Things To Do In Brussels

7 Unmissable Things To Do In Brussels

Still haven’t been to Brussels? You need to, ASAP. The European Union hub is so much more than a political city. Dive in beneath the surface and you’ll find rich history, cutting-edge art and an artisan food scene.

We recently teamed up with Visit Brussels to bring you the very best of what this charming city has to offer. From boozy beer tours to medieval squares, these are the essential things to do in Brussels.

1. Grand Place

The Grand-Place is considered as one of the most beautiful places of the world, and you’ll instantly agree.

You can take a tour of the Gothic town hall (Hotel de Ville), which has beautiful Brussels tapestries from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In summer the Grand Place is packed with people sipping beers on the square’s terrace restaurants, and in winter it’s lit up with festive lights.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Архитектура Москва Крижевская (@elena.krizhevskaya) on

2. Atomium

Have you ever walked through an atom? Well, in Brussels you can. The Atomium is one of Belgium’s most iconic structures and is an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times.

You take futuristic elevators through vividly lit tunnels that connect the different spheres in the atom, with various exhibitions and multimedia installations.

The highest ball is a restaurant with a great view over Brussels city and beyond.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by human slag (@tenebris.singfer) on

3. Place de Jeu Balle

A sprawling outdoor market in the southern Les Marolles neighbourhood, that’s  the only antique and flea market in the world to open 365 days a year.

Theres’s kitsch vintage bric-a-brac, vinyl records, colourful artwork and rare books and furniture. Basically, any curiosity you could ever imagine, you’ll find at this historical market.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hyesun (@sunghyesun) on

4. The Magritte Museum

This fantastic museum houses the world’s largest collection of artwork by iconic Belgian artist René Magritte.

Known for his witty and thought-provoking surrealist art, The Magritte Museum

The museum has paintings and sculptures, as well as advertising posters, musical scores, photographs and films made by Magritte and is a great way to spend an afternoon in the city. Keep an eye out for the bowler-hatted mirrors in the bathrooms – ideal for a selfie.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ben Chan (@bcbench) on

5. Chocolate & Beer tour

Look, you can’t visit Brussels without sampling some of the local treats – Belgian beer and Belgian chocolates. While there’s chocolatiers and pubs all over the city, it’s hard to know which is best.

This is where The Brussels Journey comes in. A superb walking food tour that brings you to the best beer and chocolate spots in Brussels, with a great guide who will also tell you all about the city itself.

Nibble on 100% cacao and raw cacao beans, bite into rich and soft praline ganache and taste chocolates unlike any you’ve tried before.

Beer lovers will try Belgian craft beers and traditional Trappist brews, and you’ll visit a former puppet theatre and other iconic bars along the way.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jordan Hamons (@jordanhamons) on

6. Christmas Markets

If you’re lucky enough to be in Brussels during winter, you’ve got to get into the Christmas spirit at the city’s Winter Wonders markets.

While the heart of the Christmas markets is at the festive Big Wheel at Place Sainte-Catherine, there’s over 250 wooden chalets spread across the city. 

There’s a great mix of crafts and food options, including Raclette, salmon smoked over open fires, mulled wine and deliciously boozy hot chocolate.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Peace of Infinity (@jahshebah) on

7. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Did you know that Europe’s oldest shopping arcade is in Brussels? The historic Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert are a magical place to browse the many  jewellery shops, luxury boutiques, Belgian chocolate shops, cafés and restaurants.

Twinkling lights add a warm glow to the three beautiful galleries and the stores look relatively unchanged from 150 years ago.

Make sure to check out Tropismes Bookshop, an elegant independent bookstore that has old-timey stucco ceilings, mirror walls and a little garden where you can read your book.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Niels Hak (@khasilen) on

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

View stories

1 comment