If you're heading to Brussels, Belgium on your upcoming trip to, from, or through Europe, there is so much to explore! If you have more than a four-hour layover in Brussels, get out and explore the city. It is very easy to take the metro from the airport to downtown Brussels and you can be in beautiful, old streets even sooner than you expect. Just make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get through customs and security on the way back!
Things To Do On A Layover In Brussels
1. Grande PlaceundefinedAddress: Grand Place, 1000, Brussels
Where else! The Grande Place is the cultural and symbolic centre of Brussels. If you’re in Brussels for the day, getting into town is easy with public transportation (tram, bus or metro). See the heart of this small country, where the medieval buildings line the buzzing square full of restaurants, bars and cafe’s
2. Mannekin PisundefinedAddress: Mannekin Pis, 1000, Brussels
The slightly anti-climactic but hilarious statue of a little boy urinating is somehow the iconic landmark of Belgium. In the center of Brussels, and not far from the Grande Place, you can find the statue and take a photo to prove you visited. Surreal and amusing, Brussels is epitomized here.
3. Museum of Beaux ArtsundefinedAddress: Rue de la Regence 3, 1000 Brussels
See the incredible collection of Dutch art at the Beaux Arts museum. Bosch, Breugal, and even David’s “Death of Marat” have all found their homes in this art-historian’s dream of a museum. The Museum of Beaux Arts is very close to its sister museum, the Bozar, featuring contemporary exhibits in the centre of Brussels.
4. Place FlageyundefinedAddress: Place Flagey, 1050 Ixelles
A smaller but more local Art-Deco city square, Place Flagey has a lot of restaurants, bars, and even an arts/culture centre to display how the Belgians entertain themselves! Flagey is also home to one of the best “frites” (fries) huts in Belgium, and also the popular Cafe Belga. You can’t go wrong!
5. Delirium CafeundefinedAddress: Impasse de la Fidelite 4, 1000 Brussels
Delirium is commonly known as the best bar in the world — are you convinced yet? Delirium’s pink elephant logo depicts their own brand of beer, however the bar holds over 2000 different kinds from all over the globe. As the number one stop in Brussels, the three floors of the bar are regularly packed with locals and visitors alike.
6. Shopping District AntwerpundefinedAddress: Meir, 2000, Antwerp
Take a day trip to the fashionable city of Antwerp. As a port, Antwerp is a buzzing Dutch city with many sights to see. Antwerp is best seen on foot, and can be reached by public transportation. With many designers, fashion schools and shops in Antwerp, the medieval architecture compliments avant-garde fashion.
7. Place St CatherineundefinedAddress: Place Sainte-Catherine, 1000, Brussels
This charming cobbled area of Brussels is home to the large and beautiful St Catherine church. Place St Catherine has become a well-frequented area by tourists and locals alike. At Christmas time (all of December and January), festive markets line the front of the church with hot chocolate, mulled wine, bratwurst, iceskating, and a ferris wheel.
8. CinquantenaireundefinedAddress: Parc du Cinquantenaire, 1000, Brussels
Most European cities have a landmark, in the form of a large arch somewhere prominent in their city. Belgium’s Cinquantenaire (their version of the Arc de Triomphe) is located near downtown Schuman or Merode on the metro. This large park is lovely to walk around on a sunny day, and the arch connects to a large museum with ancient Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Asian exhibits.
This article was written by Clara Hudson.