Bordeaux France Highlights
Bordeaux France Highlights

Brussels Belgium Top Highlights (Must See Places)

Jan 22, 2022 @
Brussels Belgium top highlights. The Grand Palace in the Square..
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The Grand Palace in the Square is one of the top attractions in Brussels.

I’ve wanted to visit Brussels for over twenty years! Imagine that! Ever since l discovered the Muscles from Brussels, also known as Jean Claude Van Damme :-). Who can forget him in classics like Lionheart and Bloodsport, among others? I appreciate all my golden oldies B action movie stars. Anyhow, I’m not sure why it took me so long to get there.

 

Brussels top highlights include the central square
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The Central Square in Brussels. A must-see on any Brussels vacation itinerary.

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Our Belgium visit:

We spent time visiting Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges. This post will reveal what we consider Brussels’ top highlights that should be considered on your visit. In my opinion, Brussels, and in fact Belgium, really is the melting pot of Europe. From what l saw, everybody coexisted well.

You saw people of all colors, ages, etc. all just going about their business..together. It was refreshing to see kids, Christians, and devout Muslims giggling together on the Metro, which by the way runs like clockwork.

I choose not to live my life in fear. Seeing Brussels made me understand why the E.U council and NATO are headquartered there. Brussels has been the site of some serious terrorist attacks, including the 2016 attack that saw 32 people dead, and more than 300 people injured. These attacks are most likely because of those two very important headquarters are there. Brussels in my opinion is the true representation of the diversity in the world. I liked it a lot.

BRUSSELS HIGHLIGHTS:

What to see in Brussels:

  • Manneken-Pis
  • Atomium
  • Grand Palace and Market Square
  • Belgian beer tasting
  • Street Art hunting and appreciation
  •  Cinquantenaire Park
  • Food in all forms
  • Belgian Waffles
  • Belgian Chocolate
  • Royal Palace and park
  • Brussels Cathedral
  • NATO

The Royal Palace brussels
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The Royal Palace in Brussels, another popular tourist attraction in Brussels. I always find it curious how all these old palaces look the same. I would have wanted to be so different from everyone elses’. That is probably why l remain a commoner 🙂

 

Doesn't it remind you of London? Brussels monument
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Doesn’t it remind you of London? Palace area in Brussels.

Related Reading: Ghent Belgium Visit

Brussels Royal Park
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Not sure why this guy is wearing a dress 🙂 in the Royal Park in Brussels.

 

royal park brussels statues babies
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Royal park in Brussels. We enjoyed visiting this grand park a lot. It was close to where we stayed.

Manneken Pis Brussels:

mannekin pis brussels
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Must-do things in Brussels include a visit to Manneken Pis. What a tiny little thing the pis boy is? Blink and you’ll miss him ;-). Most people consider this the ultimate Brussels icon but l just don’t get it.

 

Belgian waffles in Brussels is a must!:

 mannequin pis statue in chocolate brussels #visitbrussels #brusselshighlights #whattodoinbrussels
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I much preferred this little guy as the depiction of mannequin pis because it’s made of chocolate. Certainly much bigger too. Chocolate or any other condiment-covered waffles is one of the many yummy things to eat in Brussels. Sweet and delicious.

 

belgian waffles with sugar, chocolate frosting in store front
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Yummy Belgian waffles in Brussels with all kinds of toppings. Might just be my favorite thing to do in all of Belgium :-).

 

 Strawberry and chocolate waffles in Brussels belgium
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So we indulged in tasty waffles in Brussels. Strawberry and chocolate. It’s much too sweet for my taste though, so once was enough. I stuck with fruit, strawberries, and kiwi topped ones while Federico indulged his sweet tooth.

 

The famous detective Rin Tin Tin and his dog. street art brussels
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The famous detective Rin Tin Tin and his dog. Fun and quirky things to do in Brussels include seeking out street art, which is plentiful.

 

older building art deco brussels
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I love architectural designs and found buildings in Brussels very beautiful.

Where to stay in Brussels:

Find the best hotels in Brussels Belgium

We stayed at an Airbnb flat close to Central Station, and it was quite convenient for getting around the city. It was a quick 20-minute ride from the airport and was a nice walk to the Cathedral and the Grand Palace. We loved it and have no problems recommending it to others as a great place to stay in Brussels if you prefer private lodging.

The whole area, as well as the flat, was very clean, and the host was very nice and accomodating. We would stay there again without a doubt for the neighborhood feel. It’s always nice to stay in a local area so you get a real taste of life.

bart deco building in Brussels
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Our rental flat was on the right side street in this building. Very cool neighborhood

If you prefer a hotel, book your hotel room at the award-winning Made in Louise Hotel:

executive room v4272420 e1570869056427
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Made in Louise hotel Executive room. TripAdvisor image

We went to visit the Atomium. We didn’t do the tour, I did not want to shell out €11 per person to ride up for 3 reasons,

– The tubes connecting the spheres look really, really claustrophobic, l don’t think l would have enjoyed it.

