Brussels has a vibrant cultural and creative scene, especially if you know where to look. Also, did you know that, in addition to being the heart of Belgium, it is also the heart and capital of Europe? It is home to the European Commission, the European Parliament, NATO headquarters, and all other significant EU organizations; it is even the de facto capital of the European Union!
There is so much to do in Brussels, especially on a weekend trip. It’s one of those places that are ideal for a long weekend spent seeing all of the old landmarks and eating all of the waffles you can get your hands on.
10. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a high-end shopping mall near Brussels Grand Place. This glass-covered venue, built in the mid-nineteenth century, features several boutique fashion designers, including those who have made garments for the Belgian Royal Family. If you like Belgian chocolate pralines, Neuhaus has been a tenant at Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert since 1857. The Théâtre des Galeries, one of Brussels’ royal theatres, hosts classical plays and operettas.
9. Organize your own art-nouveau-themed walk
If you like Art Nouveau, you’ll wander about with your head in the clouds a lot, since Brussels has many architecturally significant buildings. Some areas, such as Sint-Gilles, have a more dense concentration of art nouveau residences, which you may visit by following the popular walking tours. Otherwise, the tourist office sells a map for 1 euro that shows all of the art nouveau spots in the Louise area and the city center and the art deco highlights in Ixelles and the city center.
8. Shopping in the open-air markets
If you don’t want to be caged up on summer days, the markets of Brussels should be a very appealing choice for spending the morning or afternoon, seeing items of various kinds, taking something as a souvenir, or eating on the go. You’ll not only discover colorful fruit, freshly baked items, and farm-fresh food, but you’ll also appreciate the filmy ambiance, as the hustle and dynamic between vendors and buyers are almost like a film that can be watched at any moment.
7. Visit Atomium
The Atomium is one of the most recognized and bizarre constructions in Brussels. The futuristic steel structure is made up of nine stainless steel balls joined by massive metal tubes to form an iron crystal. It was built as the showpiece for Belgium’s World Expo in 1958. The freshly refurbished Atomium may now be seen from afar or shot from below in the lovely Ossegempark. Four of the Atomium’s top spheres are open to the public. One of the spheres has a restaurant, while the others house permanent exhibits. The Atomium is Brussels’ most popular attraction, and it will appeal to children, history buffs, and people who appreciate original architecture.
6. Explore Cinquantenaire Park’s museums and monuments
Escape the hustle and bustle of Brussels by visiting Cinquantenaire Park, a public park that opened in 1880 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Belgian Revolution and the birth of the modern country. The park was intended to be more than just a public place but also to house monumental monuments and memorials. The spectacular Cinqueantenaire Arch, which took decades to build, stands towering in the heart of the park and is impossible to miss. Landscaped gardens and water features surround the arch, making it ideal for a morning or afternoon stroll.
5. Visit the Royal Residence
The Palais Royal, the official house of the Royal family, is the most popular site in Brussels. The Royal family is presently based in Laeken. As a result, this Palace is available to tourists during the summer months and adds a remarkable addition to the list of things to do in Brussels. The bizarre yet wonderful mosaic may be seen in one of the Palace’s chambers, which has a ceiling covered with beetle wings. Your visit to Brussels is never complete unless you view the interior design and art works here.
4. Enjoy Le Botanique
Le Botanique was historically the city’s botanical garden and continues to draw a great number of visitors today. The greenhouse, which goes back to the nineteenth century, now routinely hosts a variety of performing activities, making the venue feel more like a cultural center than merely a garden. If you like greenery, the neighboring gardens are still intact and present in all their grandeur and provide a welcome change of pace from the city itself.
3. Relax at Brussels Park and Mini-Europe Park
Looking for a green place in the city center to go for a walk or enjoy a picnic? The historic royal hunting grounds at Brussels Park, spanning 32 acres, checks all requirements. Simply locate the Belgian House of Parliament and walk the wide avenue down to the enormous pond to get access. You’ll get to see the Place du Trône, the Palace of Justice, and the Royal Palace, three of Brussels’ most notable structures. Meanwhile, another must-see attraction in Brussels for families is Mini-Europe Park. Explore the little kingdoms with their miniature models as you travel through Mini-Europe. See the tiny Big Ben in London, the Acropolis in Athens, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Visual and audio effects bring it all to life—don’t miss Mount Vesuvius erupting or the collapse of the Berlin Wall!
2. Pay a visit to the Musical Instruments Museum
The Musical Instruments Museum, often known as the “MIM,” is housed in an Art Nouveau structure approximately a half-mile from the Grand Place. It was a former Old England department store erected in the nineteenth century. More than 1,200 instruments from around the world are showcased in four galleries. The museum also allows visitors to hear how these instruments sound. Inside, a restaurant has spectacular city views. Recent visitors were astonished by the range of instruments housed within the museum and the structure itself. According to some, there are few signs in English, which might be confusing. Many people advised spending a few more euros to use the audio tour. Visitors also recommend visiting the café, which has great views of Brussels.
1. Maison Dandoy
The waffles in Belgium aren’t the same as the ones at your favorite brunch restaurant, but they’re still wonderful. Maison Dandoy is one of the greatest locations to go for these. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations for waffles and other sweet treats. If you enjoy delicious pastries, you should visit Maison Dandoy in Brussels. It’s hardly the most sophisticated cuisine, but the taste and love are all there. Try their famous waffles or simply have a cup of tea. Maison Dandoy is one of the reasons that Brussels is such a great city to visit. We hope you will be able to make at least one visit to fully appreciate the beauty of the area. Maison Dandoy makes you feel at home even though you’re a long distance away.
Top 10 Things to do in Brussels on a MAP
How excited are you to visit Brussels and take snaps of these awesome places on your camera? Let us know in the COMMENTS section below, which of these places sparked your interest.