Things to Do in Brussels (when you only have one day)

Things To Do in Brussels (when you only have a day)

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in on a business trip and with some time to spare, I was looking for things to do in Brussels.

I had just over 48 hours in the city and most of those would be spent a) at a conference and b) sleeping so any sight seeing would need to be quick!

By nature, I’m a slow traveller, preferring to take my time to explore and absorb. However, if the opportunity for travel and adventure presents itself, even for for a short trip,  I jump on it and I think I’m pretty good at maximising the time I do have.

This was my first time visiting Brussels and I only had one day, so I was determined to spend my time well and see as many of the main sight and attractions as I could.

Eurostar to Brussels

It was early on a cold, sunny morning in February when I boarded the Eurostar at St Pancras station and set off for Belgium. The train was super quick, taking only a couple of hours. In fact, it took less time than it took for me to get to London from my home in the North West of England.

Things To Do in Brussels (when you only have a day)

Belgian Street Scene

The Grand Place

First stop was just around the corner from my hotel. The Grand Place is a square containing the Town Hall and Guild Halls (plus numerous restaurants, pubs and chocolate shops) and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the top things to do in Brussels.

By day or by night, the buildings are absolutely beautiful and you can see why tourists flock to explore and take pictures.

TOP TIP: As if it couldn’t get any prettier, every two years, in August, they lay down a carpet of colourful flowers and from what I’ve seen, it looks AMAZING. Definitely worth timing your trip accordingly to see it!

Grand Place by Night

Frites and Waffles

Wandering around Brussels, it’s impossible to avoid the lure of carbs and your willpower is tested at every turn.

I’d not been well before I headed to Belgium and had barely eaten for two days (this is VERY out of character – I can eat – a lot). However the sickly sweet smell of frites and waffles began to draw me in and my appetite started to return.

There were plenty of places selling frites, but strolling back towards the Grand Place, I spotted people queueing for some food. Now I have a rule of thumb when I’m in a place I know little about. If there’s a queue of locals waiting for food, then that’s where I’m going. The place was Fritland.


I ordered plain frites with ketchup and mayonaise on the side. I’d tried to order my frites in a cone, but ended up with a tray thanks to my embarrasing attempt at French.

It’s a long-standing argument between the French and the Belgians over who invented ‘French Fries’ or chips as we call them in the UK. They tasted good and that’s all I care about!

I also grabbed myself a waffle with rich chocolate sauce and fluffy cream. Yum!

TOP TIP: Warning! Do not attempt Brussels whilst on a diet. It ain’t happening folks! And if you like spice, I hear the Fritland spicy sauce is pretty special, I think I missed out!

Belgian Waffle

Tin Tin

Remember the cartoon The Adventures of Tin Tin? Well, Tin Tin is from Belgium and you can learn all about the young comic book reporter, at the Musée Hergé!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to go, but I saw tons of Tin Tin street art all around the city for free, so keep your eyes peeled!

TOP TIP: Belgium is a hot bed for comic strip artists. In fact it has more artists per square kilometre than any country in the world. So if you have time, you could also take a trip to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre!

Tin Tin Bookstore


After lining my stomach, I was now ready for a nice cool beverage. I’m not a massive beer drinker to be honest, but “When in Brussels…”, it would be rude not to. The Belgians make GREAT beer!

Stella Artois Brussels Belgium

Sticking around the Grand Place, I headed for Le Roy d’Espagne (The King of Spain), that I had been told was quite nice, if a little touristy – but hey, I was a tourist! I ordered a small glass of Stella Artois which came with a side of peanuts (my, what a healthy diet I was eating today) and watched the world go by.

TOP TOP: Later that evening I also tried Leffe Blonde and much preferred it! As beers go, they’re both pretty tasty!

Leffe Belgian Beer Brussels

Chocolate Shops

You cannot come to Belgium without trying the chocolate. Belgian chocolate shops, like frites and waffle houses are everywhere. I came across this little beauty around the Grand Place.

However, for all its prettiness, I never actually went inside, choosing to spend my money in the shop next door, Leonidas  – which had been recommended by a friend.

