Discovering Brussels: Top Places to Visit in Belgium


Share post:

Rate this post

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers a wealth of attractions and landmarks for visitors to explore. From its stunning architecture to its rich history and culture, Brussels has something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you’re interested in art, history, food, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of a new city, Brussels has it all. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the must-see landmarks and attractions in Brussels, and why it is important to explore them when visiting the city.

Key Takeaways

  • The Grand Place is a must-see in Brussels, with its stunning architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
  • The Atomium is an iconic landmark of Belgium, offering panoramic views of the city and a glimpse into the country’s scientific achievements.
  • The Royal Palace of Brussels offers a regal experience, with its opulent interiors and beautiful gardens.
  • The Manneken Pis is a quirky Brussels icon, with its small statue of a urinating boy attracting tourists from around the world.
  • The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a graphic delight, showcasing the country’s rich history of comic book art and culture.

The Grand Place: A Must-See in Brussels

One of the most iconic landmarks in Brussels is the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the central square of the city. The Grand Place is steeped in history and dates back to the 13th century. It has served as a marketplace, a meeting place for political events, and a symbol of the city’s prosperity.

Surrounding the square are stunning buildings that showcase a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic, Baroque, and Louis

The most notable building is the Town Hall, which dominates one side of the square with its intricate facade and towering spire. Other buildings include the King’s House, which now houses the Museum of the City of Brussels, and various guildhalls that were once home to powerful trade associations.

The best time to visit the Grand Place is during one of the many events that take place throughout the year. In August, the square is transformed into a colorful carpet of flowers during the Flower Carpet event. During winter, the square is adorned with lights and a Christmas market takes place, creating a magical atmosphere.

The Atomium: Iconic Landmark of Belgium

Aspect Metric
Location Brussels, Belgium
Height 102 meters (335 feet)
Weight 2,400 tons
Construction Built for the 1958 Brussels World Expo
Designers André Waterkeyn (structural engineer), Jean Polak (architect), and nine other Belgian architects
Shape Atom-shaped structure with nine spheres connected by tubes
Function Originally built as a temporary exhibit, now serves as a museum and tourist attraction
Visitors Over 600,000 per year
Symbolism Represents the peaceful use of atomic energy and the scientific progress of Belgium

The Atomium is another must-see landmark in Brussels. Built for the 1958 World Expo, this futuristic structure has become an iconic symbol of Belgium. The Atomium is a representation of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times and stands at a height of 102 meters.

Inside the Atomium, visitors can explore various exhibitions and activities that showcase the history and significance of the structure. The top sphere offers panoramic views of Brussels, while the other spheres house temporary and permanent exhibitions that delve into topics such as science, technology, and art.

When visiting the Atomium, it is recommended to arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds. Additionally, purchasing tickets in advance can help save time and ensure entry into the attraction.

The Royal Palace of Brussels: A Regal Experience

The Royal Palace of Brussels is a stunning architectural masterpiece that serves as the official residence of the Belgian royal family. While the palace is not open to the public for tours, visitors can still admire its grandeur from the outside.

The exterior of the Royal Palace features neoclassical design elements and is adorned with beautiful sculptures and intricate details. The palace is surrounded by manicured gardens and offers a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll.

During the summer months, visitors have the opportunity to explore the interior of the palace through guided tours. These tours provide a glimpse into the opulent rooms and halls, showcasing the rich history and regal splendor of the Belgian monarchy.

The Manneken Pis: A Quirky Brussels Icon

One of the most famous landmarks in Brussels is the Manneken Pis statue. This small bronze sculpture depicts a little boy urinating into a fountain basin and has become a symbol of Brussels’ irreverent sense of humor.

The history of the Manneken Pis dates back to the 17th century and there are several legends surrounding its origin. One legend tells the story of a young boy who saved Brussels from destruction by extinguishing a bomb with his urine. Another legend suggests that the statue represents a young boy who was caught urinating in public and was immortalized as punishment.

Despite its small size, the Manneken Pis attracts a large number of visitors each year. It is often dressed in various costumes, which are changed regularly to reflect different occasions and events. For the best photo opportunities, it is recommended to visit early in the morning or late in the evening when the crowds are smaller.

The Belgian Comic Strip Center: A Graphic Delight

Belgium has a rich tradition of comic strip art, and the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels celebrates this unique art form. The center is housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta, one of Belgium’s most famous architects.

Inside the center, visitors can explore various exhibitions and displays that showcase the history and evolution of Belgian comics. From classic characters like Tintin and The Smurfs to contemporary graphic novels, the center offers a comprehensive overview of the Belgian comic strip industry.

For comic book enthusiasts, the Belgian Comic Strip Center is a must-visit attraction. It provides a deeper understanding of the art form and its cultural significance in Belgium. Additionally, the center has a gift shop where visitors can purchase comic books and related merchandise.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium: Artistic Treasures

For art lovers, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium offer a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces. The museum complex consists of several buildings, each housing different collections and exhibitions.

The Old Masters Museum is home to an extensive collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Here, visitors can admire works by renowned artists such as Bruegel, Rubens, and Van Dyck.

The Magritte Museum is dedicated to the works of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. It houses the largest collection of Magritte’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures in the world, providing a comprehensive overview of his unique style and artistic vision.

