Best attractions in Brussels: Top 15

Many tourists come to the capital of Belgium every year. All of them want to see the sights of Brussels. Thanks to this interest on the part of travelers, today this place can be rightly considered a modern cultural city of Europe. What to see in Brussels, if you come here for the first time? Especially for you, we have compiled a list of the most interesting places of this ancient city.

What to see first in Brussels

When studying the list of the most famous sights, keep in mind that the city has a rather complex layout and all the museums, cathedrals and galleries have their own schedule. Do not make a mistake about the time of arrival and fully enjoy the visit of museums, natural wonders and architecture will help guides in Brussels, who will always be with you and will tell you the most interesting things from the history of the Belgian capital.

1. Grand Place

Grand Place in Brussels

The Grand Place has not only touristic but also historical importance. It is considered the center of the city. Travelers who have not previously planned what to visit in Brussels go here immediately after arriving. On the square there is a market built in the Baroque style. This place is among the sights that have appeared on the UNESCO heritage list.

The Grand Place is surrounded on all sides by architectural masterpieces that once belonged to local craftsmen and merchants. Among these, two buildings stand out - the City Hall and the King’s House. Part of the first structure are unique statues depicting stories taken from the life of the city.

Twice a year, a luxurious flower carpet blooms on the grounds of this Brussels landmark. It decorates the square for three days after the opening of the buds. Especially for the Grand Place, begonias of different colors are grown, which give this place an amazing charm.

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2. Museum of musical instruments

Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels

The Museum of Musical Instruments, which is located in Brussels, is considered the largest in the world. Within the walls of this building are no less than eight thousand unique folk and traditional items. The museum was founded in 1877. In 2000, it had to be moved to a historic building in the Art Nouveau style.

Visitors to this landmark of Brussels have a unique opportunity to see with their own eyes the musical instruments that belonged to different nations. Each floor of the building is dedicated to a different collection. For example, on the first floor there are traditional instruments, while on the second floor there are orchestral instruments.

Guests of the museum can not only look at the exhibits, but also hear their original sound.

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3. Manneken-Pis

The Manneken-Pis bronze statue in Brussels

The capital of Belgium has a lot of unique sights, so there are quite a few interesting places to see in Brussels. One of them is the world famous fountain, which is decorated with a sculpture of a boy peeing. It is for him that millions of tourists come to the city.

For the locals, the boy peeing is much more important than any other attraction in the capital. They see it as a symbol of popular humor and a free spirit. In souvenir shops in Brussels you can find a huge number of different figurines with the image of Manneken-Pis on sale.

Historians still do not know under what circumstances and on whose initiative this fountain was built. All documents that could give a comprehensive answer to this question have been destroyed.

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4. Royal Museum of Fine Arts

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels

When asking locals about what to see in Brussels, many travelers are advised to go to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Admirers of sumptuous paintings will have an unreal experience while in this place.

Within the walls of the museum, there are pieces of art divided into two main periods. The first includes works from the distant past, around the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. The second includes modern paintings, painted after the 19th century. Also in the building is a huge collection consisting of works by the artist René Magritte. Thanks to the collections available, visitors to the museum can have an idea of the directions and styles of artistic masterpieces.

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5. Fiftieth Anniversary Park

Fiftieth Anniversary Park in Brussels

Attractions in Brussels include the legendary Jubelpark, which is located in the east of the city. It has always been in great demand among local vacationers. In the past, the place where the park is now was a military training ground. But in 1880 King Leopold II issued a decree to rebuild the area in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of independence. He planned to organize a unique exhibition, thanks to which he would be able to show the whole world the level of prosperity and development of his state.

The park occupies about 30 hectares of land. It has luxurious gardens and the clearest lakes. There is even a small waterfall. Guests of the Park of the Fiftieth Anniversary can appreciate the beauty of flower beds and shady paths that are placed throughout the landscape. The most popular spot in the park remains the Arc de Triomphe, which can be seen at the entrance. It is a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of Belgium, as its inhabitants never tire of repeating. Soak up the atmosphere of Brussels in this beautiful video!

6. Mini-Europe

Mini-Europa in Brussels

Mini-Europa in the Belgian capital is called the park of miniatures. It is visited with great pleasure by tourists who know in advance what to visit in Brussels. The grand opening of the attraction took place in 1989. Prince Philip was responsible for the event. In the park are the most famous monuments of Europe, which are made in miniature. Also there is a place for other models, such as vehicles and mills. All of them are set in motion by electricity.

Next to the paths you can see miniature people and trees. Because of this feature, many people call Mini-Europa an educational center. All because most of the layouts are a true miracle of technological progress. Important historical moments such as the fall of the wall in Berlin, the eruption of Vesuvius and much more are presented here in miniature form.

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7. Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Brussels

When wondering what to see in Brussels, travelers should pay attention to the most beautiful building in the city, the Royal Palace. This place is officially considered the residence of the monk of Belgium, which is conveniently located in the heart of the main park.

The royal family does not live within the walls of the palace. This structure is used only during important official events.

Originally the present landmark belonged to the Dukes of Brabant. It is assumed that it had the appearance of a castle residence. The building had a defensive function. After it had to be completely rebuilt. The royal palace appeared on the site of the destroyed building until Belgium was recognized as an independent country. In 1904 there was a complete renovation of the facade of the palace, and its old courtyard was converted into a park, which could now be visited by anyone.

