We propose this route to know Brussels in a weekend. It was made for people arriving on Friday afternoons and leaving on Sundays at the same hours.
If you would like to copy this tour to other days of the week, we recommend you take a look at the museum and touristic times (many places are closed on Mondays).
Day of arrival
This day will not leave you much time to visit monuments and museums, since after leaving the bags at the hotel, it will surely be late (especially if you come from Charleroi airport which is quite far) but you can still visit the most important places in the city center.
The best place to start your visit to Brussels is the most famous place in the city center, the Grand’Place. Once there, you can admire magnificent neoclassical buildings like the Hôtel-de-Ville or the Maison du Roi. Take the street on the right of the Bar Roi d’Espagne, Rue au Beurre (or Boterstraat, all the streets are written in two languages). You will discover the Church of St. Nicholas, a beautiful Gothic building. Continuing straight ahead, you will find yourself face to face with the Bourse, a neoclassical building.
As it will probably be dinner time, return to the Grand’Place and take Rue Flesh and Bread, to the Rue des Bouchers, where you can eat in a good atmosphere. There are dozens of restaurants; all display rather similar menus, with the flagship dish of Brussels: mussels and fries.
It will probably already be late, which is why the itinerary of the day of arrival ends here. A good Belgian beer will most likely help you get a good night’s sleep.
The tour starts around 9am to make the most of the day. At this time, go to the subway stop “Schuman” to walk around and discover the European Parliament district. After seeing all these huge buildings, go through the Parc du Cinquantenaire to visit Autoworld, one of the best car collections in the world.
After visiting Autoworld, exit the park towards the back of the building and take the metro to the “Merode” station to get to “Parc”, just in front of the Parc de Bruxelles – this is the most animated park in the city. The ends of the park are bordered by two important buildings: on one side, you can admire the Royal Palace, and on the other, the Palace of the Nation, seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate since 1830.
Leaving the park at the same place where you entered, take the Rue des Colonies to reach the Cathedral of Saints-Michel-et-Gudule, one of the most emblematic buildings of Brussels.
Return to the Parc de Bruxelles and continue to the right, until the Place Royale; there, turn right into the first street to visit the Museum of Musical Instruments, a pleasure for the senses. Leaving the museum and continuing on the same sidewalk to the right, you will come to the corner where the imposing Hotel Ravenstein is located.
Returning to the Place Royale, you will be able to see the pretty facade of the St-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg church, and almost opposite it, the Magritte Museum and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts. Belgium.
Now take Regency Street to the right and walk to Polaert Square, where you can enjoy the best panoramic view of the city. (It’s not far, but if you’re tired, you can still take the tram 92 or 94 to get there.Just next to the Polaert Square, you will see the Palace of Justice, one of the buildings. the most impressive of Brussels (unfortunately, we can only enter from Monday to Friday).
Going down Rue de Régence, you will arrive at Notre-Dame du Sablon church, one of the most beautiful in the city. And going down the Rue des Alexiens, turn right into the Rue de l’Etuve to discover the brazen little man of Brussels, the Manneken Pis.
The Manneken Pis presents a female version that is not very far; if you wish to discover it, continue straight on Rue de l’Etuve until the Grand’Place and take Rue des Bouchers. At the end of the street, turn left and take the first left. There you will find the little girl in a small alley. Next door you will find the Delirium Tremens Brewery, the most famous for its wide variety of beers, more than 2,000 different kinds.
After spending as many hours walking in the city, it will be quite late. It could be a good time to dine and relax on the Grand’Place or in one of the surrounding streets.
Today’s program is more relaxed: you will visit the Mini Europe Park and the Atomium, one of the most important landmarks in Brussels. For this you will have to be at 9:30 am at the Heysel metro station, very close to both places.
These two visits will take up most of your morning, so if it’s late, you’ll have to eat at one of the Mini Europe restaurants. On the contrary, you can opt to take the metro and return to the city center. If you do not have enough time, you can make a visit on the inside of the Atomium, since it is not worth it.
Do not forget that if your return flight is from Charleroi Airport, you must go to Brussels-Midi station in advance because the bus journey is one hour and it is very likely that long queue formed and you had to take the next bus where to book your limo taxi directly at Arm Limousine Service.
More than 2 days in Brussels?
If you have more days to visit Brussels and have followed our basic itinerary, the best option is to motivate yourself to take a trip to a nearby city. Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp are the most worthwhile places to visit.
If you already know the cities mentioned above, there are still many interesting places to visit in Brussels. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Military History Museum and the Horta Museum are some of the places we recommend for longer stays.