19 Best Things to do in Brussels, Belgium

best things to do in brussels

Visiting Brussels is an amazing experience. The city is full of history and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do. The food is also excellent, and you can find everything from delicious Belgian chocolate to fresh seafood.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s museums or simply taking a stroll through its beautiful parks, Brussels is sure to have something for everyone. And don’t forget to try the local beer – it’s some of the best in the world!

Also, another thing that’s great about a trip to Brussels is that it fits great into any vacation around Europe – conveniently only about an hour-long flight away from other major European cities like London, Amsterdam, and Paris. With so much to consider, here’s our list of the 19 best things to do in Brussels!

grand palace
Grand Palace, Brussels” by airfund is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

1) Visit the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace in Brussels is one of the most impressive structures in all of Europe. Originally built in the 13th century, it has been expanded and renovated many times over the centuries.

Today, it is the official residence of the Belgian royal family and a popular tourist destination. The Palace complex covers nearly 10 acres and includes several dozen buildings, gardens, and courtyards. Visitors can explore the lavish State Rooms, which are filled with art and antiques, or take a walk through the manicured gardens. No matter what time of year you visit, the Grand Palace is sure to impress.

mont des arts
IMG_1019_RAW – Mont des Arts / Kunstberg / Hill of Arts” by AlexDROP is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

2) Stroll Through The Mont des Arts

The Mont des Arts is a promenade and garden complex located in the center of Brussels, Belgium. The complex consists of several gardens, including the Parc de Bruxelles, the Jardin du Petit Sablon, and the Parc Royal.

The promenade offers sweeping views of the cityscape, and the gardens are home to a variety of plant life, from tulips to rose bushes. The complex is also home to a number of museums and art galleries, as well as the Royal Library of Belgium. In addition, the Mont des Arts is a popular venue for outdoor concerts and events. The promenade and gardens are open to the public year-round, making the complex an essential part of Brussels’ vibrant cultural scene.

St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral I” by Afonso Gonçalves is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

3) Check out the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral

The St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels is a magnificent Gothic cathedral that dates back to the 13th century. The exterior of the cathedral is beautifully adorned with intricate carvings and stained glass windows, while the interior is equally as stunning with its soaring column-lined nave and ornate altar.

Visitors to the cathedral can also explore the crypt, which houses the remains of several notable Belgian nobles. Despite its medieval origins, the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral is still an active place of worship, and its bells can be heard ringing out across the city each day. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to appreciate some exquisite architecture, a visit to the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral is sure to be a memorable experience.

Musee des Beaux-Arts d'Ixelles
File:Nancy Musee des Beaux-Arts BW 2015-07-18 13-55-20.jpg” by Berthold Werner is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

4) Check out Musee des Beaux-Arts d’Ixelles

Found in the historic district of Ixelles, the Musee des Beaux-Arts d’Ixelles is a must-see for anyone visiting Brussels. The museum boasts an impressive collection of Belgian and international art, ranging from the Renaissance period to the present day.

Highlights include works by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Ensor, as well as a selection of twentieth-century paintings. In addition to its artworks, the museum also offers a cafe and a shop selling books and gifts. With its convenient location and wide range of exhibitions, the Musee des Beaux-Arts d’Ixelles is the perfect place to spend an afternoon in Brussels.

brewery in brussels
at the cantillon brewery in brussels – 14” by noneck is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

5) Sign up for a Beer Crawl around Brussels

If you’re a fan of beer, then a beer crawl in Brussels is a must-do. This Belgian city is home to some of the best breweries in the world, and there are plenty of bars and pubs to choose from.

Whether you want to try a classic Belgian ale or something more experimental, you’ll be sure to find something to your taste. And if you need a break from all the beer-drinking, Brussels has plenty of amazing food. So next time you’re planning a trip to Belgium, make sure to add a beer crawl to your itinerary, as it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Brussels!

