15 Best Things to Do in Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is a city filled with rich history, amazing architecture, delicious cuisine, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. From the world-famous chocolate to the unique Manneken Pis statue, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This travel guide will examine the top 15 things to do in Brussels.

Grand Place

The Grand Place is undoubtedly one of the most stunning squares in Europe. It is surrounded by beautiful guild halls, the Town Hall, and the King’s House.

The square has been a central hub of the city since the 15th century and has served as the site for many important events, including royal coronations, political meetings, and markets.

Visitors to the Grand Place can take in the stunning architecture of the buildings that surround the square.

The guild halls are a perfect example of the unique Brabant architecture popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Town Hall, which dates back to the 15th century, is also a magnificent building that is worth exploring.

The Grand Place is also a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of Brussels. Visitors can grab a coffee or beer at one of the many cafes that line the square and watch the world go by.

The square is especially beautiful at night when it is illuminated and the buildings are lit up.

One of the most exciting events in the Grand Place is the Flower Carpet. This event happens every two years and involves the creation of a massive carpet made entirely out of flowers.

The carpet covers the entire square and is made up of over 600,000 begonias. The Flower Carpet is a must-see for visitors who are lucky enough to be in Brussels during the event.


The Atomium was built for the 1958 World’s Fair and was designed to represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

The Atomium stands at a height of 102 meters and has nine spheres connected by escalators and elevators.

Visitors to the Atomium can ride in one of the elevators to the top sphere, which offers stunning panoramic city views. The top sphere also features a restaurant where visitors can dine while enjoying the views.

The other spheres of the Atomium contain exhibitions that focus on various aspects of Belgian culture and history.

One of the most interesting exhibitions is Atomium’s permanent exhibition, which explores the history of the building and its significance to Belgian culture.

The Atomium is also a great place to visit at night when it is illuminated. The lights give the structure an ethereal quality that is truly breathtaking.

Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis is one of the most famous landmarks in Brussels. The statue depicts a small boy urinating into a fountain, becoming an iconic city symbol.

The statue dates back to the early 17th century and has undergone several restorations. The current statue is a bronze replica of the original, now housed in the Museum of the City of Brussels.

Manneken Pis is dressed in different costumes throughout the year, a tradition dating back to the 17th century. The costumes are often donated by various countries and represent a wide range of cultures and traditions.

Visitors to Brussels can see the statue dressed up in different costumes throughout the year, depending on the season and the occasion.

In addition to the original statue, there are two other similar statues in Brussels: Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke Pis.

Jeanneke Pis is a bronze statue of a young girl urinating, while Zinneke Pis is a sculpture of a urinating dog. Both statues are located in different parts of the city and are also popular tourist attractions.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is a collection of six museums. The collection contains over 20,000 works of art, ranging from the 15th to the 21st century, and includes paintings, sculptures, and drawings.

The six museums that make up the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are the Old Masters Museum, the Modern Museum, the Magritte Museum, the Fin-de-Siècle Museum, the Wiertz Museum, and the Meunier Museum.

Each museum specializes in a specific time period or style, offering visitors a diverse range of art to explore.

The Old Masters Museum is home to some of the finest examples of Flemish and Belgian art from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Works by famous artists such as Bruegel, Rubens, and Van Dyck can be found in this museum.

The Modern Museum contains art from the 19th and 20th centuries and includes works by Impressionists and Expressionists.

The Magritte Museum is dedicated to the life and work of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte and features over 200 of his paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

The Fin-de-Siècle Museum is a must-visit for fans of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The museum features works by famous artists such as Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde.

The Wiertz Museum is dedicated to the work of the Belgian painter and sculptor Antoine Wiertz. It features some of his most famous works, including “The Two Young Girls,” “The Triumph of Christ,” and “The Greeks and the Trojans Fighting Over the Body of Patroclus.”

Finally, the Meunier Museum is dedicated to the work of Belgian artist Constantin Meunier, known for his paintings and sculptures depicting the working class.

The museum features some of his most famous works, including “The Coal Mine,” “The Sower,” and “The Blacksmith.”


Mini-Europe is a miniature park that features scale models of some of the most famous landmarks in Europe.

The park contains over 350 models, built on a scale of 1:25, and includes iconic structures such as the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Colosseum.

Visitors to Mini-Europe can take a stroll through the park and admire the miniature models, which are incredibly detailed and accurate.

The park also features interactive exhibits and displays, which provide information about the history and culture of each landmark.

One of the most popular features of Mini-Europe is the “Sound and Light Show,” which takes place every evening.

During the show, the models are illuminated, and music is played, creating a magical atmosphere enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

In addition to the miniature models, Mini-Europe has several other attractions, including a miniature train ride, a maze, and a panoramic tower that offers stunning views of the park and the surrounding area.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official palace of the King and Queen of Belgium. The palace is open to the public during the summer months.

