What to do with 48 hours in Brussels

ByAndrea Thompson

July 10, 2024

Prepare to be delighted and ensure you fully embrace the experiences offered by this dynamic city:

Day One – The Historical Centre

  • The Grand Place: Begin your journey at the iconic Grand Place. Marvel at the exquisite architecture, including the Town Hall and the King’s House. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s an essential visit.
  • Manneken Pis: Make sure to see the whimsical Manneken Pis statue – a beloved symbol of Brussels.
  • Delirium Café: Drop into Delirium Café, renowned for its vast beer selection. Sample some authentic Belgian brews!
  • The Royal Galleries: Stroll through the sophisticated Royal Galleries (Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert). These glass-roofed shopping arcades boast a range of boutiques, chocolate shops, and cafes.

Afternoon

  1. Mont des Arts: Visit Mont des Arts for sweeping city views. This picturesque garden square is surrounded by museums and cultural institutions.
  2. Belgian Beer Experience: Seek out a snug pub and indulge in the variety of Belgian beers. Beer aficionados will find themselves in a state of bliss with the extensive selection.
  3. Nightlife Adventure: Dive into Brussels’ lively nightlife. Discover the local restaurants, bars, and clubs that energize the city after dark.

Day 2 – Local Life in Brussels

  • Morning Walk – The Comic Book Route: Follow the Comic Book Route to discover colourful murals featuring famous comic book characters. Brussels is the birthplace of Tintin and the Smurfs!
  • The Marolles District: Visit the Marolles neighbourhood for its antique shops, vintage boutiques, and lively flea market at Jeu de Balle.
  • Ixelles: Explore Ixelles, known for its art nouveau architecture, trendy cafes, and multicultural vibe.

If you’re craving Belgian treats then try some of these

  • Moules-frites: Mussels cooked in white wine sauce, served with crispy fries.
  • Waterzooi: A creamy soupy stew made with vegetables, cream, eggs, and either chicken or fish.
  • Belgian Fries: These aren’t your ordinary fries!
  • Toast Cannibale: Similar to steak tartare, it’s raw beef seasoned with mayo and onion, served on white toast.
  • Croquettes aux crevettes grises: Deep-fried grey shrimp croquettes with a rich sauce (usually béchamel).
  • Not forgetting Belgium Chocolate!

Keep in mind that Brussels is compact and pedestrian-friendly, which makes it ideal for exploring by foot. The city also boasts excellent train connections. If your schedule allows, take the opportunity to venture on day trips to neighbouring cities such as Ghent or Bruges.

Bon voyage and enjoy your 48 hours!