Brussels, Belgium | City Guide

Brussels, Belgium | City Guide

Hey friends! This is my second post for the City Guide series I’m slowly implementing into my blog. I decided to write a Brussels city guide after spending some time in the city this past summer. Brussels is a great place to spend some time if you’re traveling from Paris to Amsterdam (or vice versa) or even a trip on its own! This definitive city guide to Brussels will help you plan the perfect trip with information on hotels, travel, restaurants, and activities across the city. I hope you find this useful!


Brussels City Guide


Where To Stay 

I recommend you book your hotels through Expedia or Trivago to find and compare the best possible deals.  

Bedford Hotel & Congress Centre

Rue du Midi 135, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 507 00 00

This sophisticated hotel in central Brussels is less than a mile from both the iconic Manneken Pis fountain and the Grand Place. Complimentary buffet breakfast is offered in a casual restaurant, and there’s also a high-end dinner restaurant, as well as a piano bar, plus 17 conference rooms. It’s also surrounded by stores and restaurants full of delicious Belgian waffles, chocolates, and beers!

Hotel Pullman Brussels Centre Midi

Place Victor Horta 1, 1060 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 528 98 00

A 3-minute walk from train and metro services (it’s located inside the Midi train station, making it easy to get around the city AND the country), this upscale hotel is a 15-minute walk from the elegant Grand Place square in downtown Brussels. Upgraded rooms add Nespresso machines, Bose iPod docks, and complimentary minibars, while suites include separate living rooms. Room service is available 24/7. Amenities include a refined, lavishly furnished international restaurant, and a vibrant bar with a wine wall.

Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

Avenue du Boulevard 17, 1210 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 205 15 11

This modern downtown hotel lies a minute’s walk from Gare du Nord and 1.2 miles from both the Manneken Pis fountain and the exhibitions and concerts at the Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar). Amenities include a bright restaurant (with some of the best hotel food in the world) and a vibrant bar, as well as a fitness room and a sauna.

Hotel ibis Brussels Centre Gare Midi

Rue d'Angleterre 2-20, 1060 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 588 26 95

Opposite Bruxelles-Midi railway station, this modern hotel in the Saint-Gilles district is just under a mile from the iconic Manneken Pis fountain and a mile from the Grand Place square. There’s also an informal restaurant and a 24-hour bar, and a breakfast buffet is served for a charge. Pets are accepted for a fee.

9HOTEL CENTRAL

Rue des Colonies 10, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 504 99 10

The 9HOTEL CENTRAL is next to the Gare Centrale metro and 2 minutes’ walk from Brussel Centraal train station, this stylish hotel is 10 minutes’ walk from the iconic Manneken Pis fountain. A continental breakfast buffet is served in an airy room with exposed brick walls. There’s also an industrial-chic, 24-hour lobby lounge, plus a business center with a workspace.

Related:   24 Hours in Brussels, Belgium.

Museums

Museum of the City of Brussels

Grand Place, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 279 43 50

The Museum of the City of Brussels is a museum located in the Grand Place. It’s dedicated to the history and folklore of the City of Brussels, its development from its beginnings to today, which it presents through paintings, sculptures, tapestries, engravings, and photos.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Rue de la Régence 3, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 508 32 11

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are a group of art museums in Brussels, made up of xix museums connected with the Royal Museum, and two of them are in the main building. It includes the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Brussels, the Magritte Museum (mentioned below), and Fin-de-Siècle Museum with two other museums located a mile and a half away.

Magritte Museum

Rue de la Régence 3, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 508 32 11

The Magritte Museum is a museum dedicated to the work of the Belgian surrealist artist (and one of my favorite artists), René Magritte. It is one of the constituent museums of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. This multifaceted permanent installation is the biggest Magritte archive anywhere and most of the work is directly from the collection of the artist’s widow. Additionally, the museum includes Magritte’s experiments with photography from 1920 on and the short surrealist films he made from 1956 on.

