If you are planning a trip to Europe, Brussels should definitely be on your list. This vibrant city is not only the capital of Belgium but also the headquarters of the European Union. Brussels is known for its stunning architecture, delicious food, and world-class beer. With so much to see and do, planning your itinerary can be overwhelming. This 3-day travel guide will help you make the most out of your visit to Brussels. From where to eat and sleep to the best sights and free tours, we’ve got you covered!.
Day 1: Exploring the City Center
On your first day in Brussels, start by exploring the city center. Here are some of the most important places that you should not miss:
- Grand Place: This is the central square of Brussels and is considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. The square is surrounded by stunning 17th-century buildings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Manneken Pis: This iconic statue of a urinating boy is a symbol of the city and is located just a few steps away from the Grand Place.
- Rue des Bouchers:
This street is famous for its numerous restaurants and cafes serving traditional Belgian cuisine such as moules frites (mussels and fries) and waffles.
- Royal Palace: This beautiful palace is the official residence of the King of the Belgians and is located just a short walk from the city center. The palace is open to the public during the summer months.
- Atomium: This futuristic structure was built for the 1958 World Expo and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brussels. The Atomium offers great views of the city from its top sphere.
After a busy day of sightseeing, you can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the city center. Brussels is known for its diverse cuisine, from traditional Belgian dishes to international cuisine. If you are looking for a quick bite, try some Belgian fries or a waffle from one of the many street vendors.
For more information on what to see in Brussels, check out the official tourism website of the city of Brussels.
Day 2: Discovering the Art and Culture of Brussels
On your second day in Brussels, explore the city’s rich art and culture scene. Here are some places you should consider visiting:
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium: This museum complex houses over 20,000 works of art from the 15th to the 21st century, including works by Flemish masters such as Rubens and Bruegel.
- Musical Instruments Museum: This museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of musical instruments, with over 8,000 instruments from all over the world.
- Magritte Museum: This museum is dedicated to the works of the famous Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. The museum houses over 200 works by the artist, including his famous painting «The Son of Man.»
- Palais des Beaux-Arts: This cultural center hosts a variety of exhibitions, concerts, and other events throughout the year.
If you are interested in architecture, don’t miss the Art Nouveau buildings that can be found throughout the city, especially in the neighborhoods of Ixelles and Saint-Gilles.
After a day of exploring the city’s art and culture scene, you can relax at one of the many bars or cafes in the city. Brussels is famous for its beer, so be sure to try some of the local brews.
Day 3: Exploring Brussels’ Neighborhoods
On your third day in Brussels, venture out of the city center and explore some of the city’s neighborhoods. Here are some areas worth checking out:
- Sainte-Catherine: This neighborhood is located just north of the city center and is known for its lively atmosphere and seafood restaurants.
- Sablon: This upscale neighborhood is home to many antique shops and art galleries. The Sablon Square is a great place to relax and enjoy a coffee or a pastry.
- Matonge: This vibrant neighborhood is home to many African restaurants and shops, as well as a colorful street art scene.
- Marolles: This historic neighborhood is home to many vintage shops and flea markets. The Place du Jeu de Balle is a popular spot for antique hunting.
- Parc du Cinquantenaire: This beautiful park is located in the European Quarter and is home to several museums and monuments, including the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History.
After exploring the city’s neighborhoods, you can enjoy a relaxing evening at one of the city’s many parks or gardens, such as the Botanic Garden or the Bois de la Cambre.
Where to Sleep in Brussels
Brussels has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some suggestions:
- Grand Place: If you want to stay in the heart of the city, the area around the Grand Place has many hotels and apartments to choose from.
- European Quarter: This area is home to many international organizations and has several high-end hotels.
- Saint-Gilles: This neighborhood is located just south of the city center and has many charming bed and breakfasts and guesthouses.
- Hostels: Brussels has several hostels that offer affordable accommodation for backpackers and budget travelers.
For more information on where to sleep in Brussels, check out the official tourism website of the city of Brussels.
Where to Eat in Brussels
Brussels is known for its diverse cuisine, from traditional Belgian dishes to international cuisine. Here are some places worth checking out:
- Chez Léon: This traditional Belgian restaurant is famous for its moules frites (mussels and fries).
- Belga Queen: This upscale restaurant is located in a beautiful Art Nouveau building and serves contemporary Belgian cuisine.
- Comme Chez Soi: This Michelin-starred restaurant is one of the most famous in Brussels and serves French-Belgian cuisine.
- Waffles de Bruxelles: This small shop in the city center serves some of the best waffles in Brussels.
- Fritland: This no-frills snack bar is a local favorite for Belgian fries.
For more information on where to eat in Brussels, check out the official tourism website of the city of Brussels.
Free Tours in Brussels
If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to explore the city, consider taking a free walking tour. Here are some companies that offer free tours in Brussels:
- Brussels Greeters: This organization offers free tours led by locals who are passionate about their city.
- Sandemans New Europe: This company offers a free walking tour of Brussels ‘s city center, as well as paid tours of other parts of the city.
- Free Tours Brussels: This company offers several free walking tours of Brussels, including a food tour and a beer tour.
- Use-It Brussels: This organization offers free maps and guides to Brussels, as well as a free walking tour of the city.
Keep in mind that while these tours are free, it is customary to tip your guide at the end of the tour.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to visit Brussels?
The best time to visit Brussels is from March to May or from September to November, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
What is the currency used in Brussels?
The currency used in Brussels is the Euro.
Is it necessary to speak French or Dutch to visit Brussels?
While French and Dutch are the official languages of Brussels, English is widely spoken throughout the city.
Is Brussels a safe city for tourists?
Brussels is generally a safe city, but like any large city, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid pickpocketing and other petty crimes.
Brussels is a vibrant and exciting city with something to offer for everyone. We hope this 3-day itinerary and these travel tips in Brussels will help you make the most of your trip. For more information and ideas, be sure to visit the official tourism website of the city of Brussels.