**Updated : November 2023**
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To Know Before Your Visit
As the capital of Belgium, the city of Brussels is one of the most unique places we've ever been. With 3 official languages (German, French, and Dutch), Brussels has multiple attractions that you'll likely never find anywhere else. Depending on how long your visit is, we recommend checking into getting a Brussels Card through Visit Brussels, this will give you free transport on all inner city trains, trams, and metros as well as free entry into over 49 museums! During your visit, we also recommend wearing comfortable shoes (you'll likely be doing lots of walking) and carrying a little cash on you, as some places we visited preferred cash over card. Just like most other cities in Europe, there are many tourists around, and we want to remind you to keep a close eye on your belongings and on your pockets.
Looking for a place to stay in Brussels? We stayed at the Park Inn near the airport and loved it!
7 Sights Not to Miss in Brussels
1. Hungry Mary Chocolate & Beer Tour
This was hands down our favorite thing we did during our time in Brussels. The tour itself was close to 5 hours long, and we stopped at 3 chocolate stores as well as 3 bars for drinks. The amount of chocolates, drinks, and food included on the tour itself was well worth the money, and during our walk we had an enthusiastic guide who told us history about the city and fun stories about the local culture! We would highly recommend this activity for anyone - families, couples, solo travelers, etc. It was a great way to learn more about the city while getting to try items unique to the area! (Just be prepared to walk a lot!) We did this tour on our first day in the city, and encourage you to do the same - it was a great way to familiarize ourselves with the Grand Place & Old Town area. Book this exact tour here!
2. Museums Galore
Like we mentioned above, we highly recommend getting a Brussels Card Pass not just to have access to the included transportation but also to have access to unique activities like Train World, GardeRobe MannekenPis, the Sewer Museum, the Comic Strip Art Museum, and the Brussels City Museum just to name a few. We visited all these museums in a single day, and although that's definitely putting a rush on things, we still had a fantastic time exploring each museum. The Brussels Card Pass gives you free entry to over 49 museums, so if none of these sound interesting you have plenty more you can choose from! Our favorites were GardeRobe MannekenPis to see Julian's many costumes, the Sewer Museum where we entered the city's sewer, and the Brussels City Museum to see the authentic real Julian statue!
3. Beer World & Rooftop Bar
If you're looking for an incredible view of the city we highly recommend making your way to Beer World in the city center. As another museum included in the Brussels Card Pass, (otherwise 17 Euro per person) the rooftop bar provides amazing views overlooking the Old Town area. The beer experience is also fun, and put together in a very interactive way with multiple exhibits.
4. Foods to Try
Brussels is a unique city with unique foods. From Belgian waffles, to fries, to Pita Gyros on Greek Street, to of course beer and chocolates, there are plenty of items to try while you're exploring Brussels. You'll be able to find places that serve these items throughout the entire city but some of our favorites were Maison Dandoy for waffles, Elisabeth for chocolates, Royal Theatre Toone for drinks, and Mykonos Pitta Gyros for Greek food!
5. Meet Julian
Basically the city's mascot, this peeing 3 year old is a symbol of Brussels that you'll see just about everywhere. From souvenirs to posters to graffiti art, Julian is truly a symbol of the city. Although the real statue is located in the City Museum, you can see a duplicate at Manneken Pis, a small fountain near the city center. With multiple stories of how he became famous (stories that are actually taught in the local school systems) - the most common is that while Belgium was surrounded by it's enemies who were pretending to retreat two men hid some gun powder and lit a fuse. Julian, who just so happened to see this, began peeing on the fuse and put it out, becoming the hero of the city. However, because the real statue kept getting stolen for ransom, the city eventually hid it away inside the city museum, replacing the real one with a duplicate. The most fun fact is that Julian has multiple costumes that have been donated by various countries and organizations from around the world - many of which can be seen at GardeRobe MannekenPis. The only 2 stipulations are that Julian must be able to see and he must be able to pee.
6. Parc de Cinquantenaire
This gigantic park is most well known for the beautiful archway that serves as an entrance to the area. Also surrounded by multiple museums, this is a great place to come for a picnic or just a stroll in the park. If you're lucky like us, you'll see a random meet up of local dance crews!
7. The Grand Place & Old Town
Arguably the most visited area in Brussels, this is a great place to come to explore on your own or come for a drink or bite to eat. We explored the entire area on our walking tour with Hungry Mary, but we still went back to find more places to eat and explore on our own. A fun fact that we hadn't noticed right away is that the Grand Place isn't exactly a symmetrical building...and rumor is that there is one single glass brick in the square, if you find it they say it'll bring you good luck!
One thing we didn't have time for was Nemo 33 - a pool that was once the deepest in the world! You can head here for fun dives and epic lessons!
Watch our Belgium Adventures here!
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