Brussels is bursting at the seams with things to do — I’ve been visiting for more than nine years and I still find something new on each occasion.
I always recommend visiting (or returning to) the historic heart of the city, the Grand Place, first to get your bearings and begin your weekend break with a showstopper. After this, you’ll be driven by your niche tastes. Culture vultures should climb the Mont des Arts to the Place Royale museum quarter; backpackers/students should make a beeline for the markets and gritty Marolles district ; and if you’re a seasoned/business traveller in search of something ‘a little different’, head to the outer communes of Anderlecht (west) or Ixelles (south).
A few tips
- Several museums are closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly.
- If you’ll be staying for a few days and want to pack lots in, then consider buying a Brussels Card or The Must of Brussels voucher booklet — see Brussels insider tips — which grants you free access to most of the museums I’ve suggested.
- Some of the larger, established museums — such as Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts and Musée des Sciences Naturelles — allow free entry on the first Wednesday of every month; I’ve marked when this is the case in the ‘expert’ field of the relevant museum entry.
- Try not to cram too much in. Follow the locals and take some time to kick back with a beer or coffee and soak up the sights and sounds of the city.
How I’ve picked my things to do: