

Here is what you should pack for visiting Brussels: 1. Down jacket 2. Raincoat 3. Sweatshirt 4. Comfortable shoes 5. Refillable water bottle

Can I drink the tap water in Brussels?

Yes, it is safe to drink tap water in Brussels, unlike in other countries. It tastes pleasant.

What to visit in Brussels in 2 days?

Some of the most popular places to visit in Brussels in 2 days are: 1. Manneken Pis 2. Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke 3. Grand Place 4. Atomium 5. Victor Horta's major townhouses 6. Villa Empain 7. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert 8. Notre Dame du Sablon 9. Mini Europe 10. Musical Instrument Museum

How many days in Brussels is enough?

If you are planning to visit Brussels solo or with your family and friends, two days is often enough to enjoy sightseeing tours, culinary retreats, and more. If you want to enjoy slow travel and travel around the entire length of this city, we would recommend a 7-day trip to soak in the culture of this place.

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brussels .info

Brussels attractions.

These Brussels tourist attractions will keep you and children well entertained during your Brussels vacation. They are best visited during daytime. And during evening, you can enjoy some of the great Brussels restaurants and bars.

Before exploring

An interesting way to transport between Brussels attractions is the hop-on hop-off bus . Also worth considering is the Brussels card .

You can buy online tickets by visiting subpages by clicking on titles of paragraphs.

Brussels Attractions Atomium

Just as Paris had warmed to the Eiffel Tower, Brussels had to The Atomium - its own legacy from a world fair. World Expo of 1958 left behind this gigantic structure shining in the sun. Sounds interesting? Then journey up into the Heysel area of Brussels to explore the Atomium which yields a spectacular view of the city as well as art and science exhibitions and a restaurant in its 9 spheres.

Brussels Attractions Mini Europe

Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe Brussels is a theme park with miniatures of the most famous monuments, sites and scenery of Europe. It is located next to the Atomium in Brupark in Heysel area. It is a great chance for families to have a nice day out with children. The miniatures are about 25 times smaller than the life size versions, some of the most famous include the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mount Vesuvius and of course the Grand Place.

Brussels Autoworld Car Museum

The Autoworld Brussels is a collection of old cars dating back to the late 1890s when the first cars rolled onto the roads. Based at the Parc du Cinquantenaire, this warehouse holds over 400 vehicles and stocks mostly European or U.S. original models. It’s a great walk back into history for both car buffs and families.

Brussels Trainworld Train Museum

Seeing historic trains live is definitely worth it. And Brussels Trainworld has the oldest locomotive on the continent. But many other beautiful pieces housed in a historic train station. Really, go check it out.

Brussels Attractions Grand Place Main Square

Grand Place

A delicately sculpted town square erected over centuries to become the representation of Brussels history. Almost all of the buildings have a historical significance and the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) is still in use today. Located just down from Brussels Centrale, this historical marketplace is a must.

Brussels Attractions Peeing Boy Statue Manneken Pis

Just a few narrow alleyways from the Grand Place, the Peeing Boy or Manneken Pis is a famous little statue. Locals celebrate many festivities at this bronze fountain and there are over 700 costumes for this little fellow. Brusselans dress him while celebrating many events of the year from many countries around the world.

Brussels tour to Flanders war memorial

Flanders Great War memorial

See the beautiful Belgian countryside and the thought-inducing experience of First World War battle sites. Supported by knowledgeable guide and with lunch included.

Brussels Attractions Palace Justice Palais

Palais de Justice

A goliath of a structure with good view of the evening cityscapes of Brussels. With area of 20 000 square metres and heavy architecture this grand Brussels sight stands slightly above Brussels old town. Palais de Justice still serves its original purpose as the high courts of Brussels. It has a distinctive golden dome and many columns decorating its façade. Located at Place Poelaert near Avenue Louise shopping street.

Brussels Opera

Opera House

The most famous opera house in Belgium is La Monnaie (The Mint). Along with many historical buildings in Brussels, this building has enjoyed a long history of construction, rebuilding and refurbishment. The current building is the third on the site and at one point it hosted the best of French theatre only second to the opera houses in Paris. Brussels opera is still highly active and the agenda is packed. So admire the structure during the day but pay a visit to the theatre at night.

Brussels Park

Brussels city has become quite proud of the number of parks they have available in the city, called green spaces. These parks range from grand boulevards with statues and fountains to quaint parks with lakes and flowers. A leisurely stroll through the parks is not a bad idea for visitors who want to see nature within a concrete jungle. Picnics, books, children and dogs are most welcome.

Brussels Zoo

Brussels Zoo

About 30 minutes out of Brussels city, in the area of Planckendael, lies the Brussels city zoo. It is a large enclosure with animals from all over the world organised by regions of the world – Africa, Asia, Europe etc. This zoo makes for a great day excursion for animal lovers and visitors with children.

