10 Things to Do in Brussels, Belgium

Things to Do in Brussels, BelgiumI was going through some photos of the trip The Girl and I took to Belgium in 2012 and just had to make a top 10 list of things to do in Brussels.

  1. Grande Place.  The Grande Place is a medieval square with tons of buildings dating back to the 17th century.  It’s got plenty of modern shopping and world class food.Musical Instruments Museum
  2. Musical Instruments Museum.  The Musical Instruments Museum is, well, just that a museum of musical instruments.  Only this one started in 1877, so it houses a pretty impressive array of over 8000 instruments.Mary Chocolatier
  3. Mary Chocolatier.  Seriously, this will be the highlight of your life.  It is the most amazing chocolate you’ve ever laid your lips on. {Check out this video. Willy Wonka would be jealous}
  4. Place Du Grand Sablon.  This is another pretty quaint square where you can peruse antique shops, nosh on some chocolate, or get a coffee and sit outside to people watch.Manneken Pis
  5. The Manneken Pis.  This is literally a statue of a little boy peeing into a fountain.  It dates back to around 1619.  The irony is that if a kid actually peed into the fountain, people would gasp–but turn that same idea into a bronzed statue and boom, it’s art.
  6. Hotel de Ville.  This gigantic building is the epitome of Gothic architecture.  It is seriously jaw-dropping.Mont des Arts Kunstberg
  7. Mont des Arts Kunstberg.  This park is literally like escaping to the woods in the middle of the city.  I doubt there is a bad time of year to visit–each season would offer a pretty spectacular stroll through nature.
  8. St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral.  Religious or not, church is worth a visit.  It is, true to Belgium form, amazing architecture, and pretty impressive inside as well.moof museum
  9. Moof Museum.  The Moof Museum is a museum of modern art.  It focuses pretty heavily on cartoon history, and it is on the smaller side, but if you enjoy the out of the ordinary, it’s worth a stop. Royal Palace brussels
  10. Royal Palace.  This is the official palace of the royals {though, not their residence}.  It is a beautiful palace with pristine grounds, and pretty amazing interior.  You can only visit during certain times of the year, though, so make sure to check before you plan a trip.

Have you ever been to Belgium?  Did the history in the architecture knock your socks off?


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  1. says

    Sigh. My first trip ever overseas, I flew into Brussels, rented a car, and tried to find the obscure little inn in the old inner city, that I had spent hours of internet research to find. After literally driving in circles for about 3 hours, and not finding anyone who spoke English to help me find the street, I finally stumbled on it on my own. But, the drive gave me my first look at the architecture, which was completely captivating.

    The next morning, (after carefully mapping how to get back to my inn and car) I took off on foot to see as many of those famous sites as I could. My favorite was probably the palace and the park across the street from the palace. From a concession stand in the park, I ordered my first espresso, and with it came a complimentary piece of Belgian waffle. And that is when I officially fell in love with Brussels. That was 6 years ago. I’ve been back one time since, and I’m planning my next trip there for late this year or early 2015.

    I had been told that almost everyone in Belgium speaks English as a second language. I did not find that to be the case in Brussels.

  2. Chad says

    I agree with Diana. The only person I heard speak in English the one time I visited Belgium was my travelling buddy. I had to speak to the locals in hand gestures and latin root words.
    The only place we stopped (besides chocolate and beer) was in Dinant to visit the citadel. We went straight to the citadel first. I wasn’t very impressed after having visited forts in the US. But then, we went down by the river at the base of the citadel and the entire experience changed.
    I could soak in the stories, culture, and food for days. Unfortunately, we only had hours.


  3. Lynne says

    I spent a few days in Brussels a few years ago, and have to say that my time there paled in comparison to the time I spent (on the same trip) in Bruges. I’m more into history than architecture, and staying in Bruges felt like living in a museum and it was fascinating. Wherever you are in Belgium, the chocolate, waffles and beer cannot be beat.

  4. Sue M. says

    Nope. Never been to Belgium, or Brussels. After seeing all your pictures though, I would love to visit there. So glad that you and Bird Girl were able to go. I enjoy both the food, cuture, and architure wherever I am blessed to visit.

  5. Tabitha says

    Too funny. I clicked on the post to see if Mannekin Pis was included. I went I’m high school, and that was one of our tourist stops. Cracks me up.

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