Make sure you read this comprehensive Brussels city guide before your visit. Click To Tweet

Cinquantenaire Museum

Parc du Cinquantenaire 10, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 741 73 31

The Cinquantenaire Museum, located in the Jubelpark, is one of the biggest museums in Belgium and erected by former Belgian King Leopold II. Here, you see national archaeological artifacts from prehistory to the age of the Merovingians, as well as relics from Egypt, the Near East, Iran and Classical antiquity. Among the main attractions are the collections of Egyptian sarcophagi and Greek vases, the great mosaic floor from Apamea and the model of Ancient Rome.

Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate

Rue de la Tête d'or 9, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 514 20 48

The Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate is a small museum featuring chocolate-related exhibits & live demonstrations with a master chocolatier, created by the initiative of Gabrielle Draps, the wife of a famous Belgian chocolate artisan Joseph Draps, founder of the Godiva Chocolatier.


Food & Drink

Maison Dandoy – Grand Place

Rue au Beurre 31, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 540 27 02

Maison Dandoy is rumored to serve the best waffles, made fresh and cooked to order, in Brussels and is conveniently located only steps away from the Grand Place. If you love chocolate as much as I do, I recommend getting a waffle with chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream – delicious!! But, you can’t go wrong with just a waffle and some powdered sugar either.

Pasta Divina

Rue de la Montagne 16, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 511 21 55

Pasta Divina is a modern Italian restaurant located near the Grand Place, with some of the best homemade pasta you can find outside of Italy. The atmosphere is warm, inviting, and comfortable and guests often leave with a huge smile on their face and a full stomach. I recommend getting the Tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce, and some Tiramisu and coffee for dessert.

Comme chez Soi

Place Rouppe 23, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 512 29 21

Comme chez Soi is a French, Michelin starred restaurant located about a nine-minute walk from the Grand Place. The wine cellar is incredible so make sure you ask for a tour. You can see into the kitchen from the dining room so you can watch the calm determination and concentration of the chef and all the cooks, as they prepare exquisite dish after dish. My personal recommendation is the mixture of king crab and Gillardeau oysters.

Le Chou de Bruxelles

Rue de Florence 26, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 537 69 95

Le Chou de Bruxelles is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Brussels, located between the Avenue Louise and the famous Châtelain. Their specialty is Mussels, with around 30 different ways of preparing them. My favorite? The ‘Mussels of the Chef’ served in a white wine, garlic cream sauce with vegetables and some ginger.

Bia Mara

Rue du Marché aux Poulets 41, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 502 00 61

Bia Mara is originally an Irish restaurant that soon expanded to several locations across Europe, specializing in seafood (Bia Mara is Irish for seafood after all)… and I believe it has some of the best fish and chips in the world (even better than the ones that I tried in London)! You also can’t go wrong with the popcorn mussels.


Activites

Grand Place

1000 Brussels, Belgium

The Grand Place or Grote Markt is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse building containing the Museum of the City of Brussels. The square is the most important tourist destination and one of the most memorable landmark in Brussels. It was also named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Cinquantenaire

1000 Brussels, Belgium

Parc du Cinquantenaire or Jubelpark is a large public, urban park in the easternmost part of the European Quarter in Brussels. The surrounding 74-acre park esplanade was full of picturesque gardens, ponds, and waterfalls. It housed several trade fairs, exhibitions, and festivals at the beginning of the century. In 1930 the government decided to reserve Cinquantenaire for use as a leisure park.

Atomium

Square de l'Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 475 47 75

The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, located on the Heysel Plateau, and is now a museum. It stands at 335 feet tall and contains nine 60 foot diameter stainless steel clad spheres that are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Tubes 10-feet in diameter connect the spheres along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight vertices to the center. They enclose stairs, escalators and a lift (located in the central, vertical tube) to allow access to the five habitable spheres, which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant which has a panoramic view of Brussels.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Mini-Europe

1020 Brussels, Belgium | +32 2 474 13 13

Mini-Europe is a miniature park located in Bruparck at the foot of the Atomium. It contains reproductions of monuments in the European Union on display, at a scale of 1:25. Roughly 80 cities and 350 buildings are represented. The park contains live-action models such as trains, mills, an erupting Mount Vesuvius, and cable cars. A guide gives the details on all the monuments. At the end of the visit, the “Spirit of Europe” exhibition gives an interactive overview of the European Union in the form of multimedia games.

