TOP 10 – Things To Do In Brussels


Brussels is a great city break, especially for students. It’s a varied, cosmopolitan city, which is significantly cheaper than more conventional places such as Paris, but with just as many things to do and see. So if you’re considering exploring the city, here are ten things you must do (aside from visiting the Grand Place and staring uncertainly at the Manneken Pis).

  1. Enjoy the architecture. Aside from the famous Grand Place, Brussels is full to the brim with interesting, impressive and diverse buildings. You don’t even need to look carefully because you’ll stumble upon them wherever you go. Be sure to check out the Cathedral, La Monnaie Opera House and the Notre-Dame-du-Sablon church.
    Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (taken by Alasdair Gerrard)
  2. Eat as many waffles as possible. When visiting the Capital of Waffles, it’s only polite to consume as many of them as humanly possible. If you’re staying in the centre you definitely won’t be short of places to buy them, so make the most of their deliciousness – although it will ruin Sprinkles for you forever.
  3. Explore your local supermarket. Ever wondered what Belgians eat? Patrol the aisles, pick up something you can’t get in the UK and put it in your basket, and you (hopefully) won’t regret it. Look out for Speculoos, Belgium’s (unofficial) national cookie and don’t forget to browse the ‘fromage’ aisle and the ‘boulangerie’ section.
  4. See the Atomium. It’s always an experience to see nine giant silver balls on the horizon; the Atomium is definitely a unique piece of architecture. Even if you don’t want to fork out the money to enter, it’s an impressive site to behold from the outside.
  5. Go on a chocolate tour. This of course is an absolute essential. Chocolate is not only delicious but very interesting, and with Belgium being the home of chocolate, it’d be rude not to indulge yourself in it. The chocolate tour at Planete Chocolate is informative, entertaining and full of tasty chocolate-y wonders – with an extra sprinkling of humour.
  6. Chill on the pedestrianised roads. Recently, Brussels’ authorities have closed some roads in the centre to turn  them in to pedestrian areas. Sitting eating a waffle – or even skateboarding – in the middle of a main road isn’t an experience you can have in many other cities (unless you’re very brave).
    Original Photograph by Alasdair Gerrard
  7. Explore the parks. Take a break from the city scene and check out some of Brussels’ parks. The gigantic ‘Brussels Park’ or the impressive ‘Parc du Cinquantenaire’ are ideal places to relax and escape from the urban landscape for a while.
  8. Try Mussels. The Belgian capital has a whole host of mussel dishes on offer, varying in both price and quality; from buckets of Mussels in white wine sauce to Paella and Italian Mussels. Even if you’re 99% sure you’ll hate them, you might as well give them a go whilst you’re in Brussels. At the very least it will be an experience.
  9. Attempt to impress with your ‘fluent’ French/Flemish skills. Learn some basic (or advanced if you’re feeling ambitious) French phrases before you go. This isn’t vital as most Belgians you will come into contact with can speak English; however it’s only polite to try at least once. Pick up a pocket size phrasebook to carry around with you in case of any language emergencies. And be sure to listen carefully so you don’t end up inflicting your very basic foreign language skills on someone who was actually speaking to you in English – oops.
  10. Get lost. Brussels is a vast, yet easy to navigate city. Wandering without a specific agenda is a great way to explore the city and see the ‘non-touristy’ sights, you may even stumble upon one of the city’s hidden gems. If in doubt, follow signs back to Grand Place and work your way back from there. (P.s don’t tell your girlfriend/boyfriend that you have no idea where you are. Act like you know the city.)
More articles in TOP 10
  1. Top 10 – Spring City Breaks
  2. TOP 10 – Things To Do In Paris
  3. TOP 10 – Things To Do In Brussels
  4. TOP 10 – Things to do in Rome
  5. TOP 10 – Hidden Gems of Northern California
  6. TOP 10 – Things To Do On The West Coast of Scotland
  7. Top 10 Reasons Why Florence Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

Former Opinion Editor for Wessex Scene and enthusiastic English student. Advocate of social justice, creativity and treating yourself. First and foremost an Opinion writer but I like to dabble.

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