headerimage

Menu:


Stay Connected!

Must Sees - Brussels

 

Brussels is a city of contrasts with enormous diversity when it comes to places of interest and things to do. Below we've listed a few of those sights from museums & monuments to parks & points of interest. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, we feel it represents a genuine sampling of the diversity Brussels has to offer travelers. After all, you've got to start somewhere!

 

 

 


Monuments

Museums

Events

 

 

Monuments

Grand Place

The Grand Place, with its ornate baroque and gothic guild houses, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Built as a merchants market in the 13th century, it serves as the city center and a great place to enjoy Belgian hospitality at one of the many terrace cafes. It is also a venue for many concerts & events throughout the year and during the warmer months has a vibrant, daily flower market.

Town Hall (Hotel de Ville)

The first building you notice upon entering the Grand Place is the striking gothic town hall, which dates back to the 13th century. Its beautiful facade features the famous needle-like crooked spire which is 315 feet in height and is topped by the archangel St. Michael. Tours are available of the interior, which contains 15th century tapestries and works of art.

brussels town hall

The Royal Palace (Palais Royal)

The official home of the Belgian king, you will always know if he is in the country when you see the Belgian flag flying on top of the building. The building is a highlight of Neo-Classical architecture and overlooks Brussels Park. The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer months.

brussels

Manneken Pis

 

This famous statue of a little boy peeing in a fountain is a perfect representative of the irreverent Belgian humor. The unique Brussels icon has been amusing visitors on the corner of Rue de L’Etuve & Stroofstraat since 1619. Over time it has become a tradition for visiting heads of state to donate miniature versions of their national costume for the little naked boy. The wardrobe of Mannekin Pis can be seen at the Brussels museum and includes over 760 outfits – even an authentic Elvis jumpsuit.

brussels mannekin pis

Coudenberg

An underground trail to discover the remains of King Charles the Fifth's palace. A fascinating walk under Place royale to discover the remains of the Coudenberg Palace, one of the main residences of Charles V in the past.
The former Hoogstraeten house - and its magnificent and entirely renovated gothic gallery - houses the Museum of the Coudenberg where you'll be able to admire the most beautiful archaeological discoveries of the last 25 years of the Coudenberg excavations history...

Galeries St Hubert

This gorgeous, glass roofed arcade in the center of town, lined with cafes, theaters and luxury stores has the distinction of being the first shopping arcade in Europe. Built in 1847 and recently renovated, the Royal Galleries (Galerie de la Reine, du Roi and du Prince) are one of the most astonishing places to visit in Brussels.

brussels

Atomium

Built for the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium represents a molecule’s nine atoms – magnified 165 billion times. Something of a symbol of the city, it provides a panoramic view of Brussels and its surroundings. The 9 spheres that make up the “atom” are linked by escalators. The Atomium hosts a museum and is also a venue for special events.

In Summer : take part in a unique activity: a Death-Ride from the top sphere of the Atomium! A breathtaking descent of more than 100 meters!

Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule

This magnificent cathedral, tactfully dedicated to the male and female patron saints of Brussels, is located near Central Station. It was completed by the end of the 15th century in the Brabant Gothic style, but was damaged by the French shelling of 1695. The white stone façade is from the year 1250 and the interior is splendidly proportioned and stuffed with treasures.

brussels cathedrale

Place du Grand Sablon

This picturesque square is situated on the slope that divides Brussels between the upper and lower halves of the city. Decked out with chic boutiques, al fresco cafes, fashionable restaurants, and trendy bars, the Grand Sablon is most famous for its lively open-air antiques market which attracts antiques dealers from all over the world. Open every weekend (Sat 9-6, Sun 9-2).

