30 things to see and do in Brussels (Belgium)

Brussels is a very important city worldwide because it is the administrative seat of the European Union. The capital of Belgium is always present on the news, so surely you will have wanted to visit it. And it is that you will not lack things to do in Brussels : it is the largest city in the country and one of the most interesting. In this post we tell you 30 things to see and do in Brussels.

Table of Contents

Best Things To See And Do In Brussels

Falling in love with the Grand Place, an inevitable thing to do in Brussels

The Great Plaza de Brussels is majestic. To Lberga two of the most important buildings to see in Brussels: the City Council ( Hôtel de Ville ) and the Maison du Roi, which was residence of the royal family and has now been converted into the city museum. The museum welcomes paintings and tapestries from the 16th century and also the numerous costumes with which Manneken Pis has dressed. Not only these two buildings are worth it, since the place itself is spectacular. It is considered a World Heritage of UNESCO since 1998. There is always a lot of atmosphere, but especially in festive times because markets and concerts are organized at Christmas, for example. So standing in the square and observing its surroundings is something essential to do in Brussels. The pairs in summer make a flower carpet of almost 2,000 square meters in the center of the square. Although we did not have the best arrival in the city, the first thing we were was to visit this place. The scare was suddenly wearing us with such beauty.

Delight with the City of Brussels

Without a doubt it is one of the most beautiful in the world. It reminds us very much of Vienna, which was later. The Brussels City Council was built in the fifteenth century and is in Gothic Babantino style. It is a sample of the Belgian and Dutch prosperity of the time. To demonstrate their power, both countries built large civil buildings, both municipalities and commercial markets. The tower measures 96 meters high and at its end there is a golden statue of five meters from the archangel Miguel, patron of the city. As a curiosity, at the beginning of World War I, the City Council was an improvised hospital.

Look at the union houses

You cannot leave the Grand Place without taking an eye on the union houses. The commercial development of the city was linked to this square, so the guilds were established there with their respective houses. In August 1695, the entire square was destroyed by the cannons of the Army of the King of France, Louis XIV. However, in just four years the city was redone and built these wonders again. Look at every detail.

Find the Manneken Pis, something essential to do in Brussels

What would be Brussels without this statue? It is one of the main icons of the city. The famous statue of only 61 centimeters is perhaps the most famous to see in Brussels, although its story is not clear. According to whom you ask you will tell you that it symbolizes the attitude of the Belgians against power and others will tell you that it honors a boy who wanted to turn off a fire with his own resources. You will most likely find it disguised with one of the more than 600 costumes that are stored in the Maison Du Roi Museum. Contemplating this statue is a curious activity to do in Brussels.

The Jeanneke Pis

Did you know that there is also a female version of the most famous child in Brussels? Jeanneke Pis is next to Rue Des Bouchers. It is a 1987 sculpture, much more modern than Manneken Pis and was created by an commission of a restaurant owner. It is in front of the most famous pub in the city that has a letter of up to 2,000 beers. Knowing this statue is a curious thing to do in Brussels!

The Zinneke Pis!

Although it seems a lie, the dog -shaped statue has even been recreated ! You will find it at the corner of Rue Des Chartreux and Rue Du Vieux Marché Aux Grains. It is the most modern of the three since it was created in 1998 by Tom Fantzen during a marketing campaign. A curious fact: this statue does not excite Brussels too much.

Visit the Cathedral of San Miguel and Santa Gúdula, one of the most spectacular buildings to see in Brussels

This religious building is one of the most representative of Brussels. It took nothing more or nothing less than three centuries to end. It began to be built in 1226 with rod Brussels. It is brabantine Gothic style and has been the scene of royal coronations and weddings. The entrance is free but if you want to access the treasure it costs € 2.

Know the Place du Grand Sablon

The Place du Grand Sablon is the most traditional side of Brussels. It is full of restaurants where to eat something at all hours, art galleries and chocolate shops. In addition, this place is perfect for antiquities lovers, since on weekends from 9:00 a picturesque market that brings together most silver objects and books.

And cathedral notre Dame du Sablon

This Catholic Church was built in the fifteenth century. It is located in the beautiful neighborhood of Sablon. It is characterized by its long -style Gothic style outside and its exuberant interior decoration that includes two baroque chapels. It is curious to know the legend: he says that a young woman from Antwerp appeared the Virgin and asked her to transport her to Brussels. He did so, took a ship and gave the image to the arcos guild, who put it in their chapel. Since then this cathedral has been an important place of pilgrimage.