Chocolate Shop

I bought a bag of pick n’ mix chocolate. There were so many to choose from, so after picking a few that stood out, I asked the kind lady behind the counter for her recommendations. I was pleasantly surprised when I asked the price of my bag and she said 3 Euros or so and I promptly began selecting a few more.

The chocolates were due to be a present for my husband, however, later that night, returning to my room, peckish after a few beers, I did a Forrest Gump. I ate some. Then a few more. They were soooo good. Melt in your mouth loveliness. All different flavours… white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, raspberry, lemon, hazelnut… see what I mean about the diet?

Leonidas Chocolate

I did take some home to the Mr, but the bag was around a quarter full from where it started. Oops. Oh well.

Was it the best chocolate in Belgium? I didn’t try enough to say. However, since my return, I have also been recommended Laurent Gerbaud and Pierre Marcolini. The shops are a little bit further away from the Grand Place, but by the sounds of it, the trip will be worth it!

There are loads of different chocolate tours on offer in Brussels including a Chocolate Workshop & Walking Tour and even a Beer & Chocolate Tour, which sounds like a lot of fun!

TOP TIP: I didn’t manage to go, but I was also recommended by friends to try Godiva on the Grand Place. Apparently the hot chocolate is the best around! Next time…

Galeries Royales St Hubert

It was time for a walk now, so I headed across the Grand Place and down one of the little side streets, towards the Galeries Royales St Hubert. A gorgeous shopping arcade in the middle of Brussels, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back in time.

Galeries Royales St Hubert Interior

You can pretend to be grand as you take a turn about the arcade, browsing the little boutiques and cafes that line the indoor space. With the glass, roof, it’s also a great place for sipping a Belgian hot chocolate or beer if you want an outdoor feel inside.

Outside the arcade, is this sculpture called ‘The Cycliste’… apparently it cost the city 100,000 Euros. I would have done it for 50k. You know where I am Brussels!

La Cycliste

Manneken Pis (and Jeanneke Pis)

“Is that it?”

A phrase I heard numerous people say whilst stood beneath the Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a small boy, who has been a peeing fountain since the early 17th century. All over Brussels, shops sell replicas in the form of statues, chocolates, fridge magnets… you name it, they have it.

There are lots of legends behind the Mannekin Pis, but the original was created in 1619, but having been stolen many times, the latest version only dates back to 1965.

Possibly the strangest anti-climax of a tourist attraction I’ve ever seen, but kind of funny none the same.

When in Brussels, you’ll also find the Jeanneke Pis – the girl version. She is squatting, actually squatting. Way funnier than the boy version. Find her at Impasse de la Fidélité 10-12.

And also the Zinneke Pis – a peeing dog fountain. Find this one at the corner of rue des Chartreux and rue du Vieux-Marché.

TOP TIP: The Manneken Pis statue is often dressed up in costume. He’s been known to dress up as Elvis, Dracula, Santa Claus, to name but a few. His costume schedule is up on the railings in front of the fountain, but if like me, you only have one day, then it will be a surprise! I was treated to his birthday suit.

Mannequin Pis Brussels

Everard ‘t Serclaes Monument

Heading towards the Manneken Pis from the Grand Place, you will pass the Everard ‘t Serclaes monument. Everard was a Brussels hero, who saved Brussels in 1356, but was later murdered by the Lord of Gaasbeek.

Everard 't Serclaes

TOP TIP: Give the statue a rub on the arm and make a wish. Apparently it will bring you luck and make your dreams come true. And we can all do with some of that! Just maybe take some hand sanitizer to put on afterwards.

Dinner at Chez Leon

For dinner, I met some friends from home who now live just outside of the city. Earlier that day when I’d Instagrammed the picture of myself en route to Brussels, one of my Instagram followers had asked if I wanted any tips as he’d lived there previously. With food always on my mind (have I mentioned food much?) I asked where I should go for dinner. He recommended Chez Leon on the Rue de Bouchers.

rue de Bouchers

As my friends and I wandered along the cosy, atmospheric back streets behind the Grand Place, touts called to “Come in, nice menu here, good food” but we continued on to Chez Leon and when we arrived, the place was packed. Always a good sign.

