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7 Fun Little Things to Do in Brussels, Belgium

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Brussels is a welcoming and lively city. In fact, Belgium is the perfect destination to visit with friends, as a couple or even alone! If you are a foodie or an art lover, this city will undoubtedly become one of your favourite places to visit. There’s always something to discover, a new trendy café to try or a waffle to savour. Here’s my little guide to the best things to do in Brussels, for a stay that’s both original and true to the Belgian capital’s roots.

Of course there is the Belgian comic strip center, the Atomium, the chocolate shops, the Grand-Place (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, no less), the Manneken Pis statue and the Belgian equivalent of the Arc de Triomphe in the leafy Parc du Cinquentenaire. These are all stunning Brussels landmarks well worth a visit.

But for me, Brussels also has an indescribable energy. Everyone welcomes you with open arms, and unlike in other capitals, it is easy to meet new people and have spontaneous encounters. You’ll come back changed from Belgium, I’ll say as much!

Essential Brussels sightseeing: the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Anyone who loves art will be delighted with the many spectacular museums in Brussels. One of my favourites is undoubtedly the Old Masters Museum that’s part of the Royal Museums of FIne arts. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful museum in all of Brussels, perhaps even Belgium, with simply majestic architecture. You can see more than twenty thousand works, from impressionist paintings to modern sculptures and ancient drawings. Art lovers will be enchanted by the diversity and quality of the collections on display.

There are also a number of quiet areas throughout the exhibition spaces. These oases of calm will allow you to sit down and really immerse yourself in the works of art on display. Taking your time to look at each piece without rushing is a unique experience. A must for culture lovers.

While you’re there, be sure to visit the Magritte Museum next door. You will not be disappointed.

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Enjoy an iced coffee at Bouche

There are lots of small cafés in Brussels, scattered throughout all the districts. It’s hard to choose just one, because they all have something special! But my favourite is Bouche. You can drink speciality coffees in a lovely and charming setting. Sit comfortably, enjoy the warm atmosphere and be tempted by their homemade pastries.

Visit after your trip to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, it’s just a few minutes’ walk away!

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Cool things to do in Brussels: Tope rooftop restaurant

Head up to the top floor of the Hoxton Hotel to eat tacos and watch the sunset at the Tope restaurant and bar. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful rooftops in the city!

With a Peruvian-inspired menu and decor, this rooftop bar (with heated patio for cooler evenings) is the place to be, whether you’re by yourself or with new friends. The atmosphere here is fun, festive and easy going. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening during the summer months.

No need to book in advance, they’ll find you a seat!

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Shopping at Caroline Music

Music fans are in for a treat in the Belgian capital! There are several vinyl and record stores around the city, but my favourite is Caroline Music, right in the centre of Brussels, a five-minute walk from the Grand-Place.

Pop, rock, indie, hip-hop, soul, electro… everyone will find something they like. The store is huge and aficionados like me will undoubtedly find rare gems among masterpieces and newcoming Belgium artists.

The staff are also very friendly and always willing to make recommendations. Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find classic or a new artist to discover, Caroline Music is a veritable Aladdin’s cave for all music lovers… especially when the weather isn’t cooperating!

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Free things to do in Brussels: a stroll through the Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert

The Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert are located in the heart of Brussels, just a few minutes from the Grand-Place. It’s the ideal activity to discover the numerous shops and restaurants. This place is covered by an arcade glass roof that lets in the light, making for sublime Instagram photos.

Take the opportunity to visit the Tropismes bookshop, located in a spectacular 1800s building. The selection ranges from works that will appeal to literature lovers to beautiful books. You can spend hours browsing through their vast and unique selection.

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What to see in Brussels: Fondation Boghossian – Villa Empain

This Art Deco villa is simply magnificent. This is the perfect place to spend an exceptional moment in a magnificent setting. A must tour for art or architecture lovers and a fun way to spend a couple hours in Brussels!

Villa Empain regularly hosts contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events. The building itself is a work of art, with elegant lines and luxurious materials. Stroll through the gardens, admire the pool and soak up the tranquil atmosphere. Spending an afternoon here is like stepping back in time to an era when elegance and beauty were the order of the day.

The site is located away from the heart of Brussels, on the edge of the charming Bois de la Cambre park. However, it is easily accessible by public transport.

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Where to stay in Brussels: The Hoxton

There are several excellent hotels in Brussels, but I loved my stay at The Hoxton. The staff are warm to all visitors, the interior decor is breathtaking and the rooms are spacious with open views of the city.

Just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Brussels and its historic heart, and close to the restaurants, shops and bars where the locals gather, the hotel’s location is perfect. It is also just far enough away to have a peaceful night’s rest after a day’s sightseeing.

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