2 days in Brussels is just right. You could jam pack it into one day if you really had to, but a weekend break is ideal.
Little inconspicuous Belgium is often overlooked by its loud-mouth neighbouring countries. In fact, the capital city Brussels is frequently used as a through-point, rather than the main stop over. And well, that’s just a shame because it has all the makings for a cheap, fun 2 day break.
Grey skies, bland buildings and quiet streets. On first encounters you might think it’s not up to the job, but look a little closer, experience the city with your senses and you’ll soon be on your merry way. Or you know, use my 2 days in Brussels itinerary!
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Unusual Things to Do in Brussels in 2 Days
If you only have one day in Brussels then use the first half of this itinerary – I’ve put the best bits here. And if you’ve got two days, then bonus!
Breakfast in Brussels
Start your first day with breakfast at The Sisters Brussels. It’s said to be the first zero waste bar-restaurant in Brussels and you can expect organic, local fresh food that you’ll want to Instagram.
They have loads of vegan and gluten free options, including soy yoghurt, superfood bowls and more.
Take a Stroll
From here, enjoy a slow walk to Parc de Bruxelles. It’s a big open space and the largest urban public park in the city centre. It’s pretty and a good place for a wander.
The former orangery of the National Botanical Garden of Belgium, La Botanique is a stunning building that is now home to concerts and exhibitions. It’s worth checking if anything is on during your stay.
Lunch and Afternoon in Brussels
Next head to nearby neighbourhood Du Sablon. How you feel about lunch will depend on what you scoffed at The Sisters Brussels, so play this one by ear. There are loads of cute cafes in this area though, so you’ll easily find somewhere.
Enjoy a mooch along the cobbled pathways that lead from a centre near Le Perroquet like the hands of a clock. You’ll find cute boutiques and delicious bakeries. You won’t be able to resist the round loaves and heart-shaped biscuits.
The Church of Notre-Dame-du-Sablon is here too. The intricate design on the outside of this beautiful building make it worthy of a snap or two. Oh, and at the weekends you’ll find an adorable antique market.
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Evening in Brussels
After a freshen up at your hotel, head out for an evening of Belgian beers. It would be criminal not to try the flavoured beers when you’re in Brussels. I recommend trying Delirium Café – they have over 2000 beers to try, so just a few! And Moeder Lambic. If you have enough time visit both and soak up the atmosphere with the locals and tourists alike.
Alternatively, consider a 2.5 hour tour to see the best of what’s on offer…with tastings of course!
Visiting in July? Consider a visit to Tomorrowland. Two weekends showcase a range of music, fairground rides, colour explosions and a whole lotta fun.
On your second day in Brussels you should be nursing a hangover. So, here’s what I’d suggest…
Breakfast in Brussels
You can’t come to Brussels without having a waffle, so I’d recommend breakfast at NH Brussels Bloom. The hotel has its own waffle van in the OO! restaurant. It also offers pretty much every other breakfast food you can think of, so you’ll be able to soak up that hangover.
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It’s a bit of a walk, so I’d recommend hopping in a taxi to get to Atomium. If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Brussels then this is it.
Atomium is an arty construction that is shinier than anything I’ve ever seen, and one which is said to replicate an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times. More than just a piece of art though, it is a gallery as it contains artwork in some of the spheres. There are also exhibitions to enjoy.
The top sphere offers unrivalled 360° views over the city and serves tasty food.
Visit the Cartoon Strip
Hop in a taxi back to the city centre and continue the art theme. There is a Comic Strip Centre, countless comic shops, and a whole host of cartoon inspired graffiti in Brussels. The Smurfs, and Tin Tin originated here so you’ll see lots of buildings spray painted in a cartoon theme or chocolates with Tin Tin wrappers.
Whether you choose to get a guide (recommended if you’re a die-hard fan), or just simply follow the cartoon trail, you’ll enjoy turning the corners and finding out what tribute awaits your eyes.
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If that’s not your thing, hit the main shopping strip in and around Auguste Ortsstraat 19. You’ll find Zara, H&M, and other high-street brands in the centre of Brussels.
It’s a bit of an unusual suggestion, but if you need new specs this is the place to find them. You’ll find loads of opticians in Brussels selling way cooler frames than back home.
Dinner in Brussels
Grab dinner at Bia Mara for the most delicious fish and chips with a quirky twist. Seaweed salted chips, Spanish Panko fish and other unusual options.
Where to Stay in Brussels
As mentioned earlier, I’d stay in NH Brussels Bloom. Each bedroom has an individual mural painted by a local artist. And as I said earlier, it has a waffle van!
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Have you been to Brussels before? Do you have any tips to add?