Things You Cannot Miss While on Your Trip To Brussels

Jul 8 , 2022 · 11 min read

Brussels, the capital of Flanders, Belgium and Europe, is a stunning city with a rich history, vibrant tourist industry and modern infrastructure. If you are looking for a world-class vacation destination with great shopping, tourist attractions, accommodation and dining, Brussels is a wonderful city to visit.

There is so much to see and do in Brussels that you could stay for weeks and never have a dull moment. Here are some highlights of what Brussels has to offer. From grand historic buildings to chocolate indulgences to luxury hotels, you can find your happy place in Brussels. Just make sure you allow enough time for all the things to do in Brussels.

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Visit The Grand Place

Visit The Grand Place in Brussels

The Grand Place is a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the city. Next to the town hall and The Bread House, where locals would flock to buy freshly-made bread goods in days gone by, the impressive building dates back to 1405. Locals call The Grand Place by its other name, Groot Markt.

Italian baroque designs with gold architectural details and well-preserved houses make this area a photographer’s dream. It is also a nice place to sit and walk people pass by as they go about their busy days.

You can wander around the square for free and there is a small entrance fee for the museums and tower

It’s worth the money for a guided tour to see the King’s Place (Maison du Roi). The House of the Corporation of Brewers, complete with a brewery museum offering complimentary beer with the entrance fee, will be one of the most unique museums you have ever seen. You can’t miss the medieval town hall in the middle of the square with its impressive bell tower.

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Hard Rock Cafe Brussels is inside The Grand Place if you are craving American food. See rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia that once belonged to famous musicians and artists like Elvis Presley, Madonna and John Lennon and buy some merchandise after a delicious meal. 

Roam The King's House

Roam The King's House in Brussels

The Brussels City Museum, also called Le Maison du Roi or The King’s House, should be on the itinerary of every first-time visitor to Brussels. The Neo-gothic 19-century building is one of the most famous buildings in the country. Check the museum’s social media pages to find out about the latest displays on show during your visit, along with the permanent exhibitions.

There are plenty of fascinating museums in Brussels and if you go through them all, you can probably find one that appeals to your interests. Some of the more unusual ones include the Musical Instruments Museum, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Braille Museum.

Go on Comic Book Adventures

Go on Comic Book Adventures in Brussels

One of the best things to do in Brussels for free is looking at the comic book art. Follow the colorful comic book route and amaze at the murals covering the walls with bright scenes of Lucky Luke, Tin Tin and the Smurfs and many other comic characters to delight your inner child.

The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a museum dedicated to Belgian comics and is a nice follow-up to seeing the murals for die-hard comic book fans.

Take a Guided Walking Tour

Take a Guided Walking Tour in Brussels

The best time to book a walking tour is on your first or second day in a new city.

It’s a fantastic way to see the main sights and get your bearings. You can also make new friends as you explore the historic center of the city with a professional guide who will share lots of knowledge and interesting information. You also have someone there to take your photo and you can return the favor too.

Most walking tours go past the major landmarks and weave in unique stops you might not otherwise find without the inside knowledge of a local. 

Indulge in Chocolate and Other Delights

Indulge in Chocolate and Other Delights in Brussels

Belgium is known for its high-quality chocolate and there are chocolate shops and sweet tourist attractions and tours to entice your sweet tooth. Take a chocolate tour and sample some of the creamiest chocolate your taste buds have ever experienced.

Chocolate lovers shouldn’t go past Choco-Story Brussels. While eating chocolate, you can learn how the Mayas and Aztecs grew cocoa trees and about the chocolate-making process.

. Belgians and tourists adore these treats that can have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Belgium waffles are nice with coffee for breakfast but can be enjoyed any time of the day.

Fries for lunch sounds good and Belgium beer comes in more flavors than you could try during one vacation.

With an extensive history in brewing, Belgium is known for making some of the best beer in the world. You can take a beer tour, and if you like chocolate and beer, there is a company that combines the two products into one tour. It won’t be your healthiest day, but it will be delicious!

Shop Till You Drop

Shop Till You Drop in Brussels

Shopping is one of the things to do in Brussels that everyone looks forward to.

For luxury shopping or window shopping, Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is super fancy with fashion, jewelry, shoes, books, art and, of course, more chocolate all under one glamorous roof.

