Things to do in Brussels
Belgium's capital of Brussels is internationally renowned as the administrative centre of the European Union, but there's far more to the city than that. With cobbled streets, art nouveau cafés and Gothic architecture blending seamlessly with modern sculptures, electric trams and designer shops, it's a city of startling contrasts. Some of the greatest Belgian attractions can be found in the Flemish capital, such as the country's parliament and Royal Palace on the perimeter of the beautiful Brussels Park. There are excellent restaurants at every turn too, many serving up national delicacies like frites and waffles. Intriguing, effortlessly cool and steeped in history, travel to Belgium today with P&O Ferries to discover this fascinating city yourself.
Old Town Attractions in Brussels
Head to the city's medieval core to find some of the most awe-inspiring architecture in Belgium. The historic Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the meeting point for three eras of architecture and is surrounded by magnificent guild houses. The 14th century Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles (town hall) here is one of the most extravagantly ornate constructions in Europe, and visitors can even climb the 96-metre tower in its centre to get a bird's-eye view of the city skyline.
Opposite the town hall is the Brussels City Museum, which contains a rich selection of ancient tapestries and costumes for Manneken Pis, a bronze sculpture and iconic symbol of the city that can be found moments from the market square. To see one of the most striking gothic buildings in the world, visit the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula where you'll be treated to gorgeous stained glass windows and a huge vaulted ceiling.
Top Sights in Brussels
While the numerous beer cafés and endless chocolate shops are of course essential visits, there are plenty of things to do in Brussels for every interest. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium include six galleries, taking visitors through collections from the Old Masters up to the modern era. Just east of the city centre, the Royal Museum of Armed Forces and the Royal Museums of Art and History sit side by side in the Parc du Cinquantenaire of the European Quarter, and are well worth a visit too.
For those more interested in Chanel than Magritte though, there's a fantastic range of shopping spots in the city. Wander through flea markets, modern boutiques or spend time in the beautiful covered arcades like the Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert.
See more and pay less with a Brussels City Card, giving access to top tourist attractions, museums and public transport as well as discounts across many shops and restaurants so you can see as much of Brussels in one go.
Alternative Things to do in Brussels
With a reputation for being the capital of Europe, this city full of unique activities to enjoy. Learn all about the nation's rich comic book history at the Belgium Comic Strip Centre and see if you can spot the street art featuring Hergé's famous character of Tintin dotted around the city. For family fun, seek out the astonishing Atomium, a huge steel structure in the shape of an atom constructed for the 1968 World Fair, with exhibitions spread across its different spheres.
At the adjacent Bruparck, you can enjoy thrills and spills at the Océade water park before seeing a model version of the entire continent in a single day at Mini Europe. For a last slice of culture, visit the colossal art deco Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Inspired by Sacré-Coeur in Paris, this green-domed cathedral is one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in the world.
Explore the capital of Belgium today by travelling with P&O Ferries.