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Must See – 1 Day Brussels Itinerary

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Creating the perfect Brussels itinerary for the weekend is easy to do once you know some of the best spots to visit as a tourist. Also, you may want some off-the-beaten-path items to add to your Brussels Itinerary.

Whether if you are visiting Brussels on its own or including it with an entire Belgium Vacation add this Brussels itinerary to your top things to do in Brussels for a day list.

Make sure to pin this article so you can find it while planning your perfect weekend in Brussels, Belgium!

One of the street corners in Brussels all dressed up for Christmas!

This post contains affiliate links, advertisements, and links to Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To learn more, go to my Disclosure page. This blog post was originally written in November 2018 and has been updated since then. 

Places to visit in Brussels on a weekend

There are so many things to see in Brussels while you are visiting. There are sights to see, foods to eat, and plenty of beer to drink. Make sure to read this entire guide to help you plan a day, a weekend or even a week while exploring Brussels, Belgium. While we were visiting Brussels, we spent 3 nights and 4 days exploring Brussels.

The Grand-Place

1000 Brussels, Belgium
The Grand Place and the square around it are absolutely stunning! The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most beautiful squares I visited.

I was lucky enough to visit the outside of The Grand-Place during the holiday season, and there was a large, stunning Christmas Tree right in the middle of the square!

wet cold dreary day in brussels during christmas

A wet, cold dreary day in Brussels during Christmas. But this entire square is a wonderful sight to see no matter what the weather is like!

Manneken Pis

1000 Brussels, Belgium
Brussels has a little peeing statue in the heart of the city. Yes, the Manneken Pis is a little-naked boy standing up and taking, well a piss! Throughout the year the locals will dress him up in different tiny outfits.

If you are trying to find the Manneken Pis early in the morning or late in the evening, it might be hard to locate him! He is actually a tiny fountain tucked in the corner of the street.

But if you are looking for him during the day just look for all of the Manneken Pis restaurants, trinkets, and of course the crowd gathering around the Manneken Pis.

Manneken Pis in brussels

The Manneken Pis in Brussels. The best way to find this statue is by looking for a crowd.

Jeanneke Pis

Impasse de la Fidélité 10-12, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
If little boys peeing isn’t your thing, you may want to check out Jeanneke Pis, the Manneken Pis’s counterpart. Jeanneke Pis truly shows off her squatting skills to her adoring fans.

If you are looking for another tinkling fountain, you can locate the Zinneke Pis at Rue des Chartreux 35, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium. Zinneke Pis is a dog making his mark on the corner!

Brussels Stock Exchange Building

Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles Grand-Place 1000 Bruxelles
The Brussels Stock Exchange Building has a small museum inside of it. When we visited, there was an exhibit all about Pompeii, and they brought many of the artifacts and casks on display at the exhibition.

One of the reasons why I loved visiting the museum is that it is fully handicapable and the disabled get a discount for visiting the museum. You are supposed to call and let them know that you are outside to use the elevator, but I ran up the stairs to purchase our tickets and get someone to help me get mom up the to the exhibits.

Line to see Pompeii

On this rainy day the line to see the Pompeii exhibit was around the block. Luckily for us, the next day had zero line!

pompeii casks in brussels

Some of the casks that were on tour at the Pompeii Exhibit.

Hop on Hop Off Tour

Getting around Brussels was pretty comfortable with the Hop on Hop off tour bus. We were able to quickly get on the tour bus right by our hotel and spent time listening to the history of Brussels.

Our favorite thing to do with the Hop on Hop off busses is jumping on and take the whole 1-2 hour tour, listening to history and then use the bus as transportation to the bigger destinations.

mallory on the hop on hop off bus

Sitting on the hop on hop off bus in Brussels. Make sure to bring your own earbuds because the ones they give you are terrible.

Other Sights to see in Brussels

I didn’t get to visit these places because I ran out of time but make sure you make time to add the AtomiumMini Europe, and Parlamentarium in your Brussels itinerary! You can get excellent combo packages on Viator.

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What to eat + drink in Brussels


One of the first things that we ate when we landed was Waffles! I knew that Belgium Waffles were going to be amazing, but I didn’t realize how unique the toppings were on the waffles.

Each time we got waffles, and we ordered a ton the entire trip, we made sure that we got Nutella and some sort of sweet on our Waffle.

My favorite thing about Belgium waffles compared to regular waffles is that they are thick, crispy, and easy to eat while walking around and sightseeing.