Monuments and architecture

In Brussels, history meets modern day with monuments and buildings stretching all across the city to celebrate different eras. In the city centre there are tributes to royalty, the Royal Palace which is no longer a residency to the King but still stands and houses museums and churches. In the east side are the modern structures of the European Union. Each building and monument has its own unique story and historical significance.

Neighbouring cities

Just a short drive from Brussels you can find some well known beauties. For example Bruges (70min drive), Ghent (50min drive) and Antwerp (50min drive). And you will definitely find something great on the road too. Read our pages to learn about one-day tours to these cities as well as about their other tourist services.

Brussels Travel Guide

What do you need to know before going to Brussels? This travel guide lists the top things to see in Brussels, thereby serving as a useful reference for any traveler planning his/her first trip to the Belgian capital. Apart from the main tourist attractions, this guide also includes local tips on authentic restaurants, original bars and fun events. Also check out the section on getting around in Brussels, which will come in handy while you’re sightseeing Brussels!

12 Main sights in Brussels

Most of the main sights (apart from the Atomium) are located in the historic city center and can be easily visited by foot. Wander through the pedestrian area around the Grand Place and explore the center at your own peace, with a regular break for waffles and beer ;-) If you’re on a budget, check out the list of free things to do in Brussels . Below is an overview of Brussels’ main landmarks to help you plan your trip. Click on an image to learn more about the place.

Main sights in Brussels - Grand Place

How much time in Brussels?

If you’re tight on schedule, you can visit Brussels in 1 day, although you’ll mainly get to see its main sights and you’ll kind of have to rush around. Two, or even three days, would be recommended to visit Brussels, as you’ll be able to discover the city as a tourist but also experience some of its more authentic places that unveil the true identity of the city. We’ve drawn up a few itineraries for various time schedules.

  • 1 day in Brussels
  • 2 days in Brussels
  • 3 days in Brussels

6 Places for Belgian food

When in Brussels, there are a few culinary treats you cannot miss out on. I’m sure you’ve already put fries, chocolate and waffles on your to-do list. Below are a few recommendations for places where you can get them. If you also feel like having something more nutritious, try one of the Belgian restaurants that serve traditional Belgian dishes like carbonnade flamande (beer stew), bloempanch (blood sausage) or rabbit with prunes…

Brussels restaurant guide - Restobières

6 typical Brussels bars

Given that Brussels boasts a countless number of bars, you might be wondering where to go first. Below is a selection of special pubs in the city center of Brussels where you can try some of Belgian’s famous beers. Make sure to gulp them down with moderation, as they are pretty strong! You would be surprised. Apart from the beer selection, this shortlist has been made based on the exceptional setting and decoration of these places. You’ll find out ;-)

Brussels bar guide - Delirium

How to get around in Brussels?

Despite being a capital city, Brussels really isn’t that big which makes it easy to get around. Most of the main sights in the historical center are within walking distance of each other. For larger distances, Brussels has a decent offer of public transportation, made up by a network of metros, trams, buses and trains. This article describes how to get around in Brussels while offering a detailed overview of all the mobility options in Brussels.

Handy apps while in Brussels

You’re wondering how to get from A to B? Or where to eat tonight? You need the timetables of a bus, train, metro… Mobile applications make life so much easier as they provide the answers to all these questions. Also for Brussels, there is a series of apps that will come in handy when you’re visiting or living in Brussels. You’ll find the extensive list in this article about indispensable apps for Brussels .

Other places to visit in Belgium

Places to visit in Belgium - Ghent

Blog about Brussels revealing our favorite spots in the city. The best restaurants, authentic bars, mind-boggling sights, fun events... Apart from things to do in Brussels, you'll also find inspiration for various trips in the surroundings. Follow us us on social media to stay tuned!

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Me drinking wine on a Brussels roofop

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ncesc-geographic-faq

Is it worth going to Brussels?

geographic-faq

Yes, it is worth going to Brussels. The city offers a variety of attractions, such as top sights, museums, architecture, art galleries, places to eat, shops, and a vibrant nightlife. Brussels is also known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful houses, canals, and its status as the capital of the European Union.

Is Brussels better than Amsterdam?

Both Brussels and Amsterdam have their own unique attractions. Brussels is famous for Tintin, luxury chocolate, brilliant beer, and its ties to the European Union. Amsterdam, on the other hand, is known for its beautiful houses, coffee shops, canals, and nightlife. The choice between the two cities depends on personal preference.

How many days do you need in Brussels?

For a comprehensive visit, it is recommended to spend around 3 days in Brussels. This allows enough time to explore the city’s top sights, museums, and other attractions and fully appreciate its cultural offerings.

Is Brussels a walkable city?

Yes, Brussels is considered one of the most walkable cities in the world. Many of its top sights and attractions are located within a short distance of each other, allowing visitors to easily explore the city on foot. The city’s excellent connectivity to Brussels International Airport is an added advantage.

Why would you go to Brussels?