Other buildings within the museum complex include the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Ancient Art, and the Museum of Fin-de-Siècle Art. Each offers a different perspective on the history and evolution of art.

The Mini-Europe: A Tour of Europe in Miniature

If you’re looking for a unique and fun experience in Brussels, look no further than Mini-Europe. This miniature park allows visitors to explore famous landmarks from across Europe in a scaled-down format.

Mini-Europe features over 350 miniature models of iconic European landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Acropolis. Each model is meticulously crafted and provides a realistic representation of the original structure.

Visitors can stroll through the park and marvel at the intricate details of each model. Additionally, interactive displays and multimedia presentations provide additional information about each landmark.

When visiting Mini-Europe, it is recommended to allocate at least a few hours to fully explore the park. There are also various activities and shows that take place throughout the day, adding to the overall experience.

The Parc du Cinquantenaire: A Serene Escape in the City

For those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Parc du Cinquantenaire is the perfect destination. This expansive park covers 30 hectares and offers a tranquil oasis in the heart of Brussels.

The Parc du Cinquantenaire was created for the 1880 National Exhibition and features beautiful gardens, fountains, and statues. The centerpiece of the park is the Triumphal Arch, which was built to commemorate Belgium’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation.

Within the park, visitors can enjoy leisurely walks, picnics on the grassy lawns, or simply relax by one of the many fountains. There are also several museums located within the park, including the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History.

For a truly serene experience, it is recommended to visit the Parc du Cinquantenaire early in the morning or during weekdays when the crowds are smaller. This will allow you to fully appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the park.

The Magritte Museum: Surrealism at Its Best

René Magritte is one of Belgium’s most famous artists, known for his surreal and thought-provoking paintings. The Magritte Museum in Brussels is dedicated to showcasing his works and providing insight into his artistic vision.

The museum houses the largest collection of Magritte’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures in the world. Visitors can explore various galleries that showcase different periods of his career, from his early works to his later, more iconic pieces.

The museum also provides information about Magritte’s life and influences, offering a deeper understanding of his artistic process. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations further enhance the visitor experience.

When visiting the Magritte Museum, it is recommended to allocate enough time to fully immerse yourself in his art. Take your time to study each painting and contemplate its meaning, as Magritte’s works often contain hidden messages and symbolism.

The Belgian Chocolate Village: A Sweet Treat for Chocolate Lovers

Belgium is renowned for its high-quality chocolate, and a visit to Brussels would not be complete without indulging in this sweet treat. The Belgian Chocolate Village is a museum dedicated to the history and production of chocolate in Belgium.

The museum offers a comprehensive overview of the chocolate-making process, from the cultivation of cocoa beans to the creation of delicious pralines and truffles. Visitors can learn about the different types of chocolate, taste samples, and even participate in workshops to create their own chocolates.

In addition to the educational aspect, the Belgian Chocolate Village also features stunning chocolate sculptures and displays that showcase the artistry and creativity of Belgian chocolatiers.

For chocolate lovers, a visit to the Belgian Chocolate Village is a must. It provides a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into creating this beloved treat.

Brussels is a city that offers a wealth of landmarks and attractions for visitors to explore. From the historical significance of the Grand Place to the futuristic design of the Atomium, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply indulging in delicious chocolate, Brussels has it all. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the unique offerings of this captivating city.

If you’re planning a trip to Belgium and looking for some must-visit places in Brussels, look no further! From the iconic Atomium to the stunning Grand Place, Brussels has a lot to offer. But if you want to explore beyond the tourist hotspots, check out this article on EU Wellbeing that provides valuable insights into finding the best car insurance near you. It’s always important to be prepared and protected while traveling, and this article offers tips and tricks to ensure you have the right coverage. So, before you embark on your adventure in Brussels, take a moment to read this informative piece: Finding the Best Car Insurance Near Me: Tips and Tricks.


What are some popular tourist attractions in Brussels?

Some popular tourist attractions in Brussels include the Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Atomium, Royal Palace of Brussels, and the Belgian Comic Strip Center.

What are some must-visit museums in Brussels?

Some must-visit museums in Brussels include the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Magritte Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Musical Instruments Museum.

What are some famous landmarks in Brussels?

Some famous landmarks in Brussels include the Atomium, the Royal Palace of Brussels, the Palace of Justice, and the Triumphal Arch.

What are some popular shopping destinations in Brussels?

Some popular shopping destinations in Brussels include the Rue Neuve, the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, and the Sablon district.

What are some traditional Belgian dishes to try in Brussels?

Some traditional Belgian dishes to try in Brussels include moules-frites (mussels and fries), carbonade flamande (beef stew), and waffles with toppings such as chocolate, whipped cream, and fruit.

What is the best time of year to visit Brussels?

The best time of year to visit Brussels is during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. However, the city is also beautiful during the winter holiday season when the Christmas markets are in full swing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related articles

Discovering Galapagos: Best Tours for a Memorable Adventure

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, are a group of volcanic...

Discover the Best Galapagos Tours for Unforgettable Adventures

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, are a unique and fascinating...

Top European Travel Companies: Your Ultimate Guide

The travel industry in Europe is thriving, with millions of tourists flocking to the continent each year to...

Top European Travel Companies: Your Ticket to Unforgettable Adventures

European travel companies are renowned for their expertise in providing unforgettable experiences for travelers. With a rich history,...