2 days in Brussels Karoadores

How to spend two days in Brussels – Tips from a local

How to spend two days in Brussels – Tips from a local

Hi friends and travellovers, welcome to my blogpost about Brussels, Belgium’s beautiful capital. In this article you will get inspired on how to spend two days in Brussels based on a local’s tips.

Belgium’s capital is not only the heart of Europe but also a culturally rich city with amazing people, artsy vibes and amazing food.

I have actually spent lots of time there in the past visiting my partner Damien when he used to live there. That’s also the reason why I’m able to provide you with great inside tips – he was born and raised in this beautiful city! We still go there on a regular basis to spend time with his family and friends.

two days in Brussels

So how can you spend two days in Brussels?

Let me give you a short overview of what you can expect to learn from this article:

  • What is Brussel’s charm all about?
  • How to organize sightseeing in two days
  • Food in Brussels – Best tips and addresses
  • Enjoying some relaxing time in the city

In addition, feel free to watch our YouTube video to get more detailed visual impressions:

What is Brussel’s charm all about?

So first of all: Why is Brussels even worth a visit? Sure, it is called the capital of Europe and important for politics and economy – but why should you spend two days in Brussels?

Well, there are several reasons. From my experience, Brussel’s charm is based on the fact that it’s a comparably smaller city. That being said, people in Brussels are incredibly proud of their culture, their amazing food and all the artsy vibes in the city – and they love to share that with you!

Just look at the video above and watch the dance party at Grande Place – you won’t find this anywhere else!

2 days in Brussels grand place

Why choose Brussels over bigger cities like Paris or London?

While going to Paris for example is more of an anonymous and mass-touristy experience, the city of Brussels has a warmer and friendlier vibe going. Being there you will feel like you are in the heart of Belgium and really learn about the country’s spirit.

There are so many hidden gems in this city! Do not expect to find them all alone – they are often not that obvious. That’s what this guide is all about ;).

For up-to-date events it is also always worth speaking to people you’ll meet in bars, cafés or simply in the streets – they will share them with you!

If you’re in Brussels for the first time, I highly recommend visiting some cafés, bars and brasseries and simply take a stroll in the little streets – you will be inspired to explore more!

2 days in Brussels little cafe

Place du Grand Sablon is a great place to start on a Saturday morning. You will find typical places like bars, brasseries and chocolate shops. Just take it from there and continue exploring the little streets and shops.

two days in Brussels Cafe Leffe

2 days in Brussels little streets

two days in Brussels local charm

Visiting smaller markets like the one at Place Jourdan during weekends is also a great opportunity to meet locals!

Are you still looking for a hotel? Based on my recommendation on where to stay in Brussels, the market will be directly in front of your hotel’s door on a Sunday!

two days in Brussels market place Jourdan

How to organize sightseeing in two days

Of course you also don’t want to miss Brussel’s most famous sights:

  • Grand Place
  • Town Hall of Brussels
  • Galerie de la Reine
  • street art
  • Manneken Pis
  • Atomium
  • Royal Palace
  • Palais de Justice

When starting from Place du Grand Sablon, you can walk to Grand Place and explore beautiful little streets on your way there. Once you have arrived at the infamous Grand Place, you will be impressed with the beautiful architecture.

two days in Brussels grand place

two days in Brussels

two days in Brussels town hall

Especially the Town Hall of Brussels is really breathtaking with its big tower!

You can also buy your souvenirs at Grand Place and enjoy some typical to-go food like waffles or fries.

If you want to experience something really special, I recommend visiting Theatre Royal de Toone. It’s a traditional Brussels puppet theatre with great plays of Belgium’s history.

Toone is also great for a more quiet stop to have a traditional Belgian beer. If you’re visiting in summer, make sure to stop in the beautiful beer garden outside.

Another stunning place not far from Grand Place is the Galerie de la Reine with lots of luxury shops.

However, you will also find traditional shops of clockmakers and chocolate. The Vaudevill Theater is also located there and will give you the opportunity to learn more about Belgium’s history.

two days in Brussels Galerie de la Reine

After exploring Grand Place, Theatre Royal de Toone and Galerie de la Reine, head on to see Manneken Pis.

two days in Brussels Manneken Pis

Don’t be surprised, it’s a rather small statue but the little man is often dressed in traditional Belgian clothing!

In this area you will also be able to find lots of local street art.

two days in Brussels street art

two days in Brussels street art

Street art is another aspect that makes Brussels so unique! You will find lots of motives like the typical Tram of Brussels (see above) or famous figure like Tintin and his little dog Snowy.

Don’t miss out on this great part of Brussels culture!

If you’re staying in Brussels for two days you will already be busy for the afternoon to explore the areas from Place du Grand Sablon to the Manneken Pis area.

