City of Brussels
Grand Place in Bruxelles

”Why visit the City of Brussels and what’s there to see”​


Tourist activities…

+ Spots

Grand Place Brussels, Manneken Pis, Petit & Grand Sablon and more!

3-4 days

Recommended stay in Brussels

The City of Brussels Blog is divided into 3 sections. First we’ll identify top places to discover. Then we’ll list a few ‘cool spots’ to check out.
We’ll also share a few eateries that are worth your taste buds.
We’ve also made a Google My Maps which is Free to download.
Simply provide us with your email address and we’ll gladly share it with you 🙂

A mysterious postcard in our mailbox was the reason we visited Brussels.
One day we recuperated a postcard in our mailbox.
On the cover was the ‘tapis de fleur’ from Brussels’ Grand Place.
Surprisingly, the postcard was not addressed to us it was destined to our next door neighbour. Despite this, we took it as a sign and put Brussels next on our list.

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The city of Brussels by activity

By the way, that was a true story above. The way we ‘decided’ to visit the city of Brussels and add it to our Discovering Destinations list. Lia and I had been wondering where to visit next when all of a sudden the universe gave us an answer.

Overall, Belgium did not disappoint ! Lia and I found our balance, when she discovered chocolate sensations and I did the same with beer.

Mont des Arts, Bruxelles
From Mont des Arts, Brussels

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We’ve been using Google Maps for a very long time. It helps us pin places we would like to visit prior to making our trip. So we’ve decided to share our recommended list of places to visit in Brussels, Belgium with you, for FREE!

Simply provide us with your email address and we’ll gladly share it with you.

What is there to see in the city of Brussels ?

If you’re looking for a unique European experience with beautiful architecture, delicious food and drink then look no further – Brussels is a very strong contender.

The streets are filled with colour, especially when visiting during fall ! Brussels also finds a way to spark the inner child in everyone with its random caricatures throughout the city buildings.

This blog focusses on the main sights and attractions that you MUST visit while in Brussels. We’ll write another blog with the not so famous destinations, which are under the radar yet very much important to see as well.

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Street art in Bruxelles
1. La Belgique Gourmande

Fresh off the red eye, we dropped our luggage at our hotel and headed downtown while our room got prepared. We exited the bus at the Brussels Central station and started heading to the Grand Place Brussels. On our way over, what do we see ? Chocolate heaven for Lia !

Serge is not much of a sweet tooth kind of guy, but he sure loved eating the Belgian truffles! This chocolate store had so many types of chocolates, enough to awaken the inner child in all of us !

We found various Belgique Gourmande on Google, however this one is located steps away from Grand Place Brussels in the centre town. You have to check this place out!

More on the Belgique Gourmande here.

La Belgique Gourmande, Bruxelles
Inside the Belgique Gourmande in Bruxelles

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2. Grand Place

Based on the postcard we received from Grand Place – Brussels, it’s much nicer with the flower decoration. However even without the flower carpet, Grand Place is a beautiful sight.

We loved the impressive architecture with golden trim accents. We’ve since seen various other European cities with similar structures, however this one remains special to us. There must be something about the ‘intimate’ square, where everyone can gather. Or perhaps it’s the golden accents – who knows.

Grand Place in Bruxelles
Grand Place in Bruxelles
3. Manneken Pis

The famous tale about the boy who urinated. There are many hypotheses about the actual story, feel free to have a look on Wikipedia under ‘legends’.

We were shocked to find how small the statue of Manneken Pis was. Despite its size, it did not disappoint. What’s funny is that we were drawn curious to check it out whenever we could. That’s because someone took it upon themselves to dress him in various outfits every other day.

Manneken Pis
Manneken Pis
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4. Mont des Arts up to Royal Place

Call it luck, but we found ourselves lucky to explore this section in the sequence we did. Our bus dropped us off near Bruxelles Central, located a short 3 minute walk from Mont des Arts. Our idea was to explore the Royal Place, the Bruxelles Palace, the Bruxelles Park, Grand & Petit Sablon etc.

In hindsight, this was the perfect scenic route that led us up a slightly elevated garden street. We enjoyed the garden and decor all the way up to Royal Place street. Moreover, the view from the top looking down was equally stunning! Have a look at some of our pictures below.

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Mont des Arts
Mont des Arts, Bruxelles

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5. Petit Sablon & Grand Sablon

We have to admit, there’s nothing too extravagant about the Petit & Grand Sablon. Let’s put the mystery to rest, the Petit Sablon is a small courtyard / garden and the Grand Sablon is a place or a square with Book and Antique Markets.

However, it’s the ‘area’ and the vibe that we felt ‘hooked’ us. This section of Brussels is a must see in addition to the downtown core. Hopefully you’ll catch the outdoor Antique market at the Grand Sablon, or perhaps a coffee and pastry at the Petit Sablon.

More on the Grand Sablon here and Petit Sablon here

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Outdoor market at Grand Sablon
Petit sablon square
6. Bruxelles Palace and Bruxelles Park

Our way up Mont des Arts led us to Royal Place street, we made a left at the top of the hill and found the Brussels Palace.
*Mental note, if you take the same route, be sure to turn around and enjoy the beautiful view of the city below!