For cheap bargains and quirky souvenirs, head to City 2 shopping mall. At the designer boutiques in the Saint-Jacques district, you can find unique outfits that nobody else at home will be wearing. The city is dotted with unique shops and little boutiques where you can find items you might not find elsewhere. 

Photograph Brussels Atomium

Photograph Brussels Atomium in Brussels

The Atomium was created for the first post-war universal world exhibition in 1958 and became so popular it became a national treasure that has been renovated several times. Nine striking silver spheres depict an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

Go to the top for epic views of the city and look through telescopes to spy on the world below. There are exhibitions, children’s play areas and a restaurant with a menu as special as the sky-high views. There is also a bar is you prefer to have a drink in the clouds and dine closer to earth.

At the bottom of Brussels Atomium, you can see Mini-Europe. The open-air museum has realistic replicas of all your favorite destinations.

So many hours of creative work and labor went into making these impressive interpretations of Europe’s main cities and most famous towns. There are events and dining at Mini-Europe. 

See Brussels by Night

See Brussels by Night in Brussels

Like many major cities, Brussels comes alive at night. While it’s a beauty in the daytime, at night with city lights blazing, Brussels is a stunner.

Ride the trams at night to see the city lights, walk around the shopping districts and take a taxi ride past the major landmarks to see them lit up at night. Maybe try some night photography to capture the most impressive scenes after dark. 

Unwind at the Spa

Unwind at the Spa in Brussels

Since being on vacation can actually be quite tiring, so time in the spa to ease your body could be called for. Brussels has many great spas like Serendip, The Lys Spa and Deep Nature.

We love The Lys Spa because the Uber-modern decor, excellent service and unbelievable spa treatments are pretty much faultless. You can indulge in a massage or beauty treatment that will leave you in a state of pure bliss. With all that sightseeing and walking around, you might need to go more than once. 

Dine at a Fancy Restaurant

Dine at a Fancy Restaurant in Brussels

You might be left speechless after your first bite at Le Rabassier, especially if you are a truffle lover. This fine dining restaurant has lush interiors and an intimate atmosphere perfect for a romantic dinner.

The presentation of the dishes is like a work of art that is almost too good to eat. Using colors, flavors, textures and beautiful dining ware, you are treated to a culinary experience like no other.

Reservations are a must. Humus X Hortense is another treat. The Sistine chapel-style ceilings are a talking point as you enjoy quality vegetarian dishes with ingredients grown in the restaurant’s own garden and locally. The restaurant has a sustainable and zero waste philosophy that sees unused herbs and vegetables used in drinks and fermentation creations.

Chef Nicolas Decloedt is also an art photographer, so you can imagine how impeccable the presentation is. Mixologist Matthieu Chaumont makes a mean mocktail and even meaner cocktail. 

Take a Day Trip

Take a Day Trip in Brussels

A Bruges and Ghent day trip with a guided tour is a long day packed with sightseeing.

Both of these Belgian cities are absolutely beautiful, with pretty neighborhoods, stunning architecture and medieval monuments. The heart of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is often called the Venice of the North.

Your time in Bruges will include seeing the pretty Lake of Love, also known as Minnewater Lake and the 13th-century Begijnhof complex, founded in 1245 to provide accommodation for lay religious females. At Walplein Square, there are lovely cafes with a laid-back atmosphere.

Take photos of one of the tallest brickwork towers at the Church of Our Lady and look out for historical monuments like the Gruuthuse Palace and the small piazza of Tanners Square.

It’s a packed stop in Bruges that goes by in a blur and then it’s off to Ghent, the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province.

Gravensteen, a 10th-century castle with a moat, is a highlight of the Ghent stop, along with many other amazing sights. The whole trip, including travel time, takes about 10 hours. You can also make it a more leisurely time if you stay a night in Bruges if you have time. 

More Things to do in Brussels

More Things to do in Brussels in Brussels

If you are planning on doing heaps of sightseeing in Brussels, a City Card is a great investment. You can save lots of money and skip long lines to buy tickets. The affordable card gives you access to tourist attractions and museums and discounts on tours and at bars, restaurants and shops. You also can ride the public transport system (STIB) for free. You can buy a 24, 48 or 72-hour card.

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