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Brussels Itinerary – How To Spend 1 Day In Brussels

The cosmopolitan capital city of Belgium, Brussels is located in the north central area of the country. It is also known as the de facto capital of Europe.

Rich in history, architecture, culture, gastronomy and more, there is an incredible amount to see and do in Brussels. From palaces to parks and galleries to Gothic town halls, as well as over one hundred museums, there is certainly plenty to explore!

Brussels also offers a great choice of shopping destinations, from high end boutiques to quirky markets, along with countless restaurants, cafes and bars and a vibrant night life.

Also famous for waffles, fries and chocolate, of course, I couldn’t wait to visit the capital of Belgium. Here’s our one day in Brussels itinerary.

How To Get Around Brussels

Getting around Brussels couldn’t be easier. There are generally 3 options:

Public Transport

The most convenient way to explore Brussels, is with a little help from public transport.

You can buy a Brussels Card with STIB Public Transportation, which allows unlimited use of all STIB buses, trams or metro lines for 24, 48 or 72 hours in the Brussels Region.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Standard buses are available around Brussels with the Public Transportation Card.

However, there is also of course the famous Brussels Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Bus.

This bus lets you jump on and off throughout the city, and explore monuments such as the European Parliament, the Museum of Fine Arts and the world famous Atomium.

This option is always popular among tourists and is a great way to see many famous landmarks around Brussels at ease.

The Brussels Card also gives free access to 41 museums in Brussels, plus discounts on the most popular attractions, so it’s certainly worth the investment. (We can certainly recommend the MIMA Museum.)


Some of the best days out we’ve had in Brussels have been on private tours.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

From food tours to river cruises and chocolate workshops, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Belgian capital!

Best Time To Visit Brussels

Brussels is a year round destination with plenty to do and see.

However, if you prefer the warmer weather, then June, July and August are the hottest months although also the busiest.

Spring time, especially the month of May, is recommended for moderately warm weather and fewer visitors, if you want to avoid the crowds.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack

Photography Camera


Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle


Lightweight Rain Jacket

Galeries Royales St Hubert Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
Charlie exploring the sights around Brussels in a day

Brussels Itinerary Day 1

Grand Place

The first stop on your one day in Brussels itinerary has to be the Grand Place!

It’s the most visited spot in the city of one of the top things to do in Brussels.

From the Town Hall to Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, the Grand Place is the hub of Brussels and home to some of the most magnificent buildings in the country.

This central square of the city is the natural starting point for most tourists, as it’s an easy place to visit some of the most memorable landmarks in Brussels.

It is also considered as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.

If you’re looking to cram in as much as possible with a helpful guide you may want to check out the Brussels Express Tour with Belgian Lunch, Chocolate, & Beer.

This is a quick and easy way of enjoying traditional chocolates, beer, mussels, frites, waffles, and more. All whilst seeing the historic monuments surrounding Grand Place.

Grand Place Brussels Town Hall Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
The Grand Place is a must visit when planning a one day in Brussels itinerary

Manneken Pis

Just down the lane from the Grand Place stands the most famous little dude in Brussels.

Translated from Flemish to ‘peeing boy’, Manneken Pis is a small bronze sculpture of a naked boy urinating into a fountain.

There are many tales to be told about Manneken Pis. Although the majority refer to that fact that he helped save the city of Brussels during war times by peeing on gunpowder fuses or even peeing on the enemies themselves.

Either way, he can now be seen on memorabilia all over the city and has to be included in your one day in Brussels itinerary!

Manneken Pis Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
A quick stop at the famous Manneken Pis

Eat Local

Along the way on your one day in Brussels itinerary you’re going to need feeding!

Well Belgium, and Brussels in particular, is known for its fabulous naughty food. From waffles, to chocolate and fries we tried it all!

A few of our favourite spots we have to mention are:

Maison Dandoy

For the most incredible waffles we have ever tasted!

Pistolet Original

For an easy snack in the form of some traditional Belgian buns.

Frit Flagey

For arguable the best fries in the city!

There also some highly rated tours such as the Brussels Chocolate Tasting Tour, or the 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience.

Your 1day in Brussels itinerary could easily be turned into a ‘1 month in Brussels itinerary’ with all its delicious food selections. As for the Belgian chocolate – we’ll move onto that soon.