– The price had been upped from the €9 stated on the website to €11 – so not worth it

– It was about a 25-minute ride on the Metro and you went through the really gritty areas of Brussels which might have made for an interesting view from the top :-).

 

 

The Atomium in Brussels
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The Atomium in Brussels is one of the top tourist things to do in Brussels. It’s a little bit outside of the central artery so many people give it a miss, but it’s definitely worth seeing in my opinion.

 

be welcome brussels
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Welcome to Brussels sign is very close to where the Atomium is located.

 

The Heysel Stadium
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The Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

 

It was worth going to, and l liked the Be. Welcome sign at the bottom. Added bonus was that Federico was happy to see the Heysel Stadium. It was the site of a tragedy in 1985 during a European Cup final between Liverpool and Italy’s Juventus teams, which resulted in 39 deaths and over 600 injuries. A grim day in the world of football.

belgian chocolate in brussels
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who can resist Belgian chocolate? .. not me. A must-do in Brussels is to try some of the best chocolate in the world. Not fun if you’re diabetic, but you could always ask for sugar-free treats.

The Cathedral in brussels
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This Brussels Cathedral is gorgeous and a recommended visit. Truthfully, we have seen way prettier ones, but it’s still worth checking out, especially if you love Gothic architecture.

 

brussels cathedral interior
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What to see in Brussels – Lovely interior of the Brussels cathedral.. another great place to visit in Brussels.

 

Brussels top highlights of Nato office building
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Love the curve on the building. One of the NATO buildings in Brussels

 

heart of europe statue brussels
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Brussels Belgium top highlights – Brussels is a very cosmopolitan city that reminded me a lot of London. This is a statue in front of the office buildings by NATO

 

brussels belgium top highlights carousel royal park brussels
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One of Brussels points of interest is the Royal Park. I think they give concerts or something there, as there were benches in front.

Pin it for later: (what to do in Brussels)


How long to visit Brussels?

We really enjoyed our Brussels visit. I do believe 2-3 days in Brussels is perfect for visiting this beautiful city. It’s just enough time to check out the sights, eat and drink a wide variety of food and beer. Brussels gets a bad rap often and is considered boring by most people. I don’t agree. Or maybe as a younger person, one might expect a city such as London where something is happening all the time.

 

Being over a certain age (ahem..30 🙂 ), I can say without a doubt that l don’t really need that sort of vibe all the time. Bruges and Ghent may be more exciting maybe, but it certainly does not make this city boring. If you get a chance to go, l definitely would.

Read: Honest Opinions of New Delhi

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Have you ever been on a  Brussels holiday? If yes, did you enjoy it or are you one of those who couldn’t wait to leave?

 

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33 thoughts on “Brussels Belgium Top Highlights (Must See Places)”

    • Oh you get to go to so many places :-). Like Jamaica mon..lol! It was nice..

      Reply
    • It is rather nice to see in this day and age. The waffles were pretty good, but l stuck with crepes. They were just too sweet for my taste..imagine that! I’m getting old l guess.. 🙂

      Reply
  1. I’ve always wanted to go myself, thanks for taking us on a mini tour with you. I will get there eventually. Oh, how I miss the ease of traveling in Europe.

    Reply
    • I know, we say often how lucky we are to be able to travel so easily around here :-). That was a major factor in deciding where to move to. I’m glad you enjoyed the mini tour, and l hope you get to go soon. It’s indeed quite beautiful.

      Reply
  2. I must admit Brussels (our first stop in Europe) was a bit of a letdown, but I’d say the rain didn’t help! We basically just walked around a bit and had waffles.

    Reply
    • I am positive the weather contributed to your letdown :-(. I didn’t know what to expect really, only knew they had chocolate, waffles and that JCVD was from there. Oh.. I also knew they had diamonds, but that l wasn’t going to be able to afford any ;-). To me, anything more was an added bonus, so it was a pleasant surprise. Did you at least enjoy the waffles unlike me ? Thanks for the comment

      Reply
  3. Ooh…love the statue of the man stepping off the platform. I love Brussels! It’s been over 10 years since I’ve been, but I recall that I really enjoyed it. The chocolate and the waffles are added bonuses for my sweet tooth. I remember being so surprised that Belgians eat their waffles as a dessert. My waffle-loving brother was really disappointed about that too – lol. Beautiful pictures!

    Reply
    • Thanks Dana! I love that statue as well. Those waffles tasted more like waffled shaped sugar to me, way too sweet :-). Impossible to believe..certainly much better to eat as a dessert than as food, your poor brother..lol.. I liked Brussels a lot, but loved Ghent.

      Reply
  4. Soooo much chocolate. I would be in heaven, I have a sweet tooth that I can never say no to. Brussels is a beautiful city, the buildings are pretty. About the statue of the guy who looks like in a dress, his ‘dress’ seems like it is made of scales so maybe he’s a weird sort of merman

    Reply
    • Yep! You would definitely love it there. Chocolate stores everywhere. I indulged :-). You might be right about the merman, the dress is scaly, what makes it funny is that the same statue (we saw about 8 in the park) would sometimes have a woman’s head too..same outfit..so there has to be a story behind it. I agree that Brussels is definitely a beautiful city, we both said we could live there.

