Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is the perfect example of a mixture of nationalities and cultures, past and present. Its incredible architecture, unparalleled history, rich and extensive gastronomy and friendly population make it one of Europe's great cities.
You will be able to visit places that were important business centres centuries ago, and just a few metres away, the most important buildings of the entire European community today. Brussels is a history of power, but also of beauty and art.
It has some wonderful nearby cities, each with its own particularities, that make Belgium the great nation it is, with an interesting history. The problem? Your time, two days won't be enough time to visit everything, so how do we manage?
Sorry, you'll have to be the one to make the decision, we'll give you all the routes, all the places and all the sights to see, but it's up to you to choose which way to go. Good luck, because it's going to be the most difficult task you'll have to do on your trip to Brussels.
We start the day by familiarising ourselves with the fantastic Belgian public transport. On this first day, we will take the "outside" route, thus leaving the most central part of the city for our second day. I wish you had a third day to make the most of Brussels. You might be convinced by the end of the day.
This is the route we will follow:
1- Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Basiliekvoorplein 1, 1083 Bruxelles
2- Atomium, Pl. de l'Atomium 1, 1020 Bruxelles
3- Mini-Europe, Av. du Football 1, 1020 Bruxelles
4- Parc du Cinquantenaire, 1000 Bruxelles
- Square de la Bouteille
- Monument du Cinquantenaire
- Musée Royal de lármée et de l´histoire militaire
- Autoworld Museum
- Institut Royald´Histoire de l´Art et Archeology
- La Tour de Tournai
- Grande Mosquée de Bruxelles
5- European District o Leopold Quarter
- Building, Rue de la Loi 200, 1049 Bruxelles
- Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, 1040 Bruxelles
- House of the European History, Rue Belliard 135, 1040 Bruxelles
- Parc Léopold
- European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Bruxelles
- Parlamentarium, Pl. du Luxembourg 100, 1050 Bruxelles
- Luxemburgo Square, Pl. du Luxembourg 7, 1050 Bruxelles
6- Église Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon, Rue des Sablons, 1000 Bruxelles
7- Grande synagogue de Bruxelles, Rue de la Régence 32, 1000 Bruxelles
8- The View Grande Roue Bruxelles, Pl. Poelaert, 1000 Bruxelles
9- Palais de Justice de Bruxelles, Pl. Poelaert 1, 1000 Bruxelles
1º- Arrive at De Brouckere metro station, take line 5 and get off at Étangs Noirs. Then it's time to change vehicles; change to the bus. Go to the Sint-Jans-Molenbeek Zwarte Vijvers stop and from there, take line 13 to the Riethuisen stop.
As soon as you get off, you will understand that it was worth the short trip. It is a majestic building, to give you an idea, it is the sixth largest church in the world.
2º- The next stops are very close to each other; the Atomium and the Mini-Europe theme park. However, to get there we will have to go back to where we left off, the Riethuisen bus stop, take bus number 13 again and get off at Simonis.
3º- Look for the metro stop of the same name, Simonis, so that line 6 can take you to Heizel. It takes about 10 minutes to get there, just in case you fall asleep quickly and anywhere.
As soon as you get out, you'll be able to see the huge 102-metre-high iron atom. Next to it is the Mini-Europe park, where 350 1/25th scale buildings of the most representative monuments of the old continent are exhibited.
4º- Once the visit is over, we return to the city centre, taking line 6 again to Beekkant station. We could get off here, but we are going to continue a little further, taking line 5 until we reach Merone.
You'll see the reason as soon as you leave the station, one of the most impressive parks in the world; Parc du Cinquantenaire. 30 hectares full of places to relax or continue visiting unique monuments.
From statues to museums to the imperial triumphal arch. If you're going to lace up your trainers and start a tour of the park, these are the must-see stops on your walk; the fountain you find as you enter, Square de la Bouteille, the gigantic arch, known as Monument du Cinquantenaire, and the buildings of the Musée Royal de lármée et de l'histoire militaire, Autoworld Museum, Institut Royald'Histoire de l'Art et Archeology and the Grande Mosquée de Bruxelles synagogue.