In case you want to see the infamous Atomium, I highly recommend renting a car. Taking the metro (next station: Heysel) takes quite long and you will waste too much time during your two days in Brussels.

If you decide to go there, you will see André Waterkeyn’s design for the World Expo in Brussels in 1958:

two days in Brussels

Renting a car, it will also be easier for you to pass by Palais Royal and Palais de Justice either before or after the rest of the sightseeing tour above.

two days in Brussels Palais de JusticeIn case you prefer to go shopping, go from Grand Place to Avenue Louise where you will find lots of luxury shops and boutiques. Nearby you will also find the area of Ixelles with lots of hip bars and cafés.

two days in Brussels

Food in Brussels – Tips and addresses

Of course all this sightseeing is going to make you hungry. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on the amazing food during your two days in Brussels – so feel free to follow my recommendations!

Belgium is famous for many specialties. Whether it’s the fries, the beer or the chocolate – it’s all incredibly delicious.

So where are you going to find the best of it all? Here’s a first overview:

  • fries – Maison Antoine (Place Jourdan)
  • chocolate & macarons – Godiva, Pierre Marcolini (Place du Grand Sablon or Grand Place)
  • beers – Delirium Bar (near Grand Place)
  • special occasions: La Villa Emily (Rue de L’Abbaye)

Let’s start with the fries – Remember the local market at Place Jourdan near my hotel recommendation for Brussels?

That’s where you will also find Brussels’s best fries at Maison Antoine! Of course the fries are also going to be amazing in other places as well!

Just to let you know, Belgian people hate that the fries are called French Fries because they claim the invention – so just order „fries“, not „French fries“ 😉 !

2 days in Brussels fries tartar

Not only the fries are great, but also the tartar or the mussels – mussels season is from September – December.

In case you want to satisfy your sweet tooth right in the beginning of your sightseeing tour – There is a great choice of Belgian chocolate at Place du Grand Sablon!

One of my personal favorites are the Godiva strawberries and all the chocolate and macarons by Pierre Marcolini – absolutely delicious!

two days in Brussels Godiva strawberries

two days in Brussels Pierre Marcolini

two days in Brussels Pierre Marcolini

If you need a drink after the fries and sweets, it’s time for a Belgian beer!

A great place you definitely need to check out is Delirium Bar. It’s not far from Grand Place so stop by if you’re thirsty during your sightseeing tour – you can taste more than 1000 Belgian beers!

In addition to that, the atmosphere is amazing and even locals go there!

two days in Brussels Delirium bar

If you want to wait until you have seen Manneken Pis – Visit Café Charbon which is not far. They also have a great selection of beers, wines and good food!

Furthermore their interior design is amazing!

two days in Brussels Cafe Charbon

Are you looking for something more fancy during your two days in Brussels? A great way of spending an amazing evening is to have dinner at La Villa Emily!

Not only will you love the elegant design, you will also be fascinated with the great cuisine! For your dinner you can choose between 3, 4 or 5 courses – and they are all absolutely fabulous!

Accompanied by a great selection of fine wines and champagne, this is the perfect location for celebrating a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary etc.!

two days in Brussels La Villa Emily

two days in Brussels La Villa Emily

two days in Brussels La Villa Emily

two days in Brussels La Villa Emily

two days in Brussels La Villa Emily

Enjoy feasting on all the amazing food during your two days in Brussels!

It’s a fantastic reason to visit this beautiful city and I’ll probably never get enough of it!

Enjoying some relaxing time in the city

After an eventful first day of sightseeing and lots of eating, you might want some relaxing time on your second day.

Brussels is a city with many beautiful parks – especially in summer it’s a great way of relaxing and enjoying a great picnic or barbecue. Visiting a park could also be another great opportunity to meet locals!

Here’s a selection of our favorite parks in Brussels:

  • Leopold Park (see below, located next to my hotel recommendation)
  • Jardin du Petit Sablon (a lovely garden not far from Royal Palace)
  • Boise de la Cambre (with a beautiful lake to take some boat trips)

two days in Brussels Park Leopold

two days in Brussels Park Leopold

So all in all, Brussels is an amazing city to visit for a weekend trip! You will definitely enjoy the friendly atmosphere, the beautiful locations and the delicious food. Feel free to contact me for any specific questions, I’ll be happy to assist you with your planning :)!

Have you ever visited Brussels before? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

This Article Has 27 Comments
  1. Thank you for giving us so many lovely tips about Brussels. I have felt like traveling there right now. Place du Grand Sablon is my favorite so far. It makes me feel in an old town 200 years ago. Such a picturesque and lovely square.

  2. Super helpful information and beautiful photos. They make me want to visit Brussels even more than I already did! I especially love the look of the area around Place du Grand Sablon. Such charming cobblestone streets. I’m going to pin this to re-read when I finally make it to Brussels!

