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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
Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe

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From Paris’ Eiffel Tower and London’s Big Ben to the canals of Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Acropolis of ancient Athens, the Mini-Europe theme park in Brussels presents all of the major sights and famous buildings of the European Union countries—in miniature.More
#6
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
#7
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
#8
Stella Artois Brewery

Stella Artois Brewery

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One of Belgium’s most famous beers and exported all around the world, Stella Artois has been brewed in the Belgian town of Leuven since 1926, when it was originally launched as a Christmas beer.Today, touring the Stella Artois Brewery in Leuven has become a popular pastime for beer lovers and visitors can go behind-the-scenes, learning how the careful blend of malted barley, hops and water is achieved and watching the high-speed bottling process, before sampling a pint of Stella Artois and shopping for souvenirs at the Stella gift shop. The brewery has a history dating back six centuries, with its namesake Sebastian Artois taking over as master brewer in 1708, and is now run by the world’s biggest brewing company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, producing not only Stella Artois, but other iconic brands like Leffe and Hoegaarden.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
Magritte Museum (Musée Magritte)

Magritte Museum (Musée Magritte)

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One of Belgium's Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Magritte Museum is devoted to the works of Belgian surrealist René Magritte, whose innovative creations are said to have influenced artists like Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.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

Recent reviews from experiences in Brussels

star-5
Great tour in Brussels
Beatriz_P, Dec 2021
Brussels Like a Local: Customized Private Tour
She was very friendly, knowledgeable and adapted to our pace, as we were traveling with kids.
star-5
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.
star-5
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
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.
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.
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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.
star-5
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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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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Loved this day trip to Amsterdam...
MrsSammy, Nov 2017
The glory of Holland: Amsterdam and windmills galore
Great to visit a local cheese factory.
star-5
Loads of fun! Got to see interesting...
kendallmhankins, Nov 2017
Belgian Beer Tasting in Brussels
Got to see interesting bars in Brussels.
star-4
Ghent and Bruges are REALLY awesome...
Sayed Adnan J, Jul 2017
Bruges and Ghent - Belgium's Fairytale Cities - from Brussels
I would recommend to visiting Bruges alone for full day instead.
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