Discovering the Best of Brussels: Top Must-Visit Attractions in Belgium’s Capital City


Share post:

Rate this post

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is a vibrant and diverse travel destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. Known for its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and rich history, Brussels is a city that should not be missed by any traveler. From its iconic landmarks to its world-class museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this captivating city.

Exploring the landmarks and attractions of Brussels is essential to truly experience the city’s rich culture and history. Each landmark tells a story and offers a glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to connect with the city on a deeper level. Whether it’s admiring the stunning architecture of the Grand Place or learning about the European Union at the European Parliament, exploring these landmarks will leave you with a greater appreciation for Brussels and all it has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • The Grand Place is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that should not be missed.
  • The Atomium is a unique and iconic structure that is a must-see for visitors to Brussels.
  • The Manneken Pis is a quirky and famous landmark that is sure to make you smile.
  • The Royal Museums of Fine Arts are a must-visit for art lovers, with an impressive collection of works from around the world.
  • The European Parliament is a fascinating political institution that offers a glimpse into the workings of the EU.

The Grand Place: A Stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Grand Place, also known as Grote Markt in Dutch, is one of Brussels’ most iconic landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful buildings, the Grand Place is a must-visit destination for any traveler to Brussels.

The history of the Grand Place dates back to the 11th century when it was just a market square. Over the centuries, it evolved into the bustling center of Brussels and became home to some of the city’s most important buildings. The architecture of the buildings in the Grand Place is a mix of Gothic, Baroque, and Louis XIV styles, creating a stunning visual display.

Visiting the Grand Place is an experience like no other. As you enter the square, you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking sight of the Town Hall, which dominates one side of the square with its Gothic spires and intricate details. Surrounding the square are guildhalls that were once home to various trade guilds. Each guildhall has its own unique design and history, making it worth exploring.

The Atomium: A Unique Iconic Structure

The Atomium is another iconic landmark in Brussels that is not to be missed. Built for the 1958 World Expo, the Atomium was designed to represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. It quickly became a symbol of Brussels and is now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

The structure itself is a marvel of engineering and design. It consists of nine interconnected spheres, each with its own exhibition space. Visitors can take an elevator to the top sphere, where they can enjoy panoramic views of Brussels. Inside the spheres, there are various exhibitions that explore different aspects of science, technology, and art.

In addition to the exhibitions, the Atomium also offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. There is a restaurant located in one of the spheres where you can dine while enjoying the view. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and a mini version of the Atomium to take home with you.

The Manneken Pis: A Quirky and Famous Landmark

Fact Detail
Name The Manneken Pis
Location Brussels, Belgium
Height 61 cm (24 in)
Material Bronze
History Created in the early 17th century, the statue has become a symbol of Brussels and has been stolen and replaced several times throughout its history.
Meaning The statue depicts a young boy urinating and is said to represent the rebellious spirit of the people of Brussels.
Traditions The statue is dressed in various costumes throughout the year and is often connected to local festivals and events.
Popularity The Manneken Pis is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brussels and has inspired numerous replicas and souvenirs.

The Manneken Pis is perhaps one of Brussels’ most famous landmarks, known for its quirky and playful nature. The statue depicts a small boy urinating into a fountain and has become a symbol of Brussels’ irreverent sense of humor.

The history and legend surrounding the Manneken Pis are shrouded in mystery. Some believe that it represents the rebellious spirit of the people of Brussels, while others think it was created as a symbol of good luck and fertility. Regardless of its origins, the statue has become an important part of Brussels’ cultural identity.

The statue itself is quite small, standing at just 61 centimeters tall. It is located in a small square near the Grand Place and is often dressed up in various costumes throughout the year. The costumes are changed regularly and reflect different themes and events, adding to the charm and whimsy of the statue.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts: A Must-Visit for Art Lovers

For art lovers, a visit to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts is a must. Located in the heart of Brussels, the museum is home to an extensive collection of artwork from various periods and styles.

The museum is divided into several sections, each dedicated to a different type of art. The Old Masters Museum houses works from the 15th to the 18th centuries, including masterpieces by artists such as Rubens, Bruegel, and Van Dyck. The Modern Museum showcases works from the 19th and 20th centuries, including pieces by artists such as Magritte, Delvaux, and Ensor.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that explore different themes and artists. These exhibitions offer visitors the opportunity to see new and exciting artwork and gain a deeper understanding of different artistic movements.

To make the most of your visit to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, it is recommended to plan your visit in advance. The museum can be quite large and overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to prioritize which sections you want to see and allow yourself enough time to explore each one.

The European Parliament: A Fascinating Political Institution

Brussels is not only the capital city of Belgium but also the de facto capital of the European Union. As such, it is home to several important EU institutions, including the European Parliament.

The European Parliament is one of the key institutions of the EU and plays a crucial role in shaping European legislation and policies. It is made up of elected representatives from all EU member states who come together to debate and vote on various issues.

Visitors to Brussels have the opportunity to learn more about the EU and its workings by visiting the European Parliament. The Parliament offers guided tours that take visitors through its buildings and facilities, providing insight into the daily operations of the institution.

During the tour, visitors can explore the Hemicycle, where parliamentary debates take place, as well as the Parlamentarium, an interactive museum that explains the history and functioning of the EU. There are also opportunities to attend debates and committee meetings, allowing visitors to witness firsthand how decisions are made at the European level.

The Royal Palace of Brussels: A Magnificent Display of Architecture and History

The Royal Palace of Brussels is another must-visit landmark in the city. Located in the heart of Brussels, the palace is the official residence of the King and Queen of Belgium and serves as a symbol of the country’s monarchy.