  3. Krista sagt:

    I love all your local Brussels tips! Especially for Belgian chocolate at Place du Grand Sablon (I’m always looking for the best place to eat sweets haha). This gives me even more reason to visit Brussels on my next trip to Europe!!

  4. Chantelle sagt:

    What a wonderfully detailed post! I am yet to visit Europe and this post definitely makes me want to get there right now! The food looks delicious and the city photos are beautiful.

  5. Mayi sagt:

    What a nice and detailled post! I am going to Belgium at the end of this month and wasn’t planning on staying in Brussels but now I have changed my mind!

  6. madhurima sagt:

    I have not visited a place from Europe thinking it to be very expensive but now I cant wait any longer! I loved the details you have given here and pinning it for future 🙂

  7. Unta sagt:

    So many great ideas, I visited Brussels couple of years ago. I can still remember the taste of Belgium’s chocolate, pralines and waffles. 🙂

  8. carrie sagt:

    This definitely makes me want to go to Brussels. I love the idea of visiting the smaller markets to interact with locals more. And of course, chocolate-covered strawberries are a huge draw. Thanks for the tips!

  9. Meenakshi J sagt:

    Thanks for the detailed guide of Brussels….I have heard from family too that this city is much friendlier than Paris!
    The little man indeed is amusing 😀
    The street art looks very vibrtant and adds colour to the cobbled pathways…I am a sucker for architecture and this place looks very inviting 🙂

  10. Jen sagt:

    Brussels food looks amazing! I feel like I would be so well fed if I visited there 🙂

  11. Katie Manou sagt:

    Vielen Dank für diesen tollen Beitrag, liebe Karo! Ich habe mir alle Tipps für meine Zeit in Brüssel im Mai aufgeschrieben und freue mich schon sehr darauf 🙂

  12. Denny George sagt:

    I’m one of those people who have always thought that Brussels is merely a place, important to European politics. Thanks to you, now I know a bit more about what the city has to offer. Exploring the smaller markets look like something I would enjoy. The food photos had my mouth watering instantly. 🙂

  13. Bonita sagt:

    It is because of such posts that we love travel bloggers. Proper breakdown of information,and amazing photos for evidence. Lovely lovely. Brussels has been pinned for future reference in matters bucket list.

  14. Bhavi Patel sagt:

    I was so excited to read your post from the moment i read the title. And after reading it, now i can’t wait to be in Brussels. Thanks.

  15. Alice sagt:

    It’s good to read an article about a place from a local. I love chocolate, you pictures and video are driving me crazy 🙂

  16. Thank you for sharing such a great post on Brussels. Loved reading it and I really feel like I want to go there soon! Beautiful pictures too <3

  17. Followingtherivera sagt:

    My mouth’s watering after reading this! I love Brussels, especially the cafe culture there. Manneken Pis is a must see, and those waffles are a 100% yes!

  18. Perri sagt:

    I’ve only been to Brussels once and I didn’t see half of this awesome stuff! I got as far as beer and mussels and that was it. I definitely need to go back! Thanks for all the tips and info, this will be really helpful.

  19. Michelle sagt:

    This is such a detailed post! I want to get on a plane and go there now! Thanks so much for the suggestions, I’ll definitely be reading this post again before I head there.

  20. Lingue e Viaggi sagt:

    I loved this post! Your explanation, the photos and everything! I’d like to visit it one day and your post grow my desire!

  21. Nathan sagt:

    Brussels looks absolutely amazing with so many spectacular tourist attractions available to visit! I’d love to check out the Town Hall which has such magnificent architecture as well as the renowned Manneken Pis statue. I guess I could just wander around the streets of this capital city and take in the sights and sounds. Lovely!

  22. Tria Narte sagt:

    Brussels is going to be part of my planned Euro trip in 2019 and I’ve been wondering exactly how to split my time in Europe with only less than 4 weeks! I’m glad that this article has shown me Brussels can be seen in 2 days! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Luis sagt:

    I’ve only been to Brussels once on a short trip to see a friend. Unfortunately, that meant missing a lot of the amazing places you have listed here! I can’t believe I missed most of the street art! I always find that fascinating to look at when going to a new city. I’ve saved this post as I know I will go back.

  24. Stephanie sagt:

    Oh wow, you’re making me wanna visit Brussels now! Looks lovely 🙂

  25. Sierra sagt:

    This city looks absolutely stunning. Brussels is on my travel bucket list, and this made me want to get there ASAP! Thank you for sharing.

  26. Kemi sagt:

    I already pinned this and shared on my FB blog page. Beautiful info from a local. I want to see Brussels soon.

  27. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Brussels. I was supposed to go a few years ago but had to cancel my trip (lucky I did or I would have been at the train station for the bombing).
    These photos have totally inspired me again to want to go. I love the opening photo with the strawberries!

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