Brussels offers a unique blend of culture and modernity, making it an ideal destination for tourists. The city boasts beautiful architecture, numerous museums, art galleries, a wide range of dining options, shopping opportunities, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

SHOULD YOU TRAVEL TO BRUSSELS, Belgium??

There is no information provided for this question.

Why is Brussels so famous?

Brussels is famous for several reasons. It is the capital of Belgium and also serves as the capital of Europe, hosting important EU institutions such as the European Commission, the European Council, Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament.

What is better Bruges or Brussels?

Both Bruges and Brussels have their own unique charms. Bruges is famous for its canals, bridges, and picturesque old town, while Brussels is known for its rich history, modern attractions, and its status as the capital of the European Union. Both cities offer a range of sights and attractions for visitors.

Is Brussels a cheap place to visit?

Brussels offers a range of options for different budgets. While certain expenses, such as everyday living expenses, can be quite high, the city has affordable street food, breweries, and bars, allowing visitors to experience the best of Belgium without breaking the bank.

Is Brussels an expensive city?

Compared to other major cities in the EU, Brussels has relatively lower rental prices. However, the cost of everyday living expenses can be high. The price of accommodation in Brussels can vary depending on factors such as size, quality, and proximity to the city center.

What food is Brussels known for?

Brussels is known for its culinary delights, including famous dishes like mussels and chips, grilled endive, vol-au-vent, américain, tomato and shrimp, and the popular pistolet, a small round bread with a golden crust and a soft crumb.

Should I go to Brussels or Antwerp?

The choice between Brussels and Antwerp depends on personal preferences. Brussels offers a rich heritage, political importance, and cultural attractions. Antwerp, on the other hand, is known for its vibrant atmosphere, lively energy, and beautiful architecture. Both cities have their own unique charm and plenty to offer visitors.

Is 4 days in Brussels too much?

With four days in Brussels, visitors can fully explore the city and also have the opportunity to take day trips to other sites in Belgium. Brussels is a popular tourist destination and four days would allow ample time to experience its top attractions.

Should I go to Luxembourg or Brussels?

The choice between Luxembourg and Brussels depends on personal preferences. If you are interested in exploring a bustling and vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, Brussels is the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere surrounded by natural beauty, Luxembourg may be the perfect destination.

Is Berlin or Brussels better?

Both Berlin and Brussels have their own unique attractions. Berlin, as the capital of Prussia and Germany, offers a wide range of monuments, while Brussels, as the capital of Belgium and Europe, has a rich political and cultural heritage. The decision between the two cities would depend on personal preferences.

Should I visit Netherlands or Belgium?

Both the Netherlands and Belgium have their own unique attractions. The Netherlands is known for its ancient windmills and tulip fields, while Belgium offers famous chocolatiers and breweries. The choice between the two countries depends on personal interests and preferences.

How much is a coffee in Brussels?

The cost of a coffee in Brussels is approximately €2.50-€3 for a small cup. There are usually no free refills for coffee, tea, or soft drinks.

Is Brussels cheap to eat and drink?

While Brussels is generally more affordable compared to other European cities, eating out can still be quite expensive. It is recommended to budget accordingly for meals and drinks in Brussels.

How much is a meal in Brussels?

A traditional dinner at a restaurant in Brussels can cost anywhere between €12 and €25. Prices may vary depending on the location and type of restaurant.

Is Brussels more expensive than Toronto?

The cost of living in Brussels is generally lower compared to Toronto. The prices of everyday expenses in Brussels are typically lower than in Toronto, making it a more affordable city to live in.

Is 3 days in Brussels enough?

Three days in Brussels is sufficient to explore the city and its attractions. Visitors can create an itinerary to visit popular sights, museums, and other points of interest within this timeframe.

Why is Bruges so famous?

Bruges is famous for being one of the oldest cities in Europe that has maintained its medieval charm. Its canals, cobbled streets, and medieval architecture make it a popular tourist destination in Belgium.

Can I do Brussels and Bruges in one day?

While Brussels and Bruges are approximately an hour apart, it is recommended to allocate more time to fully experience each city. However, it is possible to do a day trip from Brussels to Bruges to explore some of its main attractions.

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brussels main tourist attractions

Brussels is rich in history, architecture, gastronomy, culture and so much more! Warm, welcoming and quirky, Brussels is a bustling city where there’s always something going on. Visit us to discover hidden gems and meet people with hearts as big as this vibrant city.

Winter in Brussels

Brussels is a lively city, whatever the season. This winter, the capital has what it takes to impress you.

Grand-Place - illuminations - hiver - Noël  - sapin

Must-see attractions

You’ve just arrived in Brussels and you don't know where to start? Don't worry, we've put together a list of must-see attractions for you.

Grand-Place

Art Nouveau 2023

An exceptional programme to celebrate Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau

Upcoming events

Prokofiev festival.

