Top 10 activities in Brussels

Enriching, fun and delicious things to do

Brussels, Belgium’s capital, is famous for being home to the headquarters of the European Union, for its rich history and culture, and of course for its beer and chocolate.

Top 10 activities in Brussels

Brussels has grown from a 10th century fortress town to a fascinating European capital that is worth a visit. Along with the historical and cultural riches of the capital, you may want to explore the city via fun activities and of course through the famous food and drink. Have a look at our suggestions and take your pick!

1. Chocolate walking tour

One of Belgium’s gems is its chocolate. If you are a chocoholic it would be a sin to visit Brussels and not take advantage of the chocolate tours offered around the city. Some of these tours include chocolate tastings and chocolate making workshops, along with visits to some of Brussel’s best chocolate shops.    

2. Brussels half day city tour

If you are in Brussels on a short trip, then a half day city tour would be your best choice to explore the best the city has to offer. Whether you go on a morning or afternoon trip, they normally include going around the city by bus with a guide and walking to some iconic sites.

The Grand Place, St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Atomium, the Royal Residence, the Palace of Justice, the Royal Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Triumphal Arch, and the EU buildings (The European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers) are only a few of the sites that you will see.

Some of these tours may also include Belgium chocolate tasting or a tour of the European Parliament Visitor Center, so you can choose which one you would prefer!

3. Beer tasting & brewery tour

Belgium has a historical tradition of brewing beer and Belgian beer is known for its quality and heritage. One of the best ways to explore the brewing tradition and enjoy the taste of Belgian beer is to take a beer tasting tour. Such tours normally include visits to some fine local and international breweries, complete with beer tasting, all accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.

4. Mini-Europe

A definite must-do on your trip to Brussels is a visit to the Mini-Europe  miniature park. It is made up of tiny versions of iconic sites, buildings and symbols from major European cities, such as: Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, Venice’s gondolas, the Acropolis in Athens, the canals of Old Amsterdam and many more. You can also recreate iconic events, make Vesuvius erupt, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and a bullfight in Seville. And there you go - you have seen the whole of Europe in only a few hours. 

5. Night walking gourmet tour

Even if you are not a passionate foodie, it is guaranteed you will enjoy one of these Belgian gourmet tours in the early evening. Such walking tours give an insight of Brussels’ cuisine and the city’s gourmet past. Visiting restaurants with a specialist will give you the chance to try some of Belgium’s best specialities, like Brussel sprouts, Flemish waterzooi, North Sea shrimps, Belgian endives, potato stoemp, speculoos, waffles and other delicious local food.

6. Mystical Brussels tour

Brussels has a variety of hidden treasures and symbolism spread throughout the city. Every visitor has the chance to discover and learn more about the exciting secretive past of Belgium’s capital by going on a Mystical Brussels tour. You will explore the symbols of secret societies such as the Freemasons and the Templars, visit hidden sites, old churches, the grave of a Freemason at St. Michael’s Cathedral, and find out the significance of the number 7.

Along with exploring the mysteries of the Grand Place, the old royal palace, and the hidden city underneath the palace, you will visit the bar where the surrealist painter Rene Magritte gathered inspiration and discussed his art and ideas. These tours provide a different view of Brussels rather than the typical tourist information and are perfect for delving into Brussel’s long history.

7. World War I Flanders battlefields tour

This is a great activity for history lovers and especially World War I enthusiasts. Usually these tours take a full day, so they are recommended if you are passionate about this topic. Your guide will take you through and tell you everything about the battles, happenings and the soldier's’ life then, supported by maps, diaries, poems and photographs. You also have the chance to visit cemeteries, battlefield sites, medical stations, trenches, and the Battlefields Museum.

8. Océade waterpark

The Océade waterpark  is a perfect activity if you’re missing the fun summer days, want to spoil your kids, or simply embrace your inner child. The waterpark is open all year round, however be sure to double check the opening times, as they may change depending on the season, school and public holidays. Enjoy yourself with jacuzzis, saunas, solariums and the high speed slides and wave pools.   

9. Ghent and Bruges day trip

Since you are already in Brussels and the picturesque cities Ghent and Bruges are so close by, why not pay them a visit and make the most of your stay in Belgium? There are plenty of trips offered from Brussels that give you the opportunity to explore Ghent and Bruges in one day. The most striking must-do sites in Ghent include the St Bavo Cathedral, which hosts the “Mystic Lamb” world renowned painting; the Belfry; the Castle of the Count of Flanders and the St Nicolas Church.

Once you arrive in Bruges, you should definitely visit Minnewater (Lake of Love), Beguinage (convent), Lady Church with a statue by Michelangelo, the Market Square with the Belfry, and the Burg (Town Hall Square) with the Chapel of the Holy Blood. 

10. Belgian Comic Strip Center

Comic strip lovers, or anyone who has ever read a comic strip would appreciate the Belgian Comic Strip Center . The Comic Strip Center is the former Waucquez Warehouse (built in 1906 by Victor Horta) and is open to visitors every day except for Mondays. It explores the history of comic strips in Belgium, with Hergé and his “The Adventures of Tintin” being the gem of the museum. You will also learn about the history of comic strip art, originating from cave paintings to modern printing techniques. You can explore the permanent exhibitions, including The Invention of the Comic Strip, The Art of the Comic Strip, Horta and the Waucquez Warehouse, The Museum of Imagination, and some great temporary exhibitions.

