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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
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
#3
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
#4
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 Brussels Royal Palace (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
#5
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
#6
Brussels Beer Project

Brussels Beer Project

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Founded in 2013 to showcase Belgium’s contemporary beer scene, today the Brussels Beer Project (BBP) has taprooms in both Brussels and Paris. In the Brussels location, you'll find 17 taps with a number of BBP classic brews, along with a few new beers and a handful of offerings from outside breweries.More
#7
Brussels City Museum (Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles)

Brussels City Museum (Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles)

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Behind the facade of a dark, grey Neogothic structure lays a collection of artifacts that tell the story of the city of Brussels. This intricate building is known as the Maison du Roi ("King's House”) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The structure is also known as Broodhuis (bread market), a nod to its use as such in the 13th century.From its early development to medieval era to present day, learn about the city’s history through its tapestries, paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Altarpieces, porcelain and silverware round out the collection of historical objects on display. Exhibits cover everything from urban development to the social, political, and cultural life of the capital. Envision the past with 3D models to scale of the city in different time periods. Of particular note is the costume collection of the statue of Manneken-Pis, an emblem of Brussels said to have nearly 800 wardrobe choices.More
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Brussels

How to Spend 3 Days in Brussels

Bruges Tours from Brussels

Bruges Tours from Brussels

Top activities in Brussels

Day Trip to Bruges from Brussels

Day Trip to Bruges from Brussels

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From
US$55,15
Brussels Chocolate Workshop

Brussels Chocolate Workshop

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From
US$43,66
Brussels Waffle Workshop

Brussels Waffle Workshop

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From
US$28,29

Recent reviews from experiences in Brussels

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Day out with a new friend
LeslieM_K, Nov 2021
Brussels Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
I wanted to see Mini Europe and we went - he for the first time!.
star-4
Good walk with historical explanation
Dieter_V, Oct 2021
Brussels Private Walking Tour With A Professional Guide
We were not able to see everything we wanted
star-5
Lovely day, very well cared for.
James_B, Aug 2021
Private tour : Treasures of Flanders Ghent and Bruges from Brussels Full day
A great day to get to see the highlights of both of these historically relevant and preserved Flemish cities.
star-5
Excellent use of a day in Brussels
Catherine_D, Nov 2021
Brussels Chocolate Beer Waffle and Belgian Whiskey All-in-One Tour
He showed us around Brussels so I felt like I got to see the main attractions of the city, ate so much delicious chocolate and tried a bunch of super cool beers.
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A Truly Unique & Fun Tour
Robert_T, Oct 2021
Brussels Chocolate Beer Waffle and Belgian Whiskey All-in-One Tour
When we first arrived, we were overwhelmed by the amount of bars, chocolatiers, restaurants etc, but Avo showed us the best places to visit and always had advice when we were looking for certain meals etc.
star-5
So much fun. Felt like royalty!
David_W, Jul 2021
Historical Tour
So worth the time to see all the things in Brussels and very intimate with your friends.
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!
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Best Tour I’ve Been On
Connor_B, Feb 2020
Hungry Mary's Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour - Brussels
Would recommend for anyone coming to visit.
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Antwerp Tour by Bussels City Tours
Gregory_B, Oct 2019
Antwerp: Diamonds galore, elegance, arts and stunning architecture
Great tour - the right length of time and ample opportunities to see many of the exciting features of Antwerp.
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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.
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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!
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Wonderful time for all
Nomad62693386594, Jul 2019
Brussels Chocolate Workshop
Anastasia waa really good with all of the different English speaking dialects.
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Such a great time!
Zainab_M, Jun 2019
Brussels Private Custom Tour with a Local Guide, Kickstart your Trip ★★★★★
We got to see the Grand Place, the royal palace, Notre Dame, and so much more!
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Get ready to walk in Antwerp
Lesli_E, 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 by Locals: See the City Unscripted ★★★★★
He showed us all the sights and places that one needs to see in Brussels.
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Authentic, exciting, tasty
Alison_B, Sep 2021
Brussels Chocolate Beer Waffle and Belgian Whiskey All-in-One Tour
It was also nice to see smaller ‘districts’ or neighborhoods along the tour.
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Great Express tour from Brussels...
Omio C, May 2018
Bruges and Ghent - Belgium's Fairytale Cities - from Brussels
You get to see two beautiful cities in a day.
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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!
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An absolute must, me and my son had...
Abeer E, Jan 2018
Brussels, the most comprehensive city tour
If you don't have time to visit everything on your own take this one really worth it!
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A good tour to learn about Brussels...
Yogesh J, Jun 2017
Brussels, the most comprehensive city tour
This is a good way to see Brussels in a short time.
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