Wanderings of a rebellion? After the Shostakovich and Rachmaninov Festivals, Bozar and the Belgian National Orchestra join forces once again to present you with an event that builds momentum for the 23-24 season: the Prokofiev Festival.

The Belgian National Orchestra focuses on a little-known period in Sergei Prokofiev's creative life: the years of his wanderings in Europe and America, from 1918 to 1936. The programme also includes the composer's percussive and colourful piano writing, highlighted by Florian Noack, the dramatic intensity of Symphony No. 6 performed by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the timeless Peter and the Wolf played by La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra, and the electronic sounds of Sergei's grandson, Gabriel Prokofiev!

Prokofiev Festival

MIMA presents Popcorn, a group show featuring 15 artists who paint a colourful, offbeat and dreamlike picture of our society, with a dose of surrealism comparable to that of the 1930s. The humorous experience is as much a guaranteed visual shock as it is an antidote to winter melancholy.

Mrzyk & Moriceau, Pol-Edouard, Fabien Karp, Gary Card, Adèle Aproh, Elene Usdin, Michael Polakowski, Julien Colombier, Amandine Urruty, Delphine Somers, Antoine Carbonne, Davor Gromilovic, Nina Vandeweghe, Silio Durt

MIMA the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art

Molenbeek-Saint-Jean

Popcorn

Festival 0>6 : C'est la fête !

Cultural Center of Jette

brussels main tourist attractions

TOM Festival (Théâtre, Objet, Matière)

Centre Culturel d'Uccle

TOM Festival (Théâtre, Objet, Matière)

Flagey Piano Days

Dive into the world of the piano for five days! The eleventh edition of Flagey Piano Days, from 7-11 February, focuses on the future and new discoveries.

For the first time since the creation of Flagey Piano Days, the artistic direction has been entrusted to the brilliant pianist Anna Vinnitskaya. The winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2007 breathes a fresh breeze into this emblematic piano festival by presenting her young protégés alongside internationally renowned musicians.

Flagey Piano Days

Europavox Festival Brussels 2024

Botanique and Europavox are once again teaming up to bring you the brightest new acts from across the continent next year! Artists from all over Europe will perform in Brussels during these two festival days.

Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

Europavox Festival Brussels 2024

Affordable Art Fair Brussels

Entrepôt Royal - Tour & Taxis

Affordable Art Fair Brussels

FestiVita!24 - Brussels Early Music Festival

Various places in Brussels

FestiVita!24 - Brussels Early Music Festival

Bright Festival

Bright Festival will illuminate your evenings from 15 to 18 February 2024.

For four magical evenings, the Brussels Festival of Lights will guide you through two of the capital's emblematic neighbourhoods: the Royal Quarter and the European Quarter. Rediscover the city through some thirty poetic works created by artists from all over the world. This year's event also promises to shine the spotlight on Europe and its values, in conjunction with the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Alongside these artistic installations, an equally illuminating fringe programme of evening events in museums, guided tours, live entertainment and heritage illuminations punctuates the festival. Oh, and there's something new for this edition: a children's zone for your little ones, so that they too can experience the magic of light this winter. Bright Festival is an immersive, artistic experience right in the heart of the capital of Europe, it's a must!

the royal quarter & the european quarter

Bright Festival

Antitapas Carnival Night

From 21h ❉ GOLOSEN APERò ❉ FreeFood until 23h, Music, Ateliers, Circus & Performances Special dish from the chefs De Filippis & Gargiulo (Dub & Patan)! ♫ CONCERTS & DJSET ALL NIGHT LONG IN SEVERAL STAGES ♫

Studio City Gate

Antitapas Carnival Night

Folon. A journey in Brussels

Folon. A journey in Brussels

James Ensor. Inspired by Brussels

Ensor and Ostend. They are inextricably linked. But did you know that Brussels played a crucial role in how Ensor developed as an artist too?

In the exhibition “James Ensor. Inspired by Brussels”, you will discover how the city helped to shape Ensor’s quirky and characteristic visual language. From 22 February 2024, dive into the imaginary world of one of the greatest Belgian artists. Discover paintings and graphical work in a place where Ensor was often to be found during his Brussels years: the Palace of Charles of Lorraine. This exhibition is a collaboration by KBR and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and displays well-known works on canvas, as well as hidden treasures on paper.

James Ensor. Inspired by Brussels

Fiesta Latina Carnival

For the second year running, Fiesta Latina returns with its Carnival edition. Once again, we're taking you on a 2-day journey to the heart of Latin America's most famous carnival traditions! The program includes 40 stands, bars and food trucks with South American flavours, as well as concerts, DJ sets, strolling shows and a host of caliente activities to immerse you in a festive Latino atmosphere over the two days of the festival! As with last year's festival, you'll have the chance to take part in colorful parades, immersing you in the carnival world and the folklore of Latin American countries through wild dances, extravagant costumes, titanic floats and much more!

Tour & Taxis - Sheds 1 & 1bis

Anima Festival

Flagey, Marni & Cinematek

Afropolitan Festival

An Uprising of Dreams Join us for the launch of the Afropolitan Festival on February 29, as part of the Nocturne Bozar - All Over The Palace, and experience an evening where the worlds of visual arts, performances, and music seamlessly blend through the perspectives of Afropolitan artists.

Showcasing Belgian creativity, the program also comprises insightful conferences, including the presentation of the book Witte Orde by Sibo Kanobana. The festival continues in the following days with inspiring screenings, a close-up on the work of Rosine Mbakam, musical journeys with Dushime, Laryssa Kim, Pitcho and the Musiques Nouvelles ensemble, innovative activities at the Video Games Corner, and many more events! This year's Afropolitan Festival – An Uprising of Dreams invites you to a multidisciplinary artistic and political reflection around the theme 'dream and action'. Three days of artistic events to deconstruct the prevailing rationalism in our society. The Afropolitan Festival's many artists, thinkers and performers will use their power of voice to ask the following questions: do we still dare to dream? Who has the right to dream? Will we take back our dreams as a creative force and a space for rest? Or as a reason for action? An Uprising of Dreams calls to collectively contribute to reclaiming dreams as an important moment of liberation and resistance, to ultimately build and invent new worlds.

Afropolitan Festival

Kidzik Édition Printemps

Kidzik is a children's music festival dedicated to kids aged 0 to 10. Concerts, performances, movies, workshops, and activities await you for a month of musical celebration!

A festival with the flavors of spring! Can you hear them, those rustling leaves, those unfolding wings, those whispers of bees? Can you smell those budding blossoms, the scent of fresh grass, that waft of freshly baked waffles on a street corner? Can you see those chilly showers, those warm sunbeams? It's time! Spring is returning to bring some sweetness and poetry to the city. It's time for Nouille the Frog to throw open the doors of Kidzik and invite the audience into a wonderful world: the world of children's music! Join us at various locations across the capital to discover shows, concerts, and activities specially designed for little ears throughout the month of March. Welcome! Both parents and children need to have a ticket to participate in paid activities.

Collectible Design Fair

The 7th edition of the COLLECTIBLE fair, dedicated to 21st-century collectible design, will take place from the 7th to the 10th of March 2024 at the Vanderborght Space in Brussels. It will bring together galleries, design studios, architects, and institutions.

The 7th edition of the COLLECTIBLE fair, dedicated to 21st-century collectible design, will take place from the 7th to the 10th of March 2024 at the Vanderborght Space in Brussels. It will bring together galleries, design studios, architects, and institutions. While retaining its current sections that have contributed to the fair's success – MAIN, BESPOKE, NEW GARDE, and CURATED, COLLECTIBLE returns with the two sections that marked a renewal in the previous edition: ARCHITECT <=> DESIGNER, showcasing recent furniture design projects, and DIALOGUE, putting contemporary design in conversation with pieces from the 80s and 90s.

Espace Vanderborght

Fairs and shows

Collectible Design Fair

Brosella Spring Festival

Starting from Thursday, March 7, 2024, Brosella presents premieres, release concerts, workshops, and family concerts (March 9 and 10).

Ready for a second edition of the Brosella Spring Festival in LaVallée, Molenbeek? Starting from Thursday, March 7, 2024, Brosella presents premieres, release concerts, workshops, and family shows (March 9 and 10). 4 days with the cream of the crop of Belgian jazz, urban etno, and everything in between. aki, BXL x LDN Interplay ft. Binker Golding, Stéphane Galland and Bram De Looze, Eric Thielemans & Billy Hart, ZWORNTURF, KAU, Merope ft. Tsubasa Hori, Tamala, Unfinished Business, Dorian Dumont, Nite Kite, Bodies On Saturday, you can enjoy 2 dance workshops by Ultima Vez (Atelier Quartier) with live music from Drawing Basses. On Sunday, you can experience 'speelplaats', an interactive sound installation, and 4 family shows: Dishwasher_, Zigoto (Zonzo Compagnie), Voyage (Zonzo Compagnie), and Echokamer (Zonzo Compagnie)

aki, BXL x LDN Interplay ft. Binker Golding, Stéphane Galland and Bram De Looze, Eric Thielemans & Billy Hart, ZWORNTURF, KAU, Merope ft. Tsubasa Hori, Tamala, Unfinished Business, Dorian Dumont, Nite Kite, Bodies. Dance workshops by Ultima Vez with live music from Drawing Basses. 'Playground', an interactive sound installation, and 4 family shows: Dishwasher_, Zigoto, Voyage and EchoChamber

In Movement

The biennial festival In Movement combines creations, revivals and composed evening performances. A mix of styles that testify to the passionate commitment of choreographers of all generations within the world of contemporary dance. Beyond the differences in their artistic views and origins, the artists taking part in the festival all have links with Brussels, having lived and, above all, worked there. The performances will be accompanied by meetings and lectures, which will stimulate reflection and open up to the challenges facing contemporary dance and its role within the City.

