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Things to do in Brussels

Things to do in  Brussels

Welcome to Brussels

Brussels, the official capital of Belgium and unofficial capital of Europe, stands out as the meeting point of Germanic and Romance cultures, boasting cross-cultural and modern charm. The duel official languages of French and Dutch give every street and place two names, and English is also widely spoken, thanks to the European Parliament and other organizations stationed here that make it an international political center. The ornate guildhalls lining the classic Grand Place stand as city centerpiece and showcase, but the Atomium also warrants a visit, a bizarre building of steel spheres created for the 1958 World's Fair that now functions as a museum featuring a prize view over the city. With Belgium seemingly locked in a confectionery competition with the Swiss, a Brussels chocolate tour delivers insight into how the industry grew here and, of course, involves plenty of samples. Visitors can continue tasting their way through town well into the evening with a beer tour, where the rich monastic heritage of Belgian beer bubbles up from the glass. Beyond the capital, Ghent and Bruges make for easy day trips, both charming towns packed with medieval architecture within just over an hour’s drive. The city's central location also makes it easy to go further out for trips to the Flemish countryside and historic battlefields, or into neighboring Luxembourg or Amsterdam (each just over two hours away).

Top 10 attractions in Brussels

#1
Grand-Place (Grote Markt)

Grand-Place (Grote Markt)

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Arguably Europe’s most beautiful square, Brussels’ Grand Place—in the heart of the historic and hip city—is surrounded by nearly 40 baroque and gothic guildhalls and the stunning Brussels Town Hall. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the large cobblestone square, also known as Grote Markt, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belgium.More
#2
Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert (Les Galeries St-Hubert)

Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert (Les Galeries St-Hubert)

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Inaugurated in 1847, the Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert in Brussels form one of Europe’s most beautiful and oldest glass-roofed shopping arcades. Composed of three elegant, Florentine-inspired arcades, the galleries are lined with upscale shops and restaurants and draw around 6 million visitors each year.More
#3
Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

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The Manneken Pis—sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy’s small bronze statue of a little boy urinating into a Brussels fountain—is one of Belgium’s most beloved landmarks. Built in 1619, the boy is hailed as the capital’s oldest resident and remains a favorite of both locals and tourists, with a host of myths and legends to his name.More
#4
Atomium

Atomium

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One of Brussels’ most iconic structures, the futuristic Atomium is a gargantuan structure designed to resemble an iron molecule magnified 165 billion times. It was created in 1958 for the Expo 58, and though it was originally slated for demolition, it was so popular with locals that it became a permanent feature of the city’s skyline.More
#5
Grand Sablon Square (Place du Grand Sablon)

Grand Sablon Square (Place du Grand Sablon)

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Located just a 10-minute walk from Brussel’s bustling Grand Place, Grand Sablon Square (Place du Grand Sablon) is a historic square at the heart of the Sablon quarter. It feels a world away from the busy city center, with striking medieval townhouses, stylish restaurants, terrace cafés, and a lively antiques market.More
#6
Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles)

Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles)

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Dating back to the 18th century and fronted by the idyllic Parc de Bruxelles (Brussels Park), the Royal Palace of Brussels (or Palais Royal Bruxelles) might no longer be the official residence of Belgium’s royal family, but it remains one of the capital’s most magnificent landmarks and the site of various royal and state events.More
#7
Autoworld

Autoworld

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Autoworld houses over 250 incredible vehicles of various origins and covers the history of the automobile while demonstrating the evolution and development of cars over more than a century. The displays include automobiles that are basically horse drawn carriages from the time when the horse was replaced with a steering wheel and an engine. There are exclusive sports cars from the 1960s and a Bugatti from 1928. The museum even has motorcycles and exhibits about the development of the garage. A separate room houses horse carriages, including one used by Napoleon the Third's wedding in 1853.The cars on display here are all of European or US origin. They are arranged in chronological order so visitors can start from the origins of the automobile and work their way through the different developments throughout history. There is also an evolutionary time line of cars from the late 1800s to the 2000s including a blank spot for the future. The time line highlights the most popular makes and models in Europe during each decade. The gift shop sells postcards, key chains, and miniature model cars for every make you can imagine.More
#8
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral

St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral

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Named for the patron saints of Brussels, the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral is a cocathedral of the local Catholic archdiocese and one of the most beautiful churches in the city. It stands upon the ruins of an 11th-century Romanesque chapel, the remains of which can be viewed for a nominal fee.More
#9
European Parliament

European Parliament

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Brussels is the administrative heart of the European Union and the Espace Léopold buildings are where parliament meets throughout the year to debate and discuss the future of Europe. The main building of the European Parliament complex is the Paul-Henri Spaak building, an impressive glass structure with a distinctive arched roof, it’s been nicknamed "Caprice des Dieux" (whim of the gods) after a similarly shaped French cheese.The hemicycle is where parliament debates; it seats the 736 Members of the parliament, numerous translators and a gallery for the general public. The semicircular shape is designed to encourage consensus among the political parties.There are a number of interesting works of art on public view including May Claerhout’s sculptureEuropa,which has become a favorite among tourists.More
#10
Horta Museum

