Not quite sure where to start your sightseeing in Brussels? We’ve listed the most famous and our favourite sights below!
Choose the sight you would like to visit in the menu below, and get the shortest route from the hotel. In the overview below you may read more about the different places.
Classified as the most beautiful square on Earth, Grand Place, will not disappoint you at all. Surrounded by Guilds Houses, Town Hall and King’s House, it’s one of the symbols of Belgium. Many famous people went there in quest of inspiration. Writers like Baudelaire, Hugo or politicians like Marx!
Did you know that? The architect of the Town Hall committed suicide when he saw that the tower of the Town Hall was not right in the middle of the building. He threw himself from the top of it because he considered his building as a failure.
Fancy a tour with a local guide? Discover the many faces of brussels with a passionate local guide from Sandemans! The walking tour starts every day in front of the Town Hall at 10 am, 1 pm and 4 pm (in English and Spanish).
Built in 1847, in a neo-renaissance style and at only 5 minutes from the hotel, Saint Hubert Gallery is known as the oldest gallery of Europe. This gallery shows us the very mood of this time. It was built a few years after Belgium gained its independence and during the age of industrialization. Belgian people wanted it as magnificent and elegant as possible to build. We have to admit that the Iron-and-glass ceilings gives a classy touch.
The famous Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel used to come to the “Taverne du Passage” in the gallery, to eat “Croquettes de crevettes” (Schrimp Croquettes). Inside the Saint Hubert Gallery Neuhaus’ oldest chocolate house in to be found, which is where, back in 1912, Mr Neuhaus invented the first praline in this house.
When you hear Brussels, obviously you will think about the Mannenken Pis. His name means “Little Boy peeing” and comes from a dialect spoken in Brussels called Brusselaer. There are plenty of legends around this fountain. One says that the little boy had to release himself and found the corner where he stands now. He peed on the wall of a house. But unfortunately, it was the house of a mean witch. She heard the noise and came out. She saw the child doing his deed and became angry at him. Before she cast the spell, she told him: “You want to pee here? So be it! You will pee forever!” Right at this time an old gentle man went by, took the boy and put a statue instead of him. And so now this is the statue which is peeing since then.
Do you know the boy’s name? It’s Julien. If you walk around in Brussels you may discover the female version who is called “Jeanneke Pis” meaning “Little Jane peeing”. You may also find the Zinneke Pis. This last one is a dog. His name means -still in brusselaer- Little Bastard peeing.
By discovering the streets of Brussels, you will find painted walls all around Brussels. Belgium is well-known for its 9th form of art: Comic. It is quite clear that Brussels holds many walls painted with comical heroes. A quick look on the Brussels website will show you all the murals spread in the Capital city. The most famous one is found between Grand Place and the Mannenken Pis. This one depicts Tintin with Captain Haddock and his dog Snowy escaping down a fire scale.
Translation: Arts’ Hill. On this hill you will see plenty of museums. Firstly, Coudenberg Palace; a house dedicated to Lords and Dukes. Furthermore, Fine Arts Museum; which holds more than 20.000 master-pieces of Art. Also, the Musical instruments Museum; a museum with more than 3000 instruments, a great gem for those who love Music. The Magritte’s museum; dedicated to the famous surrealistic Belgian painter. This is a nice spot for those who want to take beautiful pictures of the Brussels’ landscape. Lastly, at the bottom of Arts’ Hill, you will find the Royal Library of Brussels.
Responsible for Europe’s well-being, Brussels is not only the capital city of Belgium but also of Europe. This quarter covers the quarter of Luxembourg but spreads from there to the Cinquantenaire Park and further. The main part of this quarter is located in the centre of Brussels. Your journey through European history begins at Place du Luxembourg. Here you will find the Parliamentary, where you will understand the complexity of the European union to its full extend. Behind the Parliamentary, there is you second point, the Leopold Park. Have a short walk inside and you may encounter the museum of History of Europe. When leaving the park behind you, you will get onto the Jourdan Square with is brand new rebuilt square. If it’s lunch time (or even if it’s not) have a stop at “Maison Antoine” a famous Belgian Fries House. After this tasty lunch go up the “Rue Froissart” to be in front of the European Commission. This magnificent building holds the office of the President of the Commission and his 28 commissaries. From “Rue Froissart”, on the right side of the roundabout there is a street leading to the Cinquantenaire Park. This is a beautiful starting point if you want to enjoy a walk. Around the arch in the middle of the park there are several museums, among them the Royal Army Museum.
Initially built to last only for Brussels World’s Fair of 1958, the Atomium is 102 meters high. If you are wondering what this building represents, it is an atom of Iron magnified about 160 billion times. It was meant to be an ephemeral building which was supposed to be destroyed after the event, but the Atomium has survived and is now a museum with a restaurant in the top ball.
Fancy non-tourist cultural outing?
Whether you have just arrived or have been here all your life, we would like to show you the hidden treasures of this country, go beyond just scratching the surface, and help you engage truly with Brussels’ cultural and social life. There is more to this place than Belgian beer and chocolates! You may just be looking for a fun day or night out or you might be interested in a structured bonding event with a more pedagogical purpose. You may be focused on Brussels or you may want to venture further afield to nearby cities such as Liege, Antwerp, Ghent, Namur or Mons. Whatever your purpose, you may need a guide, a coach, a facilitator with expertise and local knowledge. In short, you may need CAP-ERIA!