The palace was originally built in the 18th century but has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years.

Today, the palace is an impressive example of neoclassical architecture and features beautiful gardens and ornate interiors.

Visitors to the Royal Palace can take a guided tour of the palace, which includes a visit to the staterooms, the throne room, and the royal chapel. The staterooms are particularly impressive and feature opulent decor and furnishings that reflect the grandeur of the Belgian monarchy.

In addition to the palace itself, visitors can also explore the gardens open to the public year-round. The gardens are divided into several sections: a formal garden, a woodland area, and a large pond.

The gardens are a popular spot for picnics, walks, and relaxation, offering stunning views of the palace and surrounding area.

Comic Book Route

The Comic Book Route is a popular attraction in Brussels that celebrates the city’s rich tradition of comic book art.

The route consists of a series of murals painted on the sides of buildings throughout the city, each one depicting a famous comic book character.

The idea for the Comic Book Route was born in the 1990s, when the city of Brussels decided to honor some of its most famous comic book artists and characters. Today, the route features over 50 murals, a popular attraction for locals and visitors.

The most famous characters featured on the route include Tintin, Spirou, Lucky Luke, and the Smurfs. The murals are incredibly detailed and a testament to the artists’ skill and creativity.

Visitors to the Comic Book Route can take a self-guided tour of the murals, which are located throughout the city.

The route maps are available at the tourist information center, and many murals are located in areas easily accessible by public transport.

In addition to the murals, the Comic Book Route also includes several comic book shops and museums, where visitors can learn more about the history and culture of comic book art in Belgium.

The Belgian Comic Strip Center, located in the heart of Brussels, is a particularly popular destination for comic book enthusiasts.

Belgian Chocolate

Belgian chocolate is world-renowned for its high quality and rich flavor and is a must-try for anyone visiting Brussels.

The history of Belgian chocolate dates back to the 18th century, when chocolate was first imported to the country from South America.

Today, there are countless chocolatiers and chocolate shops throughout Brussels, each offering a unique and delicious selection of chocolates.

Some of the most famous chocolatiers in the city include Neuhaus, Leonidas, and Godiva, all of which have been producing high-quality chocolate for over a century.

Visitors to Brussels can take a chocolate tour of the city, which will take them to some of the city’s best chocolatiers and chocolate shops.

During the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to sample a variety of chocolates, including pralines, truffles, and chocolate bars, and to learn about the history and culture of Belgian chocolate.

In addition to the chocolate tours, many chocolatiers also offer chocolate-making workshops, where visitors can learn the art of chocolate-making from expert chocolatiers.

During the workshops, participants will learn about the different types of chocolate, how to temper chocolate, and how to create their own chocolate creations.

Brussels Park

Brussels Park is a beautiful and one of Brussels’s largest public parks. The park was designed in the 18th century and was originally part of the Royal Palace complex.

Today, it is a popular destination for both locals and visitors and offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Brussels Park features a variety of walking paths, gardens, and fountains and is home to several important landmarks, including the Royal Palace and the Belgian Parliament.

Visitors can explore the park on foot, enjoying the beautiful scenery, fresh air, and peaceful atmosphere.

One of the park’s highlights is the Crystal Palace, a stunning glass building originally built for the World Exhibition in 1855. The Crystal Palace is a popular venue for exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events today.

Belgian Waffles

Belgian waffles are a delicious and iconic food that is famous throughout the world. These waffles are thicker and crispier than regular waffles, with a light and fluffy interior and a crispy golden-brown exterior.

Belgian waffles can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from simple toppings like butter and syrup to more elaborate combinations like fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.

They are often served as breakfast food but can also be enjoyed as a dessert or snack.

In Brussels, countless restaurants, cafes, and street vendors serve Belgian waffles, each with its unique spin on this classic dish.

Visitors can try a traditional Liege waffle, made with a sweet and sticky dough studded with chunks of pearl sugar, or a Brussels waffle, lighter and airier than the Liege version.

One of Brussels’s most popular places to enjoy Belgian waffles is Maison Dandoy, a historic bakery that has been producing delicious waffles, biscuits, and other sweet treats since 1829.

Another popular spot is the Waffle Factory, which offers a variety of waffle flavors and toppings, including savory options like bacon and cheese.

For a truly unique Belgian waffle experience, visitors can participate in a waffle-making workshop, where they will learn the art of making traditional Belgian waffles from scratch.

Several different companies in Brussels offer these workshops and provide a fun and interactive way to learn about Belgian culture and cuisine.

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are a stunning collection of botanical gardens and greenhouses located on the grounds of the Royal Palace in Laeken, just outside of Brussels.

