A day exploring the Belgian Capital City Brussels

Brussels the capital city of Belgium being a center for EU and NATO has gained a prominent political status. But the Belgian capital has enough compelling reasons to beckon tourists and travel enthusiasts to this amazing city which is home to astounding Comic Strip Route, intriguing historical monuments and easy day trips to other gorgeous towns of Belgium from Brussels.

Our idea of Brussels was a medieval village charm swayed by our visits to Bruges and Ghent earlier. Brussels has a distinctive charm with a medley of culture, trendy restaurants, cafes, over 100 museums and the towering skyscrapers. Getting to Brussels is quite easy too with well-connected high-speed trains from London, Paris, and Amsterdam.

We started our sightseeing from Central station of Brussels. The tourist route map to Grand Place walked us past several statues. Place d’Espagne has an equestrian statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza – the fictional characters in the novel Don Quixote.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Grassmarkt has a gorgeous fountain with a statue of Charles Buls a Belgian politician and mayor of the City of Brussels.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Grand Place
The first glimpse of the Grand Place Square left us wonderstruck for minutes. Our eyes kept gazing at the buildings in square taking in the beauty of the architecture and artistic wonders. Town Hall, guildhalls and other lavish and ornate buildings from the 14th to 17th century surround the square of Grand Place.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Belgian Capital City Brussels

The Grand-Place is covered with a giant carpet of flowers every two years which is a colorful sight worth a visit.

Waffles Munching
We lingered around the square for some time before wandering through the cobblestone alleys looking for the iconic Manneken Pis. The alleys are lined with several souvenir shops and cafes. We decided to stop by some cafe and devour on the lip smacking and savory waffles.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

While in Belgium indulging in some waffle munching with an assortment of toppings from chocolate, cream, jam, powdered sugar to fresh fruits is a must.

Manneken Pis
The eagerly awaited ‘Pissing Boy’ was just a couple of minutes walk from the cafe. Being there early in the morning was an advantage as we had the benefit to pose with the little boy without any hustle. There are several legends behind this statue from the little boy going missing and been later found pissing in some corner of the city to a boy urinating on explosives and saving the city from being destroyed.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

We came across the walls built in early 13th century during the fortifications of Brussels. Today only a few sections of the walls remains can be found around the city.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Place du Grand Sablon
Place du Grand Sablon is a lively place which hosts a wonderful market where one can shop for various antique items and clothing. Adjacent to the market is the gorgeous Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon Church dating back to 15 century. The church has some amazing Baroque chapels, exquisitely carved sculptures and beautiful stained glasses.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Place Royale
Walking along the same street, we came into a large historic square called Place Royale. The Church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg and an equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon dominate the square.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

The Royal palace and several museums are located in and around the square.

Mont des Arts (Kunstberg)
We walked down the Coudenberg hill into a beautiful Mont des Arts garden. Mont des Arts or the Kunstberg is a vantage point with stunning vistas of the old town and the striking tower of the Brussels Town Hall in the Grand Place.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Galeries royales Saint-Hubert
We visited the Galeries royales Saint-Hubert near the central station, which is a glazed shopping arcade. It has a narrow courtyard with opulent cafes, jewelry and confectionery shops on both side and an arched glass roof.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Comic Strip Route
Brussels has a well-known comic strip route, which is an interesting way to spot the well-preserved comic heritage of the city. Comic strip Route in the city center itself offers more than 50 comics painted on buildings and walls. Go scouring for the comic heroes painted in vivid colors on the walls of the city is indeed an adventure.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

Atomium
The Atomium, a unique fascinating structure in Brussels was originally constructed for the world fair of 1958. The nine 18 m diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected to depict a model of a molecule. Spheres house exhibit halls, museums with the top sphere having a restaurant with panoramic view of Brussels.

Mini-Europe
At the foot of Atomium is yet another unmissable attraction in Brussels the Mini-Europe. Mini-Europe is a miniature park exhibiting around 350 miniature monuments from around Europe.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The apartment we booked was in the neighborhood of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The way to our apartment from the metro station Simonis was through a large park with twin avenues lined with dense trees and a central lawn. The walk through the park provided with stunning views of the magnificent Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

The Art Deco church with a central dome flanked by the two towers is the world’s fifth largest Catholic basilica. One can take elevators to the outdoor gallery located at the base of the dome for remarkable panoramic views of the city.