6) Experience Happy Day Art and Live

Happy day art and live is a unique art exhibit in the middle of Brussels. Each month an artist comes to fill the space with their own style of art. Each artist’s unique style can shine through the location in any way that they wish it to. While this gallery is not going to take up a whole day’s worth of time, there is always something interesting to see at the Happy Day Art and Live.

park malou
The Château Malou in Park Malou, Brussels” by Anna & Michal is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

7) Spend an Afternoon in Park Malou

Park Malou is a large public park located in the city of Brussels, Belgium. The Park is home to a variety of plant and animal life, as well as a number of historical landmarks.

Visitors to the park can stroll through the gardens, admire the sculptures, and feed the ducks in the pond. The park is also a popular spot for picnics and sports, and there are several playgrounds for children to enjoy. In addition to its natural beauty, Park Malou is also an important cultural site.

The Park was once the home of Belgian artist Pierre L’enfant, and his studio can still be visited today. With its mix of history, art, and nature, Park Malou is a must-see for any visitor to Brussels.

train world
Train World Brussels (Vol 2)” by saigneurdeguerre is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

8) Visit the Train World Museum

The Train World museum in Brussels is a must-see for any train enthusiast. The museum chronicles the history of trains in Europe, from early steam engines to the high-speed bullet trains of today.

Visitors can see some of the world’s most iconic locomotives up close, including the famous Orient Express. In addition to the exhibits, the museum also features a working model railway, where visitors can watch as trains zip through tunnels and over bridges. Whether you’re a die-hard rail fan or just looking for something different, Train World is well worth a visit.

Ixelles Cemetery
If God Will Send His Angels” by just.Luc is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

9) Go to Ixelles Cemetery

Located in the heart of Brussels, Ixelles Cemetery is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the city. Founded in 1827, the cemetery is home to a variety of architectural styles, from neo-classical to Art Nouveau.

The Cemetery also features a number of notable monuments, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Memorial to the Victims of Nazi Terror. With its verdant gardens and tranquil atmosphere, Ixelles Cemetery is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

parlamentarium
Parlamentarium Bruxelles” by Euroced is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

10) Check out the Parlamentarium

The Parlamentarium located in Brussels and is the official visitors’ center of the European Parliament. The sleek, modern building offers a glimpse into the inner workings of the European Union, with interactive exhibits and audio-visual displays that bring to life the EU’s decision-making process.

Visitors can also watch debates from the public gallery, or take a guided tour of the Parliament’s iconic hemicycle. In addition to being a source of information and education, the Parlamentarium is also a powerful symbol of Europe’s commitment to democracy and openness. By making the EU’s institutions accessible to all, the Parlamentarium plays an important role in fostering understanding and engagement between citizens and their representatives.

Cinquantenaire Park
Cinquantenaire Park, Brussels” by magdalar is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

11) Head Over to Cinquantenaire Park

Parc du Cinquantenaire is one of the most popular parks in Brussels, Belgium. The park is home to a wide variety of trees and plants, as well as a large lake. Visitors can enjoy walking and biking trails, picnicking in the grass, and even boat rides on the lake.

The park also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including concerts and festivals. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or a place to have some fun, Cinquantenaire Park is definitely worth a visit.

the black tower
Tour Noire” by divirtual is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

12) Visit the Black Tower

The Black Tower in Brussels, Belgium is a fascinating structure that has stood for centuries. It is believed to date back to the medieval era. The tower is one of the best preserved remnants of Brussel’s first fortifications.

It is located in the center of Brussels, and it is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The Black Tower is a symbol of the city, and it is a popular tourist destination.. The Black Tower is a beautiful and historic structure, and it is well worth a visit.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart
National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg” by Niels Mickers is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

13) Go to The National Basilica of the Sacred Heart

The National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Brussels, Belgium is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture. The church was designed by Victor Horta and completed in 1930.

It is notable for its use of light-colored stone and its ornate facade. The interior of the church is just as impressive, with stained glass windows and intricate carved wooden ceilings.

The National Basilica of the Sacred Heart is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brussels, and it is easy to see why. The church provides a stunning example of the skill and craftsmanship of Belgian architects and artists.

14) Look out for Art Nouveau Buildings

Art Nouveau is a architectural style that emerged in the late 19th century and had its peak in Western Europe around 1900. The style is characterized by its use of organic forms, often inspired by nature, and its reliance on geometric shapes.

