Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Brussels (Belgium)
The capital of Belgium – Brussels is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe with breathtaking architectural work and stunning history visible in every alleyway.
Significantly known for the multi-layered climate, attractions of Brussels will leave you awestruck with their mesmerizing beauty. The capital and economic hub of European Union makes it a business and bureaucracy focused city as well.
The Brussels Tourism not only points to the usual attractions but also highlights many fascinating European staples such as architecture and artwork. And if you are on a diet, try reconsidering your visit because the savory spices, mussels, fries, and beer will indulge you soon enough.
The popular tourist’s sites in Brussels can be seen within a time of two weeks, so you don’t need to rush here. The fancy cafes and restaurants culture make Brussels points of interest even more attractive.
Let’s have a look at the best attractions of Brussels:
Table of Contents
- 1 Attractions and top things to do in Brussels, Belgium
- 2 Practical information and Brussels travel tips
- 3 Where to stay in Brussels?
- 4 Short on time? Go sightseeing in Brussels on a tour!
- 5 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Attractions and top things to do in Brussels, Belgium
The Grand Place
The Grand Place sits right in the heart of the Old Town of Brussels. Answering your thoughts on what to do in Brussels, this place will truly inspire you in every way. It is one of the principal tourist attractions in Brussels. The City Hall from the 15th century lies precisely in the center of the Grand Place. The six Guild Halls, confining the Grand Place, frame this top sight of Brussels in a perfect way leaving the visitors awe-inspired. The best time to visit this Brussels must-see highlight is at night because the architectural structures blended with mesmerizing lights seem a blessing in the dark. There’s also a flower market hosted certain days so you might even get lucky seeing the beautiful flowers from the countryside.
Old England Building
The pivot of the Brussels city guide – Old England Building, was initially a departmental store that was built in the very last year of the 19th century to its current form. This building is one of the most famous in Brussels tourist attractions not only because of the striking facade, but the music museum inside it is unique of its kind. More than 2000 musical instruments are present in this historical building making it favorite among the music lovers. The cafe on the roof is quite a great spot to relax with phenomenal views of the city as well.
Notre Dame Du Sablon
If you are wondering about the things to do in Brussels, try visiting the Notre Dame Du Sablon to have an astonishing sight of a world-famous building. This outstanding Gothic Cathedral dates back to the start of 14th century when the Archer’s guild used it as a Chapel. Considered as one of the best attractions of Brussels, this building was expanded in the next century because of its ever-increasing popularity mostly regarded to the healing powers of Madonna Statue located within it. A husband and wife later stole the statue, and its location is unknown to this day.
Museum of Fashion and Lace
If you ask yourself what to see in Brussels, visit the top attraction of Brussels – Museum of fashion and lace. It brings to light the exotic fashion history of Belgium with some significant showpieces. The annual thematic exhibitions are promoted activities in Brussels for both locals and tourists. Various workshops and guided tours are proposed for children and different travel groups. A space dedicated to lace highlights the history of lace outfits and displays the remarkable world-famous pieces. The Textile Box inside it meant for the artists’ exhibition make the Museum of Fashion and Lace a must visit in Brussels.
The things to see in Brussels are hardly seen ending and with Le Botanique as one of the leading tourist attractions in Brussels, your admiration for the city will increase even more. The historic botanic gardens of the city fascinate a large number of tourists every year. The greenhouse that dates back to the 19th century once played the role of a general climate controlled environment but now highlights the cultural sense of the city by hosting a range of performing arts and concerts. The surrounding gardens are still intact and harbor a peaceful change for the tourists making Le Botanique a fascinating tourist attraction of Brussels.
The official residence of the Royal family, Palais Royal stands as the top attraction of Brussels. The Royal family now spend their lives at Laeken. Therefore, this Palace is open to tourists in summer months and makes a noteworthy extension to the things to do in Brussels’ list. The strange but incredible mosaic lies in one of the rooms of this Palace with its ceiling covered with the wings of Beetles. Your trip to Brussels is never complete without seeing the interior decoration and art pieces here.
Manneken Pis answers your question of the things to see in Brussels and will surely leave you laughing. This odd statue has gained a lot of popularity in the recent times and is the triumph of Brussels tourism and one of the Brussels attractions. It is translated as the Little Man Pee as apparent, and you can take the right lane away from the Town Hall with the help of Brussels city guide to reach this favorite tourist place. This statue is said to be designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and dates back to the 17th century.
Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts
Still wondering what to do in Brussels? Think no more because Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts is just the place for you. More of a paradise for art lovers, you can’t stop praising the majestic top-notch art pieces here. This museum exhibits a range of antiquities and modern art collections prescribing various sections for unique art styles. The most famous painting here is the Fall of Icarus. The artwork by Peter Rubens, Hans Memling, and Anthony Van Dyke make it a Brussels top attraction.
Parc Du Cinquantenaire
Formed in the reign of Leopold II, Parc Du Cinquantenaire is one of best destinations of Brussels. This phenomenal place presents many reasons to be visited. Whether you are looking for a calm and relaxing picnic with your family or plan to explore the museums – this can be an ideal attraction for you. A saunter in the gardens here while marveling at the stunning architectural work is a worth-doing activity of Brussels. It’s a Brussels must-see spot.
Translated to The Bread House, this Flemish building is situated in a square where bread market was held for centuries. This Brussels tourist attraction is now home to many antiquities and art collections focusing on its history. The exhibitions are hosted on differed floors and range art pieces from the middles ages up till now. An interesting Brussels activity can be to find the costumes of Manneken Pis here.
The phenomenal model of atoms whooping at the height of 100 meters – Atomium is the masterpiece of Brussels sightseeing. The majestic model was created in 1958 as a harbinger of the atomic age in Belgium.
Coudenberg Palace Archaeological Site
One of the most delicate things to see in Brussels is to explore this ancient archaeological site. This palace was rediscovered and then excavated in the 1980s to reveal the tunnels and cellars. The ancient streets that were long gone and buried under the city’s new highways have also been redesigned. An audio tour can guide the visitors to explore this Brussels top tourist attraction from the medieval times. Like many other Belgian cities, Brussels may not have those many favorite sites, but it still fascinates the visitors with it’s few but renowned museums and art galleries. The incredible view of the Atomium and the exploration of the ruins in the Old Town Quarter keeps the visitors occupied for a couple of weeks. When you are done with the attractions of Brussels, do try the extravagant and world-famous chocolates here.
Practical information and Brussels travel tips
Why should you visit Brussels?
Brussels is all about art and stunning architecture, you’ll find many historical landmarks, museums, murals to visit and explore during your trip. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. This city can be the top favorite destination for art lovers to explore many artworks. You can go for a walking tour to visit all historical sightseeing around. Many cafes and restaurants are there to try the local delicacies which are very delicious. You’ll just love to eat Belgian fries with a beer.
When is the best time to visit Brussels?
- Summer (May to August)
- Summer is the rainiest season in Brussels so the best time to visit in May, the beginning of Summer. During this time the temperature is not that high and colder in the evening. You can expect the clear blue sky
- June is the wettest month in Brussels
- You can witness several festivals, local events happening during this time in Brussels
- During the hottest month of July, the average temperature in Brussels is 18°C
- Autumn (September to November)
- October is also suitable to visit Brussels
- The weather is starting to get colder at nights
- Towards the end of autumn and the beginning of winter starts to be a bit rainier
- Winter (December to February)
- Winter in Brussels isn’t so good, quite chilly and rainy. The temperature rarely goes down below 0°C
- There are lesser crowds as this is the low season for this city
- You can explore the Christmas market
- Spring (March to April)
- Overall Spring is the best time to visit Brussels as the weather starts to be warmer
- Trees are starting to bloom and there’s more sunshine
- You can enjoy walking and cycling around the city
Do you need a visa for Brussels?
Belgium is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days. You can check our complete guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry.
Where to book your flights to Brussels?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need an insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need a travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Where to stay in Brussels?
Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo
Hotel Amigo is a 5-star luxury hotel in Brussels. All rooms and suites are elegantly decorated and occupied with all standard facilities. Grand Place square and Brussels Central Station are very near to the hotel. Within a walking distance of the hotel, you’ll find smart boutiques and cafes to explore.
Hotel des Galeries
Hotel des Galeries is a 3-star boutique hotel. All rooms and suites are elegantly decorated and come with all comfort. You’ll love the minimalist interior design of the entire hotel. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and Royal Palace of Brussels are within a walking distance of the hotel.
Maison Flagey Brussels
Maison Flagey is a bed and breakfast hotel and located in a convenient area of Brussels. Within a walking distance of the hotel, you’ll find restaurants and bars, and many historical places to explore. All rooms come with terraces, you’ll get a homely and peaceful atmosphere at the entire hotel.
Short on time? Go sightseeing in Brussels on a tour!
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