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What to do in Brussels? 20 Tips for first time visitors

Are you traveling to Belgium soon or have you already landed? Welcome to my beautiful country! Brussels is a city that blends rich history, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine. I hope I can inspire you with these 20 things to do in Brussels and if you need more information check out my Belgium content.

What to do in Brussels

(Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links to activities available on GetYourGuide. By booking through these links, you support our website at no additional cost to you.)


1. Grand Place (Grote Markt)

Start your Brussels journey at the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city's central square. Admire the stunning architecture of the Town Hall and the opulent guildhalls that surround the square.


Don't miss the mesmerizing light show that illuminates the Grand Place in the evenings, adding a touch of magic to this historic landmark.

Grand Place (Grote Markt) Brussels

2. Atomium

Marvel at Brussels' most iconic modern structure, the Atomium. This futuristic building, designed for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, resembles a giant atom magnified 165 billion times.


Take an elevator to the top for panoramic views of the city, then explore the exhibitions inside, which offer insights into science, technology, and innovation.

Atomium

3. Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour

Indulge your sweet tooth with a Belgian chocolate tasting tour. Join a guided excursion to some of Brussels' finest chocolate shops, where you can sample decadent pralines, truffles, and bonbons.


Learn about the chocolate-making process from expert chocolatiers and discover why Belgian chocolate is renowned worldwide for its quality and craftsmanship.




4. Belgian Beer Tasting Experience

Delve into Belgium's beer culture with a beer tasting experience. Join a guided tour of Brussels' historic breweries and taverns, where you can sample a diverse selection of Belgian beers, from fruity lambics to rich Trappist ales.

Belgian Beer Tasting Experience

Learn about the brewing traditions that have been passed down through generations and gain a newfound appreciation for Belgium's beloved beverage.



5. Comic Strip Tour

Embark on a journey through Brussels' vibrant comic strip heritage. Follow in the footsteps of beloved characters like Tintin, Spirou, and the Smurfs as you explore the city's streets adorned with colorful murals and statues.


Visit the Belgian Comic Strip Center to learn about the history of comic art in Belgium and discover why Brussels is considered the comic capital of Europe.




6. Brussels Food Tour

Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure with a Brussels food tour. Join a knowledgeable guide as you navigate the city's bustling markets and quaint cafes, sampling an array of Belgian delicacies along the way.


From crispy fries to savory waffles and hearty stoofvlees, experience the diverse flavors that define Belgian cuisine.





7. Royal Palace of Brussels

Step into the world of Belgian royalty with a visit to the Royal Palace of Brussels. Marvel at the grandeur of this neoclassical masterpiece, which serves as the official residence of the Belgian monarchy.


Explore the opulent rooms and galleries adorned with exquisite artworks and elegant furnishings, and learn about the fascinating history of the Belgian royal family.

Royal Palace of Brussels

8. Mini-Europe

Embark on a journey across Europe in miniature at Mini-Europe, a fascinating park located at the foot of the Atomium. Wander through intricately detailed replicas of famous landmarks from across the continent, including the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Acropolis.


Marvel at the craftsmanship that brings these iconic sites to life on a scale of 1:25, and learn about Europe's cultural heritage through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays.



9. Museum of the City of Brussels (Maison du Roi)

Immerse yourself in Brussels' rich history at the Museum of the City of Brussels, housed in the historic Maison du Roi (King's House) on the Grand Place.


Discover artifacts, paintings, and tapestries that trace the city's evolution from its medieval origins to the present day. Highlights include the iconic Manneken Pis statue, as well as exhibitions on Brussels' folklore, traditions, and craftsmanship.

Museum of the City of Brussels (Maison du Roi)

10. Museum of Natural Sciences

Uncover the wonders of the natural world at the Museum of Natural Sciences, home to one of the largest dinosaur exhibitions in Europe. Marvel at the skeletons of majestic dinosaurs, including a complete Iguanodon skeleton discovered in Belgium.


Explore interactive displays on evolution, biodiversity, and ecology, and embark on a journey through the Earth's history from its primordial beginnings to the present day.