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8. Saint-Michel e Güdül Cathedral

Saint-Michelle-e-Gudule Cathedral in Brussels

The Cathedral of Saint-Michel e Gudule is located in the capital city of Belgium. It has managed to be preserved to this day. The author of this landmark of Brussels was the architect Jean van Ruesbreck.

Many tourists note that the cathedral with its appearance resembles the famous Notre Dame de Paris. This resemblance to the two historic buildings was achieved thanks to the paired towers. But the Brussels landmark is slightly smaller than the Parisian.

In the center of the cathedral is a large door decorated with wrought iron reliefs and statues depicting saints. It is possible to enter the building from the main facade through one of the four existing entrances. Each of them is decorated with portals of solid stone. Above the entrances rise stained glass windows and sculptures. The Cathedral is a must-see for any traveler who ventures into Brussels.

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9. Auto World

Museum Automir in Brussels Volkswagen Belgiu

Car enthusiasts who come to Belgium for the first time know exactly what to visit in Brussels. The first thing they go for is the car museum. It can be found in a park founded to celebrate the country’s fiftieth anniversary of independence. There are now two huge museums here: the first is dedicated to military equipment, and the second to automobiles. There are dozens of unique models of pre-war cars that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Next to each automobile exhibit in the museum there are small plates. On them is written the name of the exhibition model, its characteristics and year of manufacture. Also on the plates you can see a couple of interesting historical facts related to a particular car.

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10. Cumbre Preserve

Cambre Reserve in Brussels Stephane Mignon

In the south of the city is the Cambre Reserve. This Brussels attraction has a very interesting history. It was founded in 1861 by the German architect Eduard Keilig.

The reserve is made in the English style, which was used in the design of parks and gardens in the XVIII century. They tried to make the attraction as close to pristine nature as possible. This explains why some of the trees are planted scattered. During the walk you get the impression of being in a real forest. In the center of the reserve is a small lake with its own island. Anyone can get here if they agree to pay for a boat ride. The service is available only on weekends. This natural area is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Therefore, many locals often come here to take a break from everyday worries.

Brussels sights: what else to see while in Brussels

The ten places listed above are only a small part of what can surprise this European city. If you understand, excursions in Brussels are for all tastes and wallets, but to be completely satisfied, it is useful to see on a map of the city, where the attractions you are interested in, and with this in mind to choose the route.

11. Sacré Coeur Basilica

Basilica Sacre-Coeur in Brussels

Most travelers have a plan prepared in advance with sights in Belgium to visit. So they know exactly what to see in Brussels. Among the important historical monuments of the city is the Christian Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur. It became a symbol of the independence of the state.

The church was originally conceived as a monument that was erected to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the country’s independence. As conceived, it was to house nine small chapels. Each of them represented one of the existing provinces in those years. For six decades, the construction of the present-day landmark of Brussels was underway.

The modern building is 90 meters high. At least 2000 people can be accommodated in it at the same time. Today, the church serves as an auditorium, an exhibition center, and a museum.

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12. Halle Port

Halle Port - part of the medieval walls of Brussels

Not many people know about this landmark of Brussels. Only those travelers who have explored every corner of this city have managed to reach the Halleport Gate. Many of them during their walks quite by chance found the historical monument.

Halléport is the only part of the city wall that managed to survive. Today it is used as a museum, where not many tourists come for a tour. There are interesting cultural and historical displays.

Inside the building itself is a spiral staircase, which in past years had to climb guards, soldiers and monks. Even kings used these steps. The stairs lead to the very top - to the observation deck of the gate.

13. Brussels Park

Fountain in Brussels Park

Brussels Park is called the largest park in the city. It is located in the center of the capital and covers an area of 13.1 hectares. In the Middle Ages this place was a solid forest, which surrounded the residence of Brabant on all sides. The palace was destroyed in a fire, and no one bothered to rebuild it. In 1775 the authorities decided to ennoble the territory of this landmark of Brussels.

The park is executed by all rules of the French style. It has a clear boundary of geometry, alleys and paths. Thanks to the unique layout of the landscape, it seems as if an extension of space is taking place right in front of the eyes of the park’s visitors.

During the summer season, the Brussels Park regularly holds exciting parties right in the open air.

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14. The Brussels Botanical Gardens “Le Botanique”

The Le Botanique in Brussels

Le Botanique is different from all other existing botanical gardens. The amazing place is surrounded on different sides by huge skyscrapers. A walk through the attraction in Brussels is an unbelievable pleasure for locals and tourists alike.

In 1826 the botanical garden moved to its permanent place. This decision was taken at the request of respected botanists. They considered it right to move the institution to a wooded area with a huge space and fertile soils. These were the conditions necessary for the normal development and growth of most plants.

The opening of the garden took place only in 1829. On this occasion the local government arranged a real feast with a banquet and ceremonial fireworks.

15. Belgian Royal Museum of Natural Sciences

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences The Integer Club

This Brussels attraction has a special place. The Royal Belgian Museum of Natural Sciences is conveniently next door to the European Parliament. It takes its visitors on a journey through the inhabitants that once inhabited our planet. Also, museum exhibits reveal to tourists the secrets of the emergence of mathematics and writing.

Especially children like visiting the museum. Especially for them is a unique collection of the remains of real dinosaurs. Also young visitors have the opportunity to see with their own eyes a huge meteorite that once landed in Europe.

In the museum of natural sciences for fans of detectives daily staged murder of the director of this institution. The process of unraveling the mysterious case brings guests a lot of positive emotions.

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Read also about sights of Antwerp and be inspired to travel further in Belgium.

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