“Table for 5 please!” We were told to wait a moment whilst the maître d checked. Then a party turned up behind us. Of 50 people. Yes 5-0! On a Wednesday night. And they’d already booked.

As all 50 people filed past us, the likelihood of us getting in to the already packed and lively restaurant seemed slim. Where were they going to fit? But, to my surprise, they kept on going, and disappeared off through an archway and into another room.

Chez Leon Brussels

Unbelievably, they managed to seat us in less than 10 minutes. Turns out, the restaurant is huge, but due to there being lots of different rooms on different levels, it still gives the impression of cosy restaurant. Perfect!

They serve a huge menu of largely Belgian food. My friends ordered Moules Frites (mussels and fries). Mussels in Brussels - not to be confused with the Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme – ha ha – oh God, did I just laugh at my own joke?

I don’t like mussels, so I ordered lasagne. Judge me all you want, I don’t care – it was actually a really good lasagne.

TOP TIP: Always ask a local where to eat! Or, follow the queues. It’s usually worth the wait!

Moules Frites

Drinks at Bonnefooi

After dinner, it would have been rude not to check out a little of the Brussels nightlife. We headed to a bar called Bonnefooi, just a few minutes walk away from the Grand Place.

The bar was buzzing and the music was eclectic and just loud enough to create an atmosphere, but quiet enough so that you could hear your friends speak! People danced near the door and friends sat around tables chatting. After ordering a big glass of Leffe, we found a table upstairs on the balcony with a great view of the street and the dancers below. The place was edgy, but with no pretenSion. The dress code was relaxed and there wasn’t a hint of the attitude of similar bars in England. My kind of place.

TOP TIP: It’s a train or taxi ride away from the Grand Place, but I have it on good authority from a local friend, that the place to go on a Thursday night is Place du Luxembourg (known locally as Plux). Every Thursday, the square is packed with after work drinkers who like to party!

Bonnefooi Brussels

Fed, watered and exhausted I headed back to my hotel for a good sleep before the conference the next day. So there you have it! What to do with only a day in Brussels! Enjoy the food, beer and laid back atmosphere.

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Things To Do in Brussels (when you only have a day)   Things To Do in Brussels - Helen in Wonderlust

Plan Your Trip to Brussels

Getting There (Plane): I always search for flights on Skyscanner. The nearest airport to the city is Brussels Airport, which is around 25 minutes drive from the Grand Place. There is also Brussels South Charleroi Airport which tends to have the cheaper flights (Ryanair), but it is an hour away.

Getting There (Train): You can do a fly and train option which you can book via Skyscanner (it will show airport code ZYR but this is actually Brussels Midi/Zuid Train Station). You can also get the Eurostar the whole way like I did!

Where To Stay: I stayed at the Floris Arlequin, which was less than 5 minutes walk from the Grand Place. The hotel itself is pretty nothing special, but the location is excellent. A taxi from Brussels Midi/Zuid to the hotel was approx. 12 €. If you are looking for a stylish and reasonably priced hotel, try The Pantone Hotel or the FunKey Hotel which are a bit further out but really cool. If you want to treat yourself, I’d highly recommend the Art de Sejour, the Hotel Odette en Ville or the Hotel Amigo (often named as the best hotel in Brussels).

Travel Insurance: It’s always good to have travel insurance when you travel. I recommend World Nomads or Outbacker.

Resources: I’m a big fan of Lonely Planet guidebooks and usually travel with one wherever I go.

Tours: A nice idea might be to take one of the many tours on offer in the city.

I really enjoyed my short time in Brussels and I hope you will too! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will happily answer (if I can)!

African Adventure Tours for Solo Travellers

Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Affiliate sales help with the running costs of this site, so thank you for your support!

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  1. I would have to say, whilst thats all well and good the best thing I did in Brussels was buying a 50 euro cent map of all the comic murals and follow it. Its a great way to see the city, murals and back streets. (oh… and beer!)

    1. That sounds like a great idea! I came across a lot as I wandered but having a map would have been handy to explain the significance of any of the murals! 🙂 Walking tours are always great I think!

      1. Awesome write up! How close is all the things your have mentioned to the airport in. i have 9 hours to explore on my way to Italy.

