Attractions in Brussels
There are so many attractions and sights in Brussels that even your digital camera gets worn out before you bring everything with you. Here we give you some of the things to do with the sights of your holiday in Brussels:
While Oslo is known for the Sinnataggen, Brussels is known for its little skittish boy standing and peeing. There are many legends around the bronze statue, without anyone really knowing the answer to who the boy really is. Manneken Pis has many different costumes and is regularly dressed to suit the world’s events.
Today’s statue dates from 1619 and is located on the corner of Eikstraat and Stoofstraat streets not far from Grand Place.
What many don’t know is that Manneken Pis has a female counterpart. Jeanneke Pis is a statue (and fountain) located opposite the Grand Place for its more famous boy statue.
Jeanneke Pis is a modern work of art, set up in 1987 and shows a girl peeing. Walk the famous Rue des Bouchers restaurant and follow the impasse de la Fidélité dead end to the statue.
Atomium is a 103 meter high monument, but also something more. It is designed for information and knowledge dissemination and symbolizes an atomic nucleus enlarged 165 trillion times.
Atomium is located at Heysel metro station, just off MiniEuropa. You can climb to the top of the Atomium and get a great view. See official website.
Bruparck – Belgian village and MiniEuropa
Not far from Atomium you will find Bruparck (get off at Heysel metro station). Bruparck is really a major pleasure attraction, including a reconstructed Belgian village with associated cafes and restaurants.
Here you will also find Mini Europe, which is a collection of the 300 largest attractions in our continent.
By many connoisseurs, this has been voted the most beautiful place in the world. Not least, the space is fascinating in the evening when the light show is set at one time between 8 p.m. 2130 and 2315. This is Brussels’ main tourist attraction, and the place is no less attractive by the beautiful buildings surrounding the square. The town hall is a delight to the eye.
The Grand Place dates from the early 1400s. In 1998, the place became part of UNESCO’s world heritage.
The Koekelberg Basilica (also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart) is the world’s fifth largest church.
The first stone of the Koekelberg Basilica was laid in 1905, but the church was not completely completed until 1971.
The Royal Palace in Brussels
The Royal Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings in Brussels city. The castle was completed in 1829, and Leopold 1 was the first to use the palace as a royal residence.
The Royal Art Museum
In the Rue du Musée you will find the Royal Art Museum. More than 20,000 works of art have been collected here in the last 200 years in five different museums. You will find many of the great masters of sculpture, drawing and painting from the 15th century onwards.
The Beer Museum in Brussels
If you love beer, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Musée Bruxellois de la Gueuze on Rue Gheude 56 Street.
The museum is located at the family brewery Cantillon. Of course, you can taste the good Lambic beer. The entrance fee is reasonable, and opening hours are from 2 p.m. 0830 (1000) to 1700 Monday to Saturday.
The Cartoon Museum in Brussels
Behind the name Center Belge de la Bande Dessinée, it hides a favorite for children of all ages, namely the large comic book museum (and the Art nouveau museum). The address is 20 Rue des Sables.
Belgium is home to many of the world’s greatest cartoon heroes, such as Tintin, Asterix and Lucky Luke. Here they are gathered. There are also great opportunities to buy great cartoon souvenirs.
Natural Sciences Museum in Brussels
The Natural History Museum is located in the EU area of Brussels. The address is Rue Vautier 29. Not least, the museum’s dinosaur exhibit is popular with visitors.
The museum is open at 0930-1645 on weekdays (not Monday) and at 1000–1800 on weekends.
Tourist in Brussels
It should be no problem for a fairly pedestrian to experience most of the attractions in the center of Brussels on foot. If you, however, want guided transport with information about the sights, consider buying a 24-hour ticket for 150 kroner on the Brussels City Sightseeing Bus.
This one starts at the square in front of the train station and has thirteen fixed stops where you can hop off, stay as long as you want and hop on the next bus again.
Day 1 in Brussels
We suggest you start the day at Grand Place. Firstly you get to know the place which in many ways is the heart of the city, and secondly you may be lucky and get to see the place without too many other tourists. Third, the Grand Place is close to many other attractions in Brussels city.
