Best Places to Visit in Brussels
Brussels is the capital of Belgium, the main seat of the Belgian royal family and the capital of the European Union, and despite its obvious importance, it is a very small, cozy and humane city.
Unlike the tourist-crowded beautiful Bruges and Ghent, Brussels is Belgium’s main economic and educational centre, giving the city a more workday feel than any other town. Here you can really feel the Belgian life, especially its great restaurant and coffee culture.
While Brussels doesn’t have the stellar tourist attractions of other Belgian cities, the capital has enough things to do to keep visitors busy for a few days, with a host of world-class museums and art galleries, as well as more exotic attractions. As the Atomium, as well as the wonderful remnants of old buildings in the Old town.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Brussels and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Brussels
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Brussels:
1. Grand Place
In the heart of Brussels’ Old Town, the city’s main square, known as the Grand Place, is one of the best preserved squares in Europe and is the city’s top tourist attraction. The elegant character of the square is largely due to the unique architecture of the elegant Gildehuizen (guild house), with its grand walls, columns and balustrades, ornate stonework and rich gold ornaments.
The hallmark of the Grand Place is its Baroque monotony with some Flemish influences. Its architectural harmony is achieved by short-term constructions here, with most buildings built between 1696 and 1700.
The history of the Grand Place goes back even further. It was founded in the 11th century and soon became the political and economic center of the city. The most recognizable building on the square is the Hôtel de Ville (Hôtel de Ville), built in 1402 to upgrade the city hall of the rival city of Bruges.
There are several gorgeous rooms inside. The most impressive of these is the Maximilian Room with its Brussels rugs. Spacious conference room with elegant ceilings and tapestries designed by Victor Janssens; the grand ballroom and the wedding room, both beautifully clad; and the Escalier d’Honneur with frescoes showing the history of Brussels.
Address: Grand Place in the heart of Brussels
2. Mannekin Pis
Along the Rue de l’Etuve is Brussels’ most famous landmark, Manneken Pis, which is often surrounded by huge crowds of tourists. Little is known about the origin of the image of a little boy urinating, often referred to as “Brussels’ oldest citizen,” although it dates back to at least 1388.
But Manneken is surrounded by various legends. Some say the fountain is in memory of a brave baby who escaped from the fire, others say it is in memory of the son of a count who succumbed to a violent impulse while participating in a parade.
The current statue, made by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder in 1619, has been stolen many times, but it can always be recovered. During major celebrations, events and festivals in Brussels, the statue is known to wear full clothes.
Visit Garderobe Mannekin Pis along the way to see the various outfits Mannekin Pis has worn over the years. This small museum displays around 140 garments from Fountain’s very extensive wardrobe collection.
Address: Rue de l’Etuve in the heart of Brussels
Official website: https://www.mannekenpis.brussels/en/
3. Saint-Michel Cathedral
Built in 1225, this Gothic church was built in the 15th century and is St. Michael and St. It is dedicated to Gudula. The façade stands majestically above broad steps atop the 69-metre-high twin towers designed by Jan van Ruysbroeck. The beautifully proportioned interior (108m x 50m) is luxuriously furnished and features some excellent stained glass windows designed by Bernard van Orley.
Go to the transept to see the best examples depicting Charles V and Isabella of Portugal (south transept) and the Hungarian royal family to Louis II and Marie (north transept), then enter the Eucharist church to the left of the choir, the window illustrates the story of the Master’s miracle.
Address: Parvis Street Gudule in the center of Brussels
Official website: www.cathedralisbruxellensis.be
4. Belgian Comics Center
Designed by Victor Horta, this magnificent 1906 building houses the wonderful Comics Center, dedicated to the cartoon and comics history of the country that bestows the world of the Smurfs and Tintin. A rotating exhibition of 200 original comics by Belgian and French cartoonists.
Additionally, the museum documents the rise in popularity of Belgian and French comics through an ingenious collection of original manuscripts, sketches and creatively recreated scenes, including Lucky Luke’s Salon and Tim, Struppi and Captain Haddock’s Moon Rocket.
Address: Maison Waucquez, 20 Rue des Sables, central Brussels
Official website: https://www.cbbd.be/fr/accueil
Favorite photo spot, the most important building in this square, is the Palais Royal, the official residence of the Belgian royal family. The Belgian flag flutters from the roof to mark the monarch’s presence, and a ceremonial change of guard takes place every day around 14:30.