Pistolet Original Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
Traditional buns at Pistolet
Maison Dandoy Brussels Waffles Belgium Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
The waffles of all waffles at Maison Dandoy
Frit Flagey Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
A cone of Belgian fries at Frit Flagey

Mont Des Arts

For the afternoon, the Mont Des Arts is an easy way to kill some free time or alternatively, an awesome spot for sunset!

We headed across from the city centre to take a look at the viewpoint from the hill.

On the way to our chocolate workshop we walked through the popular garden that overlooks some of those famous Brussels landmarks.

There were dog walkers, as well as buskers, and it just had a really pleasant vibe to it!

Mont Des Arts should definitely be included as a quick stop when planning a one day in Brussels itinerary.

Mont Des Arts Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
Mon Des Arts is a must see

Chocolate Workshop

Located literally next door to the Mont Des Arts we found one of the highlights of our trip. The all important chocolate stop!

We were lucky enough to take part in a chocolate making workshop with the well known Laurent Gerbaud Chocolatier.

With plenty of chocolate tours and workshops available in the city here are a few of the most popular:

2.5-Hour Belgian Chocolate Making Workshop

Brussels Chocolate Tasting Tour

Brussels: Chocolate Workshop and Guided Walking Tour

It was an ideal way to kick that chocolate craving to the curb, and enjoy some of the highest quality chocolate in Belgium.

Not only was Laurent a fantastic host, but he was one hell of a character. Both the chocolate making experience, and of course the tasting, are something you’ll never forget if chocolate is your kind of thing.

laurent gerbaud Chocolate Workshop Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
Similar names and similar humour – Lauren & Laurent

The Atomium

How could we not include the most famous atom in the world, The Atomium.

You will need a Brussels Atomium Admission Ticket to visit the Atomium. They are cheap enough at £14 per adult, and are easy enough to be book in advance.

From the centre of town we jumped in a taxi to make sure we had plenty of time at the Atomium.

Possibly the most recognised landmark in Brussels, this silver coloured collection of spheres represents a single unit of iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

Originally built in 1958 as part of Brussels World’s Fair (Expo 58), we took a tour of the inside as it celebrated its 60th birthday and it’s definitely a bucket list item if heading to the capital.

Atomium Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
The Atomium – The most famous of landmarks in Brussels

Tram Experience

To wrap up our evening we headed back to the city for a very different kind of experience!

Besides the naughty snacks of Brussels, there are also plenty of high quality restaurants to choose from. So we decided to switch it up by taking dinner on a tram!

One of the most entertaining evenings we had during our Europe trip, was riding through Brussels on the Tram Experience. Enjoying a seasonal menu designed by some of the city’s top chefs along the way.

It was a night to remember as we took a two hour journey through the lit-up capital all whilst tucking into a five course meal accompanied by wine and champagne.

It’s definitely something we’d recommend for a special occasion, or something for food fanatics to add to your one day in Brussels itinerary.

Tram Experience Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
Ready for a fine dining experience.
Tram Experience Brussels in a day One Day In Brussels Itinerary
The Tram Experience was definitely a hit.

Where To Stay In Brussels


Hotel Metropole

This Art Deco hotel dating from 1895 is situated in the historical centre of Brussels, a 10-minute walk from Grand-Place and Brussels Central Station.

The marble staircases in the lobby lead up to the rooms, which include a TV with internet access.

The Hotel Metropole also offers 24-hour room service.

The breakfast room has the same layout and design as the Akshardham Temple in Delhi, India.

There is also Cafe Metropole where you can enjoy a premium brasserie-style cuisine in Brussels typical tradition. Guests at Hotel Metropole benefit from 6 free minibar drinks.


Vintage Hotel

Offering free WiFi throughout the property, this hotel has rooms with 70s-style décor and flat-screen cable TV.

It includes a stylish boutique wine bar and a spacious courtyard terrace. Vintage Hotel Brussels is also only 50 yards from the fashionable Avenue Louise shopping area.

Each of the rooms at Vintage Hotel Brussels includes work desk, a modern bathroom and an iHome docking station with music player, radio and alarm functions.

Guests can make use of the free WiFi. A buffet breakfast featuring fresh fruit, coffee and pastries is available daily.


Train Cabin Hostel

Located on a roof, Train cabin Hostel offers an unique concept in Brussels.

The accommodation is in an actual train sleeper cabin, used on the Belgian Railways.

The Cabin has an exterior shared bathroom fitted with a shower.

The unit comes without bedding, therefore guests bring their own sleeping bag.

For more places to stay in Brussels, you can check the latest prices on

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

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The Perfect One Day In Brussels Itinerary