From € 25

7 ideas for a day in Brussels

The capital of Europe and Belgium has something for everyone. A day in Brussels van be filled with shopping, museum visits or culinary delights. Children and nature lovers will also enjoy a day out in Brussels. Check out our seven ideas for a day trip in Brussels.
Column 3
Column 4


1. Cultural Brussels in one day

With many art museums and a wide variety of architecture, Brussels is a dream destination for culture lovers. Travel back in time at the Art and History Museum, where you can see things like Egyptian mummies, Brussels tapestries and a Tintin statue. The Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum has works of art from the 1900s, when Brussels was the centre of Art Nouveau. Here you will discover paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs of famous artists such as Constantin Meunier, James Ensor and Henri Evenepoel. For exhibitions, concerts and theatre, visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts. For outdoor art, follow the sculpture trail in the European district.

2. Shopping

Trendy boutiques, pop-up stores and large department stores alternate in Brussels' shopping streets. This city is the place to be for a day of shopping. For big international brands like Chanel, Prada and Tiffany's, walk down Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo.

If you prefer streetwear, visit trendy shops like Check Out and Mr. Ego. At large shopping malls such as City 2 and Docks lots of shops are clustered together along with cafés and restaurants where you can rest your feet.

©Sofie Coreynen

Column 3
Column 4

3. Street Art

Are you fond of colourful street art with a message? In Brussels there are several thematic walking routes focused on Street Art. One of these routes is in the Marolles neighbourhood and shows you 11 works of street art that honour the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel. Another route takes you past miniature sculptures by the Spanish artist Isaac Cordal, which are affixed to façades in various ways. In Laken-Oost and the Anneessens neighbourhood, routes take you to colourful street art by various artists.

4. Nature

The city of Brussels may not immediately spring to mind when you think of nature, but you will be surprised by all the greenery inside and outside the city. Put on your walking shoes and wander through the woods and fields of Brussels. The deciduous Forest of Soignes is close to the city and is an oasis of green in spring and summer. In the Scheut Forest in a more northern part of the city, you can walk past ponds, streams and fields. A completely different landscape, with many species of plants and animals.

5. A day in Brussels with the children

Brussels is the perfect destination for a day out with the kids. Take part in a quest in the underground palace of the Coudenberg, walk among replicas of dinosaurs in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and wander through the sewers in the Sewer Museum.

Children aged ten and over and adults will get to know the city centre of Brussels in a unique way during the treasure hunt and escape game Mystery Bag. Do the children need to get rid of some excess energy? Take them to the Jump XL trampoline complex or visit the Hallepoort Playground of a medieval castle.

Column 3
Column 4

6. Culinary Brussels in one day

When you think of Belgian cuisine, you probably think of Belgian beer and Belgian chocolate. Yet you can make your day in Brussels all about its culinary highlights. Visit the traditional Cantillon Brewery and smaller, quirky breweries such as No Science, La Source and L'Ermitage nanobrasserie. Take a guided tour and have a tasting, but obviously not on an empty stomach. Stroll through the city and have lunch at a unique café like the vegan Buddy. Spend your afternoon in the brewery and finish the day with classic Belgian dishes in Au Vieux Saint Martine, where you can taste dishes like their tartar of which the recipe has not changed since 1924.

7. See Brussels heritage by tram

A city with such a rich history is full of historical buildings. Take a walking or cycling tour of the highlights or take tram 92 past the must-see buildings. Get off at some stops to better admire the Schaerbeek town hall, Place Royale and the Church of Our Lady of Sablon.
Would you prefer to travel by bus? Buy a hop-on-hop-off ticket that will allow you to travel through the city by bus without limit for 24 hours. Get a card from the tourist office and let the 'Tootbus' take you to the highlights.

Need more tips? For more ideas, see the page 10 tips for Brussels.

To Brussels by train

Travel to Belgium easily and comfortably by train:

  • Travel from Amsterdam to the heart of Brussels with Thalys in less than 2 hours.
  • With Intercity Brussels it will take just under 3 hours.

You can book a ticket from Amsterdam from € 25 one-way trip with Intercity Brussels. Book this ticket up to 7 days in advance to take advantage of the low Early Bird rate. Prefer to travel quicker with Thalys? Then book about 3 months in advance for cheaper train tickets. Early booking is advantageous!

Photo terrace at top of page: © O. van de Kerchove

Brussels for a day

From € 25