Les Brigittines

In Movement

Klarafestival 2024: Crossroads

From 8 to 24 March 2024 Klarafestival will once again be taking over the capital with classical music. This time, the festival theme will be ‘crossroads’. A term that already cropped up in our initial discussions with festival artist Claron McFadden. After all, her career is one in which the most diverse musical worlds converge.

Festival van Vlaanderen Brussel

Klarafestival 2024: Crossroads

BANAD - Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival

The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival is a special event that promotes the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region. It takes place every year on the weekends of March.

The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival is a special event that promotes the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region. It takes place every year on the weekends of March. What makes this festival so special are guided tours through Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings that are normally not open for visitors. A unique opportunity to (re) discover these hidden architectural gems! As part of the Festival, we also offer other activities that spotlight the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage and complement the guided tours: walking tours as well as bike and bus tours; concerts; seminars; shows; activities for families; an antique market; activities for disabled people; and activities for schools... The event concept is unique in Europe!

The BANAD Festival is organised by Explore.Brussels, a network of associations that organise guided tours: ARAU, Arkadia, Brussels Chatterguides and Pro Velo.

Explore.brussels

Guided tours

UP Festival 18th edition

UP - Circus & Performing Arts

UP Festival 18th edition

Listen Festival 2024

Listen Festival 2024 will take place all-over the city of Brussels from Tuesday 26th until Sunday 31st of March 2024. During the course of 6 days and nights, the festival will be exploring the major music hot-spots and some unique off-locations with a captivating programme.

Listen Festival 2024 will take place all-over the city of Brussels from Tuesday 26th until Sunday 31st of March 2024. For its upcoming edition, Listen has once again assembled a unique combination of cutting-edge local and international artists in collaboration with a variety of local curators. During the course of 6 days and nights, the festival will be exploring the major music hot-spots and some unique off-locations with a captivating programme. The majority of the events for Listen 2024 have now been announced with more events and activities to follow shortly. Listen continues with its proven recipe of working with the most exciting curators and venues and drawing influence from all angles of Brussels’ music scene. The first curators for this year's edition include the likes of Botanique, Flagey, Bozar, La Cabane, Not Your Techno, Spek, Gay Haze, Local Slang, Breaxx, AliA, Le Motel, Mo Mamba, Sono Ventura Records, Soulful Sessions, Magma and many more. Listen takes pride in being an eclectic festival, showcasing the diversity of the electronic music scene with concerts and club nights spanning from Hip-hop to House and from Techno to all-round global sounds. By bringing together collectives, labels and curators, Listen is connecting the dots regardless of musical style and orientation. Artists for Listen 2024 include: Marina Herlop, Nala Sinephro, AliA B2B Le Motel, Bitter Babe, CJ Bolland B2B Nosedrip, VTSS, LSDXOXO, George Riley, Deli Girls, Hector Oaks, Emily Jeanne, Crystalmess, Ikonika, Blck Mamba, Lefto Early Bird ‘live’, dBridge, Lefto Early Bird, Donia, Bona Léa, DC Salas and many more.

Listen Festival 2024

BRDCST Festival

Our annual high mass for the musical adventurer is back! In keeping with tradition, the bill is crammed with a wide range of genres and artists from all over the world. With a 3-Day Festival Pass, you can enjoy these concerts:Friday 5 April 2024Amor Muere w/ Mabe Fratti - Anja Ngozi (curated by Tirzah) - BRDCST celebrates Can’s ‘Future Days’ - Brìghde Chaimbeul - Coby Sey (curated by Tirzah) - Ellen Arkbro – LIONSTORM - Loraine James (curated by Tirzah) - Meril Wubslin (curated by Tirzah) - Mica Levi (curated by Tirzah) - TirzahSaturday 6 April 2024 Accidental Meetings (dj) - Alabaster Deplume - Amaro Freitas - Attila Csihar presents 'Void Ov Voices' - Beans - Cole Pulice - Freddie Murphy presents ‘The Night Shows No Dawn’ - goat (JP) - H31R presents ‘Headspace’ - One Leg One Eye (Lankum) - Shovel Dance Collective - The Necks - Youmna Saba Sunday 7 April 2024 Attila Csihar presents ‘The Nosferatu Project’ live score - BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) - Benefits – Chalk - Clarissa Connelly - Flora Yin Wong – Gordan - Holy Tongue - Lenhart Tapes – Moin - Niecy Blues – PRUILLIP - Shida Shabahi - Slauson Malone 1►EXTRA: pre- and aftershowThis year, BRDCST also presents a pre-show by Autechre on 4 April and an aftershow with Oneohtrix Point Never on 8 April. Tickets for these concerts can be bought separately.

