Things to do in Brussels
Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and culinary delights.
From its stunning architecture to its world-renowned chocolate and beer, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming city.
When planning a trip, it is important to have a list of the top things to do in Brussels in order to make the most of your time and experience all that the city has to offer.
Things to do in Brussels: Discover the Grand Place, the heart of Brussels
The Grand Place, or Grand Place in French, is the central square of Brussels and is often considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
It is really the 1st of the things to do in Brussels.
It is surrounded by stunning 17th-century buildings, including the City Hall and the King’s House, which now houses the Museum of the City of Brussels.
The Grand Place is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also a symbol of Brussels’ rich history and architectural heritage.
When visiting the Grand Place, be sure to take the time to explore the square and admire its intricate facades.
You can also visit the Museum of the City of Brussels to learn more about the history of the city and its famous Manneken Pis statue.
Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to try some traditional Belgian cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes that line the square.
Things to do in Brussels: visit the iconic Atomium and its panoramic views
The Atomium is one of Brussels’ most iconic landmarks and one of the first things to do in Brussels for any visitor to the city. Built for the 1958 World Expo, this futuristic structure represents an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.
It consists of nine interconnected spheres, each housing different exhibitions and offering panoramic views of Brussels from its highest sphere.
To fully enjoy your visit to the Atomium, it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long queues. Once inside, take your time to explore the various exhibitions, which cover topics such as science, technology, and art.
Don’t forget to take the elevator to the top sphere for breathtaking views of the city and the surroundings.
Afterward, you can relax and enjoy a meal or a drink at the Atomium’s restaurant, which offers panoramic views of Brussels.
Things to do in Brussels: explore the historic Royal Palace of Brussels
The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official residence of the King and Queen of Belgium, although it is not used as a royal residence and is instead used for official functions and ceremonies.
The palace is located in the heart of Brussels and is known for its stunning neoclassical architecture.
Visitors to the Royal Palace can take a guided tour of the palace’s opulent rooms, including the Throne Room, the Mirror Room, and the Goya Room.
The tour provides a fascinating insight into the history and traditions of the Belgian monarchy.
Additionally, during the summer months, the Royal Palace’s gardens are open to the public, offering a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.
Belgium is famous for its chocolate and waffles, and no visit to Brussels would be complete without indulging in these sweet treats.
It is one of the top things to do in Brussels for a foodie.
Things to do in Brussels: indulge in Belgian chocolate and waffles
Belgian chocolate is renowned for its high quality and craftsmanship, with many chocolatiers in Brussels creating delicious and beautifully crafted chocolates.
When it comes to waffles, Brussels is home to two types: the Brussels waffle and the Liege waffle. The Brussels waffle is light and crispy, while the Liege waffle is denser and sweeter, thanks to its caramelized sugar coating. Both types can be found at various street stalls and cafes throughout the city.
For the best chocolate experience, head to the Sablon neighborhood, which is known for its high-end chocolatiers.
Some popular chocolatiers to visit include Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus, and Godiva. As for waffles, you can find them at street stalls, cafes, and dedicated waffle shops throughout the city.
Things to do in Brussels: wander through the charming streets of the Marolles district
The Marolles district is one of Brussels’ oldest neighborhoods and is known for its bohemian atmosphere and charming streets.
It is home to many antique shops, art galleries, and quirky boutiques, making it a great place to explore for those looking for unique souvenirs or one-of-a-kind finds.
One of the highlights of the Marolles district is the Place du Jeu de Balle, which hosts a daily flea market where you can find everything from vintage clothing to antique furniture.
The district is also home to several art galleries, including the famous Magritte Museum, which houses the largest collection of works by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte.
In addition to shopping and art, the Marolles district is also known for its vibrant cafe and bar scene.
Take a break from exploring and enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the many cozy cafes or trendy bars in the area.
Things to do in Brussels: experience the vibrant nightlife in the trendy Saint-Géry neighborhood
If you’re looking for a lively nightlife scene, head to the Saint-Géry neighborhood in central Brussels.
