Cosmopolitan, friendly, and laid-back, Brussels is a city that not only attracts visitors with beautiful Art deco architecture or Belgian beers and chocolate, but also with its pleasant way of life. Here, we collected a list of things to do, from major attractions to hidden gems favored by locals.
When people think of Brussels, they think of the Atomium, the giant iron structure gracing almost all postcards and souvenirs from Brussels. The iconic atom replica, 165 billion times bigger as an original atom, was built for the Universal Exhibition in 1958. You can even have lunch or dinner inside the iconic Atomium, and enjoy a stunning view over the city!
View this post on Instagram
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Another must-see are the so-called “Les Galeries de La Reine”, or Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, right next to the famous Grand Place, a true architecture gem full of cute little shops, conveniently located only two minutes walking distance from the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Brussels. The gorgeous arcades feature some of Belgium's most iconic and historic brands, from Delvaux and Galler to Marcolini.
Belgian Comic Strip Center
Not far away from there you'll also find the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, located in a stunning art deco building. Here you can (re)discover Belgium's most famous comic heroes, such as Tintin, The Smurfs, Lucky Luke or Gaston Lagaffe. You can find out everything there is to know about the comic attractions in Brussels by reading our guide!
While food-wise Belgium is mainly known for waffles, fries, beer, and chocolate, one of the most delicious local delicacies are the so-called speculoos cookies, a kind of spicy Christmas cookie that Belgians enjoy all year round. The most famous and renowned biscuit maker is Maison Dandoy, known for its unique craftsmanship for nearly two centuries. Their delicious speculoos are handcrafted using an old, traditional recipe that has been passed on through several generations.
Psst! Chocolates are best for gifts, or just for yourself. Check these best chocolate delights in Brussels!
Brussels bars and brasseries
Brussels has a well-developed bar and brasserie culture, which especially reveals its charm when the sun is out. The most popular terraces for sunny days you'll find at Place du Sablon, Place Saint Géry, Place Flagey, Place Sainte Catherine, and Place Chatelain. Have a strong Belgian beer and blend in with the locals!
Café Lulu is a brand new hotspot in town mainly frequented by locals. Uniting a beautiful design store with carefully curated pop-up shops and a cafe whose Oreo Latte is to-die-for, the stylish place makes for an exciting mix. Not only great for shopping but also for a relaxed breakfast or lunch.