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11 Best Things To Do 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.

Famous, of course, for its waffles, fries and chocolate, we couldn’t wait to cover Brussels in a weekend.

So here are our top 11 things to do in Brussels.

1. Grand Place

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 with 2 days in Brussels, as it’s an easy place to visit some of the most memorable landmarks in the capital.

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 is also considered as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, so is a definite must see on your Brussels in a weekend tour.

Grand Place Brussels Town Hall Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
The Grand Place is a must visit when doing Brussels in a weekend

2. Manneken Pis

Just down the lane from 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 is recognised as one of Brussels’ most popular landmarks!

Make sure chuck him into your Brussels itinerary!

Manneken Pis Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
A quick stop at the famous Manneken Pis

3. Eat Local

Along the way whilst looking for things to do in Brussels 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.

‘Brussels in a weekend’ could easily be turned into ‘Brussels in a month’ with all it’s delicious food selections. As for the Belgian chocolate – we’ll move onto that soon.

Pistolet Original Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
Traditional buns at Pistolet
Maison Dandoy Brussels Waffles Belgium Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
The waffles of all waffles at Maison Dandoy
Frit Flagey Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
A cone of Belgian fries at Frit Flagey

4. Mont Des Arts

The Mont Des Arts is an easy way to kill some free time on your 2 days in Brussels or alternatively, an awesome spot for sunset!

We headed down on our final evening, to take a look at the viewpoint from the garden on the hill. A 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 when planning Brussels in a weekend.

Mont Des Arts Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
Mon Des Arts is a must see on your Brussels in a weekend trip

5. 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 on your 2 days in Brussels itinerary, 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.

Also, if it is your kind of thing, and you get the chance to visit Bruges, just an hour and a half drive from Brussels, you would definitely love the Choc Story Chocolate Museum. This was up there as one of the best things to do in Bruges for us.

Laurent Gerbaud Chocolate Workshop Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
Similar names and similar humour – Lauren & Laurent making chocolate on our 2 days in Brussels itinerary.

6. Marolles Flea Market

The only market in the world to open 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

If you fancy something a little different, yet still a typical Brussels in a weekend experience, then why not head to Marolles Flea Market early one morning.

Unfortunately, we visited when it was raining – though there were still plenty of locals lined out showcasing their antiques and selling off old goods at cheap prices.

The market is open daily 6am – 2pm.

Marolles Flea Market Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
Local flea markets are Lauren’s kind of thing

7. Tram 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 on one of our 2 days in Brussels, by taking a fine dining experience 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 Brussels in a weekend itinerary.

Tram Experience Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
Ready for a fine dining experience…
Tram Experience Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
The Tram Experience was definitely a hit

8. Cinquantenaire

The Parc du Cinquantenaire is a huge 19th century city park. Consisting of floral gardens, fountains and a military museum, it’s a must visit when covering Brussels in a weekend.

An easy walk from either Schuman or Merode station, the park is a beautiful place for history lovers or photographers alike.

Built to commemorate fifty years of Belgian independence, the name means ‘Park of the fiftieth anniversary’ and is located close to the European Quarter.

Parc du Cinquantenaire Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
Striking a pose at Cinquantenaire

9. The Atomium

How could we not include the most famous atom in the world on our 2 days in Brussels itinerary!

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

10. Botanical Garden

The perfect place for a spot of lunch!

We grabbed a sandwich and headed over to the Botanical Garden to soak up the last bits of Autumn sunshine, and relax in the urban style flower park.

If you’re looking to escape the city for a little while then this is a beautiful spot.

Influenced by many European countries, it makes for a great break within the business district.

Botanical Garden Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
We recommend the Botanical Garden for a lunch pit stop

11. MIMA Museum

When we were told about a former brewery that’s been turned into an exhibition of contemporary art, we had to visit!

The MIMA Museum, or the ‘Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art’, presents the most significant art of its time, and explores a history of culture. Celebrating some of the largest movements of the past 100 years.

Through historic posters and modern artwork, the MIMA is an interesting visit that we’d definitely recommend adding to your Brussels in a weekend itinerary.

MIMA Museum Brussels Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend
If you have spare time on your Brussels in a weekend trip the MIMA deserves a place on the itinerary

Where To Stay In Brussels

Luxury

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.

Mid-Budget

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.

Budget

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 Booking.com.

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 Booking.com 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 RentalCars.com 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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11 Best Things To Do In Brussels In A Weekend