1. La Grand-Place
The Grand Place in Brussels should, without doubt, be your first stop in this wonderful city. The square is surrounded by some of the most splendid buildings around, including the majestic 15th Century Town Hall. The Gothic masterpiece was one of the only buildings to remain after Bombardment of Brussels by the French in 1695, which destroyed much of the city.
In present day, the square hosts a number of events all year round, including the famous flower carpet, Brussels Jazz Weekend, as well as the Belgian Beer Weekend. Surrounded by cafés, bars, and restaurants, the Grand-Place acts as the perfect place to start your Brussels adventure.
2. Beer Tasting
After visiting the Grand-Place, it is the perfect time to stroll down one of the side streets and sample some of Belgium’s famous beer. One of the most well-known to tourists is the Delirium Café, and with an offering of over 2,000 beers it’s easy to see why! A favourite that we found was Au Brasseur, just off the corner of the Grand-Place. With friendly staff and outside space that caught the best of the September sun, it became an easy favourite. My beer recommendation would definitely be Kwok, only partly due to the novelty of the glass. I would also recommend trying the 6-beer flight tasters at €19 each to try some of the most popular beers.
For sports fans, The Big Game sports bar is a great option. With an incredible number of screens making you feel as though you are in the Sky Sports studios, as well as the cheapest beer we could find in Brussels, this is a great place to go to catch the football from around Europe.
3. Atomium and Mini-Europe
Just a short journey outside of the city-centre is the imposing Atomium. Constructed in 1958 for the World Fair in Brussels, the impressive structure is a unit cell of an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times. The Atomium, originally scheduled to last no longer than Epxo 58, has now become a favourite of the Brussels skyline. It houses a host of permanent and temporary exhibitions, with the top ‘sphere’ home to a 360 degree viewing platform and restaurant.
Whilst at the Atomium, you can purchase a dual ticket to visit the Mini-Europe, which is located just across the road. The route takes you around some of Europe’s finest attractions, including the Eiffel Tower of Paris, London’s Houses of Parliament (complete with tiny Brexiteers), and Pisa’s famous leaning tower. With lots of fun and interactive things to do on the route, it can certainly keep you busy for a couple of hours.
4. Museum of Natural Sciences
Another short bus ride out of the city-centre takes you to the European Commission Headquarters, and beyond that to the Museum of Natural Sciences. In the 19th Century, a number of Iguanodon skeletons were found in Bernissart, Belgium, and these impressive and imposing dinosaurs are on display in grand glass cases. Alongside this, there are a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions to enjoy throughout the museum, as well as a café and a shop.
Museum of Natural Sciences
Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
5. Cantillon Brewery Tour
Visiting a brewery must be on your list of things to do in Brussels, and if so why not visit the traditional and only remaining lambic brewery in the country. Again located just a short journey from the centre of Brussels, the unassuming front of the brewery gives nothing away of the brilliant tour within. With tours available in several languages, you can be guided through the honest, dusty and cobwebbed warehouse to learn all about lambic brewing, the history of the brewery, and how they use all of the traditional equipment. Finish the tour by enjoying a taste of the famous Cantillon beer, and head to the gift shop to take home some souveneirs.
Cantillon Brewery and Museum of the Gueuze
Rue Gheude 56, 1070 Anderlecht, Belgium
Where do you think we have missed? What are your favourite things to do in Brussels? Let us know in the comments below.