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Brussels Travel Guide

Known as the Capital of Europe and Comic City, Brussels has every chance to become your new favorite destination to visit. It is famous for its unique cuisine and huge gastronomic variety, as well as for magnificent Art Nouveau buildings.

Brussels is very artistic and hometown of eminent painters René Magritte and Rubens. It is also a cosmopolitan metropolis: almost 27% of the population are foreigners. This is why it is so diverse and authentic at the same time!


The best time to visit

What is the best time to visit Brussels? Taking into consideration that the majority of the time rainy weather prevails, we recommend choosing the months from April to September. These are the driest months of the year, and rains are expected to fall half of the month instead of two-thirds.

Besides, if you plan your vacation for the shoulder seasons (Spring and Autumn), the price for accommodation will more likely to be lower and the streets will be less crowded. But whatever season you choose, you should always take an umbrella and a warm sweater with you. You will thank yourself later for it!

Interactive Map of Brussels

Top tourist attractions


Grand Place

1000 Brussels, Belgium

How to get there: by bus number 127, 212, 214, 241, 46, 95, or by subway (line 5).

The most beautiful central square in Europe and the most well-preserved one, the Grand Place once was a market. It is known for its magnificent architectural ensemble with beautiful stonework and rich gold embellishment. Among the buildings on this square, there are Hôtel de Ville, guildhalls, and splendid Maison du Roi.

Tip: A huge flower carpet made from begonias covers 1,800 square meters of the square every two years in August, which is a great photo opportunity!

Manneken Pis

1000 Brussels, Belgium

How to get there: by bus number 127, 128, 214, 46, 66, or by subway (line 5).

This weird statue is one of the most famous landmarks in Belgium, usually surrounded by a throng of tourists. Belgians have a funny tradition to dress Manneken Pis in costumes several times a week, and its wardrobe consists of almost 1,000 outfits! The statue standing in the center of Brussels is a replica, but if you want to see the original, you should visit the Brussels City Museum.

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Galerie du Roi 5, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

How to get there: by tram (line 3), or by bus 241.

Designed by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer in 1846, Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is one of the first examples of shopping arcades built in Europe. This grandiose complex houses two theaters (the Théâtre des Galeries and the Vaudeville theatre), numerous shops, restaurants, and cafés.

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

Place Sainte-Gudule, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

How to get there: by bus 29, 65, 66, or by tram (line 93).

Dedicated to two patron saints of Belgium, this cathedral holds the title of the main catholic church of the country. It took almost 300 years to build this majestic structure, and it looks awe-inspiring with its gothic exterior and impressive stained-glass windows by Bernard van Orley.

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

Entrance fee
Cathedral Free
Archeological site 1 €
Romanesque crypt 3 €
Treasury Adults: 2 € (- 14 years: free).
Schools: 10 € per school class.
Groups: 20 € (min. 10 pers. – max. 30 pers.) – 30 € (31 pers. – 50 pers.).
Combined ticket: (Archeological Site, 6 €  crypt, and treasury)

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Avenue du Parc Royal 61, 1020 Brussels, Belgium

How to get there: by bus 230, or by tram (line 3).

This gem of the Art Nouveau style was designed by the order of King Willem I back in the 19th century. The Royal Greenhouses complex contains a vast collection of rare and valuable plants. There are tropical, subtropical, and cold greenhouses, opened for visitors every spring from mid-April to May for three weeks, when most flowers are in full bloom.

Entrance fee: adults – €2.50; children (under 18) – free.

Foods to try in Belgium

Belgian cuisine has a reputation for being one of the best in Europe. And what makes it so good is, again, its diversity. Flemish cuisine has a notable Dutch influence, while Wallonian cooking is almost identical to French, with its great variety of delicious sauces. Local foods, which you will try during your trip, will leave behind only good memories of your vacation!



You will not find such a thing as a “Belgian waffle” in Brussels. In fact, there are three different types of them: Liège waffle, Brussels waffle, and Galettes campinoises. The first type is sweet and crispy, the second has a softer texture and rectangular shape. And the Galettes campinoises taste more like biscuits and could be bought in bakeries.

