09 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions and Things to Do in Brussels
1. Admire the stained glass of Notre Dame de Sablon.
Basilica of Notre Dame de Sablon ( Onze to live Vrouw op de Zavel), generally considered one of the most beautiful late Gothic churches in Belgium, was built in 1304 by the Crossbowmen’s Guild as a replacement for a smaller chapel on the sandy expanse of the Sablon .
Inside the church is breathtaking, especially because of its wonderful stained glass.
Thurn und Taxis , partly the work of Luc Fayd’herbe .
Stacking an image of the Virgin, as legend has it, to the Madonna brought to the church by a Lady of Antwerp, Piet, in 1348 . The bras in which the Virgin appeared.
2. Visit the Parc du Cinquantenaire museums.
Parc du Cinquantenaire in 1880 to celebrate the country’s fiftieth anniversary.
Its centerpiece is the massive Palais du Cinquantenaire , whose two wings are joined by a grand triumphal arch designed by French architect Charles Geralt in 1905 , and houses two of Brussels’ most interesting museums.
The Royal Museum of Art and History is home to Belgium’s national archaeological collections, including one of the world’s largest collections of textiles, along with pieces from around the world.
Belgian Army Museum and Museum of Military History ( Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en van de Militaire Geschiedenis ) an overview of the development of military technology and the major campaigns fought on Belgian soil.
3. Take a walk in the gardens surrounding Chateau Royal.
Although the Château Royal itself, home to the Belgian royal family, is not open to the public, the surrounding park at Laeken is open .
There are charming footpaths and many attractions worth visiting, such as the Leopold I Monument in the center of the circular flower bed in front of the palace.
The Japanese Tower, located in the park’s northernmost corner, was originally built for the 1900 Paris Exposition.
The greenhouses built during Leopold II’s time are a highlight of the gardens and are open to the public during April and May when many of the plants are in flower.
4. Enjoy the view of the dome at the Basilica Nationale du Sacre Coeur
Basilique largely dominates the Koekelberg district . Nationale du Sacre Coeur ( Nationale Basiliek van het Heilig Hart), the fifth largest church in the world and the brainchild of Leopold II, was opened in 1905 to celebrate the country’s 75th birthday.
This building was completed only in 1970. It is not surprising that it is characterized by a mixture of styles, dazzling with its gigantic size (141 meters by 107 meters).
Inside is an excellent collection of artwork and an ongoing exhibition on the history of the church.
The image of Christ blessing him, which hangs above the altar, is by George Mann.
From the dome there is a stunning view across the city and across the countryside to Antwerp. Binoculars can be rented on site.
5. Explore the Abbaye de la Cambre.
In 1200 Cistercian nuns founded a monastery here, which was later destroyed in the 16th century but rebuilt.
Now, the abbey is set in beautiful French gardens, and houses the National Geographic Institute and an art college.
Inside is a painting by Albert Potts (Mocking Christ) and a shrine to Saint Boniface, the 13th-century Bishop of Brussels. The windows of the monastery are decorated with the arms of more than 40 nuns and nuns.
6. The Choco Story Learn about chocolate in Brussels.
In the center of Brussels, the exhibits at this specialized museum tell the history of chocolate from the first use of the cocoa tree through the Mayans and Aztecs to modern times, and show how chocolate is made from cocoa beans.
The museum’s chocolatiers offer free tastings throughout the day, as well as live chocolate-making demonstrations of Belgium’s famous pralines.
This is a good stop if you have young children and need to tailor an itinerary heavy on art museums and architecture.
The museum also hosts chocolate making workshops, where a chocolatier will guide you in making your own chocolate.
7. Musée Meunier
Constantine house and studio Meunier (1831-1905) is now home to a museum dedicated to his work.
Mounir is a Belgian artist who focused in his paintings and later sculptural works on the style of social realism, which had a great influence on artists in the early years of the twentieth century. His statues of industrial workers are particularly famous.
The museum displays a selection of around 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures and plaster models from its collection of 700, providing an excellent background and introduction to Meunier ‘s work .
The building itself, built by Meunier at the end of his life, is a good example of vernacular housing in Brussels.
8. Shop inside the Royal Galleries St. Hubert.
Was designed by Belgian architect Jean-Pierre Clusinier and opened to the public in 1847.
The huge, 213-meter-long , famous Italian style decorated with shop fronts, revolutionized retail architecture in Europe, replacing the narrow market streets that were before and the first on the continent, and a shopping mall was built.
Its opening started a trend of similar arcades in central Brussels and other cities in Europe.
Today, Royal Galerie Saint-Hubert is prime territory for shoppers, especially if you want some of Belgium’s most famous specialty chocolate to take home , with a plethora of chocolatiers lining the aisle.
The cafes inside the lane are also a good option for an atmospheric break between sightseeing in the center of Brussels.
9. Find food at the Place du Chatelain market.
Place du Châtelain , where you’ll find everything from fruit and vegetables to pop-up stalls and cafés selling both local Belgian food and delicacies from around the world.
For those looking for foodie souvenirs, there are plenty of merchants selling local cheeses and cured meats, as well as fresh produce and baked goods.
Many people head here, though, for the market’s comfort food options, with food stalls offering everything from pancakes and veggie burgers to Vietnamese and Middle Eastern dishes.
The market takes place every Wednesday from noon to 7 pm. The surrounding streets are also lined with cafes and restaurants, so the area is a lively dining hub throughout the week.