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Travel 101: 20+ Amazing Things to do in Brussels

Brussels is blessed with uncountable sights that are all set to make your vacation legendary. The capital city of Belgium, Brussels has ancient legends to whisper and modern history to unfold. It is also appreciated for its architectural marvels and great cuisine. Visit it and relish a whole wide variety of rich European delicacies. Brussels has in store a number of surprises for its visitors. Take a stroll in its markets and watch liveliness bubbling out. So, visit Brussels this season and unwind in its magical destinations with these top things to do in the capital of Belgium.

Travel 101: Best Things To Do in Brussels

1. Admire the Majesty of the Grand Place

things to do in Brussels - Grand place

The extensive Grand Place is the central square of the region and radiates sheer brilliance all around. The kind of architecture it boasts is simply marvellous. The place is too striking and vibrant to miss out. Surrounded by splendidly-built guildhalls, cafes, and other opulent structures, the Grand Place is one of the major landmarks in Brussels and hence, a must-visit for every first-timer.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Photographers

Location: The city of Brussels, Brussels

Entry Price Range: FREE

Timings: 09:00 am till midnight

Pro Tip: The region in and around Grand Place is filled with locals as well as tourists and hence, makes for a perfect place for street photography.

2. Take a Canal Cruise through Brussels

Set sail on an interesting city tour in the canals of Brussels and have a unique experience gazing upon marvellous buildings. A boat trip in Brussels would help you explore the region from a different angle. Capture the pride of Belgium on your camera as you float across waters and learn about the history of Brussels from your guide. You can also opt for luxury dinner cruises and have a romantic evening with your partner.

Recommended For: Explorers, Couples

Location: Brussels

Price Range: $8 – $50 per person

Ideal Timings: 07:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Take the U-drive canal cruise to watch all the major beauties of Belgium.

3. A Few Moments of Relaxation at Cinquantenaire

things to do in Brussels - Cinquantenaire

Take a stroll in the green lawns of Parc du Cinquantenaire or simply rejuvenate in its composed tranquil surroundings. It is one of the best places to visit in Brussels on a weekend and is quite popular amongst families and couples. However, as the park houses numerous museums namely the Royal Military Museum and Arts and History Museum, it is a weekend escape for explorers too.

Recommended For: Families, Photographers, History Lovers

Location: 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Price Range: No Entrance Fee ($3 – $8 per person for Museums)

Timings: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm

4. Learn About the Significance of Manneken Pis

While in Brussels, you cannot afford to miss out on the iconic Manneken Pis for it is one of the best tourist attractions in Brussels. Featuring a 24-inch bronze statue of a naked child urinating, Manneken Pis is one of the widely recognized places in the country and is known for depicting the sense of humour and the independent nature of Brussels’ people.

Recommended For: Explorers, Photographers

Location: Southwest of the Town Hall, the City of Brussels

Price Range: No Entrance Fee

Timings: Open 24 hours

5. Go on a Beer Tour of Brussels

things to do in Brussels - brussels beer tour

The Belgium capital and its neighbourhoods are not popular just for history and architecture, these are equally famous for serving the best pubs in the country. From Lambin to lager, you get to relish every kind of beer within its boundaries. You can either opt to explore those pubs and bars or you can go on a self-guided tour of breweries. Brussels is, undoubtedly, heaven for beer fans.

Recommended For: Beer Lovers, Culture Explorers

Price Range: $5 – $10 per pint

Pro Tip: We recommend you to spend at least a day to explore the breweries of Brussels.

6. Catch the Galleries of the Royal Palace Brussels

If legends fascinate you and age-old relics steal all your attention, then you must not forget to add the Royal Palace of Brussels to your itinerary. The palace features outlandish architecture and is well noted for its large compound. It is the official residence and the seat of the king and queen of Belgium. Explore its royal collection and gaze eyes upon state items of Napolean, Neopold I, and other kings.

Recommended For: Photographers, History Lovers

Location: Rue Brederode, Brussels

Price: No Entry Fee

Timings: 10:30 am to 04:30 pm

Pro Tip: Avoid visiting the palace between 12:00 pm and 03:00 pm due to the rush.

7. Relish the Great Belgian Cuisine

things to do in Brussels - Belgian cuisine

How can your tour of Brussels be complete without you taking your taste buds on an expedition through its food streets? Brussels is known for its wonderful cafes and restaurants where you get to savour the best of local delicacies. From hamburgers to spaghetti bolognese and waffles, you have a wide variety to choose from. You can also indulge savouring different types of drinks such as Duvel, Jenever, and Witbier.

