Brussels, located at the middle of Europe, is easy to access and an ideal destination for short stays. It is a very nice city to walk around. The main points of interest are located in the center of the city. Everything is reachable by feet!
With the Smartflats team, we have prepared for you a small city-guide of 2 days gathering the most important places to visit in the city center of Brussels. This guide must also be completed by the emblem of Belgium: the unmissable Atomium. Indeed, the Atomium is in Brussels what the Eiffel Tower is in Paris. It is not located right in the center of the town but in the north of Brussels. You will have to take the metro to reach it!
The Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert
Right next to the central station you will see 3 beautiful covered shopping arcades: the Royal Galleries Saint Hubert. Built in 1847, they are part of the oldest covered galleries in Europe. There, you will find quite luxurious shops and Belgian specialty shops selling chocolate and waffles. The greediest ones will not be able to resist!
The Bourse Square is located right next to the Royal Galleries. It is the privileged gathering point of Brussels. After the attacks of March 2016, this square was an important place of meditation.
Manneken Pis is a famous statue of Brussels which surprises by its small size. Actually some chocolate statues representing Manneken Pis are higher than him. This sculpture represents a little boy urinating on the ground. It highlights the humor of Belgian people. A large number of legends circulate about the history of Manneken Pis. One of them says this little boy saved the city of Brussels by urinating on the sparkling wick of a bomb.
The Grand Place
Not far from Manneken Pis you can find the Grand Place. This square is considered as World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is recognized as one of the most beautiful squares in the world! It is undeniably the jewel of the city of Brussels. Take your time to admire the magnificent buildings: the guild houses, the Town Hall and the King’s House. You will notice that the city hall is not symmetrical. Indeed, the tower is not exactly in the middle of the building. The two parts had not been built together. The legend says that the architect who designed the Town Hall committed suicide by jumping from the top of the belfry just after noticing this architectural mistake!
The Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule
The beginning of the construction of this Gothic cathedral took place in 1226 to be completed in 1519. The funny story is that a couple of peregrine falcons settled each year, at the time of brooding, at the top of the left tower! A camera has been installed on the tower so that visitors can follow the evolution of the family from screens installed on the forecourt.
Mont des arts
You can end your day by strolling around Mont des Arts. Admire the carillon, enjoy the view and try a Belgian beer while relaxing on a deckchair in summer.
The Royal Square
After crossing the steps of Mont des Arts, go straight and you will reach Royal Square few meters away. The main building of this square is Royal Palace which is the administrative residence of the King. He welcomes ministers and other foreign leaders. If you stay in Brussels during the month of July or August, you can enjoy a free visit of the Royal Palace. That’s worth going out of your way to see!
This square is located in the museum district: the Magritte Museum, the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts and the Palace of Fine Arts. No time to get bored!
The Royal Park
What’s better than organizing a picnic in a green space? They are rare in the Pentagon. The biggest ones are the Royal Park (located just next to the Royal Palace) and the Cinquantenaire Park.
We are sure you would love to find a nice point of view to take great pictures! Go to Poelaert Square. It overlooks the city of Brussels of 63 meters high. This square is about twenty minutes’ walk distance from the Royale Square. It is also accessible by a small urban lift that connects the lower town to the upper town. If you are lucky, you can enjoy a Ferris wheel tour to get the most of the view of Brussels and its Atomium.
Louise Avenue and Neuve Street
What about ending the day by a shopping session? On the Louise Avenue, you will find the most famous and most expensive shops of the capital. While at Neuve Street you will find more accessible international shops. The shops on these two roads close between 7pm and 8pm.
Two days are therefore necessary to visit even the bare minimum of the city of Brussels and have a real glimpse of the Brussels atmosphere. Do not forget to taste our famous fries and waffles from Brussels. Also enjoy your stay to taste the famous Belgian beers. We think particularly about Triple Karmeliet, Chimay Bleue, Duvel, Kwak, Orval and many others … there is something for every taste! The weather is often fickled in Belgium, know that it is also possible to visit the city by bus. The company City Sightseeing offers organized tours that we can only recommend you!