The history of the Royal Palace dates back to the 18th century when it was built as a residence for the ruling family. The architecture of the palace is a mix of neoclassical and Louis XVI styles, with its grand facade and intricate details.

Visitors to Brussels can explore the Royal Palace during the summer months when it is open to the public. The interior of the palace is just as impressive as its exterior, with beautifully decorated rooms and halls that showcase Belgium’s rich history and culture.

In addition to touring the palace, visitors can also enjoy the surrounding gardens and park. The gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city and provide stunning views of Brussels’ skyline.

The Comic Strip Center: A Celebration of Belgium’s Comic Art Tradition

Belgium has a rich tradition of comic art, with famous characters such as Tintin and The Smurfs originating from the country. The Comic Strip Center in Brussels celebrates this tradition and is a must-visit for comic book enthusiasts.

The museum is housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta, one of Belgium’s most famous architects. The building itself is worth a visit, with its stunning glass roof and intricate details.

Inside the museum, visitors can explore the history of Belgian comic art through a range of exhibits and displays. The museum showcases original artwork, sketches, and manuscripts from famous Belgian comic artists, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the creative process behind their favorite comics.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that explore different aspects of comic art, from the history of specific characters to the influence of Belgian comics on the global industry. These exhibitions offer visitors the opportunity to discover new artists and stories and gain a greater appreciation for the art form.

The Mini-Europe: A Fun and Educational Experience for All Ages

For a unique and educational experience, a visit to Mini-Europe is a must. Located near the Atomium, Mini-Europe is a miniature park that showcases scaled-down models of famous landmarks and attractions from across Europe.

The park features over 350 models, including iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Acropolis. Each model is meticulously crafted and provides visitors with a glimpse into the architectural diversity of Europe.

In addition to the models, Mini-Europe also offers various activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. There are interactive displays that provide information about each landmark, as well as multimedia shows that bring the models to life. There is also a playground and a restaurant where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal.

Mini-Europe is not only fun for children but also offers educational opportunities for all ages. It provides a unique way to learn about European history, culture, and architecture in a fun and interactive way.

The Sablon District: A Charming Neighborhood with Antique Shops and Chocolatiers

The Sablon District is one of Brussels’ most charming neighborhoods and is known for its antique shops and chocolatiers. Located just a short walk from the Grand Place, the Sablon District offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city center.

The architecture of the Sablon District is a mix of medieval, Gothic, and Art Nouveau styles, with its narrow streets and beautiful facades. The neighborhood is home to several antique shops where visitors can browse a wide range of unique and rare items, from furniture to artwork.

In addition to its antique shops, the Sablon District is also known for its chocolatiers. Belgium is famous for its chocolate, and the Sablon District is the perfect place to indulge in this sweet treat. There are several renowned chocolatiers in the neighborhood that offer a wide range of chocolates, from traditional pralines to innovative flavors.

Exploring the Sablon District is a delightful experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in Brussels’ rich history and culture. Whether you’re searching for a unique antique or indulging in some delicious chocolate, the Sablon District has something for everyone.

The Belgian Chocolate Village: A Delicious Exploration of Belgium’s Chocolate Culture

No visit to Brussels would be complete without exploring Belgium’s chocolate culture, and the Belgian Chocolate Village is the perfect place to do just that. Located in a former chocolate factory, the museum offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the history and production of Belgian chocolate.

The museum features exhibits that trace the history of chocolate in Belgium, from its introduction by the Spanish in the 17th century to its rise as one of Belgium’s most famous exports. Visitors can learn about the different types of chocolate, the process of making chocolate, and even try their hand at making their own chocolates.

In addition to its exhibits, the Belgian Chocolate Village also offers workshops and tastings where visitors can further explore their love for chocolate. There is also a shop where you can purchase a wide range of Belgian chocolates to take home with you.

Visiting the Belgian Chocolate Village is a delicious experience that allows visitors to indulge in their love for chocolate while learning about its rich history and cultural significance in Belgium.

Brussels is a city that offers a wealth of landmarks and attractions for visitors to explore. From the stunning architecture of the Grand Place to the quirky charm of the Manneken Pis, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

By visiting these landmarks and attractions, travelers can gain a deeper understanding of Brussels’ rich culture and history. Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or a chocolate enthusiast, Brussels has something to offer you.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Europe, be sure to include Brussels on your itinerary. The city’s landmarks and attractions are waiting to be explored, and they are sure to leave you with lasting memories and a greater appreciation for this captivating city.

Looking for hassle-free travel tips for your European adventure? Check out this informative article on securing your European adventure with Travelodge Insurance. It provides a comprehensive guide to ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable trip. From protecting your belongings to dealing with unexpected emergencies, this article covers it all. So, before you embark on your journey to Brussels, Belgium, make sure to read this article and secure your peace of mind. (source)


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 is the best time to visit Brussels?

The best time to visit Brussels is during the months of March to May and September to November when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

What is the currency used in Brussels?

The currency used in Brussels is the Euro.

What is the official language spoken in Brussels?

The official languages spoken in Brussels are French and Dutch, but English is widely spoken as well.

What is the transportation system like in Brussels?

The transportation system in Brussels includes buses, trams, and a metro system. There are also taxis and bike rentals available.

What is the food like in Brussels?

The food in Brussels is known for its waffles, chocolate, and beer. Other popular dishes include moules-frites (mussels and fries), stoemp (mashed potatoes with vegetables), and carbonnade flamande (beef stew).

What is the dress code for visiting religious sites in Brussels?

Visitors to religious sites in Brussels should dress modestly and cover their shoulders and knees. Some sites may require visitors to cover their heads as well.

What is the voltage used in Brussels?

The voltage used in Brussels is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz. Visitors from countries with different voltage and frequency may need a converter or adapter for their electronic devices.


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,...