We admired the Brussels Palace from outdoors. The structure was impressive and we really enjoyed the black gate with golden accents. Since we did not visit inside, we are unable to help you with this venture. However we can guide you to the proper site, hoping this will help make your visit a reality.

More on Bruxelles Palace / plan a visit.

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Bruxelles Palace
Golden accents on gate at Bruxelles Palace

Brussels Park is located across the street from the Palace. It’s layout depicts the shape of a rectangle. Inside you will find, a walking path to circulate the grounds, random park benches to sit and enjoy, people jogging and biking while others enjoy a relaxing time sitting on the grass.

It’s a perfect place to reconnect with nature, to start off your day on the right foot or even to walk through one end to the other.

Inside Bruxelles Park
Bruxelles Park leading to Royal Place rd
7. St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

Also located a short distance from Brussels Central. St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral is a short 4-5 minute walk from the Central station.

The Cathedral has an impressive structure and we recommend that you walk the full 360 degree tour. This way you’ll find interesting points of view and intricate architecture.

There is no entrance fee to the Cathedral. However there is a small fee if you would like to visit the Archeological site or the Romanesque Crypt.

You can read more about the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral here.

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral
Inside St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

Few restaurant ideas while discovering Brussels

From experience, we’ve learned that it’s risky business to blog about restaurants. This is because each year, countless restaurants open their doors and countless more close them. For this reason, we don’t like to promote places to eat. This said, we’ve carefully selected a few eateries near the Petit and Grand Sablon and both are still in business.

1. Au Pain Quotidien / Grand Sablon

Located a little outside Brussels centre town, you’ll find Au Pain Quotidien right at Bruxelles Grand Sablon.

We ordered a coffee and pastry and enjoyed it over on a bench at the Petit Sablon Square.

Au Pain Quotidien
Au Pain Quotidien
2. Cafe Leffe / Grand Sablon

The word ‘Leffe’ caught our attention and we decided to try it despite the sub par Google Reviews. You know what, we’re glad we did.

We gave them a 4 star review our Google Review. As we recall, it was the service that brought their ratings down. If you’re not too pressed for time and willing to wait a little then give this place a try. C’mon, you’re on vacation after all – aren’t you ?

More on Cafe Leffe here !

Cafe Leffe near Grand Sablon
Lunch at Cafe Leffe
3. Tabora fries and Los Churros & Waffle / centre town

This is more of a pick up and go type of eateries, however worth a taste. These snack shacks are located on Tabora st, which is a pedestrian street with various shops. We recommend that you explore the street, make time to visit these eateries and ensure you bring your appetite!

We recall an unmistakably growing line for the Tabora fries, which got our attention. Having just finished a meal, we weren’t very hungry, yet we wanted to explore. I ordered the Belgium style fries in a newspaper cone and Eli ordered the Waffle with countless toppings

Belgium style fries in Brussels
Mega Belgian Waffle

Questions about Brussels answered

Q – How safe is Brussels ?
A – We felt very safe while exploring Brussels downtown. There were few parts we were told to avoid. Perhaps it would be best to double check with your accommodations.

Q – Where to stay in Brussels?
A – We really loved our stay at the FunKey hotel. Check it out on our ratings page!

Q – Where to eat in Brussels?
A – We made a quick list in this blog and will add more locations moving forward.

Q – What language to speak in the city of Brussels ?
A – You’ll get around just fine with French or English in Brussels

Q – What to eat in Brussels ?
A – As mentioned in this blog, we think you should try various waffles and the street fries on Tabora st.

Q – What’s the weather in Brussels?
A – We visited in October and found it relatively warm with temperatures ranging from 9-18 degrees.

Where are the cool spots in Brussels, Belgium ?

Whether you’re travelling on a budget or simply looking to put your wallet to rest for a little, we’ve got some cool spots that will put a freeze on your spending.

Cool Spot #1

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

Located in front of St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral is a beautiful square. We visited in October and found the yellow leaves really electrified the view and location.

Cool spot in the city of Brussels

Book your Hotel in the heart of Brussels

Cool Spot #2

Manneken Pis

This must-see location is also a must-see cool spot. It’s totally free of charge and really entertaining to see the Manneken Pis in his daily outfit

Manneken Pis

Cool Spot #3

Montagne de la cour

At the top of Montagne de la cour awaits a beautiful view of the Brussels centre town.
This view gave us a new perspective on the city.

Top of Royal Place in the city of Brussels

Cool Spot #4

Rue des Bouchers

We enjoyed discovering Rue des Bouchers, at a fair price. Consider yourselves warned, you will be greeted by ruthless restaurant promoters trying to grab your attention to eat at their restaurant. They will not take ‘No’ very easily and continue to insist.
A small price to pay for discovering a quaint alleyway.

Rue des Bouchers

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    THANK YOU for going over our city of Brussels blog, we hope it inspired you to discover ‘The Beer and Chocolate Capital of the World’ !

    Itineraries and Attraction recommendation

    The Petit & Grand Sablon, Brussels Palace and Park 1 full day
    Downtown Brussels – 2 full days
    Bruges, Belgium – 1 – 2 full days

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    Hello from Discovering Destinations ! We are a couple, Eli and Serge, that love to travel and share our experiences with those want to discover the world with Great Tips!  CLICK TO KNOW MORE!

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