The heart of the European Union, Brussels is more than a city of politics and administration, it is a place full of culture, with a vast history behind it, which promotes diversity and modern art. All your senses will be stimulated on a trip to the Belgian capital, even if you intend to stay only one day. The smells, the sounds, the tastes – are all so profound and will instantly conquer you and convince you to come back to other occasions in this amazing city.
Here’s a short travel guide to help you make the most of your 24 hours in Brussels:
See Manneken Pis. Passing through Charles Bulsstraat, one of the most commercial streets in the capital of Belgium, where you can buy chocolate and Belgian souvenirs, you will reach the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the city of Brussels is found. Literally, Menneken Pis means “little man” and is a bronze statue that refers to an important episode in the history of this nation, when a child saved the city from destruction. Sometime in the 17th century, the Dutch tried to set fire to the city. But when they burned the wick, a stray boy, who remained outside the fortress, urinated on the wick, thus eliminating the disaster that seemed inevitable. This made the rebel boy famous around the world, and today his statue is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Visit the Atomium. Quite close to the city center and to Little Europe, another tourist destination worth visiting, is a futuristic construction with a slightly strange appearance, consisting of nine spheres covered in stainless steel, all interconnected by cylindrical passages. The structure is the form of an atom in an iron crystal and represents the belief of humanity in scientific progress, which was the theme of the 1958 World Exhibition.
Five of the Atomium spheres are currently open to the public, with galleries and multimedia installations exposed. One of them is for children, with workshops and even a place where schoolchildren can spend the night. Moreover, the impressive structure of the Atom offers an unbeatable panoramic view of the city.
Eat some waffles at Maison Dandoy. You can’t leave Belgium without trying the delicious waffles, the famous fluffy wafers and Belgian waffles that were invented by Maurice Vermersch. One of the most popular places to eat grout in Brussels is Maison Dandoy. Other great places recommended for buying these culinary delights you will find near Grand Place.
Spend a few hours in the Grand Place, the most famous market in the city. Known locally as Grote Markt, Grand Place, located in the Historical Center, is one of the iconic landmarks of Belgium, located in the heart of Brussels. With quite impressive dimensions, 68 meters wide and 110 meters long, the Great Market is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is surrounded by several buildings of great historical importance, including the City Hall and the Royal House.
Try the Belgian French fries and potatoes. It is said that, in fact, the Belgians invented the recipe for French fries, not the French. Belgian potatoes are fluffier than the usual ones, have a special taste and are served in paper cones. Some places where you can enjoy some delicious Belgian fries are Belgian Frites in the city center, Fries Food Truck in Place Flagey, Maison Antoine and Friterie du Miroir.
Visit the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. This Roman Catholic church located in the center of Brussels has an amazing architecture, being built of stone, in Gothic style, with a look similar to that of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris . 8 centuries old, the cathedral is considered to be the most important place of worship in the capital of Belgium. If you have some time, it is worth visiting its interiors, especially to admire its baroque pulpits, statues of the 12 apostles and impressive stained glass windows.
Dining at Fin de Siècle. If you have only one day to explore this magnificent city, you must end it by having dinner at one of the most famous and appreciated restaurants in Brussels, Fin de Siècle. Despite its popularity, the restaurant has a warm, light and very comfortable atmosphere, and its menu includes delicious Belgian dishes, such as Carbonnade beef stew, as well as other European dishes.
As mentioned earlier, Brussels is the most political and financial capital of Belgium. With great architecture, tasty food and charming streets, this city has everything. If you are planning a trip to Belgium, we recommend you spend at least one day in Brussels.