Top 10 tourist attractions and activities in Brussels for a weekend break
Don't know what you want to do today? With these top 10 of tourist attractions and fun activities you will have the day of your life! Travel all over Europe with your children in one day or visit the Royal Palace.
1. Brussels Flower Carpet
Every 2 years, the Grand Place in Brussels is covered with a carpet of begonias dahlias, grass and tree bark. The 77 m x 24 m carpet is assembled according to a set plan and in several steps and is a spectacle to behold. It takes approximately 120 volunteers to place close to 1 million begonias on the square in less than 4 hours. To make this impressive carpet.
The Flower Carpet offers the ideal opportunity to stroll around the Grand Place, enjoy the Gothic architecture, soak up the scent of begonias and admire the beautiful details of the design. The highlight of this exceptional spectacle is a visit to the balcony of the Town Hall, from where you have a magnificent view of the masterpiece. A musical theme is selected for each edition. Every evening, there is a concert on the Grand Place, accompanied by a fantastic light show. A must-see!
2. Visit the Royal Palace
It has now become a tradition: every summer, when the Royal Family goes on holiday, the palace is open for the general public. The chance to take a look inside a world that we all dream of. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are unlikely to break that tradition. Marble floors, crystal chandeliers, period furniture, not forgetting the state room with its famous scarab-covered ceiling. One of the highlights of the visit is the Hall of Mirrors, with the 'Heaven of Delight' by Jan Fabre. The artist covered the ceiling and the central chandelier with beetles. Beautiful souvenirs from the past as well as work by contemporary artists can be seen side by side in the King's 'office': a real must-see this summer.
3. Bright Brussels
Bright Brussels is a light festival, a fascinating route through the city made up of a dozen captivating artistic and interactive light installations. Bright Brussels is a free event, open to all for four evenings in February. The route runs towards the historical heart of the city, passing through the neighbourhoods of Béguinage – Lepage, the Marchés aux grains and Dansaert, between Sainctelette and Sainte-Catherine. Come and (re)discover the rich heritage of these neighbourhoods through the magic of light!
4. Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
Each year, in the spring, the Greenhouses of Laeken are opened to the public, for a period of almost three weeks. This tradition has been carried on for a century. It is an excellent opportunity to discover the wonderful architecture of Alphonse Balat, Victor Horta's mentor, and the many plant species that can be seen here. In 1873, architect Alphonse Balat designed a complex of greenhouses for King Leopold II which complement the castle of Laeken, built in the classical style. The complex has the appearance of a glass city set in an undulating landscape. The monumental pavilions, glass cupolas, wide arcades that cut through the site like covered streets, are much more than a story of small greenhouses housing exotic plants or the architectural application of iron and glass. They are also an expression of a major construction programme, named the "Ideal Glass Palace". Some of the plants belonging to King Leopold II's original collections still exist.
One of the most famous sights from Brussels and that is not without a good reason!. The Atomium is something that you must have ever been in your life. The special exhibition building, that was built for the 1958 world exhibition, can be seen from the wide perimeter and even from the top floor of our hotel. You can get a tour through the five giant bulbs and of course you can enjoy the view of the vast surroundings.
At the foot of the Atomium is Mini-Europe, the only park where you can visit the whole of Europe in just a few hours. A unique journey! In the 2.5 ha park, visitors can stroll along miniature versions of the most important buildings and monuments in the European Union. Take a stroll through the most beautiful cities of the old continent to soak up the atmosphere. Big Ben and his characteristic chime welcome you to London, while gondolas and mandolins allow you to discover the charms of Venice...
7. Manneken Pis
We have to admit: when you see Manneken pis for the first time, the first reaction can be a bit of a disappointment, but this Brussels figurehead should of course not be missing in a top 10. Manneken Pis is a small statue in the centre of Brussels, depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain's basin. The 58 cm tall boy on a pedestal is placed not far from the Grand Place. It has become one of the most famous monuments in Brussels, and even Belgium, and is a symbol/mascot of the city of Brussels.
8. Brussels Comic Book Route
The route around the Belgian comic strip tradition is very nice to follow in Brussels. Since the 1990s, all kinds of characters and authors from Belgian-French comic strip history have had a prominent place in the urban landscape. Almost sixty comic walls color the center. The first comic wall was created on a wall that begged for renovation: the character Ragebol by the Brussels cartoonist Frank Pé in the Plattesteenwijk. A great initiative that was immediately followed up. A few Brussels authors were allowed to work on the walls and this trail has become increasingly richer over the years and is still developing. From Tintin to Spirou, Corto Maltese, Lucky Luke, Yoko Tsuno, Natasha, Asterix ... This walk let you leave the standard tourist streets and lets you discover a side of Brussels filled with charm and authenticity.
9. La Bourse (Stock Exchange)
One of the most striking buildings in Brussels. Built in 1873 on the site of the old Recollets monastery. Even the world-famous sculptor Rodin (as an employee of Carrier-Belleuse) also contributed to the facade decoration of the exhibition building. The classical simplicity is interrupted by an abundance of decorative elements, which is then again referred to as excessive baroque by some. Take a look and judge for yourself .
10. The Saint-Hubert Royal Galleries
Fancy a special shopping experience? The Royal Saint-Hubert galleries forms a complex of three glass-covered shopping galleries in the center of Brussels: the King's Gallery, the Queen's Gallery and the Prince's Gallery. Together they are 230 meters long and 8 meters high. You will find various shops, cafés and eateries, as well as the MLM Museum for letters and manuscripts. In the south, the Queen's Gallery opens onto the Grasmarkt near the Grand Place.