Recommended For: Foodies

Location: Brussels

Price Range: $5 – $8 per authentic Belgian meal

Timings: 08:00 am to 05:30 pm

8. Admire Gothic Beauty at Notre Dame du Sablon

Also called the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon, Notre Dame du Sablon is a great place to explore the gothic architecture of the medieval world. The church’s construction dates back to the 15th century. However, it was founded in the 13th century. Visit it and admire its striking features. Take a walk across the nave and capture its beautiful features. The interior here is quite fascinating to miss out on.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Photographers

Location: Rue des Sablons, Brussels

Entry Fee: FREE

Timings: 09:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Do check out the antique market outside the church for some great souvenirs.

9. Take a Break at Le Botanique

Brussels is known to have a number of complexes where art lovers and explorers can feel satisfied. Le Botanique in the heart of Brussels is one such place. It is a cultural complex where concerts, shows, and exhibitions happen on a regular basis. However, one of the major attractions here is the Botanical Garden located on the premise. Feel free to take a break in its lush environment and learn about different types of plants and flowers.

Recommended For: Explorers, Art Lovers

Location: Rue Royale

Entry Fee: $6 per person (Free for children below 12 years of age)

Timings: 12:00 pm to 06:00 pm

10. Witness Greatness at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

things to do in Brussels - Royal museums of fine arts of Belgium

There cannot be a better place than the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels to unleash the artist in you. These are a group of wonderful museums located close to each other and house an intriguing collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more. Do pay a visit to witness what great art looks like. Here, you would also come across the works of the surrealist painter Rene Magritte.

Recommended For: Explorers, Art Lovers

Location: Rue de la Regence

Entry Fee: $12 for Adults | $4 for Students

Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: Do not forget to visit the western side of the building as it has an amazing sculpture park where you spend hours relaxing and embracing great art.

11. Explore the Nightlife of Brussels

things to do in Brussels - Brussels nightlife

The night in Brussels is quite lively and colorful. Several streets remain vibrant throughout the day and night. Numerous markets ooze enthusiasm even after the sun sleeps. As the city is home to some of the best pubs and bars in Belgium, it awakens the high-spiritedness in every party animal and night explorer as soon as the sun goes down. So, do explore the nightlife of Brussels and have a great time mingling with night owls.

Recommended For: Party Lovers, Night Owls

Location: Brussels

Ideal Timings: 07:00 pm to 02:00 am

Pro Tip: Though Brussels is quite safe, avoid passing through secluded lanes.

12. Take a Look at the Historic Old England Building

The historic building dates back to the late 19th century and hence, it has been a weekend destination for a number of history lovers. Built in the art nouveau style of architecture as a departmental store, Old England also houses the Musical Instruments Museum today. From instruments dating back to the middle ages to modern times, you have got a beautiful collection to explore.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Music Lovers

Location: Downtown Brussels

Entry Fee: $12 for Adults and $10 for Seniors

Timings: 12:00 pm to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Get a Brussels card upon arrival to avail free access to about 40 museums and discounts at various other tourist places.

13. Selfie Time at the Incredible Atomium

Atomium is one of the most popular and recognized landmarks in Belgium. Constructed in the year 1958 for the world expo, Atomium resembles the structure of an atom. It is made up of stainless steel and is a perfect place to take Instagram-worthy images. The spheres in the Atomium house restaurants, exhibit halls, and other public places. Do visit this architectural wonder to witness the beauty Brussels holds for its visitors.

Recommended For: Families, Photographers, Explorers

Location: City of Brussels, Brussels

Entry Fee: $13 per person

Timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Visit it during the early hours of the day to avoid a huge tourist crowd.

14. Go on the Search of Black Tower

things to do in Brussels - Black tower

Black Tower is one of the well-preserved ancient buildings that date back to the Medieval Era. As it has been a significant part of the fortifications of Brussels back in the 13th century, it is every history lover’s one of the best finds in the city. Built of stone, the tower is hidden silently in the backyard of St Catherine Church and has remained a part of numerous Belgian comics and other works.