Belgian Capital City Brussels

There is definitely a lot more to experience and learn in Brussels called as the ‘melting pot of cultures’. From historic charm to chocolates, fries, and waffles the city has something for everyone to keep the spirits high!

What has been your favorite part of sight-seeing in Brussels? Do share with us in comments.

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22 Comment

  1. Simi says: Reply

    Brussels looks lovely! Would you say that it’s the perfect place for little ones, as its only a short Eurostar trip from London?

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Brussels is more about exploring museums and history so not sure how the lil ones would find it. Then yes there is mini Europe that might catch their interest. And the comic strip which again needs hunting around the nook and corner of the city.

  2. Brian says: Reply

    Mini Europe and wafels sound great, but what about the underwear museum?

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We weren’t aware of this museum before you mentioned it. Sounds interesting 😉 Well! Brussels has more than 100 museums so there should pretty strange ones out there too.

  3. The buildings are beautiful. I’d love to travel more and now I’ve read this I think Brussels is going on be on my travel list! Great piece!!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Brussels is definitely worth a visit and you could also a plan a visit to one the gorgeous Belgian towns which can be done on a day trip from Brussels.

  4. Totally agree that it’s easy to have day trips to and from Brussels. I went as a teenager and absolutely loved it. Aren’t those waffles the best you’ve ever tasted?

  5. lex says: Reply

    Brussels is such a wonderful place if you ask me, great and rich history in these images.

  6. I visited Brussels last year and had a great time visiting all these amazing places. Just loved it! And those waffles.. Yumm 🙂

  7. Elizabeth O. says: Reply

    I’ve never experienced touring around Brussels in such detail. I would love to visit again and just explore the museums all the lovely sights!

  8. A little paradise! The waffles and the architectures are all worth to try and see respectively, in Brussels.

  9. After reading this I know Brussels makes a great weekend getaway. Easy to get to, lots to see, and WOW – those waffles!!! Thanks for the detailed itinerary!

  10. Smidge says: Reply

    I had no idea that Brussels looked like this! I thought it was a modern city, but the building look beautiful. I love the Comic trail. We have lots of street art but nothing like that!

  11. Soraya says: Reply

    I have never been to Brussels, but it looks beautiful! The Grand Palace – omg! How impressive. I absolutely adore its architecture. And eating waffles? YES! Sounds just like me. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I must admit I have never really been attracted to Brussels. Don’t get me wrong, it looks lovely but so are hundreds of other European cities. However, you got my attention with the Comic Strip Route. now that looks interesting!

  13. Kris says: Reply

    The art deco church is really amazing. Truly Brussels have great architectures. Along with the rich culture and history, tourist will always flock to this great location.

  14. Maggie says: Reply

    Brussels looks awesome! We skipped it and went to Bruges instead, but it’s definitely on our list for next time. I love waffles, I would want them all!

  15. It’s been a very long time since I was last in Brussels and I didn’t spend a lot of time there. Your post is making me wish I had. The park with the trees creating the arch overhead is stunning!

  16. Bruxelles looks so charming in your photos! I would definitely enjoy the waffles with as many toppings I could. However, I know few people who live there and they do not like the lifestyle at all, do you have idea why?

  17. I didn’t really know much about Brussels until I read your post and hadn’t realised there was so much going on there! I love the picture of the town hall in Grand Palace Square too – and can totally understand how you stood gazing at it – it’s stunningly beautiful!

  18. EG III says: Reply

    I’ve read before how tiny the Manneken Pis statue is, but your photo really puts it into perspective. I’m planning to go to Belgium this winter and it’s good to know that it’s possible to start on foot from Central station and walk to several monuments without needing public transport. Do you think one full day is enough?

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes, one day should be enough excluding the comic strip route which would be tedious to club with other attractions. And it may also depend on how soon you wrap up with the mini Europe.

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