The greenhouses were built in the late 19th century by King Leopold II, and today they are open to the public for a limited time each year.

The greenhouses cover an area of over 2.5 hectares and are home to a vast collection of exotic plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world.

Some of the most notable species include palm trees, cacti, orchids, giant ferns, and rare and endangered species of plants.

The highlight of the greenhouses is the spectacular Glass Gallery, a massive greenhouse that stretches over 120 meters in length and is lined with towering palm trees and other exotic plants.

The Glass Gallery is also home to a stunning collection of azaleas and rhododendrons, which bloom in a riot of color each spring.

Visitors to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken can wander through the various greenhouses and gardens, taking in the plants’ and flowers’ breathtaking beauty and diversity.

The greenhouses are only open to the public for a few weeks each year, typically in late April and early May, so it is important to plan your visit accordingly.

Saint-Michel Cathedral

Saint-Michel Cathedral is a stunning Roman Catholic cathedral. The cathedral dates back to the 11th century and is known for its striking Gothic architecture, intricate stained glass windows, and ornate carvings and sculptures.

The cathedral has been renovated and expanded over the centuries, with major renovations in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The most recent renovations were completed in the early 20th century when the cathedral was restored to its original Gothic splendor.

One of the most notable features of Saint-Michel Cathedral is its stunning stained glass windows, which date back to the 16th century.

The windows depict scenes from the Bible and the lives of various saints and are a testament to the skill and artistry of the medieval craftsmen who created them.

Visitors to the cathedral can also admire the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the walls and ceilings, impressive vaulted ceilings, and towering columns.

The cathedral has several chapels, each with unique artwork and design, and a stunning pipe organ regularly used for concerts and recitals.

One of the most popular attractions at Saint-Michel Cathedral is the impressive view from the top of the tower. Visitors can climb the narrow staircase to the top of the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Belgian Beer

Belgium is famous for its beer culture, and there is no better place to experience it than in Brussels. Belgian beer is brewed using traditional methods and various ingredients, resulting in diverse flavors and styles.

There are countless breweries and beer bars in Brussels, each offering its unique selection of beers. Some of the most famous Belgian beers include Trappist, Lambic, and Saison, but there are many other styles to try.

One of the best places to sample Belgian beer in Brussels is at a traditional Belgian bar known as a “brown café.”

These cozy, old-fashioned bars are a staple of Belgian culture and offer a wide selection of beers on tap or in bottles.

Another great way to experience Belgian beer is to take a beer tour of Brussels. Several tour companies offer guided tours of the city’s top breweries and beer bars, providing visitors with an in-depth look at the history and culture of Belgian beer.

Some of the most popular beer bars and breweries in Brussels include Delirium Café, which holds the Guinness World Record for the bar with the most beers on tap, and Cantillon Brewery, known for its Lambic beers and traditional brewing methods.

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a beautiful glass-covered arcade. It was constructed in 1847 and is considered one of the world’s oldest and most elegant shopping centers.

The arcade is home to a variety of luxury shops, boutiques, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is particularly renowned for its high-end chocolatiers, which sell some of the best Belgian chocolates in the world.

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is also home to several theaters and art galleries, making it a popular cultural hub in Brussels.

One of the most famous theaters in the arcade is the Théâtre des Galeries, which has been in operation since 1847 and is known for its productions of classical and contemporary plays.

Aside from shopping and cultural events, the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is also a wonderful place to admire its architecture.

Its stunning glass ceiling and ornate ironwork give it a grand and elegant feel, while the intricate details of its storefronts are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the 19th-century artisans who built it.


Autoworld is a museum that is dedicated to the history of automobiles. It is located in the southern part of the city, near the Parc du Cinquantenaire, and is considered one of the finest car museums in Europe.

The museum’s collection comprises over 400 vehicles, ranging from vintage cars from the late 19th century to modern sports cars and luxury automobiles.

Some of the most notable vehicles in the collection include the 1900 Mercedes-Simplex, the 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, and the 1957 Jaguar XK 140.

One of the most popular exhibits at Autoworld is the “Belgian Racing Cars” exhibit, which showcases some of the most famous and successful racing cars to come out of Belgium.

Other notable exhibits include “Cars of the Movies,” which features cars from famous films such as James Bond’s Aston Martin and the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

The museum’s restaurant, Cafe Le Roi, serves a selection of Belgian cuisine and is a great place to relax and enjoy the museum’s stunning architecture.

Brussels is a city with so much to offer. From the stunning architecture of the Grand Place to the delicious chocolate and waffles, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re interested in art, history, or just good food and drink, Brussels has it all. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip to this vibrant and charming city.

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Robyn Good
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