things to do in Brussels

Things To Do in Brussels

Cool Things To Do In Brussels in One Day

Brussels is a remarkable capital city of Belgium.  If you love chocolates, waffles,  mussels, and a fan of the famous comic character Tintin…Brussels is the place!

If you are already in Europe, exploring Brussels is really worth it!

From Amsterdam, we decided to do a side trip to  Belgium by train visiting the city of Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, and the neighboring country Luxembourg

Things To Know About Brussels

  • The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch but everyone can also speak English
  • Brussels is known for one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world, Brussels Sprouts!
  • Aside from being famous for chocolates and waffles, Brussels is also known for luxury lace and velvet 
  • Currency: Euro
  • The weather in Brussels is unpredictable – it can easily go from sunny to 30 minutes of rain
  • Four seasons: Summer (June-August), Autumn (September-November), Winter (December- February), and Spring (March-May).

Exceptional Places To See in Brussels

The Grand Place or the Grote Markt

This is the famous grand square in Brussels, Belgium and one of the top places that you must see in Brussels. 

The Grand Place is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

What I like most traveling to Europe, each country and city has its own character and uniqueness.

We were mesmerized by the remarkable stunning gold accent designs on all the buildings in this grand square. 

The Grand Place is my most liked place in Brussels! The grand square is beautifully shining…

In the early days, this square is used for trading goods that’s why you will notice that streets surrounding are named after foods like Rue du Marché aux Fromages means cheese.

There are several main structures that make up the grandeur of the grand square. They include the Gothic tower of the town hall (Hotel de Ville), visitors have mistaken this for a church or a castle. The town hall acts as a great landmark because you can see the tower from most corners of the city.

The Grand Place is one of the most important sites in Brussels that you shouldn’t miss.

How To Get To Grand Place

The Grand Place is surrounded by main streets and very convenient to walk around.

You can get to Grand-Place by Bus, Train, Subway, or Light Rail. 

You can walk from Brussels Central station to Grand Place about 5 minutes walk (around 450 meters).

Brussels central station to Grand Place

Tintin Comic Strip Mural Wall Painting

Even if you have no plans and you just wander around the city, you are bound to come across some of the main highlights.

Brussels is the birthplace of iconic comics like the Smurfs and Tintin.

It’s very interesting to stroll around the city and discovering local treasures.

The gorgeous Tintin comic murals painted on building walls. Located throughout the city.

Heading down the road from the Grand Place to visit the Mannekin Piss, you will pass one of the several large comic strips painted on several stories high facades.

 

We also found one at the train station. If you are a fan, then you will appreciate it even more.

Manneken Pis (A Peeing Boy)

The Manneken Pis is located at the corner of Rue de l’Étuve and Rue du Chêne (just across the Godiva chocolate shop).

There are many stories surrounded by the origins of the Manneken pis…

One of them is that a little boy named Julien saw the burning fuse and extinguished it by peeing on it saving the city from being burnt down.

Jeanneke Pis

The Jeanneke Pis is the female version of the Manneken pis. 

It’s a little girl with two ponytails made of bronze urinating in a limestone base located behind iron bars.

The Jeanneke Pis is a short walk from the St. Michael & St. Gudula Cathedral – about 390 meters.

The Cathedral of St. Michael & St. Gudula in Brussels

The Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula is the main catholic church and it is one of the most important landmarks in Brussels.

How to Get to the Cathedral of St. Michael & St. Gudula

MetroGare Centrale and Parc, lines 1 and 5.
TramParc, lines 92, and 94.
BusParc, lines 29, 63, 65, and 66.

The Cathedral was initially called the church of St Michael until, in 1047, the relics of the martyr of St Gudula were brought to the church. The saint Gudula died in the eighth century. This is when the church was called St Michael and St Gudula. Although the cathedral was built centuries ago, it was only given the cathedral status in 1962. Source: Civitatis Brussels

The Royal Palace of Belgium

The palace is situated just in front of the Brussels Park.

The Palace is so majestic with a well maintained attractive garden.

The Royal Palace of Brussels is the King’s administrative residence where he also works daily with his staff. 

The Palace has various reception rooms where the activities of the King and the Royal Family are held.

Indulge Yourself With Belgian Chocolates

Belgium was the first country to invent machines that could grind the cocoa beans extremely thin.

This is to produce chocolates that are extremely smooth without having a grainy feel and taste when the chocolate melts on your mouth. 

When it comes to chocolate, Belgian chocolate comes one on our lists.  Belgian chocolate makers have always used high-quality cocoa beans as well as using pure cocoa butter.

What Food Is Brussels Famous For?

Typical Belgian cuisine isn’t that popular and beyond the traditional “munchies”, such as Belgian chocolate, beer, and waffles, most people couldn’t name a traditional Belgian dish.

Mussel is a classic Belgian dish you can find at just about any café or restaurant in Brussels.

The Chez Leon Restaurant...

We dine at Chez Leon while we were in Brussels. Ches Leon is the most famous restaurant due to its efficient service and great food.  It is seated on the north side of The Grand Place.

They have a huge choice of Belgian food and the mussels, of course!

Why Belgian Beer So Popular?

Their wide range of flavors, brands, brewing processes, and ingredients is one of the main reasons why Belgian beers remain so popular.

There are many types of Belgian beers, but the two most popular are Trappist beers and Abbey beers. 

The Trappist beer is brewed by Trappist monks where they follow a specific rule like… the monks should produce it inside the monastery.

While Abbey beers are produced by a commercial brewery under commercial arrangement with an existing monastery. Source: Culture Trip

What Beers Are From Belgium?

Craving For Belgian Waffles?

Your trip to Brussels will not be completed without eating the Belgian Waffles. 

Waffles are a dessert or tea time treat to enjoy in Belgium.

Real Brussels waffles are rectangular in shape and the right way to eat it is with no syrup or whipped cream – just simply plain.

Maple syrup originally comes from North America, and it remains a North American waffle topping.

Other Places To Explore

Things To Do in Bruges In One Day

Bruges is a charming city. It is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders, Belgium. Bruges is a real jewel that you must visit in Belgium. 

Half Day Trip in Ghent

Ghent is located in Northwest Belgium. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province, and the third-largest in the country exceeded in size by Brussels and Antwerp.

A Day Exploring The City of Luxembourg

Luxembourg City is built on a Fortress.

We took the train from Brussels to Luxembourg because this is the most easiest and convenient way for us.