Brussels was one of the major centers of Art Nouveau, and many of the city’s buildings reflect this influence. While it can be difficult to spot at first glance, a closer look reveals the distinctive features of Art Nouveau architecture.

The Horta Museum, located in the south of the city, is a good place to start your search. Designed by Victor Horta, one of the leading figures of Art Nouveau, the museum showcases many of the hallmarks of the style.

From there, take a walk through the streets of central Brussels and keep your eyes peeled for other examples of Art Nouveau architecture. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to find some hidden gems from this fascinating period in history.

tomorrowland
Bunte Seerosebrunnen am See von Tomorrowland Festival mit Party-Leuten im Hintergrund” by verchmarco is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

15) Tomorrowland

Brussels, Belgium is the home of Tomorrowland, one of the most popular electronic dance music festivals in the world. Attracting over 400,000 visitors each year, Tomorrowland is known for its massive stage productions, top-notch DJ lineup, and festive atmosphere.

The event takes place in the middle of July and features three days of nonstop dancing and partying. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, Tomorrowland is definitely worth checking out.

Galeries Royales Saint Hubert
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert” by mattias811 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

16) Go SHopping Through The Galeries Royales Saint Hubert

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert are the oldest covered shopping galleries in Europe. Located in the heart of Brussels, the galeries were built in 1847 to provide a shoppers’ haven from inclement weather.

Today, the galeries house a variety of high-end shops and restaurants, as well as cultural institutions such as the Brussels Opera House. A visit to the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a must for any shopper visiting Brussels. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, Belgian chocolates, or just a place to relax with a cup of coffee, you’ll find it all here. So step out of the rain and into the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert for a truly unique shopping experience.

Notre Dame du Sablon
L’Eglise Notre-Dame du Sablon” by Sean Munson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

17) Visit Notre Dame du Sablon

Situated in the heart of Brussels, Notre Dame du Sablon is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. The church is renowned for its beautiful Gothic architecture, and its interior is adorned with stunning works of art.

Visitors can also explore the surrounding area, which is home to a number of antique shops and art galleries. Notre Dame du Sablon is an ideal place to spend a few hours exploring the best of Brussels’ culture and history.

18) Check out the Triumphal Arc

The triumphal arch in Brussels is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The arch was built in the early 19th century to commemorate the victory of the Belgian revolution.

The arch is located in the center of Brussels, and it is made of white Carrara marble. The arch is decorated with statues and reliefs that depict scenes from Belgian history. The triumphal arch is also famous for its golden statue of Victory, which stands at the top of the arch. The triumphal arch is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brussels, and it is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

brussels town hall
Brussels Town Hall” by Frank McNamara is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

19) Visit the Brussels Town Hall

The Brussels Town Hall is another one of the beautiful buildings in the city, and it is well worth a visit. The building dates back to the 15th century, and it has been the seat of local government for centuries.

The exterior of the building is decorated with a number of statues and sculptures, and the interior is just as impressive. The highlight of a visit to the Town Hall is the grandiose Hall of Constantine, which is decorated with a number of paintings and tapestries. Visitors can also take a tour of the newly renovated apartments, which offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the city’s elite. Whether you’re interested in history or simply want to admire some of Brussels’ most beautiful architecture, a visit to the Brussels Town Hall is sure to be a memorable experience.

Recap of the Best Things to do in Brussels

  • Grand Palace
  • Mont Des Arts
  • St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
  • Musee des Beaux-Arts D’Ixelles
  • Beer Crawl
  • Happy Day Art and Live
  • Park Malou
  • Train World
  • Go to Ixelles Cemetery
  • Parlamentarium
  • Cinquantenaire Park
  • Black Tower
  • National Basilica of the Sacred Heart
  • Look out for Art Nouveau Buildings
  • Tomorrowland
  • Galeries Royales Saint Hubert
  • Brussels Town Hall
  • Triumphal Arc
  • Notre Dame du Sablon

Where to Next?

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Madrid For beautiful weather, amazing food and culture, be sure to check out Madrid!

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