You will not find such a thing as a “Belgian waffle” in Brussels. In fact, there are three different types of them: Liège waffle, Brussels waffle, and Galettes campinoises. The first type is sweet and crispy, the second has a softer texture and rectangular shape. And the Galettes campinoises taste more like biscuits and could be bought in bakeries.

Belgian Mussels & Fries

If you want to savor world-famous Belgian fries, eat it with mussels as the locals do. A traditional recipe is mussels steamed in white wine sauce with shallot, parsley, and onion served with fries on the side. This is one of the most popular Belgian meals and an absolute must-try!

Tip: We also recommend to try other versions of this dish, such as mussels with beer, cream, or tomato sauce.

Grey shrimp croquettes

Tiny grey shrimps, also known as “caviar of the North Sea” are incredibly delicious. And the best way to taste them is croquette. In this case, shrimps will be rolled in béchamel sauce and fried with breadcrumbs.


This type of sweets is not a very popular one. Cuberdons are crispy sweets, filled with raspberry syrup, made in a cone shape. The filling begins to crystallize after 3 weeks, so that’s why cuberdons are rarely exported outside Belgium.


These unique biscuits are available all year round, even though originally Belgians used to eat them during St. Nicholas day celebrations. Nowadays, if you order a cup of coffee in Belgium it is likely that it will be served with a little speculoos cookie on the side.

Belgian Trappist Beer

Belgian beer has an interesting history. Back in the 12th century, when there was trouble with clean water supplies, drinking low-alcohol beer was a safer option. Monks used to brew beer as a way to raise money for abbeys. Nowadays, 10 monasteries in the world continue brewing Trappist beer, and 6 of them are located in Belgium.

Brussels Card

Buying the Brussels Card is the most convenient way of getting around the city. If you plan to visit all the important tourist attractions in one or two days, this pass will help you to save your money and energy.

Here are the services included:

• Free admission to 44 museums and attractions of the city;
• Zero-fare public transport rides;
• Discounts to tourist attractions, guided tours, restaurants, bars, and shops;
• Free illustrated guide with both city and museum maps.

You can buy Brussels card for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

Prices vary according to the type of pass that you choose:

Duration  Basic Unlimited access to public transport
(STIB buses, trams, and metro lines)
Unlimited access to Hop on Hop off buses Immediate access to the Atomium (skipping the line)
24 hours 28 € +7,5 € +18 €  
48 hours 36 € +14 € +22 € +12 € Adult [18-64] +10,5 € Senior [≥65] +6,4 € Teenager >115 cm -17, Student, Person with a disability.
72 hours 44 € +18 € +26 €  

Do not hesitate to buy your Brussels card online. You will receive a voucher with a special barcode by e-mail. It can be used as a Brussels card and you do not have to exchange it at a special point. Just print the voucher, and you a ready for adventures!

Accommodation and hotels

Brussels is quite a compact metropolis, so getting around it will be easy for everyone. Wherever you choose to stay, top sights, cafes, and entertainment venues will always be in close proximity to your hotel or apartment.


Here is a brief overview of the most popular parts of Brussels to stay:

Brussels Centre – reach in history and easily accessible by metro or car, this area is very convenient. Here located such tourist attractions as Grand Place, Mont des Artes, and Royal Palace of Brussels.

Etterbeek – a cozy area with good public transportation links, beautiful early 20-th century buildings, and popular cultural venues.

Saint-Josse-ten-Noode – this is the smallest neighborhood in Brussels, and the most densely populated one. Here you can find any type of budget accommodation options.

Saint Gilles – a great residential area, which boasts its quarters with Art Nouveau buildings, and fashionable cafes. Another variant for budget travelers.

Sablon – a lively area with lots of bars, upscale restaurants, and luxury hotels. Famous landmarks, located here, are the Magritte Museum and Eglise Notre-Dame du Sablon.

If you prefer staying in boutique hotels with top-notch amenities or looking for cheaper accommodation in Brussels, do not hesitate to check available options on HotelFriend. We will help you to find whatever you desire and we ensure your perfect stay!