Recommended For: Explorers

Location: Rue de la Vierge Noire, Brussels

Entry Fee: FREE

Timings: Open 24 Hours

15. Take a Breath of Fresh Air at the Brussels Park

Spread over an area of about 32 acres, Brussels Park, otherwise known as Warandepark, is the largest public park in Brussels and hence, a perfect place for early morning and late evening walks. Come here and feel the beauty of lush nature. Take a break in its green lap and enjoy its serene surroundings. The park is also a great spot for picnickers on weekends. As the park is also served by Brussels Metro, it is easily accessible.

Recommended For: Families, Nature Lovers, Couples

Location: City of Brussels, Brussels

Entry Fee: No Entry Fee

Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: The park houses some of the most remarkable trees in Brussels including London plane, Horse-chestnut, Sycamore and European beech. Do spot these during the walk.

16. Step into the World of Mini Europe

things to do in Brussels - Mini europe brussels

There is no need for planning a European tour and exploring its beauteous places when you are in the city of Brussels. The miniature world of Europe is a beautiful treat to the eyes. Within a few hours, go on to explore all the major monuments and historic places in Europe including Bing Ben, Eiffel Tower, and more. Though the theme-park fascinates children a lot, it is a destination perfect for people of all ages and groups.

Recommended For: Children, Art Lovers

Location: Rue Royale

Entry Fee: $20 for Adults and $15 for Children under 15 years of age

Timings: 09:30 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Atomium is located close to Mini Europe and hence, you can also buy combined tickets for both Mini Europe and Atomium for about $34 per person.

17. Capture Scenery in the Woods of Sonian

How about an expedition on the outskirts of Brussels? Well, if you are totally in, then do mark the bucket-list destination of Sonian Forest on your itinerary. Flourishing across thousands of acres, Sonian Forest is a perfect place to get in touch with the raw and untroubled nature of Belgium. Visit it during autumn and watch the forest drenched in vibrant colours. Come across beech trees, an array of oaks, and more.

Recommended For: Offbeat Explorers

Location: Southeast Brussels

Pro Tip: Keep a map of Sonian forest with you before venturing out and try not to go off the path.

18. Shop at the Local Markets of Brussels

The beauty of Brussels isn’t just confined to those historical monuments, architectural wonders, upscale venues, and other entertainment centres. In fact, its actual charm lies in the chaotic atmosphere of local markets. It is here you get to explore the street culture of the city. So, do shop at the local markets of Brussels to mingle with locals as well as fellow tourists. The list of such markets includes Brussels Vintage Market, Marolles Flea Market, and Sablon Antique Market.

Recommended For: Explorers, Art Lovers

Location: Brussels

Entry Fee: FREE

Timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm

19. Creative Jests at the Comics Art Museum

If comics have been your read in the past, then you must have encountered Belgian comics and if not, then definitely the adventures of Tintin. The Comics Art Museum in Brussels is all about the comic world of the country. Here, you can buy popular Belgian comic strips and also learn about the history of comic culture. How about giving one to your kids or someone you are closely related to?

Recommended For: Explorers, Art Lovers

Location: Rue des Sables, Brussels

Entry Fee: $12 for adults (25+ years of age) and $9 (12-25 years of age)

Timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: If you are visiting the museum by metro, then please get down at Brussels-Congress Station.

20. Learn about the Uniqueness of Het Zinneke

Another bronze statue like Manneken Pis that urinates and depicts the folk humour and the carefree attitude of Belgium! However, this time it is a dog. The sculpture was built in the year 1998 and since then, it has been grabbing the eyeballs of every passer-by. Do stop by it and capture this beautiful statue. If you are a dog lover, then you would not want to miss it.

Recommended For: Photographers, Culture Explorers

Location: City of Brussels, Brussels

Entry Fee: FREE

Timings: Open 24 Hours

21. Spend an Afternoon Gazing at the Charm of National Basilica

National Basilica of the Sacred Heart is an art deco Roman Catholic Church that stands tall on Koekelberg Hill. Visit it and explore its striking architecture, harmonious compound, and peaceful environment. Take note of those terracotta patterns and admire the gorgeous façade. As the church is located on a hill, it makes for a perfect place to capture the sweeping views of Brussels

Recommended For: Explorers, Photographers

Location: Ganshoren, Brussels

Entry Fee: FREE

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: Get atop the church and you are ready to capture the best of Brussels’ skyline.

Also Read: 25 Most Fascinating Things To Do in Belgium

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