Place du Petit Sablon

Just above the Grand Sablon is the jewel of a square - Petit Sablon. Originally a horse market, it was converted in 1890 into an elegant & charming flower garden with lavish fountains, surrounded by wrought-iron fences decorated with stone statuettes. Each figure represents a medieval trade or craft that brought prosperity to Brussels. Today it is a favorite area to relax while taking in the pretty view.

brussels

Maison du Chocolat

 

 

Rue de Bouchers

Known more for the atmospheric charm, Rue de Boucher is a walking thoroughfare abounding with 17th century stepped gables, decorated doorways, cafes and restaurants with lavish pavement displays of seafood, piled high on mounds of ice. This street offers a wide variety of restaurants at various price points. Two of the most well known restaurants are Chez Leon and Aux Armes de Bruxelles.

Rue de bouchers

 

 

Museums

The Museum of Ancient Art

The Museum of Ancient Art has got a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 15th until 18th century. Built up around a core of revolutionary captures and deposits of the French state, this collection was constantly enriched by the acquisitions, but also by gifts and legacies of numerous patrons. The paintings of the Ancients of the southern Netherlands make up an essential part of this collection (Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Dirk Bouts, Hans Memling, Jérôme Bosch, Bruegel, Pierre-Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, Antoine van Dyck).
The visit also includes an exceptional collection of terra cotta "modelli" from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as a beautiful series of paintings representing foreign schools.

 

Magritte Museum

In the building of the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium, visitors will be able to discover the world's largest collection of René Magritte's works. The collection is a perfect proof of René Magritte's oeuvre and covers all the periods from his life. The works on display, among which his most important masterpieces, are mainly from the legacies of Irène Scutenaire-Hamoir and Georgette Magritte and from purchases made by the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium, completed with works on loan from private persons.

 

MIM (The Museum of Musical Instruments)

The Museum of Musical Instruments is a strikingly beautiful building in Brussels combining the architectural styles of Neo-Classic and Art Nouveau. Housed in the museum is a collection of more than 7000 instruments of varying kinds and origins. On the top floor, the indoor & outdoor MIM Restaurant provides visitors with a magnificent 360° view of Brussels.

brussels museum

Museum Horta

The former home of Art Nouveau’s best-known architect, Victor Horta, is now the Horta Museum - a showcase of stained glass and subway tile, pale wood and wrought iron whose every corner seems magically bathed in golden sunlight.

brussels art nouveau

The Dinosaur Gallery at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Explore the largest dinosaur museum in Europe on permanent display at the Museum of Natural Sciences starting on October 27. This is a great exhibit for the whole family, with many new dinosaur skeletons to discover and learn about as well as hands-on activities for children.

The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art

Housed in an art nouveau masterpiece designed by Victor Horta, this museum pays homage to a particular Belgian passion, cartooning. Tintin and the Smurfs are the most famous Belgian comic strip characters but the museum also displays artwork from over 670 cartoonists. Other displays detail the stages of putting together a comic strip, from examples of initial ideas and pencil sketches through to final publication. Arranged over three levels, the museum also has a library and an art nouveau brewery.

Discover the centre of Brussels and its inhabitants by following the Comic Strip Route and admiring comic strip façades, walls and statues.

 

brussels comic strip

 

 

Events

Christmas Markets

During the month of December Brussels’ Grand Place is magically transformed into a winter wonderland of holiday delights with an enormous Christmas tree and nightly sound & light shows. Nearby on Place Sainte Catherine resides a European Christmas Market village made up of wooden cottages filled with Christmas goodies, European food specialties and handicrafts.

 

Cristmas Markets

Tapis de fleurs

 

A million begonias for... one single carpet? This is certainly an extraordinary achievement. The famous Carpet of Flowers covers almost 20,000 square foot right in the centre of the Grand Place.

carpet flower

Ommegang Festival (Grand Place)

Take a seat on the tiered stands or lean on the low barriers and find yourself transported to 1549. Every year, the lavish Ommegang procession commemorates the tribute paid to Emperor Charles V and his VIP guests. Richly-colored costumes, horses, embroidered banners, flag throwing and stilt jousting are always on the menu for this annual event.

brussels festival