5º- If you have finished with the Parc du Cinquantenaire, we suggest another place full of places to see, very close to each other; the European Quarter or Leopold Quarter.
This is where the most important European decision-making power is concentrated and, of course, its architectural beauty rises to the occasion. You'll enjoy examples of both Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture, both characteristic and predominant in the Belgian capital.
Ready again for another mini tour? Here we go, you can't miss, by any means, the House of European History, Berlaymont Building, Parlamentarium, the European Parliament, the Residence Palace and, last but not least, Luxembourg Square.
Don't let your strength fail you, you are doing very well, and there is not much time left to finish. Our next destination will be the start of another mini-tour. You won't believe that in so few metres there is so much architectural beauty and so much history.
6º- After about 10 minutes, you will arrive at the Square du Petit Sablon, a square right next to our imposing destination; Église Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon.
No matter what time it is, take a moment to really enjoy the 15th century church before you; Église Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon is an imposing sight.
7º- Promise is a promise, and about 100 metres away you will be able to see the Grande Synagogue de Bruxelles, that is to say, the Great Synagogue of Brussels. Is that all?
8º- Not at all, The View Grande Roue Bruxelles with its giant Ferris wheel awaits you less than three minutes walk away. You will have a spectacular view of the city, as long as you dare to go up.
9º- As soon as you get on the Ferris wheel and start to climb, you realise that on your left hand side there is another big building, right next to you, and you didn't even see it. As soon as you get off, go and enjoy the façade of the Palais de Justice de Bruxelles.
How did you like your first day in Brussels? Well, get your strength back and rest because tomorrow will be even better, if that's even possible.
How did you sleep? Better than a baby, I'm sure. We hope you are ready for another day in wonderful Brussels. Today our whole tour is going to be on foot, the transport experience was left for the first day and the city break to another city. As long as you take the third day....
This is the route we have planned for you:
1. Bourse de Bruxelles, Pl. de la Bourse, 1000 Bruxelles
2. Eglise St. Nicolas, Sint Nikolaaskerk, 1000 Bruxelles
3. Grand Place, Grote Markt, 1000 Bruxelles
4. Everard 'T Serclaes, 1000 Bruxelles
5. Jeanneke Pis, Imp. de la Fidélité 10-12, 1000 Bruxelles
6. Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Galerie du Roi 5, 1000 Bruxelles
7. Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule, 1000 Bruxelles
8. Parc de Bruxelles, 1000 Bruxelles
9. Palais Royal de Bruxelles, Rue Brederode 16, 1000 Bruxelles
10. Place Royale, 1000 Bruxelles
- Musée Old Master
- Musée Magritte
- Konink.Musea Schone Kunst.BelgiE
- Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts
12. Église Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, Imp. du Borgendael 1, 1000 Bruxelles
13. Old England, Hofbergstraat 2, 1000 Bruxelles
14. Mont des Arts, 1000 Bruxelles
15. Tintin Comic Mural, Rue de l'Etuve 37, 1000 Bruxelles
16. Manneken Pis, 1000 Bruxelles
1º- The first stop is already known if you have done the previous day's route: the Brussels Stock Exchange. Start your walk at the Place de la Bourse, and now you can enjoy the great 19th century building that is the Brussels Stock Exchange, known as the Bourse de Bruxelles.
2º- Just behind it, the Eglise St. Nicolas awaits you, another historic building from the 12th century, which holds inside, in addition to elaborate carvings and figures, a painting by Rubens.
3º- That's just the warm-up, let's move on to one of the jewels in the crown; Grand Place. To get there, all you have to do is take the Boterstraat, also known as Rue au Beurre. This is a good time to remind you that Brussels is a bilingual city, and all the names are in both French and Dutch.
You are already in one of the best known and most beautiful squares in the world. It is one of the places that receives the most photos, and the reason is clear: its architecture. The buildings surrounding this square are the history of the city.
Houses with centuries of life whose foundations merge with the roots of the city's own history; Maison du Roi, the Brussels Town Hall or the Guilds' houses. You could stay here all day, we know.
4º- Slip off the right side of the square for a moment, poke your head down and you'll see one of the city's most famous citizens; Everard 'T Serclaes. He fought bravely in the War of the Brabant Succession in the 14th century. He still does a great job of bringing luck to everyone who touches him, so don't be shy.
5º- After a four-minute walk and a couple of turns, you'll come to the girl who pees the most in the whole country; Jeanneke Pis, the sister of the famous Manneken Pis fountain.
Your senses haven't played any tricks on you, what you have right next door is the well-known Delirium Café. Don't look at the clock, no matter what time it is, it would be a sin to pass by and not stop to try one of its more than 200 types of beer.
6º- In no time at all, as long as you haven't stopped at every chocolate shop along the way, you will get to Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. We don't blame you. We would do the same. In fact, we do.
Enjoy this beautiful glass gallery, its decoration, its places to nibble, its chocolates and waffles. In short, it's the perfect place both to stop off for another stop, as you're on holiday, and to drain the battery of your mobile phone by taking photos.
7º- Come out and turn right, you will soon see our next landmark, the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.
This gothic cathedral was completed in 1500 and has been waiting for your visit ever since. For this reason, it deserves a little bit of your attention, but not too much, because our route continues.
8º- A couple of minutes away you will see the wonderful Parc de Bruxelles. Hopefully it will be a nice day and you will be able to enjoy this beautiful place. If you want to rest but can't miss the sights, there's a picture waiting for you on the façade of the Théâtre Royal du Parc.
9º- Let's go from a great place, to a great monument; the Royal Palace of Brussels. Don't expect to be part of a royal love story, the Royal family doesn't have their usual residence here, but its magnificent architecture is well worth a visit.
10º & 12º- Continuing with the Royal sites, the Place Royal is just five minutes away. This is not just any square, it is the epicentre of a number of monuments, such as the Church of St James known as Église Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg or Sint-Jacob-op-Koudenberg, and, above all, museums.
11º- Ready to list a few; Konink.Musea Schone Kunst.BelgiE, Musée Magritte, Musée Old Master or Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts. Now you're looking forward to a week's stay, aren't you? I warned you that two days was too short a time.
13º & 14º- Let's go in search of a great garden and fantastic views of the city, let's go in search of Monts des arts. You won't need many directions to find it as soon as you leave. Don't forget to look to the right so you don't miss the Old England building.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll see it just a few metres after leaving Place Royale, and believe me when I tell you that you'll recognise it instantly. This 1899 Art Nouveau building is a work of art.
Having enjoyed its gardens, views and architecture, especially the SQUARE Brussels Convention Centre and its golden exterior clock, it's time to move on to an area of the city that we love because of the proximity of the sights to each other.
15º & 16º- We're only going to ask you for a five-minute walk to the Rue de L'Etuve. On this street you'll come across the large Tintin mural and, a few steps further on, the world-famous Manneken Pis, the fountain of the pissing boy.
It is a symbol of the city, even of the country. But you know what else it is; beer and chocolate. Well, if you look around, you are surrounded by all those things. It's the best end to our route that we could think of. Rest and regain your strength by enjoying the best Belgian gastronomy.
Yes, we know, you're not going to stay for a third day. But that doesn't mean you don't need it. A hypothetical third day would be perfect to spend it visiting places you've loved, buying gifts, continuing to discover the local gastronomy, visiting museums without rushing or discovering nearby towns and villages.
Transport is fabulous, and the proximity of the cities to each other makes it convenient, cheap and, best of all, with no need to stay overnight, Brussels will be your headquarters.
Our favourite cities to visit are;
· Leuven; with a forest taken from a movie. It's about 25 minutes away by train.
· Ghent; using the same means of transport, you'll be there in half an hour.
· Antwerp; 45 minutes separate you from what is known as the "City of Diamonds".
· Bruges; Less than an hour from the Belgian capital.