From the end of July to the end of August there is a free tour of the interior of the palace to see its magnificent reception rooms and halls. The palace is surrounded by a group of cultural buildings with a neoclassical look.
The Academy Palace, the seat of the Royal Academy of Sciences, was once the residence of the Crown Prince of Orange, with the Palace of Fine Arts (Paleis voor Schone Kunste) located on the west side of the square, designed and built in Victor in the 1920s. Horta is the two best examples.
Address: Place des Palais in the center of Brussels
6. Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts
The Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts (1875-81) combined four separate art museums, which together became one of the largest and finest art galleries in the world. The museum stems from a collection originally established in 1797 and was originally located in the Charles Royal Palace in Lorraine. This was transferred to the newly formed Royal Museum in 1846.
The Musée Old Masters is home to famous works by Flemish and Dutch Old Masters. Notable works on display here include Gerard David’s Adoration of the Magi, Rogier van der Weyden’s Lamentation of Jesus, Petrus Christus’ Pieta, and Dirk The Trial of Emperor Otto by Bootz.
The halls of the Musée Modern focus on works of art from the end of the 19th century to the present. It combines a temporary exhibition hall with the basement gallery of the Fin-de-Siècle Museum, dedicated to art from 1884, when Brussels was one of Europe’s cultural capitals, to 1914.
Adjacent to the main building is the Musée Magritte, dedicated to the work of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. The museum has the largest collection of Magritte in the world and is considered by many Brussels visitors to be the highlight of the city’s many artistic attractions.
Magritte (1898-1967) was one of the leading artists of the Belgian surrealist art scene, and the museum offers a chronological collection of his work so visitors can see how his art has responded to world events and the reactions he has had to his own personal and political. has changed over the years.
Address: Rue du Musee 9, central Brussels
Official website: www.fine-arts-museum.be
7. Coudenberg Palace Archaeological Site
One of the most unique things to do in Brussels is to explore this active archaeological site that was rediscovered in the 1980s. Qudenburg Palace was excavated to reveal the cellars and tunnels of the former Brussels Royal Palace, as well as forgotten streets buried under the city for centuries.
The foundations of the medieval palace have been cleared to give visitors a chance to explore, and the museum offers a free audio guide that takes you to the excavation site. There are also interactive projects that encourage kids to participate, such as the “Underground Treasure Hunt” with flashlights, treasure maps, costumes, and puzzles to solve.
Address: Place des Palais 7, Brussels
Official website: https://coudenberg.brussels/en
8. Notre-Dame du Sablon
15.-16. The 19th-century Notre-Dame du Sablon (Onze Lieve Vrouw op de Zavel), often considered one of Belgium’s most beautiful late Gothic churches, was originally built in 1304 to replace a chapel built on the Speedmaster waterfront of the Crossbowmen’s Guild.
The interior of the church is breathtaking, especially because of its wonderful stained glass. Also of interest is the burial chapel of the Thurn und Taxis family, partly the work of Luc Fayd’herbe. When a woman from Antwerp, Baet Soetens, brought the Virgin to church in 1348, the image of the Virgin, said to be a copy of the Virgin Mary, was preserved in the sanctuary.
Address: Rue de la Regence in the heart of Brussels
9. Visit the Museums of Parc du Cinquantenaire
The Parc du Cinquantenaire was established in 1880 to commemorate the country’s 50th anniversary. At its center is the magnificent Fiftieth Anniversary Palace, which is combined with a massive Triumphal Arch designed by the French architect Charles Girault in 1905 and is home to two of Brussels’ most interesting museums.
The Royal Museum of Art and History is home to one of the most extensive tapestry collections in the world, as well as Belgium’s national archaeological collection, which houses artifacts from all over the world.
The Belgian Army Museum and Museum of Military History (Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en van de Militaire Geschiedenis) provides an overview of the development of military technology and major wars fought on Belgian soil.
Address: Avenue des Renaissance in the center of Brussels
10. Stroll the Parkland Surrounding Château Royal
While the Royal Castle itself, the residence of the Belgian royal family, is not open to the public, the Laken Park surrounding it is open to the public. There are many pleasant walking paths and places to see, such as the Leopold I monument in the middle of the flower bed in front of the palace.
Located in the northernmost corner of the park, the Japanese Tower was originally built in 1900 for the Paris exhibition. The conservatory, built during the reign of Leopold II, is the garden’s highlight and is open to the public in April and May when many plants are in bloom.
Address: Avenue de Madrid, Laeken, Brussels
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Brussels. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Brussels, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.