Two days in Brussels

Two Days in Brussels (2024)

Embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Europe with “Two Days in Brussels.” Immerse yourself in the enchanting blend of historic grandeur and modern vibrancy that defines the Belgian capital. Wander through the iconic Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site, marveling at the ornate guild halls. Indulge in exquisite Belgian chocolates and waffles at local cafes, savoring the city’s culinary delights. Explore the whimsical Atomium and its futuristic allure, offering panoramic views of Brussels. Delve into art at the Magritte Museum, celebrating the surrealist master. With its rich history, artistic allure, and delectable treats, Brussels promises an unforgettable two-day escapade.

I embarked on a spontaneous backpacking adventure across Europe for five weeks. It was during this remarkable journey that I found myself in Belgium. Deciding on a whim, I took a bus from Amsterdam to Brussels, the neighboring country, to make the most of a two-day exploration before catching my flight from Amsterdam to Bucharest.

Two Days in Brussels (2024)
Brussels city centre

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About Brussels

Brussels, the largest and capital city of Belgium, is situated in the northern part of the country. While French is the predominant language, English is commonly and easily spoken across the city. Renowned for its delectable waffles, exquisite chocolates, and iconic landmarks, Brussels is a city that merits a visit. With its compact size, spending just a day or two is sufficient, as there are not numerous activities to fill an extended stay.

Optimal times to explore Brussels are from April to June and September to October when the weather is mild and enjoyable. I visited Brussels in October, and both days boasted perfect weather, enhancing my overall experience.

How to Get to Brussels?

  • By Air – Brussels features two international airports, one near the city and the other approximately 55 kilometers away. Ryanair, a budget-friendly airline in Europe, operates flights to Brussels.
  • By Bus – I opted for a bus journey facilitated by FlixBus from Amsterdam to Brussels. Covering a distance of around 200 kilometers, the road trip takes merely 2 hours and 30 minutes. Brussels boasts excellent bus connectivity with different cities. For comprehensive Europe travel planning, refer to a Europe travel planner.
  • By Train – Brussels enjoys well-connected train services with major cities. The train journey from Amsterdam is a swift 2 hours, with fares as low as €29 per adult. Eurostar stands out as one of the prominent train providers.
Brussels Central station
Brussels Central station

Where to Stay in Brussels?

Regarding accommodation in Brussels, various options cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are recommended places to stay in Brussels:

I stayed at 2GO4 Quality Hostel in the city center. Read hostels in Europe for stay options.

Two Days in Brussels

Day 1 – Brussels City Tour

During my brief two days in Brussels, I allocated just one day to explore the city. Much of my time was dedicated to indulging in delightful culinary experiences, particularly savoring chocolates and waffles. Nevertheless, I managed to stroll around the city center, exploring some of its notable landmarks.

The Grand Place

The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels, encircled by the city’s magnificent landmarks, including the Town Hall. This iconic square holds significant tourist appeal and has been honored with UNESCO World Heritage status since 1998.

Visiting the Grand Place unquestionably ranks among the coolest and must-see things to see in Brussels.

Grand Place Brussels

Belgian Comic Strip Center

The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a cultural gem in Brussels, celebrating the rich history of comic strips and featuring iconic Belgian characters like Tintin. Housed in a magnificent Art Nouveau building, the center is a tribute to Belgium’s significant contribution to the world of comics.

Visitors are immersed in the captivating narratives of beloved characters, exploring the evolution of this art form. From Tintin’s adventures to other timeless classics, the center offers a delightful journey through the enchanting world of Belgian comics, blending art and storytelling to captivate audiences of all ages.

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula stand as Roman Catholic churches dedicated to the patron saints of Brussels. Constructed and completed in 1519, the church exhibits characteristics of the Brabantine Gothic style.

The Brabantine Gothic style of architecture, a variant of Gothic architecture, emerged in the 14th century and reflects a distinctive regional expression in its design and features.

Two Days in Brussels (2024)

Royal Palace of Brussels

The Royal Palace of Brussels, nestled in the city’s heart, serves as the official residence of the King and Queen of the Belgians. With its neoclassical facade and regal allure, this grand architectural marvel stands as a symbol of the Belgian monarchy.

