Welcome to Brussels, capital of Belgium and the European Union! As an international hub, this multicultural city offers a variety of cultural, culinary and entertainment experiences. From medieval squares to postmodern architecture, Brussels has something for everyone.
To help you make the most of your visit, I’ve crafted the ultimate list of things to do in Brussels. These are the top ten things to do in Brussels you simply must see, do, and taste while in town. Get ready for the best of Brussels!
1. Grand Place
No trip to Brussels is complete without a visit to the UNESCO-listed Grand Place. It is one of the top things to do in Brussels. This historic square is surrounded by guildhalls and the Gothic Town Hall. The intricate details and architecture make it one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Grab a seat at one of the many cafes, do some people watching and admire the sights. Don’t forget to look up – the tower of the Town Hall offers stunning 360 degree views over the city.
2. The Atomium
One of Brussels’ most iconic sights is the Atomium, a giant model of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair, it represents a cell of an iron crystal. You can visit the spheres connected by escalators and get a unique perspective over mini-Europe. A must things to do in Brussels!
3. Musical Instruments Museum (MIM)
Music lovers shouldn’t miss MIM, one of the best music museums in the world. Across four floors you’ll find an outstanding collection of over 8000 instruments from all continents and ages. Interactive multimedia displays allow you to hear what the instruments sound like. There’s also regular live music so you can experience the instruments played live.
4. Magritte Museum
Get an insight into Belgium’s famous surrealist artist at the Magritte Museum. Housed in a grand 19th century building, it contains the world’s largest collection of Magritte works with over 200 paintings, drawings and sculptures. Learn about his life, context and work methods through multimedia exhibits and short films.
5. The Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert
Built in 1847, these luxurious galleries are the best things to do in Brussels. The glass-covered shopping arcade has been called the ‘first shopping mall in Europe’. Walk under the gorgeous glazed arches while browsing high-end stores, chocolate shops, cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss the spectacular Madou’s Tower.
Delve into the world of European politics and Brussels’ role as the EU capital at the Parlamentarium. State-of-the-art exhibits showcase how the Parliament works through videos, games and simulations. Take an audio tour or join a guided tour to visit the Parliament Hemicycle and learn about the EU’s history and decision-making.
7. Belgian Comic Strip Center
At the Comic Strip Center, discover everything about Belgium’s rich comic history, from classics like Tintin and the Smurfs to modern comics. Permanent and temporary interactive exhibitions showcase original plates, murals, huge comic walls and more. Fans of the art form will be in heaven!
Brussels’ acclaimed Center for Fine Arts (BOZAR) hosts around 300 concerts and exhibitions each year. Experience classical concerts, dance performances, art shows and more in the stunning Victor Horta-designed art deco building. The Music Museum also gives an overview of European musical instruments and music history.
9. Delirium Café
Calling itself the ‘world’s biggest beer bar’, Delirium Café is a must for beer lovers. Sample over 3000 beer types (2000 bottled and 500 on tap!) including global brands, Trappists and Abbey beers, seasonal ales and the house Delirium brew. The decor is funky and lively.
10. Try Belgian waffles, fries and chocolate
And of course, indulge in Belgium’s tastiest treats! Brussels’ waffles topped with cream, fruit or chocolate are divine and it is one of the best things to do in Brussels. As the home of the original French fry, the frites are crispy and delicious – don’t miss them with Belgium’s signature sauce. And you can’t leave without tasting melt-in-your-mouth pralines from top chocolatiers like Neuhaus, Godiva and Leonidas. Enjoy!