Heart of Belgium – Grand Place
Don’t let the greatness of City Hall make you forget about the other buildings around Grand Place. Both the King’s house and the pool houses are worth a closer look. If you wonder how tall the town hall tower is, this stretches as far as 96 meters. If you enter the building called Maison du Roi (King’s house, ie the city museum), you will see an exhibition of the “clothes” for Manneken Pis. It is true that this little bronze statue gets clothes for the occasion. After visiting the Grand Place, we suggest you just go to Manneken Pis. Walk the street La Maison du Cygne until you reach him.
Walk straight west from Grand Place until you reach Rue de la Bourse Street. Bourse means stock exchange, and the street naturally leads you to the stock exchange, which is a great neoclassical building. You will see the stock exchange on the left as you reach Boulevard Anspach. After a look at the stock exchange, follow Boulevard Anspach north until you reach Rue du Fosse Aux Loups. Take this street on the right (easterly direction) until you reach Rue Neuve. Here you can relax with a lunch or maybe a glass of beer before you indulge in the shopping. Rue Neuve is one of the best shopping streets in the city.
Just east of Rue Neuve is Place des Martyrs, which has been regarded by many as the shame of Brussels. The square is one of two true 18th-century places in Brussels city and is considered an architectural gem. The space is now renovated and if you are a bit interested in architecture, it is worth going the extra few meters. The square is a model of Place Vendome in Paris.
Relaxation in the Parc de Brussels
Once the shopping thirst has been quenched on Rue Neuve, return to Rue du Fosse Aux Loups and follow it further east. The walk is approx. 1 kilometer, so take your time and know that you can relax in the beautiful park Parc de Brussels, the destination of the trip. At the north end of the park you have the National Palace, and at the south end the beautiful royal palace. After admiring the park’s amenities and magnificent buildings, the time is right to return to the Grand Place. It is not far away.
It may make sense that you start by going the same way back as you came. But when you cross the Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères, find the beer bar Morte Subite, perhaps the most talked about pub in Brussels. The bar is in typical 1900s style, and the bar’s name means sudden death. It serves a beer of the same name, which is a “must” to drink. However, the name reflects on a game the locals played in the early 1900s.
Once you’ve had enough beer in the first place, follow the street south to Grand Place. If you go to other crossroads in a westerly direction, you are in Rue des Bouchers, which is the main restaurant street for tourists in Brussels. Take a tour here and plan where to eat tonight’s dinner.
Day 2 in Brussels
Start the day with a fresh walk to the Parc de Brussels. Walk down the beautiful Rue Royale street and beyond where the street changes its name to Rue de la Régence. You pass Place Royale, which was built in the late 18th century. In the middle of the square now stands Godfrey of Bouillon.
After a short while, you will arrive at the Sablon neighborhood. Place du Grand Sablon serves as a gathering point for the people of Brussels city. The place is surrounded by shops (many antique shops), eateries and cozy cafes and bars. On weekends there is a market on the square. Place du Grand Sablon is known for the best chocolate too. Look for Wittamer or Pierre Marcolini. Some argue that Godiva is the best.
Sablon Church and Avenue Louise shopping street
Area attractions also include Sablon Church. Originally the church was outside the city walls, and not many people lived here. However, the city archers’ archipelago made a chapel, and in the 15th century a rebuilding started with the goal of creating a large and beautiful Gothic-style church. Today’s church was completed in the early 16th century. Many consider this church to be perhaps the most beautiful Gothic church in all of Brussels.
Continue south until you reach Place Louise, which is the beginning of Avenue Louise. This avenue is Brussels’s answer to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Here, the designer shops are located in close proximity along the three-kilometer street. Also nearby are Egmont Palace and Parc D’Egmont with its 40 bronze statues. The Egmont Palace was built in the middle of the 16th century.
Bruparck and Atomium
After lunch on Avenue Louise, take the metro to Heysel and visit Bruparck. Bruparck is a large entertainment area where you can experience Atomium among other things. Take the trouble of climbing to the top of the Atomium for a great view.
End the evening at a real Belgian fish restaurant. For advice, visit the Comme chez soi restaurant, located at Place Rouppe. Alternatively, head to Place Sainte-Catherine or Rue Sainte-Catherine. You get there by metro or by walking the Avenue Anspach a short distance before taking the Rue de l’Ecuyer to the west. Place Sainte-Catherine is an old fishing square, and the area offers a number of good seafood restaurants in all price ranges.