This trendy area is known for its bars, clubs, and live music venues, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
One of the highlights of the Saint-Géry neighborhood is the Halles Saint-Géry, a former covered market that has been transformed into a cultural center.
The venue hosts regular events, including concerts, exhibitions, and parties, making it a great place to experience Brussels’ vibrant nightlife.
In addition to the Halles Saint-Géry, there are many other bars and clubs in the area to suit all tastes. From trendy cocktail bars to underground clubs, there is something for everyone in the Saint-Géry neighborhood.
Things to do in Brussels: admire the stunning architecture of the European Parliament
Brussels is often referred to as the capital of Europe, as it is home to many European Union institutions, including the European Parliament.
The European Parliament building is an impressive example of modern architecture and is worth a visit for its unique design and symbolic significance.
Visitors to the European Parliament can take a guided tour of the building, which provides an insight into the workings of the European Union and its decision-making processes.
The tour also includes a visit to the Hemicycle, where Members of the European Parliament debate and vote on legislation.
Even if you don’t take a guided tour, it is still worth visiting the European Parliament building to admire its striking architecture.
The building is located in the European Quarter of Brussels, which is also home to many other EU institutions and offers a glimpse into the workings of the European Union.
Things to do in Brussels: take a stroll in the beautiful Parc du Cinquantenaire
Parc du Cinquantenaire, or Jubelpark in Dutch, is a large public park located in the eastern part of Brussels.
It was created in 1880 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence and is now a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The park is known for its beautiful gardens, tree-lined avenues, and impressive monuments.
One of the highlights of Parc du Cinquantenaire is the Triumphal Arch, which was built to commemorate Belgium’s 50th anniversary. Visitors can climb to the top of the arch for panoramic views of the park and the surrounding area.
In addition to the Triumphal Arch, Parc du Cinquantenaire is also home to several museums, including the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. The museum houses an extensive collection of military artifacts and offers a fascinating insight into Belgium’s military history.
Things to do in Brussels: learn about Belgian art at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels is a must-visit for art lovers.
The museum complex consists of several buildings, including the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fin-de-Siècle Art, each offering a unique collection of artworks.
The Museum of Ancient Art houses a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Highlights include works by Flemish masters such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens.
The Museum of Modern Art focuses on Belgian art from the 19th and 20th centuries, with works by artists such as René Magritte, James Ensor, and Paul Delvaux. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase contemporary art from around the world.
The Museum of Fin-de-Siècle Art explores the artistic movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Symbolism, Art Nouveau, and Expressionism. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts by artists such as Fernand Khnopff, Henry van de Velde, and James Ensor.
Things to do in Brussels: taste the famous Belgian beers at local breweries and bars
Belgium is known for its wide variety of beers, with over 1,500 different types to choose from. Belgian beers are famous for their quality and diversity, with each beer having its own unique flavor profile and brewing tradition.
As one of the top things to do in Brussels, be sure to sample some of the famous Belgian beers at local breweries and bars. Some popular breweries to visit include Cantillon Brewery, which specializes in traditional lambic beers, and Brasserie de la Senne, known for its hop-forward ales.
For a more traditional beer-drinking experience, head to one of Brussels’ many beer bars, such as Moeder Lambic or Delirium Café. These bars offer an extensive selection of Belgian beers on tap, allowing you to taste a wide range of styles and flavors.
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Brussels is a city that truly has it all. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a fun and exciting getaway, this vibrant destination is sure to impress.
One of the highlights of Brussels is its stunning architecture, which includes everything from Gothic cathedrals to Art Nouveau buildings.
But the city is also famous for its delicious chocolate and beer, which are both world-renowned for their quality and flavor.
Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of the historic center or exploring the trendy neighborhoods on the outskirts of town, there is always something new and exciting to discover.
And by following our list of the top things to do in Brussels, you can be sure that you’ll make the most of your time here and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.