    2. I love this idea too! Luckily I found this blog… (and actually read the comments). Thanks Rebecca for the idea and also Helen for writing this post (albeit is almost 1 year ago since published… but still relevant today!)

      PS. first time reader and commenter here


      1. Hey Daniel, yeah the Tin Tin map is a great idea! It’s been ages since I wrote that post but people seem to like it! Nice to have you here! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. That’s a really useful post.
    It is handy for my upcoming trip to Brussels 🙂 Glad that you could cover quite a few places in a short time!

    1. Glad you found it useful! I just stuck around the Grand Place mostly, but managed to see a little bit more on my way to and from the conference!

      Have a great time in Brussels!

  3. How have I never been to Brussels? It’s definitely on my “must visit” list, so I’ll be making a bookmark of this post 🙂

    1. Thanks Jo!

      I know, I was wondering how I’d never been. Especially when it’s only a train ride away. I love the Eurostar! 🙂

      It’s a great place to spend a day or two, next time I think a trip to Bruges is in order too! x

    1. Glad to be of service Ayla! 🙂 The food is lovely! Especially if you have a thing for waffles, frites, crepes and mussels! 🙂 Mmm, I could just eat a waffle…

    1. It was really pretty in some places, much more so than I expected!

      I could sooo go for the fries right now too. I would make a trip there especially for the food! 🙂

  4. Waw I’m impressed by all you did in a single day!

    But I’m sorry there is something I have to tell you: Leonidas is not the best Belgian chocolate by far (even if I have to admit the chocolate covered strawberries are kind of nice)! So next time you visit Brussel, please take a look at this list I made: 😀 Chocolate can be better than you imagine, I swear. So please come back and taste it! 😉

    And Godiva’s hot chocolate not that nice either so you’ve not missed anything. You’ll find a far better one at Laurent Gerbaud’s or Marcolini’s shop.

    I’ve never tried Fritland but I might. Thanks for the tip! I work in Brussels so I’ll have the opportunity to test it. 🙂

    1. It was a busy, active day! Which was good because I needed to burn off some calories!

      Wish I’d seen your list before I went! 🙂 Will definitely try out some of these places when I go again. And I will blame you when I put on 20 pounds!

      Fritland was great. I’ve heard the best place is Frit Flagey in place Eugène Flagey! But it was a bit too far for me to travel, but it’s on my list for next time! But if you go, I’d love to hear what you think, compared to other places around Brussels!

  5. I’ve only been to Brussels once which was also for business…unfortunately I only got to see the inside of the European Parliament building for the majority of the trip!

    I’d love to go back and visit some of the sites you list above! i did manage to stop off at some chocolate shops, of course 🙂

    1. I know the feeling. Most of the trip was inside a conference centre! But yes, definitely try and see some of the other stuff next time. I had fun pottering about by myself! Probably could have seen more if I hadn’t stopped to eat so much!

      At least you got chocolate – priorities straight!!!! 🙂

    1. Oh, this works out just fine then!! 🙂 Some of things other people have suggested would be ok to fit in too!!! Hope you have a great time with your friends! If I lived in London I’d be on the Eurostar all the time!

  6. Helen, I’ve been living in Brussels for almost 2 months now and wanted to say that you managed to see one heck of a lot of stuff in one day! That’s remarkable! If you ever stop by the city again, let me know 🙂 I’d be happy to meet up for a coffee!

    1. Ha ha, I am a sight-seeing machine! Plus, as I was on my own most of the day, no-one to wait for and I didn’t dawdle!

      I will let you know for sure! 🙂 Nice blog btw!

  7. Thanks for a very helpful article. We are going to Brussels in Sept. Best frites I ever had, can’t wait to try them again and your other suggestions

  8. Hi! I’d love to connect with you! i’m actually going to London next week to visit my best friend for 10 days. I want to do everything in London. Also, I want to go to paris and Brussels. What would be the best way to get to either place. I have 4 days to spare. Should I just do the 4 days in Paris? Also, in February I’m going to Africa. Id love to hear your experiences and places to go while there. you can email me at [email protected].

