- Jonathan Chum
Welcome to Brussels! You're in for a treat in the historic city. It's got something for everyone: art, history, food and drink, and even fun. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Brussels that we recommend trying out:
The first thing to do in Brussels is bought chocolates.
Chocolate shops are all over the city, and they're a great place to get acquainted with Belgian chocolate. You'll find pralines, bonbons, and other sweets on offer at most shops. However, for the best selection of Belgian chocolates---and some pretty impressive packaging---you should head straight for Neuhaus or Godiva (they both have locations near Place du Grand Sablon). You can also pick up a few bars from Leonidas (which has two stores), but note that this brand's famous wafer-covered pralines may not be 100% Belgian since it was purchased by U.S.-based Hershey Company in 1988; still tasty though!
Another must-visit spot is Bruxelles Choco-Story: The City of Chocolate Museum (+32 2 513 2944), which will give you an interesting insight into Belgium's history with cocoa beans while allowing you to sample some delicious local treats---for free! There are also plenty of opportunities to eat chocolate throughout Brussels; try having one of their famous waffles with a hot drink at either La Maison Des Canuts or Fabrique De Chocolat et Confiserie Féline (both located in Ixelles) when you need something sweet after lunchtime shopping excursions around Marais area where many boutiques reside like Cacharel or Giorgio Armani Jeans Store where there's always room for dessert afterward!
Drink beer. Belgium is known for its beer, and there are many different types of beer to try in Brussels. Beer is a popular part of Belgian culture---you can drink it in cafes, bars, and restaurants, or even from the source!
Taste some chocolate: Belgians love their chocolate. Belgium produces over 40% of the world's supply of high-quality chocolate! Try some for yourself at one of Brussels' many famous chocolatiers---you'll be glad you did!
See the Manneken Pis statue
This statue of a boy urinating in a fountain is located in Brussels' main square, and it's one of the most famous sights in all of Brussels. It's been standing there since 1619, though it was originally built as an ordinary water spout. The statue has appeared in many different costumes over the years, including being dressed up as Superman or painted gold for special occasions like New Year's Eve and Carnaval de Binche (a traditional parade).
Eat waffles with chocolate sauce
I'm sure you're aware that Brussels is famous for its waffles. But did you know that the best chocolate sauce in town comes from a place called Waffles & Dinges? This sweet little street food stand specializes in Belgian waffles, which they top with all sorts of deliciousness, including ice cream and fresh fruit. The thing to get here is the "Chocolade Hazegras" (chocolate hazelnut) waffle with whipped cream, nuts, and chocolate sauce. And don't forget to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
The best part about eating a Belgian waffle is that it can be eaten any time of day or night: breakfast (with some butter, syrup, or fruit), lunch (with ham and cheese), dinner (with spinach salad), or dessert (sweetened whipped cream).
Walk around the Grand Place
The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels, Belgium. It is surrounded by guild halls and the city's oldest buildings. The square dates from the early 13th century when it was originally known as Hallepoort (Hall Gate). It has been called Grote Markt (Grand Market) since at least 1556 when it was named Kloostermarkt (Cloister Market) by Georges d'Arschot. It was renamed Eijsdenplaats in 1791 and finally received its current name "Grasplein" in 1804.
The square was rebuilt each time after being destroyed during wars or fires. Each reconstruction preserved some detail to make sure that it looked different from how it did before so that visitors could recognize their surroundings even though they were many years apart from one another! Some notable features include:
A statue of Peter Paul Rubens (1632-1640), one of Belgium's most famous painters who lived about 200 years before this statue was created;
A fountain that honors Charles Bulschots II, mayor from 1871-1874;
The Mantlepiece is a bronze sculpture located in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels, Belgium. The piece was sculpted by Constantin Meunier and made out of bronze. The mantelpiece was cast in 1894, but it wasn't installed until 1901 after the museum opened that year.
The main focus of this piece is a woman's head that seems to be coming out from behind a curtain or cloth. Her neckline is low and her hair has been combed back and pinned up on her head with some curls escaping from their pins to frame her face below. She has large almond eyes with thick eyelashes as well as an elegant nose and lips that are slightly parted, revealing teeth like pearls resting against each other gently without bite marks or gaps between them (crowns).
