A vibrant city, Brussels has much to offer besides delicious fries, waffles, and beer! These 33 tips from a Brussels local will help you to see the de facto capital of the European Union in a whole new light.
‘With so much on offer, Brussels truly has something for everyone to enjoy’
One of the most multicultural cities in the world, Brussels is a fascinating place replete with a wealth of vibrant neighborhoods for you to explore outside of the beautiful historic center.
With numerous different sides to it, the capital of Belgium truly has something for everyone to enjoy, from fine dining and nightlife to historical monuments to quirky art installations.
This list of 33 things to see and do in Brussels will help you dive in and discover the hidden delights of what this city has to offer.
1. The Grand Place is the first place that everyone heads to and with good reason, too. The cobbled square is surrounded by elegant guild houses and the architecture is absolutely stunning. Among the many highlights is the fantastic Town Hall which dominates one side of the square.
2. No visit to Brussels is complete without taking a photo of Manneken Pis, a quirky statue of a peeing boy!
3. For the best view in the city head to Mont des Arts at sunset when you can see the spire of the Town Hall glinting in the sun.
4. Located in Brussels’ oldest neighborhood, Place du Jeu de Balle is the place to head to if you want a quintessential Brusselaar experience. The lively flea market runs every single day of the year.
5. Famed for its frites, Maison Antoine in Place Jourdan is one of the most popular spots in town. Although Frit Flagey is certainly rivals for delicious, sauce-covered fries.
6. Takea walking tour around Brussels and learn all about the city’s history, such as how a performance at La Monnaie opera house inspired a riot which led to the Kingdom of Belgium being formed! And don’t forget to sample lots of chocolate along the way.
7. With so many Belgian beers to try, Delirium is the best place to head to as it has over 3000 beers on offer from around the world and a lively atmosphere any day of the week.
8. Admire wonderful art at the Oldmasters Museum which showcases masterpieces by such renowned artists as Bruegel, Rubens, and van Dyck.
9. Explore the fantastic restaurants, bars, and cafes around Saint Boniface, a peaceful and picturesque square bordered by a beautiful church.
10. With its lovely facade, the Palais Royal is definitely worth stopping by. The palace is open during the summer for visitors who want to wander around.
11. Window shop in the beautiful Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert.
12. Relax in Parc du Cinquantenaire and snap a picture of the stupendous triumphal arch. Or visit the Royal Military Museum and AutoWorld Museum, both of which are located in the park.
13. Watch an RSC Anderlecht soccer match – be sure to wear the team’s colors: purple and white!
14. For some of the best joe in town, you can’t beat Corica which has delicious coffee from countries such as Papua New Guinea, Mozambique, and Guatemala.
15. Well off the beaten path, Parc Josaphat is one of the prettiest parks in Brussels.
16. If you like to cut up a rug, Bonnefooi is a lovely bar close to the center that has free music and DJ sets most weeknights.
17. Sip a drink at Cafe Belga and enjoy the sun while sitting on Place Flagey.
18. Constructed in 1958 for Brussels’ World Expo, the Atomium is still standing and is now one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Visit the particular structure and the Mini-Europe.
19. Let off some steam by treating yourself to the sauna and a massage at Riad Hammam.
20. Sitting on the outskirts of Brussels, Tervuren is worth a visit to check out the recently renovated Royal Museum for Central Africa and the beautiful greenery surrounding it.
21. Explore the Parlamentarium in the European quarter and learn all about how the European Parliament works.
22. An atmospheric bar with a great jukebox, head to Booze n Blues to try some genever, the juniper-flavored national liqueur.
23. Running every Sunday, the bustling Midi market offers an authentic look at life in Brussels.
24. Music lovers must visit the enthralling Museum of Musical Instruments.
25. Follow the Comic Strip Route map which takes you past fifty of the city’s best street art murals.
26. If you want an unforgettable night out, head to Mademoiselle, a cabaret with live burlesque and drag queen performances.
27. Architecture lovers will adore the Horta Museum which showcases the famous architect’s work.
28. Sit on the steps of La Bourse with a waffle in hand and watch the world go by.
29. Visit St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral and marvel at the huge organ.
30. Sit and relax in the beautiful gardens at Botanique.
31. Stroll around the Commune de Saint-Gilles and enjoy a drink on the marvelous parvis.
32. Check out the great concert line up at Ancienne Belgique and go and watch a gig.
33. Dine at Au Soleil d’Afrique in Matonge – Brussels’ lively African quarter.