    1. Hi Sarah, nice to connect with you! London is a great! You’ll have an amazing time! Lots of fun stuff to do.

      To get to Paris or Brussels from London, Eurostar is my favourite option, only takes a couple of hours and is reasonable! Four days in Paris would be great, or you could maybe do Brussels and Bruges together.

      Wonderful that you are going to Africa! Which country (countries) are you going to? Have a look through my posts, many of my experiences are detailed on here. Although there’s a lot I haven’t written also. If you have any questions that I haven’t answered, or about any places you can’t see on here, please feel free to email me your questions!

      Helen x

  9. Happy new year great post
    Im planning to do a day trip to belgium i was wondering how do you get from the train station to the grand place and the place with the flowers

    1. Hi Christina,

      It’s around 12 Euros from the train station to the Grand Place in a taxi. You can also get the Metro. It’s pretty easy to get around! The flower carpet is only there for a few days in August I think, so I didn’t see it whilst I was there.

      Have a great time!

  10. I will be visiting Paris & Amsterdam in April and want to include either London or Brussels in that trip — what do you think is the better option in your opinion? I have been to neither place but am having a hard time deciding between them.

    1. Hi Shareen,

      Both London and Brussels are great, but they are really different! I’d maybe say Brussels, as it’s closer. But London has so much to do! Really tough one as they are both amazing cities.

      I’d say that there is more to do in London, but that’s only because I know London more than Brussels. But I really enjoyed Brussels. One or two days would have been enough for me in Brussels, but I could spend longer in London.

      How much time do you have to spend there? That may be the deciding factor.

  11. Hey Helen I enjoyed reading your post on what to do in Brussels for one day. I will be travelling to London in March and planning a day trip to Brussels (less than 9 hours i think) will definitely try to visit those places you have recommended, esp the food :p
    I am also thinking of a day trip to Paris (less than 10 hours there) will I have enough time to visit places like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame etc? Any good recommendations for a day in Paris?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Exciting travel plans! 🙂

      I’ve been to Paris a couple of times and once just went for the day (whilst I was at Disneyland)! We definitely got to see lots of things, not everything but many of the sights! We did a lot of walking and used the Metro to get around. When are you going?


          1. Ok cool! That gives me time to write a post for you! 🙂

            Post for you coming up in the next week or so! Hopefully it will be helpful! We saw a lot in the 12 hours we were there! Plus I know a very cool place for dinner near the Eiffel Tower, but really cheap. Not a combo you get often!

          1. Wow Helen you are awesome to the max! Looking forward to your post and yes I will definitely go try that place near Eiffel Tower for dinner. Muacks and thank you so much in advance!

  12. This was a very lovely post! Even found myself giggling a bit at some of your jokes! I booked a spontaneous solo day trip to brussels from Paris for tomorrow! Really looking forward to it! Thank you!!

    1. Ha ha, even I don’t find my jokes funny! 🙂 Thanks for reading Korinah! Hope you have a wonderful time! Let me know how you got on! 🙂

  13. Hey, thanks for the tips. I’ll be going to Brussels in february for a day (actually I’m going to Antwerp but because I land in Brussels I’m gonna squizz in a few hours in the capital too. I’m so looking forward for the chocolate. 🙂

    1. Fab! All I had was a few hours really but it’s easy to get about! And plenty of time for waffles, frites and chocolate! 🙂 Have a great time Joanna!

  14. This is perfect! Thanks for sharing. I’m traveling to Brussels next weekend and couldn’t be more excited. Also very much appreciated your muscles from brussels joke, do not worry.

  15. What a great post! Thank you… I’m planning a Europe trip and wasn’t sure whether I could do Brussels. I completely forgot about the waffles (my mind was on the beer and chocolate lol)…so consider me totally sold!

  16. hi helen
    love your article.
    november this year i will be travelling from australia to london for 2 days then taking train to brussels and spending one day there.
    should i stay in the heart of the city or near the train station to get the train to paris the next morning.
    my first european holiday.

    1. Thanks so much Eleanor! I would say stay near the Grand Place. Perfect location. I went for dinner at Chez Leon which was right in all the alleys behind the Grand Place and it was just a short stroll back to hotel. That way my hotel can just call me a cab in the morn. Either way, it in’t far! The train station isn’t that far though, so either is fine!