Brussels has grown from a 10th century fortress town to a fascinating European capital that is worth a visit. Along with the historical and cultural riches of the capital, you may want to explore the city via fun activities and of course through the famous food and drink. Have a look at our suggestions and take your pick!

1. Chocolate walking tour

One of Belgium’s gems is its chocolate. If you are a chocoholic it would be a sin to visit Brussels and not take advantage of the chocolate tours offered around the city. Some of these tours include chocolate tastings and chocolate making workshops, along with visits to some of Brussel’s best chocolate shops.    

2. Brussels half day city tour

If you are in Brussels on a short trip, then a half day city tour would be your best choice to explore the best the city has to offer. Whether you go on a morning or afternoon trip, they normally include going around the city by bus with a guide and walking to some iconic sites.

The Grand Place, St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Atomium, the Royal Residence, the Palace of Justice, the Royal Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Triumphal Arch, and the EU buildings (The European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers) are only a few of the sites that you will see.

Some of these tours may also include Belgium chocolate tasting or a tour of the European Parliament Visitor Center, so you can choose which one you would prefer!

3. Beer tasting & brewery tour

Belgium has a historical tradition of brewing beer and Belgian beer is known for its quality and heritage. One of the best ways to explore the brewing tradition and enjoy the taste of Belgian beer is to take a beer tasting tour. Such tours normally include visits to some fine local and international breweries, complete with beer tasting, all accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.

4. Mini-Europe

A definite must-do on your trip to Brussels is a visit to the Mini-Europe  miniature park. It is made up of tiny versions of iconic sites, buildings and symbols from major European cities, such as: Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, Venice’s gondolas, the Acropolis in Athens, the canals of Old Amsterdam and many more. You can also recreate iconic events, make Vesuvius erupt, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and a bullfight in Seville. And there you go - you have seen the whole of Europe in only a few hours. 

5. Night walking gourmet tour

Even if you are not a passionate foodie, it is guaranteed you will enjoy one of these Belgian gourmet tours in the early evening. Such walking tours give an insight of Brussels’ cuisine and the city’s gourmet past. Visiting restaurants with a specialist will give you the chance to try some of Belgium’s best specialities, like Brussel sprouts, Flemish waterzooi, North Sea shrimps, Belgian endives, potato stoemp, speculoos, waffles and other delicious local food.

6. Mystical Brussels tour

Brussels has a variety of hidden treasures and symbolism spread throughout the city. Every visitor has the chance to discover and learn more about the exciting secretive past of Belgium’s capital by going on a Mystical Brussels tour. You will explore the symbols of secret societies such as the Freemasons and the Templars, visit hidden sites, old churches, the grave of a Freemason at St. Michael’s Cathedral, and find out the significance of the number 7.

Along with exploring the mysteries of the Grand Place, the old royal palace, and the hidden city underneath the palace, you will visit the bar where the surrealist painter Rene Magritte gathered inspiration and discussed his art and ideas. These tours provide a different view of Brussels rather than the typical tourist information and are perfect for delving into Brussel’s long history.

7. World War I Flanders battlefields tour

This is a great activity for history lovers and especially World War I enthusiasts. Usually these tours take a full day, so they are recommended if you are passionate about this topic. Your guide will take you through and tell you everything about the battles, happenings and the soldier's’ life then, supported by maps, diaries, poems and photographs. You also have the chance to visit cemeteries, battlefield sites, medical stations, trenches, and the Battlefields Museum.

8. Océade waterpark

The Océade waterpark  is a perfect activity if you’re missing the fun summer days, want to spoil your kids, or simply embrace your inner child. The waterpark is open all year round, however be sure to double check the opening times, as they may change depending on the season, school and public holidays. Enjoy yourself with jacuzzis, saunas, solariums and the high speed slides and wave pools.   

9. Ghent and Bruges day trip

Since you are already in Brussels and the picturesque cities Ghent and Bruges are so close by, why not pay them a visit and make the most of your stay in Belgium? There are plenty of trips offered from Brussels that give you the opportunity to explore Ghent and Bruges in one day. The most striking must-do sites in Ghent include the St Bavo Cathedral, which hosts the “Mystic Lamb” world renowned painting; the Belfry; the Castle of the Count of Flanders and the St Nicolas Church.

Once you arrive in Bruges, you should definitely visit Minnewater (Lake of Love), Beguinage (convent), Lady Church with a statue by Michelangelo, the Market Square with the Belfry, and the Burg (Town Hall Square) with the Chapel of the Holy Blood. 

10. Belgian Comic Strip Center

Comic strip lovers, or anyone who has ever read a comic strip would appreciate the Belgian Comic Strip Center . The Comic Strip Center is the former Waucquez Warehouse (built in 1906 by Victor Horta) and is open to visitors every day except for Mondays. It explores the history of comic strips in Belgium, with Hergé and his “The Adventures of Tintin” being the gem of the museum. You will also learn about the history of comic strip art, originating from cave paintings to modern printing techniques. You can explore the permanent exhibitions, including The Invention of the Comic Strip, The Art of the Comic Strip, Horta and the Waucquez Warehouse, The Museum of Imagination, and some great temporary exhibitions.

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