Travel: 10 Must Things to do in Brussels

views over Brussels from Square Meeting Centre

Travel: 10 Must Things to do in Brussels

Ferris Wheel at Ste. Catherine during Christmas

With what seems to be a growing popularity each passing year, travellers are finally catching on to the fantastic endless list of stuff available to them when visiting beautiful Brussels. If you are included in that bunch and are planning your first trip there but not quite sure what to fill your days with, consider the following great options. Walking around Brussels is easy and highly recommended.

1. The Grand Place & Hotel de Ville

As one of the most loved tourist attractions in the city, The Grand Place provides a medieval square where visitors can enjoy an array of terrace cafes, interesting museums and, of course, the ever popular Hotel de Ville; also known as the Town Hall. This building was constructed in the early 15th century and is still to this day used for civil purposes as well as being the official seat of the Mayor of Brussels. Hotel de Ville along with the square’s many other incredible aspects have undoubtedly helped in making it a Unesco World Heritage Site since back in 1998 and a must-see for all Brussels visitors. 

2. Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert or Koninklijke Sint-Hubertusgalerijen

Located just a short walk away from the Grand Place and housing a total of 200 meters of listed glass galleries, this site is surely something not to be missed. Split into three different parts that include Galerie du Roi, Galerie de la Reine, and Galerie des Princes, visitors will get the chance to both marvel at the incredible works of art as well as find themselves just steps away from some of the city’s most charming boutiques and restaurants. Take the entire afternoon to spend here and you will see just as to why 6 million people each year do the same.

3. Place Royale & Parc de Bruxelles

Parc de Bruxelles

For a fantastic outing during your time in Brussels, head to the famous Parc de Bruxelles where you will get the chance to explore its many features including lovely fountains, statues, the bandstand, fun outdoor shows, and, of course, all while being encompassed by the beautiful Place Royale. Depending on when you go, you may just get lucky enough to enjoy one of the park’s lively concerts or events!

4. Magritte Gallery

Once you have spent a good amount of time wandering around Parc de Bruxelles, make your way just a short distance to a newer establishment within the landmark Altenloh Hotel, the Magritte Gallery. Here, you can admire the many displays of works done by the surrealist artist himself. The more than 200 works include several gouaches, canvas oils, sculptures, drawings, vintage photographs and films, painted objects, and musical scores amongst others. 

5. Place du Jeu de Balle – Brocante Market

Place du Jeu de Balle, Brocante Market – Flea Market

Open 365 days a year, no need to worry if it is going to be operating during your trip to Brussels! Filled with antiques, an array of unique collections, foods, and so much more, Place du Jeu de Balle is much more than your average flea market as it exudes this particular type of atmosphere and feel unlike any other! Wander about…you never know what you might find! I loved this place – highly recommended.

6. Like a Local Guide

If you don’t typically like planning out your entire day and deciding what to see, do, and eat, then leave it up to the guys at Like a Local to do it for you! Spend your time with them sightseeing, chocolate tasting, beer tasting, checking out the best spots to eat, and gaining an inside view of all the best spots from actual locals who know the city best! It is worth every single penny!  (about£50) I really enjoyed the experience.

7. Admiring Street Art

Manneken Pis (literally Little Man Pee), is a famous Brussels landmark.

Whether you are an art lover or not, this is an absolute must as art is
such a huge part of Brussels overall culture and provides you the
opportunity to see some of the unique, intriguing and inspiring works
throughout different parts of the city. Whether you head to random
street walls, the TinTin stature, Janneke Pis, or Mannekin Pis, heading
out on an exploration to find them all makes for a fantastic day in

8. Indulge in the Food & Drinks

Moules-frites or Moules et frites

Belgian Bintje potatoes, cooked twice and served in a paper cone with a side of mayonnaise
lots of delicious pastries in Brussels

lots of Belgium beers

Waterzooi (traditional Flemish chicken stew) and stoofvlees (beef stew)

the lightest waffle!

Le Falstaff cafe, the oldest places in Brussels

Of course in between all of that sightseeing and exploring, you are going to need to eat in order to satisfy that big appetite you have just worked up. The good news is, Brussels is one of the best cities to do just that! Consider heading to Le Falstaff; one of the oldest places in all of Brussels where you can enjoy excellent food as well as great art! For beer lovers, be sure to check out Delirium where you can choose from over 2,000 types of beer and enjoy live music. For a more laidback atmosphere, A I’Imaige Notre-Dame is the place to head as it is located in a small alleyway and still boasts some fantastic brews.  Also, a visit to Marche du Midi is a must for food lovers.

9. Atomium

Atomium in Brussels

Built specifically for the World Fair of Brussels in the year 1958, it certainly did its job serving as the main pavilion and icon of that event. Symbolizing the democratic will to remain peaceful with all nations, continue to progress through faith, and have an optimistic future for a better world, the Atomium is nothing short of a sight to see. Stretching 102 meters high, each of its parts help to symbolize something has gone on to create not only an iconic landmark of Brussels but as an inspiring peace among its neighboring countries and allies. Don’t miss out on seeing this unique structure!

10. Christmas Market & Light Show (December)

If you are fortunate enough to be traveling to Brussels during the holiday season in the winter months, then there is a huge chance that both the Christmas Market and the Light Show are on your list of things to experience. With a real sense of holiday charm, wandering about the lit up Christmas Market is nothing short of a spectacular outing filled with trinkets, treasures and, of course, delectable goodies at every turn. Once you are done with that, just steps away at the Grand Place will offer you the perfect ending to the perfect night with its annual Light Show that boasts not only beautiful lights but also a magnificent Christmas tree and sounds to go along with it all. 

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  1. March 1, 2016 / 2:04 am

    I've been wanting to go to Brussels for such a long time and now I want to go even more! xxx

  2. Rhian Westbury
    March 1, 2016 / 10:01 am

    I've never really thought much about going to Brussels but it seems like a really good place to visit x

  3. Pasta Bites
    March 1, 2016 / 12:17 pm

    I barely remember brussels… it's been so long. Did you go to Bruges as well?

  4. Stressed Mum
    March 1, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Great post, we are thinking of visiting Brussels soon, so this has been very informative for me x

  5. ana de jesus
    March 1, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    Any guesses where I will be going? The street art of course and their street art scene is insanely good x

  6. Stella Olojola
    March 1, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Great post. Would love to visit this place one day.

  7. March 1, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Oh I would love to visit Brussels – even more after reading your post! It looks amazing 🙂 Kaz x

  8. March 1, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    A Brussels adventure would be so cool. I'd definitely try out those guides.

  9. Zoe Lester
    March 1, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    I really want to go to Brussells, we have drove through once but I wish we could have stayed.

  10. Sarah-Louise Bailey
    March 1, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    I would absolutely love to go to Brussels one day and just enjoy all the things it has on offer. x

  11. March 2, 2016 / 8:47 am

    Some great suggestions here! I've never been to Brussels, yet – one day! 🙂

  12. Rachael Phillips
    March 3, 2016 / 10:25 am

    I drove to Brussels to see Robbie Willian's ???? Didn't get that much time there but vowed to go back. It's worth noting that is a BIG city

  13. Idaintyit
    March 3, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    It looks like a stunning country with lovely things so see! The Grand hotel looks lush

  14. March 4, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Wow, I never knew Brussels was so beautiful. I love architechture!