      Have an amazing time on your first Euro trip!! 🙂

  17. Hey Helen, just stumbled upon your blog today and it’s kept me entertained all afternoon (in the office!) Loved Brussels when I visited couple of years ago. Good food especially. We went to a Greek restaurant by Grand Place and the server was a magician and provided entertainment throughout. Fun times! 🙂

    1. Aw, thanks! Glad you enjoyed the blog! 🙂 Thanks for commenting too!

      That Greek restaurant sounds fun! Can you remember the name? 🙂

  18. Very helpful and interesting piece. I am using this as my guideline for my one day trip to Belgium. My wife and I will be spending most of our time in Paris.

    I intend to arrive in the morning and depart late in the evening. What time would you recommend we arrive and depart?

    1. Hi Sam,

      Glad it’s helpful!

      I’d say arrive for around 10am, and then maybe have an early dinner and leave around 8? I think there’s a train around 20.30. That way you can get an early dinner. I loved Chez Leon!

      Or you could go earlier and have a big lunch there, or elsewhere. Then maybe grab some frites and waffles for the train home! 🙂

  19. Helen! Such a wonderful post! It comes very handy now that I am trying to convince my husband to head to Brussels next weekend. We have “Feierwochenende”(long weekend) here in Duetschland and visiting the Belgian capital sounds like a good plan.

    Keep the good posts coming!
    Your new follower,

    1. Thanks Flor! 🙂 That’s very lovely of you!

      Hope you can convince your hubby to go!Have a wonderful time!

      I’m visiting Germany for the 2nd time in a couple of weeks (Frankfurt) looking forward to it!!

  20. Thanks for all the great tips. A group of us were in Brussels last weekend – primarily for our teenage daughters to see One Direction on Saturday night(!) but on Sunday we managed to do almost everything on your list which was fantastic! Train journey from London is only 2hr 10 min and we stayed at the Radisson Park Inn which was a brilliant location, right next to Gare de Midi station and the metro. we loved Brussels and are now planning our next trip!

    1. Hey Michelle, That sounds like a fun trip. Love a bit of One Direction, I probably shouldn’t admit that, but I do! Ha ha!

      Glad you had a great time!! 🙂 Will you be going back to Brussels, or somewhere else? I never really think of going to see gigs abroad, but what a good idea. So close to UK and easy to get to.

  21. I’m on a bus in Paris at the moment. I’ll be in Brussels in 4 hours and I’m staying there for a day, so thanks for the article, very helpful!!

  22. Hello…Thanks for the Great post.It will really come handy as we are planning for a trip to Brussels for a day.Great recommendations Really liked it.

  23. Thanks for the tips! Have a one day stop there next month and I will surely venture to these spots!

  24. Hi Helen,

    I googled Brussels in one day & got connected to your blog. Read and love every single detail. I’ve promptly bought a bus ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels and looking forward to see it! Yippee!

    Thank you and looking forward to read your other travels 🙂

  25. Great write up! I myself love Chez Leon and am travelling to Brussels on this Sat. For 4 days staying in same Hotel as you. Was Hotel ok? Again many thanks for your short stay appraisal. Bill.

    1. Thanks William! Chez Leon was fab, I loved it too! Hotel was fine! Nothing special, but it was ok, and in the best location!! Have a great time!

  26. Hi Helen, I have about 7-8 days total. I’d like to maybe fly into Paris spend 2 days, then take the train to Brussels to checkout some of your recommendations in one day. Board the train the next day to Paris for another 2 days, then head to London for 2 days, then board my flight back to U.S. What are some must see places for London and Paris please?

    1. Hi Ify,

      In London I’d say good places to visit are Covent Garden, Brick Lane Market, Columbia Road Flower Market, walk along the Thames (you’ll see a lot doing that), Borough Market, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Kensingston Palace, Shoreditch and Hoxton area for cool cafes/night out/street art.

      In Paris I did the following, picnic by Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, drink wine in a street side cafe, Louvre, see the Mona Lisa, boat trip down the Seine, see Eiffel Tower light show, Champs Elysees.