Ancienne Belgique

BRDCST Festival

Antica Brussels Fine Art Fair

The fair will bring together important Belgian and international galleries presenting a selection of paintings, furniture, sculptures and objects that will take us on a trip through the major periods from the “Haute Époque” to the present day.

Preview: Wednesday 17 April 2024 from 2 pm to 10 pm (by invitation only) Vernissage: Thursday 18 April 2024 from 2 pm to 10 pm Exhibition: Friday 19 to Sunday 21 April 2024 from 11 am to 7 pm

Belgian and European visitors, collectors and buyers loyal to Antica Fine Art Fair, will be walking the halls of Tour&Taxis to meet around a hundred galleries from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Luxembourg...

Tour & Taxis - Shed 2-3

Antica Brussels Fine Art Fair

Looking for outings?

Thanks to our new online catalogue, all brussels has to offer is just a click away., book your tickets now, where to eat, the best places to eat chips in brussels.

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Frites

Street food in Brussels: a whole world of flavours at your fingertips

Are you a fan street food? Brussels is packed with places where you can taste and savour authentic street cuisine.

Wolf Food Market

Brussels’ breweries

Over the last ten years, Brussels has seen a renewed interest in artisanal production and craft beers.

brussels main tourist attractions

Sustainable restaurants in Brussels

Looking for a sustainable restaurant? Seventy-six establishments in Brussels hold the “Good Food Resto” label.

Brut

               

Let’s get practical

Arriving in brussels.

Plane, train, bus or car? All roads lead to Brussels.

Getting around

Get around by tram, bus, metro, train, bike... Transport is easy to use in Brussels!

Tourist information offices

In Brussels already and looking for a bit of inspiration? Pop in at one of our offices!

Low Emission Zone

Brussels is striving for cleaner air and knows how to get it done.

Brussels from all angles #visitbrussels

brussels main tourist attractions

Brussels Card

The key to easily discover Brussels!

Free access to 49 Brussels museums

Discounts at attractions, shops, restaurants, bars and guided tours

Free information guide, city map and museum map

Optional: unlimited access to public transport, Hop on Hop off buses and access to the Atomium

Europe in Brussels

The European Quarter

Ixelles - Parc Léopold - vue panoramique - photo aérienne - nature

European Parliament

Quartier européen - vélo - intitutions - beau temps

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IMAGES

  1. Best Things to Do in Brussels

    brussels main tourist attractions

  2. 10 Top Things to do in Brussels Attractions and Much More!

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  3. 15 Best Things to Do in Brussels (Belgium)

    brussels main tourist attractions

  4. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Brussels (with Map & Photos)

    brussels main tourist attractions

  5. Must-Visit Attractions in Belgium

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  6. Brussels Travel Guide

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VIDEO

  1. Brussels city tourism / Belgium

  2. Brussels (Belgium) Walking Tour

  3. Travel to Brussels, Belgium

  4. Discovering Belgium: Culture, Cuisine, and Tourist Attractions/ nosajTRAVEL

  5. Brussels City Tour

  6. Why You MUST Visit Brussels! 🇧🇪 Brussels Walking Tour & Weekend Wonders! 🌟

COMMENTS

  1. Must-see attractions in Brussels

    11 March 2022 © Jean-Michel Byl Are you a first-timer in Brussels? Don't worry, then: you're in good hands. We've put together a list of must-see attractions for you. This way, you can discover our capital through its best-known and most valuable treasures. An excellent introduction to the city!

  2. 18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Brussels

    1. Stroll through Grand Place (Grote Markt) Grand Place (Grote Markt) Right in the heart of Brussels Old Town, the city's main plaza (known as Grand Place) is one of the best preserved in Europe and the city's top tourist attraction.

  3. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Brussels

    Things to Do in Brussels, Belgium - Brussels Attractions Things to Do in Brussels Popular things to do Walking Tours Bus Tours Specialty Museums Beer & Brewery Tours Cultural Tours Architectural Buildings Day Trips Half-day Tours Historic Sites Hop on Hop Off Buses Culinary Tours Art Museums Cooking Classes Dining Experiences

  4. 27 Top Attractions & Things to do in Brussels (+Map)

    22. Horta Museum 21. Parlamentarium 20. Museum of Natural Sciences 19. Cantillon Brewery 18. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium 17. Autoworld 16. Royal Palace

  5. 19 Best Things to Do in Brussels

    19 Best Things To Do in Brussels Updated February 2, 2023 Discover your inner child at the Belgian Comic Strip Museum, take a whirlwind tour of the continent at Mini-Europe or tickle your taste...

  6. 13 best things to do in Brussels

    Belgium Brussels 13 classic experiences to have in Brussels Alex Reynolds Sep 1, 2021 • 6 min read Spending time at a quintessential Brussels cafe is a great way to spend an afternoon © Alena Veasey/Shutterstock Brussels is a city of nuance.

