Brussels the capital city of Belgium and the principal residence of Belgium Royal Family, the principal residence of the Belgian Royal Family, and the capital city of the European Union, is a very small, easy-going city of human size for all its significance.
Contrary to stunning Bruges and Ghent with their huge numbers of visitors, Brussels is Belgium’s main economic and educational center that provides the city with an urban feel that is different from other cities.
Here, you can get an authentic experience of Belgian life, especially its amazing cafe and restaurant culture. Find your current location pin code.
While Brussels might not be home to the top tourist attractions of the other Belgian cities, however, the capital city has plenty to keep visitors busy for a few days. It is home to a host of top exhibitions and museums and also some quirky sightseeing attractions, like the Atomium as well as some amazing pieces of architecture from the old town area.
After you’ve marveled in awe of Gothic and Baroque beauty Make sure you buy Brussels the world-famous chocolate. Here, what is my zip code for zip code?
Learn more about the best destinations to visit in our guide of the top tourist attractions and activities to enjoy in Brussels.
1. Stroll around Grand Place (Grote Markt)
In the middle of Brussels Old Town, the main plaza of the city (known in the local press as Grand Place) is one of the best-preserved places in Europe and Brussels’ top tourist attraction.
A large part of the square’s elegant appearance is due to its distinctive architecture of the elegant Gildehuizen (guild homes) with their impressive pilasters, gables, and balustrades with intricately carved stonework and elaborate gold decorations.
Grand Place’s distinctive character is the uniformity of Baroque style, along with some Flemish influences.
The harmony of the architecture is made possible by the short time of construction that took place here, with most of the buildings built between 1696 to 1797.
The story of the Grand Place dates back much longer, but. It was established around the year 11th century and was later redesigned to become the main political and economic hub of the city.
The most famous landmark in the square Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) was constructed in 1402 with an aim of supplanting that of the Stadhuis in the city of Bruges.
Within are some stunning rooms. The most striking include rooms like the Maximilian Chamber, hung with Brussels tapestries; the vast Council Chamber with an impressive ceiling by Victor Janssens as well as tapestries based on these designs. Also, there is the grand banqueting hall as well as the Marriage Chamber, both beautifully covered with panels; and finally, the Escalier of Honour, which has murals that illustrate the history of Brussels.
2. Visit Mannekin Pis
On the Rue de Leuven is Brussel’s most well-known landmark that is it is the Manneken Pis, usually besieged by tourists.
While it is possible to trace him back at least to 1388, little can be known regarding the source of the image of a child urinating often known as “the oldest citizen of Brussels.”
The Manneken however is filled with legends of various kinds. According to one legend, this fountain was a tribute to a brave child who stopped a fire According to another source, it honors one of the children of an aristocratic count, who was afflicted by a strong urge during the procession.
The statue that is in the present was created 1619 in 1619 by Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder and has been taken on numerous occasions but has always been recovered. In the midst of major celebrations, events, and festivals in Brussels The statue is famous for wearing costumes.
For an assortment of the variety of costumes Mannekin Pis has been dressed in through the years, make sure to visit Garderobe Mannekin Pis just down the road. This tiny museum showcases around 140 of the costumes in Mannekin’s vast wardrobe collection.
3. Saint-Michel Cathedral (Sint-Michiels Kathedraal)
It is dedicated in honor of St. Michael and St. Gudula (the patron saint of Brussels) This Gothic church was founded in 1225 but was only finished in the 15th century.
The exterior is stunning and majestically rises above an extensive set of steps, and is then crowned by twin towers that measure 69 meters high, created in the style of Jan van Ruysbroeck.
The stunningly proportioned inside (108 meters by 50 meters) is luxuriously furnished and home to stunning stained glass windows designed by Bernard van Orley.
Visit the transepts to view the most beautiful examples of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal (south transept) as well as the Hungarian royal couple Louis II and Mary (north transept) Then, head to the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament just on the right side of the church, and where the window tells the tale that inspired The Miracle of the Host.
4. See Belgium’s Famed Comic Heritage at the Belgian Comic Strip Center
The gorgeous 1906 structure was built by Victor Horta, is home to the amazing Comic Strip Center, devoted to the development of cartoons and comic strips across the nation that brought to the entire the world The Smurfs and Tintin.
A rotating exhibit of comic strips with 200 original illustrations created by Belgian or French comic artists are displayed here.
Additionally, the museum is able to document the growing popularity and popularity of Belgians. As well as French comic strips by presenting carefully curated collections of original sketches, draft manuscripts, and inventively reconstructed sets. Including Lucky Luke’s saloon as well as Tim, Struppi, and Captain Haddock’s moon rocket.
5. Tour the Place Royale (Koningsplein)
An ideal spot for photography The most significant landmark in the place is known as the Royal Palace (Palais Royal). Which is used by The Belgian Royal family to serve as their official residence.
The Belgian flag, which is flown out from the roof, signifies the sovereign’s presence. The ceremonial changing of the Guard is held each day at 2:30 pm.
From late July through the end of August. Private tours through the palaces inside including the magnificent reception rooms as well as halls are offered.
Around the palace are a collection of cultural structures with Neoclassical facades.
The Palais des Academies, home of the Royal Academy of Sciences. And used to be the residence of the Prince of Orange, the Crown Prince of Orange. And the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Paleis voor Schone Kunste) located on the west of the square. Which was designed and constructed around 1920 through Victor Horta. Which are two of the most impressive examples.
6. Explore the Masterpieces at the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts
The Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts (1875-81) is a combination of four distinct art museums. And together makeup is one of the biggest and most prestigious art galleries in the world.
The museum was born from an initial collection that was established in 1797. It was initially located in the former residence that was residence of Charles of Lorraine. It was later transferred to the newly founded Musees Royaux in 1846.
The Musee Old Masters holds a collection of works that are famous Flemish. As well as Dutch Old Masters. Some of the most famous works in the collection include Gerard David’s Adoration of the Magi. And as well as Rogier van der Wijden’s The Mourning of Christ, Pieta by Petrus Christus. And Dirk Bouts’ Judgement of Emperor Otto.
The galleries of Musee Modern focus on art that dates from the 19th century up to the present. It has temporary exhibition halls and galleries in the basement of the Musee Fin-de-Siecle. Which is dedicated to art from the time that ran from 1884 until 1914. Which was the time when Brussels became one of the European major cultural centers.
Nearby is the Musee Magritte. Which is dedicated to the work of the Belgian artist and surrealist Rene Magritte. The museum houses the largest Magritte collection of his work in the world. And is regarded by many tourists to Brussels as the most important of the city’s numerous art tourism attractions.
Magritte (1898-1967) is one of the leading artists in Belgium’s surrealist art scene. The museum showcases the collections of work by Magritte in chronological order to allow visitors to see the way his art evolved through the years. Based on world changes and his personal and political influences.