Relax in the Du Petit Sablon garden

Another recommended activity to do in Brussels is to walk through this small garden. As its name suggests, it is located in the Sablon district, one of the most elegant in the Belgian capital. Although its dimensions are not very large, you can enjoy a quiet space, with several interesting statues. Without a doubt, a good place to relax and even enjoy a book.

Stroll through the refined Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert, a very glamorous thing to do in Brussels

Perhaps they are not the most famous in Europe because those of Vittorio Emmanuele II of Milan have a lot of fame. Even so, no one can take away the merit of being the first of this style in the continent. Saint Hubert’s royal galleries were built in the mid -nineteenth century under the request of the city’s high bourgeoisie. They wanted to have their own leisure space where to protect themselves from the coldest and rainy months. Under your spectacular roof you can enjoy your precious architecture, buy in design boutiques or enjoy some of your brown bohemians. Although the years go by, that bourgeois air still retains.

Take a beer in Saint-Gery square, something different than to do in Brussels

If you want to enjoy a great atmosphere you cannot miss this flirtatious place full of bars and restaurants. Ask for a good beer and let yourself go for music.

Photograph the Brussels Stock Building

The bag building is a quick essential stop to do in Brussels. It is an imposing construction of the nineteenth century, which was created to meet the growing commercial needs of the city at that time. Although you cannot enter, only contemplating all the details of the Neorrena Central building is worth it.

Do you only have one day in Brussels?
Don’t worry. We have prepared a perfect itinerary so you can know the capital of Belgium in one day.

Know the Royal Palace of Brussels

The Plaza Real is one of the most elegant spaces in Brussels because there are the Parliament of Belgium, the Palace of Justice and the Royal Palace, the headquarters of the Belgian monarchy. It is not about the residence of the Kings, but inside there are offices, some ministries and meeting rooms. That is, the king fulfills his functions of head of state in this building. If you visit Brussels in summer, do not miss the opportunity to visit it inside, you will see several of your stays. ANDThe visiting schedule is from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from July 22 to September 6.

And also the impressive Palace of Justice

Without a doubt, it is the most spectacular building in Brussels. To have a reference, with 26,000m² of surface is larger than the Basilica of San Pedro in the Vatican. The Brussels Justice Palace was built between 1866 and 1883, when Leopold II was the king of the country. It is currently the headquarters of the Judiciary and the Courts of Justice of Belgium. After World War II, great repair works had to be done because it was in very bad condition. Without a doubt, a curious visit to do in Brussels..

Walk in Brussels Park

Just in front of the Palace is the Park in Brussels, where in the afternoon and on weekends you will find a lot of atmosphere and you can walk through its roads surrounded by sculptures. It is the largest park in the city and there are a lot of events, especially in summer. In addition to being the great lung of Brussels, you will see that there are several statues that decorate the enclosure.

Learn about music at the Museum of Musical Instruments, a curious visit to do in Brussels

Also very close to the Royal Palace you can see an impressive collection of 1500 musical instruments. Beyond contemplating instruments from the fifteenth century until today, the visit is very well mounted. Upon entering they lend you headphones that are activated when you approach each instrument. So you can not only see them, but also listen to them The exterior of the building is also very interesting, modernist style with forged steel and glass. He was home to department stores and is a Brussels icon.

Feel deputy in the parliamentarium, something unique to do in Brussels

This is one of the best visits to do in Brussels. In the European Parliament building is its visitors center. Although it falls a little away from the center, we believe it is worth dedicating a couple of hours. You will learn a lot about the history of Europe and the formation of the European Union in a very modern and well mounted exhibition that is based on the interactive elements. At the entrance they give you a multimedia guide (available in all the official languages of the European Union) to follow exposure to your rhythm. You can also visit the hemicycle, but at limited schedules and with a maximum capacity of 80 people per visit, so you will have to go to queue. You can check the detailed schedules on the European Parliament website. Keep in mind that there are no plenary sessions no visits.

Curiosate in the Museum of Natural Sciences

Brussels has several attractive museums. One of the best is that of natural sciences. There you can see real -scale dinosaurs skeletons and learn about our impact on the oceans, among many other things. They also have some quite interesting temporal exhibitions. If the day is rainy in the city, visiting this museum is recommended to do in Brussels. The entrance costs € 7.

