Getting to know Brussels
What you can do for free in Brussels
- Explore the historic center
Go out and enjoy the historic centre of Brussels to really get a taste of the vibe of this city. The charming streets and buildings within the centre are a great entryway into your Brussels experience.
- Visit the park, have a picnic
While it’s still warm outside, in early autumn, a great way to spend some time in Brussels is to pick up a few things for a picnic and head towards one of the many great parks in the city. Some examples of great parks are: Duden Park, Park Elisabeth, Park Leopold, Parckfarm, Josaphat Park, Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels Park, Les Etangs de Flagey.
- Visit a free museum
Brussels is a great place when it comes to culture and museums. The many free museums that can be found in the city can, theoretically, keep you busy even for a few days. Keep in mind that some of them are only free on certain days of the week/month.
Top spots to visit
- Saint-Michel Cathedral (Sint-Michiels Kathedraal)
This Gothic church was founded in 1255, but completed in the 15th century. Perhaps some of the most impressive things in the church are the outstanding stained glass windows. Visit this spot to enjoy these wonderful art pieces.
- Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts
This is one of the largest and most impressive art galleries in the world. It includes an extensive collection that is divided in two parts: the Musée d’art ancien (Museum of Ancient Art) and the Musée d’art moderne (Museum of Modern Art).
- Basilique Nationale du Sacré Coeur
When you reach the Koekelberg district, you will notice that one single building seems to dominate the whole region. It is the massive Basilique Nationale du Sacré Coeur (Nationale Basiliek van het Heilig Hart), which is also the fifth largest church in the world. Going inside, you will find a collection of art and an exhibition on the history of the basilica. Go to the cupola too, for a mesmerizing view of the city.
Hidden spots to visit
- The Comic Strip Route
One more thing that Brussels has a rich history with are comic books. Anyone that is a fan of these types of stories will enjoy exploring the “Comic Strip Route”. This route covers most of the city and it displays some of the best comic book inspired murals that Brussels can offer.
- The Gardens of King Leopold II
The gardens were formerly the King’s privately owned property, but they are now open to the public. You can walk around on your own or you can opt for a guided tour, to get more insight. Don’t forget to explore the botanical gardens section, as it is one of the most beautiful parts of the whole place.
- The Horta Museum
A great place for anyone to visit, but especially for art and design enthusiasts, this museum was once the home of famous Belgian architect Victor Horta. It is now a museum that displays his mesmerizing life of artistry and design.
European, French and Belgian cuisine are the main focus in restaurants in Brussels. Check out the best restaurants in the city, enjoy delicious meals at: Bruneau by Maxime Maziers, Le Rabassier, l’Ancien Bruxelles, Fin de Siècle, Tonton Garby, Artisauce; look for restaurant reviews online to find out more about the many other restaurant options that you may have nearby.
Recommended time for visiting
Summer is a very busy season in Brussels, therefore it seems like it would be a better idea to visit the city in the shoulder seasons, from March to May, and from September to October. Since the city experiences all four seasons, the weather that you will find here in these periods is one with pleasant, mild, warm temperatures. A bonus to choosing this time to visit is the cheaper accommodation.
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