    1. I now work in event management, but when I wrote this I was working for a charity which supports social entrepreneurs. Ised to find them mentors and I was in Brussels as part of the Erasmus programme.

  27. Hi Helen, Thank you for the fab tips! Quirky and honest 🙂 found myself at a loose end on Friday so decided on a little jaunt to Brussels. Loved the little back street restaurants, La Petite Provence €10 (€15 inc couple of beerios) for a stonking great bowl of moules n frittes! Well needed after 6hrs on the hoof.
    So I covered, The Grand Place, Beer museum, The Hall of Justices, Palace, Cathederal, few churches (which seem to pop up out of no where) The civil administration building (good view from here, also from the nearby monument above the river) parks, beer houses,waffles and welll…..that seems to be about it!
    Very nice to visit, couple of days is just right 🙂

  28. Excellent article. It will be helpful for my Saturday one day trip to Brussels. Do you have a similar article for “One day in Amsterdam” too?

  29. Great post, Helen! I spent a few days in Brussels few years ago and honestly, the best part for me was the food. 🙂 We will visit Bruges in April, and was wondering if you have any tips how to get there. We will take my wife’s parents as well, so should be some smooth and quick service, since they’re elder. We read some good reviews about but maybe you have some better advice.

  30. Thats a wonderful account of things to do! Thank you so much! Had a few quick questions. Would be grateful if you could help me out.
    1. I will be there for a day . Should i book my accommodation in Brussels(will be landing here) or at Bruges( have heard a lot about this place)
    2. Should i be exploring Brussels or Bruges or some other place? I will be travelling out from Brussels
    3. Also a little itinerary would be splendid
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Abhilash,

      I’ve never been to Bruges (only Brussels), so it’s really hard for me to answer your question sorry! But I also hear good things about Bruges.

      In terms of an itinerary, the things I do in the post act as an itinerary really, so you could just use that! 🙂



  31. Hey Helen!!! This is encompassing the gamut of major activities in Brussels in a jiffy. Awesome stuff, my friend. I will be there for a day in November (2017). I would surely follow your instructions as my travel guide. However, I do not have such an affinity towards carbs, hence some meat dishes would serve my purpose. Send some more tips, provided you have time.

    1. Hi Bikram,

      I was only there for a day, so this is about all the tips I have! 🙂

      But I hope you have an amazing time!


  32. Helen thank you for the list of places you visited and the extra comments you received after your visit for best hot chocolate and chocolate shops. Daughter has a conference and I will be touring during the day on my own. I will follow your itinerary and even though I don’t need them the carbs are a must for me! We will visit Brussels and Paris and I will use your itinerary for both cities as a main guide of places to be sure to visit. Thank you for your blog!

  33. Hi Helen, I find your suggestion here most practical, informative and do-able. So I’m going to adopt it for an afternoon traipsing Brussels city. We will be there mid Sep 2017. Merci Beaucoup!

  34. Thanks Helen. It was a great tip indeed. We followed your plan and njoyed a lot.
    It was christmas eve so we came across some good stuff in Christmas market as well.

  35. I have to tell you that this is the first and only post that clarified for me the two airports. I had an AWFUL time getting into the city today because the directions everyone gave made more sense. It ends up that I was at the South airport. Thank you for making that clear because I’m flying back on the other airport and would have had an awful day on Sunday!!!

  36. Amazing day! This sounds exactly like what I’m going to be doing in Brussels. I’m thinking of taking a day trip once I arrive to Amsterdam in March. Cannot wait! Thank you for the lovely blog post and pictures!

  37. Hi Helen, thanks for the posts. I will be my second time Brussels but the first time when I visited the city it was in January and all my pics are pretty dull. I hope it will be sunny in July. By the way, I can’t wait to go and taste some fritters . Mutlu

  38. Hi Helen,
    Just want to ask you, with those places you mentioned above, did you take a train or a bus to go to those places OR everything is just merely walking? My husband and I are going there this June for 1 day/night only. Do you suggest we should buy a transportation ticket? all we want is to see the most popular attractions and eat those chocolates, belgian waffles and frites and ofcourse drink that stella beer. Thanks!

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