Museum of Natural Sciences

11. Illusion Museum

Challenge your perception of reality at the Illusion Museum, where nothing is quite as it seems. Explore mind-bending exhibits and optical illusions that play tricks on your mind and senses.

Illusion Museum Brussels

Discover how your brain interprets the world around you through interactive displays, holograms, and immersive experiences. Prepare to question your understanding of space, perspective, and visual perception in this captivating museum.



12. Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Step into a world of botanical beauty at the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, a magnificent complex of glass and steel structures designed by renowned architect Alphonse Balat.


Wander through lush gardens filled with exotic plants, flowers, and trees from around the world. Marvel at the architectural splendor of the greenhouses, which are opened to the public for a limited time each spring, offering a rare glimpse into the royal estate.

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

13. Parc du Cinquantenaire

Escape the urban hustle and bustle at Parc du Cinquantenaire, a sprawling green oasis in the heart of Brussels. Stroll along tree-lined avenues, relax by tranquil fountains, and admire monumental arches and sculptures.


Explore the park's museums, including Autoworld and the Museum of Art and History, and soak up the serene atmosphere of this beloved city retreat.

Parc du Cinquantenaire

14. Place Flagey

Known for its lively atmosphere, Place Flagey is a bustling square in the Ixelles neighborhood. It's a popular spot for locals to gather, especially around the Flagey building, a striking Art Deco structure.


Enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafés, sample delicious treats from the weekend market, or simply soak in the vibrant ambiance.

Place Flagey

15. Bois de la Cambre

Escape to nature at Bois de la Cambre, a large urban park on the edge of the Sonian Forest. Perfect for a relaxing day out, the park offers picturesque walking trails, serene lakes, and ample space for picnics.


Rent a rowboat, visit the charming Chalet Robinson restaurant located on an island (booking needed), or enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the lush greenery.

Bois de la Cambre

16. Saint-Gilles

Discover the artistic soul of Brussels in the Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Known for its bohemian vibe, this area is home to art studios, galleries, and eclectic shops.


Wander the streets to admire the colorful street art, visit the Art Nouveau town hall, and enjoy a meal at one of the many trendy eateries.

Saint-Gilles Brussels

17. Place du Jeu de Balle

Dive into the vibrant atmosphere of the Place du Jeu de Balle flea market, held daily in the Marolles district. Browse through an eclectic mix of antiques, vintage items, and quirky collectibles.


The market is a treasure trove for bargain hunters and those seeking unique souvenirs.

Place du Jeu de Balle

18. Mont des Arts

For breathtaking views of Brussels, head to Mont des Arts. This cultural complex offers a panoramic vista of the city, framed by beautifully landscaped gardens.


Visit the nearby Royal Library of Belgium, the Musical Instruments Museum, and the Magritte Museum to immerse yourself in the city's artistic heritage.


Want to see all the highlights in one day? Book a guided tour, the guide will show you all the top spots of Brussels



19. Parc de Bruxelles (Warandepark)

Located in the heart of the city, Parc de Bruxelles is a historic park surrounded by important landmarks like the Royal Palace and the Belgian Parliament.


Stroll through its manicured gardens, enjoy the fountains and statues, or catch a concert at the open-air theater. It's a peaceful retreat amid the urban hustle.

Parc de Bruxelles (Warandepark)

20. Day Trip to Bruges & Gent

Escape the hustle and bustle of Brussels with a day trip to the picturesque city of Bruges and the Harry Potter like city of Ghent. Explore cobbled streets lined with medieval buildings, cruise along scenic canals, and indulge in decadent Belgian chocolates and beers.


With their fairy-tale charms and timeless beauty, Bruges and Ghent are must-visit destinations just a short train ride away from Brussels.



Brussels beckons with a tapestry of experiences that promise to enchant and delight. Whether you're savoring a warm waffle on a cobblestone street or admiring centuries-old architecture, each moment in this captivating city is imbued with charm and character. So pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Europe.



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Welcome to Fly Along

Hi I'm Emeline

I am a Belgian lady, traveling solo around the world and sharing my best tips with you! My dream is to become a full-time travel blogger. Read more about my journey to get there.

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