Horta Museum

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Set in the private home and studio of the late Victor Horta—a pioneer of the art nouveau movement—Brussels’ Horta Museum (Musée Horta) is a fascinating window into the early-20th-century architect’s work. Marvel at the two buildings’ interiors, facades, and furniture exemplifying Horta’s love of fluid curves and organic forms.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Brussels

How to Spend 3 Days in Brussels

Adventures of Tintin in Brussels

Adventures of Tintin in Brussels

Bruges Tours from Brussels

Bruges Tours from Brussels

Top activities in Brussels

Brussels Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Brussels Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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From
US$33,03
Train World Entrance Ticket

Train World Entrance Ticket

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From
US$18,42

Recent reviews from experiences in Brussels

star-5
Amazing
denisegonzalez1989, Feb 2020
Hungry Mary's Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour - Brussels
He gave us great tips for places to visit while we stay in Brussels!
star-5
Best Tour I’ve Been On
connbone, Feb 2020
Hungry Mary's Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour - Brussels
Would recommend for anyone coming to visit.
star-4
Complete visit to Brussels
esantos1957, Nov 2019
Brussels Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
But, at least in the Autum schedule, the time for a one-day tour is not enough to visit in deep al least 3 relevant places of the city
star-4
Antwerp Tour by Bussels City Tours
GregWB1955, Oct 2019
Antwerp Half-Day Trip from Brussels
Great tour - the right length of time and ample opportunities to see many of the exciting features of Antwerp.
star-5
Great Tour
Laura O, Jul 2019
Brussels Small-Group Chocolate Tasting Tour
The tour was a great way to see Brussels while experiencing some chocolate tastings and learning about the history of the famous chocolate makers of Belgium.
star-5
Wonderful Experience, Do It!
Odyssey45200377510, Jul 2019
Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop
We received not only a chocolate tour, but also an education on the city of Brussels (we were also lucky to see the start of this years Tour de France!
star-5
Wonderful time for all
Nomad62693386594, Jul 2019
Brussels Chocolate Workshop
Anastasia waa really good with all of the different English speaking dialects.
star-5
Such a great time!
Road06680727284, Jun 2019
Private Tour Guide Brussels with a Local: Kickstart your Trip, Personalized
We got to see the Grand Place, the royal palace, Notre Dame, and so much more!
star-4
Get ready to walk in Antwerp
Scenic30359905875, Jun 2019
Brussels Super Saver: Brussels Sightseeing Tour and Antwerp Half-Day Trip
My only suggestion is that if you want to see the diamond factory do not tour on a Saturday.
star-5
Great way to see Brussels
Voyage67918065931, May 2019
Brussels Private Tours with Locals: 100% Personalized, See the City Unscripted
He showed us all the sights and places that one needs to see in Brussels.
star-5
Great Express tour from Brussels...
Omio C, May 2018
Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels
You get to see two beautiful cities in a day.
star-4
A great way to see Brussels...
Kieren S, Sep 2017
Small-Group Highlights of Brussels Bike Tour
A great way to see Brussels, although be warned that it is not at a leisurely pace!
star-4
Excellent tour! Our guide was very...
ceoverstreet4, Mar 2018
Winter Wonderland: Christmas In Brussels
Brussels was spectacular this time of year and this was the perfect way to see it!
star-4
A good tour to learn about Brussels...
Yogesh J, Jun 2017
The Grand Brussels Experience Coach Tour
This is a good way to see Brussels in a short time.
star-5
Loved this day trip to Amsterdam...
MrsSammy, Nov 2017
Amsterdam Day Trip from Brussels
Great to visit a local cheese factory.
star-4
As far as I'm concerned, you can't...
Marie D, Oct 2017
Brussels Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
With only a few days in Brussels, we were able to see most of the city and enjoyed at several of the stops, specifically the Atomium and nearby Mini-Europe.
star-4
An absolute must, me and my son had...
Abeer E, Jan 2018
The Grand Brussels Experience Coach Tour
If you don't have time to visit everything on your own take this one really worth it!
star-5
Super funny and knowledgeable guide...
expert128sg, Oct 2017
Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop
He also take his time to explain the various attractions around in Brussels and included his own recommended places for food.
star-4
A good short tour to visit the City...
Amostin161, Jul 2016
Luxembourg and Dinant Full-Day Tour from Brussels
A good short tour to visit the City of Luxembourg from Brussels with minimal hassles.
star-4
The tour was great! We were staying...
Emma J, Jul 2016
Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels
We were staying in Brussels for 2 nights so this was a fantastic way to see more of Belgium in a short space of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

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