Are you visiting Brussels and wondering what are the best things to do there? Brussels, being the capital of Belgium, offers lots, but there are only few things, which should never stay overlooked.
Best things to do in Brussels?
Admire unique Grand Place
According to UNESCO World Heritage Site list, the central place of Brussels is named as one of the most beautiful squares in the world. If the Grand Place is really one of the most beautiful or not is up to you, but we had one of those wow moments, when reaching it ourselves for sure.
Take a selphie with the famous Mannekin Pis
This small bronze statue is one of the most recognizable symbols of Brussels, so don’t miss it. You will know that you came to the right place for the crowds, as everyone wants to take its photo. The statue reminds us of the Middle Ages, when the city of Brussels was developing its network of public water supply.
Indulge yourself with Belgium’s waffle
Oh yes, visiting Brussels can become extremely delicious adventure. Make sure to try its waffles – in fact there are two varieties; crispy Brussels and doughty Liege. The prices for a waffle is 1 EUR for the plain one and up to 7-8 EUR for the ones, including fruit/chocolate, ice-cream and cream.
Pay a visit to a chocolate shop
Here’s another reason, why your visit to Brussels will be extremely sweet – oh yes, you guessed it – Belgium’s chocolate. There are numerous chocolate shops, where you won’t be able to say no to all the delicious pralines. Yummy!
Take a postcard photo
If you are looking for postcards motives when in Brussels, take a walk to the Jardin du Mont des Arts. This place offers beautiful views.
Relax in city parks
Brussels have many parks, but one of the best known among tourists is the city park Brussels, as it is close to the Grand Place, which you can reach by foot.
Explore the architecture of the St. Michael cathedral
The exterior of the cathedral will show you a great example of the ghotic style, but don’t hesitate to visit the cathedral from the inside as well.
Enter the Atomium
If Paris is known for its Eiffel Tower, Brussels is for sure known for its Atomium. The Atomium, molecule magnified 165 billion times, was built for the World Fair in 1958. You can enter and visit its exhibitions and enjoy the panorama views form its restaurant at the top. (Coordinates: 184.108.40.206 / 004.20.34.7)
Grab yourself a glass of cold beer
Many like to visit Belgium for its beer, so when in Brussels, stop at the local pub and order a glass or two of cold Belgium beer. Prices vary of the brand: 3€ up for 0,25dcl and 5€ up for 0,5l.
Grab a quick snack
If you are into healthy food, you can skip this, but if you like the local street food, your best known snack when in Belgium is the famous Belgium Fries. Note this is not French fries, as the Belgium fries is thicker and deep fried twice.
Stroll along the modern part of Brussels
If you like to explore old and new, you will definitely stop at the European parliament. Brupark might be more interesting to you, if you are traveling to Brussels with kids. The park is mostly interesting for more than 300 reconstructions of famous buildings in the European Union. The Brupark is close to the Atomium.
Useful travel tips for Brussels
Food in Brussels
If you are traveling low budget to Brussels, the cheapest street food is Belgium fries, kebab etc. (app 4€/pp). If you want something more, your second choice should be Asian food and restaurant, away from the typical touristic paths (app 7-12€/meal). If you want something more Belgium, you can already find a basic three course daily menu for around 15€. The prices for daily lunches goes up to around 35€/pp.
We like to walk and wherever we are, we try to avoid public transport. Not that we don’t like it, but walking around by foot gives you so much more from the visited place. Lucky for you, Brussels has all the major sites close, so you can visit all on foot, except for the Atomium. If you are traveling to Brussels without your own car, visiting the Atomium should be made by metro/bus.
Traveling to Brussels by car
If you’ll be visiting Brussels as part of the roadtrip around Europe and you’ll be arriving by rented car, plan to be there on Sunday, when street parking is free of charge. Otherwise parking in a garage will cost you around 15€/24hours.
Hotels in Brussels
We like to be close to everything when finding ourselves in cities. It was no different in Brussels. Normally hotels in the city centers are expensive, but luckily we found one for a fair price in Brussels. We stayed in Ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Ste Catherine, which cost us 49€/night. We felt extremely lucky when finding a parking space in front of the hotel entrance for free. Otherwise, parking garage is just few steps from the hotel as well. The Ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Ste Catherine had great location and we managed to explore Brussels on foot. Just few streets away from the hotel were also lots of pubs, cafes and restaurants. If staying in Ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Ste Catherine when in Brussels, you won’t be sorry – the rooms are small, but for this price perfect, modern and clean too. (Coordinates: 50.51.00.5 / 004.20.52.1)
One day trip to Bruge
If you can spare one or maybe two extra days during your Brussels trip, we highly recomend you to visit the romantic town of Bruge. It is easily reachable by train. You will not be sorry – read why here.