Approach to the Park of the fiftieth anniversary, one of the main attractions to see in Brussels

It is one of the most common visits to do in Brussels. This park is located in the famous European neighborhood of Brussels. With 30 hectares of surface, it is one of the largest in the city. The most famous thing about the park is its particular triumph arch, which was built in 1905 replacing an earlier version of Gédéon Bordiau. It is called the Park of the fiftieth anniversary because it was built to house the World Exhibition of 1880, which commemorated the 50 years of Belgian Independence.

Disconnect in the forest of the Cambre, something different to do in Brussels

This is another of the most beautiful parks in Brussels. Brussels love to come for a walk, play with their children and even play sports. It is a park that has no order. It was created in 1862 and is the work of the architect Edouard Keiling, who was inspired by the English parks of the 18th century. Without a doubt, it is one of the authentic Brussels lungs. So approach to the park and breathe among the green.

Learn about trains in the Train World, something entertaining to do in Brussels with children

If you travel with children, this is one of the forced visits to do in Brussels. They will love. The museum is very interactive. You can get on the locomotives and even drive a train in a simulator. Both the little and the greatest, you will learn a lot about the trains. The entrance costs from € 7.50 to € 10, depending on age.

Enjoy art at the Magritte Museum

That is not the René Magritte Museum, which is located in Jette. If you like art, and especially the famous surreal painter René Magritte, here you can enjoy many of his works (although the best known are in the most important museums around the world). See surreal painting is always interesting and it is recommended to do in Brussels. The entrance costs € 8.

Approach to the Royal Castle of Laeken and its greenhouses

You cannot leave Brussels without knowing the residence of the Belgian royal family. As his name says, he is in Laeken, on the outskirts of Brussels. It was built in 1782 as a residence of the governors of the Netherlands (then Belgium was under their domain). As a curiosity, Napoleon Bonaparte resided in him in 1804 during his extension campaigns of his empire. However, since the independence of the country in 1830, it is the place of residence of the Belgian monarchy. However, their main attraction is the Royal Greenhouses ( Royales Serres ) built under the orders of Leopold II in 1873. During each spring (the last two weeks of April and the first of May) these wonderful glazed gardens can be visited.

Discover the Atomium, a very typical visit to do in Brussels

This 102 -meter high giant atom was built in 1958 on the occasion of the universal exhibition that was held in Brussels. Although it is away from the city, it is curious to visit: it impresses how big it is and also is in a very beautiful environment. Next to you have interesting gardens where to walk. We recommend you book your ticket online to skip the queues. You can go up in an elevator that will take you to the highest sphere in a matter of seconds. Upstairs there is a viewpoint with views of the city and within the other areas there is an exhibition on the history of the monument and other temporary exhibitions. Most people leave the exhibitions that are inside each sphere disenchanted, because there is also usually a long queue to go up.

Sentirse grande en Mini Europa, una de las cosas más divertidas que hacer en Bruselas

Have you ever dreamed of dominating Europe? Well, if so, in Mini Europa you will have the opportunity, although in a slightly different way. This park, located on the outskirts of Brussels next to the Atomium, is one of the most recommended visits to do in Brussels. Especially if you are traveling with children. There you can enjoy small-scale reproductions of the most emblematic monuments of the continent. The exhibition houses some 350 buildings representing 80 European cities. You have a nice opportunity to hug the Eiffel Tower! The entrance is a bit expensive. It costs €15.30 for adults and €11.40 for children under 12 years of age. Those who measure less than 1.20m enter for free.

Have fun like a child at the Belgian Comic Strip Center

The Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels is the perfect place for lovers of Tintin or The Smurfs, who were born in Belgium. You will find very well preserved original works by various European authors, including two rooms dedicated to Hergé and Peyo. It is an ideal place to go with children. They will have a great time in the reading room or entering the Smurfs’ house. Open every day from 10am to 6pm.

Trying to survive on Rue des Bouchers

Although the comparisons are odious, it reminded us very much of the streets full of restaurants in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Especially Rue de la Huchette. The waiters try to convince you in any way to eat in their restaurant. Cheap food restaurants abound with fairly cheap menus. Although they are not the best in the city, they are not bad if you are looking for cheap and fast food. We recommend you

Take a trip to Bruges

Bruges is a beautiful city, which is worth knowing if you visit Brussels. Located just an hour by train from the country’s capital, the Venice of the North will welcome you with open arms. So if you have several days, going to Bruges is an essential thing to do in Brussels as it is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.

And also to Ghent

And the same goes for Ghent. The capital of the East Flanders region is a delight for our retinas. Its streets, canals, restaurants are special. It is located halfway between Bruges and Brussels, so you cannot miss it under any circumstances. Although if we had to choose one of the two, we would stay with Bruges.

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