While the palace is not the royal family’s permanent residence, it plays a pivotal role in state affairs and official ceremonies. Surrounded by lush gardens, the Royal Palace is a testament to Belgium’s rich history and enduring monarchy, inviting visitors to marvel at its stately elegance and witness a piece of the nation’s regal heritage.

Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis, a bronze sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain, is an iconic symbol of Brussels. It is intended to represent the city’s sense of humor and the independent spirit of its people.

Souvenirs, stamps, and magnets featuring this statue are ubiquitous in the city. Designed by Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder, the statue was unveiled in 1618.

Manneken Pis


The Atomium is an iconic symbol of Brussels, initially erected for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. This extraordinary building, resembling an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times, captures the spirit of scientific progress and innovation.

Comprising interconnected spheres, it houses exhibition spaces and offers panoramic city views. The Atomium is a testament to Belgium’s architectural prowess and its commitment to celebrating global advancements. Over the years, it has become a must-visit landmark, attracting visitors with its unique design and historical significance.

Eat in L’Express

While on a bus tour in Belgium, I had the pleasure of meeting an Indian girl. Following the tour’s conclusion, we decided to share a dinner experience, and she introduced me to a delightful Lebanese restaurant called ‘L’Express,’ conveniently located near the Grand Place. Despite its narrow appearance, the restaurant exuded charm.

I opted for the pita chicken (average) priced at Euros 9, and to say it was delicious would be an understatement. The freshness of the sauces, meat, and veggies left me enamored with the pita. This marked the first time I had finished a wrap; it was that good. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try.

Contact details
  • Rue des Chapeliers 8, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.
  • +32 2 512 88 83.
  • Note: Unfortunately, succumbing to temptation, I failed to capture any photographs of the delectable meal.

Moreover, if you adhere to a vegan diet and are seeking vegan-friendly options, Brussels has many vegan restaurants where you can enjoy a satisfying meal.

Belgian Chocolate Shops

Embark on a delectable journey through Brussels by exploring its myriad Belgian chocolate shops. Renowned worldwide for its exquisite craftsmanship, Belgian chocolates beckon with unparalleled quality and flavors. Wander through charming streets lined with artisanal chocolatiers, where each shop unveils a tempting array of pralines, truffles, and confections.

Immerse yourself in the rich cocoa aroma, and let the velvety smoothness of Belgian chocolate melt on your palate. From traditional classics to innovative creations, these chocolate shops epitomize Belgium’s sweet legacy, inviting you to savor the divine pleasure of one of the world’s finest chocolate experiences.

Chocolate muffin in Brussels

Day 2 – One-Day Tour to Bruges and Ghent from Brussels

Situated in the northwest of Belgium, Bruges serves as the capital of West Flanders. Renowned for its cobblestone streets and well-preserved medieval architecture, the city boasts buildings dating back to the 13th century. The distance between Brussels and Bruges is approximately 100 kilometers, with frequent trains and buses connecting the two cities. The train journey spans about 1 hour, costing around 20 Euros.

The tour company and its guides exhibited remarkable organization and excellence. I was particularly impressed with the guide, who proved to be entertaining and knowledgeable and injected the tour with humor and sarcasm, ensuring that every minute was thoroughly enjoyable.

About Bruges

Bruges, situated northwest of Belgium, serves as the capital of West Flanders. This picturesque city is renowned for its charming cobbled streets and well-preserved medieval buildings, some dating back to the 13th century. The distance between Brussels and Bruges is approximately 100 kilometers, with regular trains and buses connecting the two. The train journey typically lasts around 1 hour, costing about 20 Euros.

About Ghent

Ghent, located in the Flemish region of Belgium, is renowned for its spectacular architecture and rich history. Boasting buildings dating back to the 12th century, the city offers a captivating glimpse into the past. Interestingly, according to my guide, Ghent is home to a shop reputed to sell the best waffles in Belgium. Positioned approximately 60 kilometers from Brussels and 52 kilometers from Bruges, Ghent is a must-visit destination with its unique charm and historical significance.

Closing Notes

Despite my brief two days in Brussels this time, the city left me eager to return and explore more of its surroundings. As a nation, Belgium holds a wealth of attractions for all types of travelers. Its diverse offerings have secured a place on my list of countries to revisit, promising further exploration and discovery.

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