      Reply
  5. What a gorgeous city! And I love your description of how diverse it is–makes me want to visit even more!

    Reply
    • It is quite pretty, and they have such lovely parks. It’s worth a visit, even if just for the chocolate and waffles.. :-). Definitely not for the piss boy though.. 😉

      Reply
    • Kemkem,

      Enjoyed reading your post as it brought back so many great memories of our visit there this past September! We spent almost two weeks in Brussles, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges with the last city being our favorite by leaps and bounds.

      Smiled at your reference to Muscles from Brussels aka JCVD as I’d never heard that before!

      Reply
      • Ohh… I want to go to Antwerp as l have heard good things. I preferred Ghent by leaps and bounds. Just goes to show you…haha.. I think the fact that Bruges is so busy was a bit of a turn-off. We both said we could live there, but not Bruges. A very beautiful city though.
        JCVD has had that nickname for eons. I am not ashamed to say he was one of my favorite action stars, and yep, l still watch his newest movies, and he holds up very well😊, and can still kick ass.

        Reply
  6. Ahhhh!!! I want to go! Especially to eat the chocolate and the waffles. Loved the location of your flat! I didn’t know about the football tragedy. Very sad. Look forward to going especially to see this melting pot as you described!

    Reply
    • Amazing how everybody seems to love chocolate and waffles universally.. :-). I think you would like it for sure. The best part is most people speak French, Dutch and English, which was a welcome jolt after hearing only Spanish.we said hello in Spanish, or Italian and took a couple if days to adjust..

      Reply
  7. Who doesn’t love Belgian chocolate, so much better than German chocolate becaue there’s more quantity of milk! And oooooh Jean Claude Van Damme – The Muscles from Brussels. He was very much an icon in those days. However, I really like Belgium, it’s a tiny country but a nice one. I’m glad that you didn’t let fear change your plans. Did you try the mussels in wine with pomme frites. So delicious that I had two helpings in one sitting LOL!

    Reply
    • Their chocolate is also so much better than the American one for the same reason :-). Oh yeah..JCVD was the cat’s meow in those days. I have to say it was nice seeing him in the Expandables 2, and l have also watched some of his latest, pretty crappy movies, but what can l say, he can still do the split.. LOL! I did not try the mussels, but l gotta tell you, l’m not sure if l have an unsophisticated pallet or what, but l really couldn’t tell the difference in Belgian fries. Maybe it’s because it had been such a long time since l had eaten fries :-), and we had it in two different places!

      Reply
  8. We were just in Belgium for a few weeks in September and loved it. Thanks for doing such a great job highlighting the Brussels sights. It was a fun city to walk around. That metro ride to the Atomium seemed to last forever but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing it – from the outside just like you! And just reading about the waffles and chocolate made my mouth water. Thanks.
    Steve

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed Belgium too. I think it’s a fabulous country to visit and l would like to visit more places, such as Antwerp. Haha! On the never ending ride to the Atomium. It is worth the trip for its uniqueness. Yeah..,deficit from the outside, otherwise they would have to blast me out😂. Chocolate is always good.

      Reply
  9. Color me green with envy – would love to go to Brussels. . .sigh. . .one of these days, maybe. . .

    Reply
    • You guys have been to such awesome places lately though, so no reason to be envious…Verona, Bologna etc? You are living the dream👍🏽. It will be just a matter of time for you…hahaha

      Reply
  10. Hi Kem, when Malcolm and I visited Belgium a few years ago, we scheduled two full days for Brussels. It rained on both days. Not just rain, but torrential downpours all day long! We still enjoyed it; not nearly as much as Ghent and Bruges, but still glad we carved out that time. Piss Boy was one of our ‘must see’ attractions and we got lost and soaked, and then, well….seriously?? So we ate waffles and lots of chocolate, and french fries with mayonnaise, and, and, and. Thanks for taking me down memory lane today. I’d recommend this trip to anyone.

    Reply
    • Thanks for that Suzanne. I think this is a place worth visiting no matter what anyone says. I a, also glad that it brought back good memories. I had to smile at your piss boy observation. Hahah… what a crock! My eyes were strained and l was so disappointed 😊. It must have been wicked weather with the rain…but glad you were able to make the most of it.
      Waffles and chocolate will make anything better won’t it?😂. Still not a big fan of Mayo with it, but l am coming around slowly. Ghent was the best of the lot in my humble opinion. I would go back in a second,

      Reply
  11. So good to see and read you again. So good to have time to come read again. Looking forward to seeing what you two are up to!

    Reply
    • Hola Terri! I could say the same about you :-). Happy when l see a new post from you. Getting back in the saddle so to speak again :-).

      Reply

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