Waffles in brussels

Waffles are a staple in Brussels. Make sure to get yourself a Belgium Waffle with all of the toppings

Frites – French Fries

Fries are a way of life in Brussels. In fact, there are so many french fry shops all over Brussels that it is hard to choose which one to try! We’ve tasted quite a few different french fry restaurants while we were in Brussels and every one was quite delicious.

Mallory with French Fries

Look Ma – I’m eating vegetables, ok starches, ok french fries with sauce on top!

Chocolate for Everyone

I have a weakness for chocolate. Exploring Brussels, we ended up walking in and out of many chocolate stores, purchasing delicious chocolates while we wandered the streets of Brussels. If you are a chocolate fanatic, make sure you invest in Belgium chocolate. You can even go on a Chocolate Walking tour.

a chocolate shop at brussels

The chocolate shops were plenty – and adorable at the same time! I wanted to buy everything.

Belgium Beer  and the Delirium Cafe

Over the past few years, I’ve been expanding my palate for beer. I’m stuck on stouts of all flavors right now, but while in Brussels we made sure to visit the little Delirium and The Delirium Cafe, World’s Biggest Beer Selection in Brussels.

After an overwhelming decision on what to purchase, mom and I opted to get a couple of traditional Belgium style beers. We’ve really grown to stouts so we made sure to get different beers at each bar and restaurant we went to.

If you love beer, you can go on a beer walking tour around Brussels!

Little Delirum beer flight

Beer flight at Little Delirium we had a similar one at the Delirium Cafe.

delirium cafe in brussels

Keep your eyes open when trying to find the Delirium Cafe – it is easy to miss if you get swept up in the crowd (or read the GPS wrong like I did).

Restaurants – Drug Opera

After essentially eating junk for all day long, I was not prepared to sit down for a traditional meal in a restaurant. We dined at a few different restaurants, but the beauty of the outside of Drug Opera really stuck out in our mind.

Drug Opera generally has at least a 30-minute wait, but luckily for us, we were able to grab a spot by the kitchen. Wanting to try some of Belgium’s stew, we split the Poultry stew with mushrooms and cream, and the Flemish beef stew, french fries.

Both Stews came with french fries, but I preferred the Flemish beef stew because it reminded us of poutine, one of my families favorite dishes.

Beef Stew at Drig Opera

The Beef Stew (with a side of french fries not pictured) is a delicious way to warm yourself up on a cold winter day.

Drug Opera Restaurant in Brussels.

The outside of Drug Opera draws you in – especially at Christmas time!

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When To Visit Brussels

I love exploring different countries during the shoulder season. With that being said, the best times to visit Brussels for shoulders season is between March and May, and September and October.

If you are not worried about crowds, visiting in December is a beautiful time because you can explore the Christmas markets in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium.

Brussels does experience all four seasons, and rain is a possibility all year round. In December, when we visited, it was cold and rainy.

Brussels Christmas market and lamp

I love all of the different stores for the Christmas Markets in Brussels.

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Renaissance Brussels HotelRenaissance Brussels Hotel, which is close to the European Parliament and very close to a hop-on-hop-off stop. This hotel is part of the Marriott chain, and we noticed that tons of airlines stay at this hotel.

Our room had was perfect for just mom and me for our weekend trip. The hotel also offered a European-style breakfast which included an assortment of meats and cheeses, lots of Nutella, and salad!

Renaissance in Brussels

Two small beds for mom and I’s weekend trip to Brussels!

Things to know before Traveling

Do they speak English in Belgium?

Language is very free in Belgium. The official languages are Dutch, French and German. However, English is very common. I found that many people understood English in Brussels, and when we did have a communication issue, I was able to use google translate to help get my message across.

What is the currency in Belgium?

You may use the Euro in Belgium.

Is travel to Brussels, Belgium safe?

Brussels is a generally safe city to visit in Belgium. Just like any other city, you need to be aware of your surroundings and do not travel with extra large bags or purses that are easy to pickpocket.

Is Brussels Handicap friendly?

Walking around Brussels seemed to be harder than usual because there were a lot of street corners that did not have the drop corners. The cobblestones were hard to navigate with a wheelchair. However, there are some great discounts for those that are handicapable. Because of this trip to Brussels, we ended up buying the Rollz Motion Rollator walker.

Don't forget to find the Manneken Pis.

Don’t forget to find the Manneken Pis.

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