Fountain of the Falcon
Built by Antoon van den Heuvel in 1620, the Fountain of the Falcon is a beautiful piece of art that you can't miss in Brussels. The fountain is located in the Place Royale, which has been around since 1247 and was once home to royalty. It's still a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to gather and enjoy their surroundings.
The statue on this fountain depicts a bird holding an olive branch with one claw as if it were handing it over to someone or something below him or her. This figure represents peace and unity among people from different nationalities within Belgium (which was not always successful).
This fountain was moved from its original location at Rue des Échevinaux/Scheldelaan after 1866 due to road construction projects taking place nearby---but don't worry! Nowadays, you can find it sitting prettily beside Papafonds Street near place Royale Metro Station (De Brouckère).
Belfry of Brussels
The Belfry of Brussels is a large tower located in the center of Brussels, Belgium. The Belfry is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in Europe and has been serving as an active bell tower since the 13th century!
Its name comes from "bel" meaning beautiful and "frère" meaning brother. It was built by Duke Charles de Bourgogne who also built the city hall (Hôtel de Ville). In 1775, during renovations, an old clock was found that had been installed in 1444 by Jean Moerlinck. The clock was later restored by Pierre-François Martin who became famous for his work on other clocks throughout Europe including those at Westminster Palace in London and St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
You can visit this historic landmark by taking bus no 24 from Gare du Midi station which will drop you off right outside it at Place Saint Gilles/Sint-Gillisplein across from Rue des Lombards/Lombardenstraat. Some buses go directly to Sint Gilles Plein stop so check them out if possible; otherwise, just let someone know where you're going when buying your ticket!
The Grand Palace is the official residence of the King of Belgium. It's also one of Brussels' top tourist attractions, and it's open to the public so you can go see it anytime! There are several museums inside that have a lot of art and historical artifacts, like clothes worn by Charles V when he was king. You can tour all this stuff on Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Musical Instruments Museum (MIM)
The Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) is a museum dedicated to musical instruments. The museum is located in the heart of Brussels, housed in a former tobacco factory. It features over 5,000 instruments from all over the world and across periods.
The collection includes some rare pieces including an Egyptian set of drums from about 3000 BC; stone age flutes from Africa; and even a guitar that belonged to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana fame! It's worth spending some time here if you're interested in learning more about what makes music sound so good - or if you just want to see some amazing stuff.
Comic Book Walk
The Comic Book Walk is a pedestrian walkway in the city center of Brussels, Belgium. The Comic Book Walk is a walkway that runs along Rue des Sables/Zandstraat and Rue de la Madeleine/Madeleinestraat in the city center of Brussels, Belgium. It was created by Brussels' mayor Freddy Thielemans and it opened on September 19, 2013. The name comes from the fact that there are many comic book stores nearby; some shops even sell vintage comics from the 1960s through the 1990s
Mont des Arts
Mont des Arts are one of the best places in Brussels to go for art lovers. There are numerous museums in this area, including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Magritte Museum. Mont des Arts is also a great place to walk around, especially at night when everything is lit up and there are many restaurants and bars nearby.
Bozar Centre for Fine Arts
Located in the Sablon area, The Bozar Centre for Fine Arts is a complex of three buildings: the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, the Palace of Charles of Lorraine, and the House of Architecture. The museum has a collection of over 30,000 works from various artists including Rembrandt and Rubens.
The Royal Museum features an extensive collection ranging from Flemish painters to 20th-century works by Picasso and other modern artists. It also hosts temporary exhibitions on contemporary art and photography which are well worth checking out.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Brussels is home to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, which is located in the center of the city on Rue de la Régence.
The museum has a large collection of art from the 15th century to the present day, including over 6,000 works of art. The museum houses paintings and sculptures from many famous artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. If you enjoy fine arts this is a place that needs to be on your "to-do" list!
So, if you're looking for a new city to visit, Brussels has everything that you could need to make your trip fun and memorable. It has good food, great art (both new and old), and plenty of places to explore! If I had to pick just one thing that I would recommend doing in Brussels, though? That would probably be visiting the Manneken Pis statue. It's such an iconic landmark in Belgium that even people who don't know anything about Belgium will recognize it from pictures or movies like In Bruges (or maybe even The Tourist). Plus---it has funny costumes every day except Sunday!