Last updated on July 9th, 2022Brussels is famous for its cuisine, historical architecture, and landmarks, including Grand Place and Mannequin Pis. This bike-friendly city is the capital of Belgium and home to the European Union headquarters. Whether you enjoy food, architecture, history, or attractions, there will be something for you in Brussels to enjoy. This Brussels itinerary is 2 days and is perfect for a weekend getaway or any time where you will spend 2 days in Brussels, Belgium. You cannot visit Belgium without trying their chocolate or waffles. And don’t forget that fries were created in Belgium! If you only have 2 days in Brussels, use this itinerary to see the highlights: Please note: This itinerary for Brussels excludes travel time and is based on having 2 full days in Belgium. Walk, bike, or use the metro to get around Brussels.
Day 1 – Grand Place, Mannequin Pis, Workshop, and Jardin du Mont des ArtsToday will take you through central Brussels and the neighbourhood of Stalingrad.
Grand PlaceGrand Place is the city center and heart of Brussels. Surrounded by city hall and guild houses from four different architectural styles, Grand Place is known as the most beautiful and important square in Brussels. Built mostly between the 15th – 17th century, you will find gothic, opulent baroque, neoclassical, and neogothic architecture within the square. Grand Place houses many events during the year including beer festivals, Christmas markets, and the flower carpet. This marketplace has been listed as a Site Of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1998. Make sure you don’t miss Grand Place on your visit. Grand Place Hours of Operation: Daily 24 hours Cost: FREE Note: While the square is open 24 hours, the markets and festivals have individual hours. Once you have taken in what Grand Place has to offer, walk over to Mannequin Pis.
Mannequin PisMannequin Pis is a famous bronze fountain sculpture located in central Brussels which shows a little naked boy peeing into the fountain basin. Standing 24 inches high, Mannequin Pis was designed by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder in 1618. Mannequin Pis is dressed up to wear costumes a couple of times per week and represents the humour of the Belgian people. The landmark Mannequin Pis has become a symbol for Belgium. Note: The sculpture on display is a replica. The original Mannequin Pis is on display in the Brussels City Museum. Mannequin Pis Hours of Operation: Daily 24 hours Cost: FREE The next stop is a delicious one. Time for a dessert workshop.
Chocolate / Waffle Making WorkshopIf you are looking for a fun activity involving local cuisine, sign up for a chocolate or waffle-making workshop. Or you can sign up for both the chocolate and waffle-making workshops like I did on my trip. Make sure you arrive hungry for the waffle-making workshop, as it’s 1.5 hours long and includes all-you-can-eat waffles. The chocolate workshop is 2.5 hours. The chocolate and waffle workshops were a highlight on my trip, and I highly recommend including them in your Brussels itinerary. Note: These workshops are timed activities, so plan the rest of your day around which workshop you wish to attend, as in this Brussels itinerary. Tips: Book your workshop on the same day you visit Grand Place, as the workshops are located near there. If you book both the chocolate and the waffle-making workshops, I recommend doing them on separate days, as the workshops are very filling and you will want to be hungry for the workshops. Note: Book your spot online here in advance to ensure there is availability in the workshop you wish to attend. You will want to walk around for a bit after your workshop. Head over to Jardin du Mont des Arts. Jardin du Mont des Arts Jardin du Mont des Arts, or the garden of the hill of arts, is a garden surrounded by an urban complex in the art quarter of Brussels. In the late 1800s, King Leopold II decided to turn the area into the art quarter and bought the entire neighbourhood to do so. Jardin du Mont des Arts was meant to be temporary, however, the people adored the green space in central Brussels by the 1930s and the park remained. The garden of Mont des Arts connects the lower city and the upper city of Brussels. Within the gardens, you will find benches to relax on. Jardin du Mont des Arts Hours of Operation: Daily 24 hours Cost: FREE
Day 2 – Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Parc de Bruxelles, Royal Place, Place Royale, and CoudenbergToday will take you through central Brussels and the royal quarter neighbourhood of Brussels.
Cathedral of St. Michael and St. GudulaLocated in central Brussels, the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is a medieval Roman Catholic church. Built between the 11th and 15th-century, the gothic-style church is the most important church in Brussels. The Cathedral of St.Michael and St.Gudula is known as the main Catholic church of Belgium. During my visit, I admired the exterior of the church. Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri 7 am – 6 pm Cost: FREE From the Cathedral, walk to Parc de Bruxelles.
Parc de BruxellesParc de Bruxelles, or Brussels Park, is the largest park in Brussels sprawling 32 acres. Located in central Brussels, Parc de Bruxelles is close to both the Royal Palace and Place Royale. Brussels Park sits today where the former garden of the Palace of Coudenberg once stood. The park is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Parc de Bruxelles Hours of Operation: Daily 6 am – 10 pm Cost: FREE Once finished, the next stop is the Royal Palace.
Royal PalaceBuilt after 1900 by King Leopold II, the Royal Palace is the official palace of the current Belgian King and Queen. The Royal Palace is used for administrative and work purposes, as well as for hosting various functions, not used as the residence of the royals. Since 1965, the Royal Palace has been open to the public for a limited time during the summer for tours after the national holiday on July 21. Royal Palace Hours of Operation: July 21- end of August on Tues – Sun 10:30 am – 5 pm. Closed Mondays. Cost: FREE Note: Last entry is at 3:45 pm. After admiring the Royal Palace, walk through Place Royale.
Place RoyaleLocated in the Royal Quarter of Brussels, Place Royale is a historic square with neoclassical architecture. Built between 1775 and 1782, Place Royale is constructed on top of the former Palace of Coudenberg. Place Royale Hours of Operation: Daily 24 hours Cost: FREE The next activity for today is Coudenberg.
CoudenbergCoudenberg is the underground ruins of the former castle and Palace of Coudenberg, located on a small hill. The Palace of Coudenberg stood for almost 700 years until its destruction by fire in 1731. In the late 18th century, the hill was levelled out and the current Place Royale was constructed on top of the site of Coudenberg. Today it is a museum available to visit. Coudenberg Hours of Operation: Tues-Fri 9:30 am – 5 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am – 6 pm, closed Jan 1, July 21, and Dec 25 Cost: 7€ per adult Once finished at Coudenberg, this 2-day Brussels itinerary is complete. Have more time or finished early? Try these activities.
- Brussels Atomium
- Brussels Vintage Market
- Les Galeries Royales de St. Hubert
- Bike around Brussels
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