The capital of Belgium and an important location for the European Union, Brussels is a city that is rich in history and culture. This post covers 10 top attractions in and around Brussels.
1. Grand Place
First up on this 10 top attractions in Brussels is the Grand Place. It’s one of the most beautiful squares I have ever seen. Surrounded by ornate guildhalls that were once the headquarters of the city’s merchants, Grand Place is a must visit both during the day and night. It’s also home to various festivals that happen in Brussels throughout the year.
2. Manneken Pis
Manneken Pis is perhaps one of the most iconic sites in Brussels. It’s actually a 2 feet tall statue of a little boy peeing. The statue was originally made in 1619, so there is historic significance to it as well. Manneken Pis spends about half of the year in one of his 1,000 outfits!
3. Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is the most famous church in all of Brussels. It was built in a Gothic style at the beginning of the thirteenth century on the foundations of a Romanesque church established in the eleventh century. The inside of this church is stunning. With Gothic and Baroque chapels and beautiful stained glass windows.
4. Street Art and the Comic book Route
Brussels is famous for comic books and authors. Perhaps the most famous being TinTin. You will see murals of comics all over Brussels. The city actually has a Comic Book Route that pays tribute to well-known local comic characters and authors.
5. Mont des Arts
“The Hill of the Arts” is an area that separates the upper and lower parts of Brussels. The well manicured and geometric gardens is a popular spot for locals to hang out, chat or just relax on one of the many benches.
6. Eat Food Belgium is Famous For
Technically not an attraction but one of my favorites on this top attractions in Brussels list! When in Brussels you must eat all the waffles, chocolates, fries and mussels your stomach can take! And then don’t forget to wash it down with some Belgium beer. You can actually do beer tastings in Brussels. For a classic Belgium waffle head to Maison Dandoy.
Built for the World’s Fair of 1958, this structure mimics an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. It’s located a little away from the city center but very easily accessible by public transport. The Atomium offers views of Brussels from 300 feet above the ground.
Click HERE for tickets.
8. Cinquantenaire & Triumphal Arch
Catch a break from sightseeing at Cinquantenaire park, a large green space right in the heart of Brussels. The park is also home to the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History as well as the Art and History Museum.
9. Check out the Architecture
If you love architecture like I do, Brussels is a great place to visit! Brussels was home to big names in Art Nouveau like Henry Van de Velde and Victor Horta and you can see their works all over the city.
The Royal Palace is also another beautiful building that is worth a look even from outside. You can also visit the Royal Palace of Brussels every summer when its open to the public free of charge (closed on Mondays)
ok, not exactly in Brussels but Bruges is an easy day trip from Belgium. It’s one of my favorite medieval towns and one of the best day trips you can go on from a big city. If you are visiting Brussels, it’s definitely well worth your time to save a day to visit Bruges. See my detailed post on Bruges below!