  7. Top attractions in Brussels

    Top attractions in Brussels. Top monuments, churches, parks and architecture in Brussels. ... Markt) is the central, geographic and historic heart of Brussels. Discover the square's history and the Grand Place's main buildings. Bruges. ... Tourist attractions Show all. Grand Place. La Grand Place (Grote Markt) is the central, geographic and ...

  8. 23 BEST Things to Do in Brussels (+Map & Insider Tips for Top Places)

    1. Grand Place & Brussels Town Hall If there is one place that you absolutely have to see in Brussels, it's the Grand Place (or de Grote Markt, in Dutch). Grand Place is the main town square of Brussels, home to the impressive Brussels Town Hall and the most beautiful guild houses in the world.

  9. What to do

    On the inside the Atomium offers, not just the most beautiful view of Brussels, but also an entirely astounding and surreal ride through its interior spaces and volumes which alone makes a visit worth it. The Atomium ticket automatically includes the entrance to the Design Museum Brussels (150m away). Museums & visits.

  10. THE 10 BEST Brussels Things to Do (Updated 2024)

    Stunning church. This was a stunning cathedral to visit in Brussels. The exterior reminds you of the facade from Notre Dame and the stained glass windows on the interior are beautiful. Well worth a visit. Review of: St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule) Written 4 January 2024.

  11. BRUSSELS: 20 Best Things to Do & Places to Visit

    Some of the notable landmarks are the Grand Place (city hall and guild houses), St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, the Royal Palace, the King's Castle, and the Congress Column. Aside from the historical attractions, you can also visit the modern tourist attractions like the Atomium.

  12. 15 Best Things to Do in Brussels (Belgium)

    1. Be Inspired by the Grand Place Source: Pigprox / shutterstock Grand Place The Grand Place in Brussels is hidden away in the centre of the city but when you enter on foot, you are guaranteed to be left awestruck.

  13. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Brussels

    Top Things to Do in Brussels, Belgium - Brussels Attractions Things to Do in Brussels Popular things to do Walking Tours Bus Tours Speciality Museums Beer & Brewery Tours Cultural Tours Architectural Buildings Day Trips Half-day Tours Historic Sites Hop on Hop Off Buses Culinary Tours Art Museums Cooking Classes Dining Experiences

  14. Top 12 must & best places to visit in Brussels

    This Brussels tourist attraction is always in the top of the famous Belgian attractions. At the center of the square is a statue of Godfrey of Bouillon, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1100, on horseback, majestic in the middle of the Place Royale until 900 years after his death.

  15. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Brussels (Updated 2024)

    Top Things to Do in Brussels, Belgium: See Tripadvisor's 817,244 traveller reviews and photos of Brussels tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in February. We have reviews of the best places to see in Brussels. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions.

  16. 13 Best Places To Visit In Brussels

    13 Best Places To Visit In Brussels Here is a list of the best places to visit in Brussels city that you must go through before you leave. Take a look! Grand Place Atomium & Mini Europe Belgian Comic Strip Centre Town Hall St. Michael And St. Gudula Cathedral Royal Museum Of Fine Arts Manneken Pis Jardin Du Petit Sablon Notre Dame Du Sablon

  17. 10 Brussels attractions worth visiting

    The miniatures are about 25 times smaller than the life size versions, some of the most famous include the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mount Vesuvius and of course the Grand Place. Autoworld The Autoworld Brussels is a collection of old cars dating back to the late 1890s when the first cars rolled onto the roads.

  18. Brussels travel guide

    Apart from the main tourist attractions, this guide also includes local tips on authentic restaurants, original bars and fun events. Also check out the section on getting around in Brussels, which will come in handy while you're sightseeing Brussels! 12 Main sights in Brussels. Most of the main sights (apart from the Atomium) are located in ...

  19. Visit Brussels

    Brussels in One Day Top Attractions. see the best of Brussels. Day 1. 09:00 St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral. Stunning church and site of all royal religious ceremonies, dating back to 1047. . 10 mins. 10:10 Hotel de Ville. Brussels' town hall, a Gothic masterpiece completed in 1444.

  20. Is it worth going to Brussels?

    Yes, it is worth going to Brussels. The city offers a variety of attractions, such as top sights, museums, architecture, art galleries, places to eat, shops, and a vibrant nightlife. Brussels is also known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful houses, canals, and its status as the capital of the European Union.

  21. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Brussels

    Stunning church. This was a stunning cathedral to visit in Brussels. The exterior reminds you of the facade from Notre Dame and the stained glass windows on the interior are beautiful. Well worth a visit. Review of: St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule) Written 4 January 2024.

  22. Visitors

    Must-see attractions. You've just arrived in Brussels and you don't know where to start? Don't worry, we've put together a list of must-see attractions for you. ... MAIN, BESPOKE, NEW GARDE, and CURATED, COLLECTIBLE returns with the two sections that marked a renewal in the previous edition: ARCHITECT <=> DESIGNER, showcasing recent furniture ...