Parlamentarium

Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 283 22 22

As you know, Brussels is the capital of the European Union. The Parlamentarium is the visitors’ center of the European Parliament and is located in the Parliament’s Espace Léopold complex in Brussels. It’s open every day, visits are completely free and can be experienced in no less than 24 European languages.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.


Notable Sites

Manneken Pis

1000 Brussels, Belgium

Manneken Pis is a landmark small bronze sculpture in Brussels, depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. Yes, you read that right. It was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618 or 1619 and is the best-known symbol of the people of Brussels. It embodies their sense of humor and their independence of mind.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Mont des Arts

1000 Brussels, Belgium

One of the best views of Brussels can be found at the Mont des Arts. From the elevated vantage point, the famous tower of the Brussels Town Hall in the Grand Place is clearly visible and on a sunny day, even the Atomium can be seen.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Arcade du Cinquantenaire

1000 Brussels, Belgium

Arcade du Cinquantenaire is a monumental triple arch in the center of the Cinquantenaire park. It is topped by a bronze quadriga sculptural group with a woman charioteer, representing Brabant raising the national flag. The columns echo the original layout of Avenue de Tervuren, which was once divided into three roadways lined with a double row of trees. The sidewalls feature personifications of Belgian provinces: Brabant being represented by the quadriga, East Flanders, West Flanders, Antwerp, Liège, Hainaut, Limburg, Namur and Luxembourg. Twelve spandrels are decorated with allegories of Arts and Industry.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Galerie du Roi 5, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 545 09 90

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a luxurious shopping mall, consisting of two major sections, each more than 100 yards in length. It includes some of the finest names in Belgian and international luxury – Leather goods, clocks, designers, renowned chocolate shops … as well as the restaurants and cultural venues such as the Cinéma Galeries, the Musée des lettres et manuscrits, the Vaudeville and the Théâtre Royal des Galeries.

Church of Our Lady of Laeken

Parvis Notre Dame, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 478 20 95

The Church of Our Lady of Laeken is a neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church in Laeken, Brussels. It was originally built in memory of Queen Louise-Marie, wife of King Leopold I to the design of architect Joseph Poelaert. If you are fascinated with cemeteries like I am, then don’t miss this one, as it has some amazing old gravestones and is the final resting place of senior members of the Belgian royal family. It’s not as centrally located in Brussels as other impressive churches but if you can make it out to Laeken, don’t miss paying a visit to this church and the adjoining cemetery.

Royal Palace of Brussels

Rue Brederode 16, B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium | +32 2 551 20 20

The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official palace of the King and Queen of the Belgians in the center of the nation’s capital. The palace is open to the public during the summer months, and there’s enough artwork and interesting furniture on display to keep you interested.

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Like This Post? Pin It!

Wondering & Wandering's Brussels city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.
The following two tabs change content below.
Bri is the Harry Potter obsessed founder of Wondering & Wandering. When she's not blogging or traveling, you can usually find her in bed with a good book and a glass of wine.

Latest posts by Bri (see all)

Follow:
THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. HOWEVER, THERE MAY BE AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU CHOOSE TO PURCHASE ITEMS THROUGH THESE LINKS, WE WILL EARN A SMALL COMMISSION AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. THESE COMMISSIONS HELP REDUCE THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE. THANKS

1 Comment

  1. December 8, 2017 / 5:43 pm

    You have certainly covered the key attractions. I like Brussels’ culinary scene a lot. Those steamed mussels are well worth trying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *