What to see in Brussels and surroundings in 7 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

In the heart of Flanders, Brussels is a city with many aspects! The civilians architectures of the capital of Belgium range from medieval towers to the richly crafted neo-baroque buildings of the Grand Place, from neoclassical churches to the glittering and postmodernist structures of the European quarter.

Homeland of waffle, chips, beer e chocolate, the various districts of the city are quite intimate and can be visited on foot. 2 or 3 days are more than enough to visit Brussels for good, but if you are lucky enough to be able to stay there for a whole week, the surroundings of the Belgian capital offer many equally enchanting locations. Here is a 7-day itinerary to discover Brussels and its surroundings!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. 6 day
  7. 7 day
  8. How much does a week cost in Brussels
  9. Before leaving: useful tips
  10. User questions and comments

1 day

Start with one of the symbols of Brussels: the Manneken-Pis, the very famous statue representing a child who is urinating. Prepare not to be disappointed: it is very small!
Via Rue de l'Etuve / Stoofstraat and Rue Charles Buls / Karel Bulsstraat you reach the city lounge: the Grand Place, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in the world whose charm is linked to its own monumentality. All around, in fact, there are the most important historical buildings such as theHotel de Ville and Maison du Ro.
Just opposite is the Galerie St. Hubert, an elegant shopping gallery where you can admire luxury windows.
Have lunch at Café Mort Subite (€ 40,00)

Entering Rue d'Assaut / Stormstraat, after 300 meters you will find yourself facing the Co-cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula with an imposing gothic façade and Baroque-Renaissance interiors (7: 00-18: 00, treasure € 2,00, crypt € 3,00).
Take Rue de la Chancellerie / Kanselarijstraat and cross the immense park, 13 hectares of public green that lead to the Royal Palace. From the end of July to the beginning of September free visits from 10:00 to 17:00.
Have dinner then from Hispania Brussels (€ 45,00)

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,7 km / 35 min
  • Places visited: Manneken Pis (free), Grand Place (free), Galerie St. Hubert (free), Co-Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula (free), park (free), royal palace (free from July to September)
  • Daily shopping: € 90,00
  • Walking tour from central station to Manneken Pis Free walking tour with booking fee
  • Lunch at Café Mort Subite (Get directions), Dinner at Hispania Brussels (Get directions)

2 day

Trip to Ghent, which is about 55 km from the capital.
It can be reached by train from Brux.-Midi / Brus.-Zuid to Ghent-Saint-Pierre, 30 minutes € 10,00 or by bus, very convenient and cheap Flinbus N84 which takes 1 hour and costs € 8,00.
Beautiful, but less known to tourists than Bruges, Ghent boasts a rich Flemish architectural heritage, trendy clubs and important museums.

His old town is the largest pedestrian area in all of Belgium where you can admire excellently preserved medieval buildings, romantic channels navigable and a series of interesting museums and art galleries (book the cruise online - from € 8,00).
A lunch stop at the Brasserie Bridge (€ 30,00).

Among the most important structures the Cathedral of San Bavone with the famous Adoration of the Mystical Lamb (open until 17:30 pm), the bell tower and the Gravensteen castle (10: 00-18: 00, € 12,00). The old port of Graslei and Begijnhof (6: 30-18: 30, free).
Once back in Brussels, dine in the station area at Equinoxe (€ 25,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 129 km / 2 h 26 min (by car)
  • Places visited: boat ride (€ 8,00), cathedral (free), Gravensteen castle (€ 12,00), old harbor (free), Begijnhof (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 100,00
  • 40-minute cruise to Ghent Ghent and Bruges: 1 day tour Half day guided tour
  • Lunch at Brasserie Bridge (Get directions), Dinner at Equinoxe (Get directions)

3 day

Start the day from Park de Laeken (from tram no. 3 or bus 53, 230, 231), an immense park where the royal greenhouses and unusual constructions such as a Japanese tower and a Chinese pavilion are located.

Crossing it (800 meters) you are in front of the Atomium, the real Brussels totem pole. Giant sculpture representing a huge elemental crystal of iron (enlarged 165 billion times). It was built in 1958 on the occasion of the Expo. It was to symbolize the reconciliation between democracy and industrial development. The 9 steel balls are connected by escalators and from the top (102 meters high) you can enjoy a magnificent view (10: 00-18: 00, € 16,00).
Have lunch at the Restaurant & Location Salles Salon 58 & Brasserie Brussels (€ 50,00).

In Heizel take metro 6 and get off at Trone (17 stops).
You are in European Quarter, the area where the workers who gravitate around live live Berlaymont building, seat of the European Commission and the European Parliament (find out more for guided tours).
End the day with a walk in the neighborhood Cinquantenaire Park e dine at the Costa d'Amalfi restaurant (€ 30,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 10,6 km / 2 h 15 min
  • Places visited: Park de Laeken (free), Atomium (€ 16,00), European quarter (free), Cinquantenaire park (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 110,00
  • Entrance ticket to the Atomium
  • Lunch at Restaurant & Location Salles Salon 58 & Brasserie Bruxelles (Get directions), Dinner at Costa d'Amalfi (Get directions)

4 day

Day visit of Bruges.
The city is 100 km away and can be reached by IC train (from the central station) € 14,00 or by bus n. 819 (from Brussels, Brussels-North to Bruges), € 15,00. If you drive in just over 1 hour via E40.

Bruges is simply charming. With the brick houses, the bell towers, the old bridges it has been able to preserve the atmosphere of other times. To appreciate it, it would be enough to stroll through the cobbled streets or take a boat ride along the canals. Every corner offers postcard views.
In Bruges you should definitely eat Moules et frites from Quatre Mains (€ 40,00).

Its historic center is Unesco World Heritage and, among the main attractions we must mention the Market surrounded by typical houses and dominated by the Belfort (9: 30-17: 00, € 8,00), piazza del Castle with the town hall (9: 30-17: 00, € 4,00), la Basilica of the Most Holy Blood (9: 30-12: 00 and 14: 00-17: 00, € 2,00) and on Begijnhof (6: 30-18: 30).
Back in Brussels, dine near Gare Central from O Tacos (€ 25,00)

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 215 km / 3 h 23 min (by car)
  • Places visited: Markt (free), Belfort (€ 8,00), Burg (free), town hall (€ 4,00), Basilica of the Holy Blood (€ 2,00), Begijnhof (6: 30-18: 30, free )
  • Daily shopping: € 110,00
  • Free guided tour with booking fees Ghent and Bruges: 1 day tour
  • Lunch at Quatre Mains (Get directions), Dinner at O ​​Tacos (Get directions)

5 day

Another must is Place du Grand Sablon. The district is divided into two large squares: Place du Grand Sablon and Place du Petit Sablon. The first is the city antiques center with numerous ancient, modern and contemporary art galleries. Pay a visit to Notre Dame du Sablon church, (10: 00-18: 30).
In 5 min walk you are at Magritte Museum, (10: 00-17: 00 / Saturday and Sunday until 18:00 - closed on Mondays - € 4,00) inaugurated in 2009 and aimed at enhancing the genius and creativity of one of the most influential artists of the '900.
Have lunch by Orphyse Chaussette (€ 45,00)

Walking through Rue des Minimes (800 meters) you reach the neighborhood Marolles where every day the flea market (from 6:00 to 15:00).
Take metro line 6 from Porte de Hal, at Simonis get off and take bus 87, finally get off at Heilig Hartcollege.
Visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, (10: 00-18: 00, € 6,00) the sixth largest church in the world.
Very close you will find the Belgian Chocolate Museum, (Tuesday to Sunday 10: 00-16: 30, € 5,50).
End the day with one price at the Brasserie The Spoon (€ 40,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 10,6 km / 2 h 15 min
  • Places visited: Sablon district (free), Notre Dame du Sablon (free), Magritte Museum (€ 4,00), Marolles, Flea market, Sacre Coeur Basilica (€ 6,00), Belgian Chocolate Museum (€ 5,50)
  • Daily shopping: € 125,00
  • Grand City Tour by Bus 24 or 48 hour hop-on hop-off guided tour
  • Lunch at Orphyse Chaussette (Get directions), Dinner at Brasserie The Spoon (Get directions)

6 day

Excursion to Leuven 30 km, reachable in 20 minutes by IC train, € 8,00; by bus lines 358 and 410 (from Schaarbeek Dailly to Leuven Sint-Pieterskliniek), 50 min, € 9,00 or 30 min drive via E40.
Stroll around the oude Markt square and enjoy the beauty of the gothic style town hall. Pay a visit to the M Museum (€ 12,00, 11am to 00pm, closed Wednesday).
Pause lunch from De Nachtuil (€ 18,00).

Then move on to see one of the oldest universities in all of Europe, the KU Leuven, founded in 1425. The historic center is dominated by historic buildings and, as in most places in Flanders, Leuven also has its own begijhnof, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (6: 30-18: 30, free).
This city is there capital of beer, in fact, here is the headquarters of Inbev, the world giant in the production of this drink, famous for the Stella Artois. Every year the Zythos Beer Festival is held and in spring the Leuven Beer Weekends come to life.
E' boy exploring the city by bicycle.
In the evening, dine in the station area in Brussels from L'Ana Thème (€ 30,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 74,9 km / 2 h (by car)
  • Places visited: Oude Markt square (free), KU (free), town hall (free), Begijnhof (free), M museum (€ 12,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 90,00
  • Medieval walking tour of Leuven
  • Lunch at De Nachtuil (Get directions), Dinner at L'Ana Thème (Get directions)

7 day

End your week by visiting Antwerp, 53 km from Brussels, reachable in various ways: 50 minutes by train S1 or IC, € 9,00; with Flixbus 817, 813, 822, € 7,00 (1 hour and 15 min journey, departures every 15 minutes) or in 45 minutes by car via the A12.

Nicknamed The Queen of Diamonds, it was already in the 500th century one of the richest cities in Europe. What is striking are his civilians architectures. Starting from the magnificent central station you arrive at Grote Markt with its numerous medieval palaces and the beautiful town hall (8: 30-17: 30, € 8,00).
For lunch stop by Elfde Gebod (€ 18,00).

After eating, visit the famous MAS, (10: 00-18: 00, € 10,00). The brand new also contributes to the architectural eclecticism Port House by Zaha Hadid, a contemporary building that houses the Tribunal and the gems of Art Nouveau.
Antwerp is finally designated shopping destination of excellence in Flanders. In fact, there are many international boutiques.
Back in Brussels in the evening, dine near the station in Brussels from Pasta Divina (€ 25,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 119 km / 2 h 13 min (by car)
  • Places visited: station (free), MAS (€ 10,00), Grote Markt (free), town hall (€ 8,00), Port House by Zaha Hadid (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 90,00
  • Free panoramic walking tour with reservation Highlights: 2-hour bike tour 2,5-hour walking tour
  • Lunch at Elfde Gebod (Get directions), Dinner at Pasta Divina (Get directions)

How much does a week cost in Brussels

NB: The prices expressed in the table above are to be intended "per person".

Brussels is not exactly an economic destination.
But you can save money. First of all, if possible, it is best to leave in low season.
It may seem absurd but here, low season means weekends and summer! The landlords, in fact, tend to raise the rates in the working period when the influx of business men is huge!

For accommodation, you can opt for hostel-type accommodation or on decent 3-star hotels located a little outside, and then use public transport to reach the center.

To eat, the choice is wide, even if it always tends towards the expensive. But with a little forethought you can save money, for example, by arranging at least one meal a day by buying something ready or quick at the supermarket (there are Carrefours everywhere!).

In general the prices are similar to the Italian ones and other European cities.

  • starting from € 17,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 62,00 per room -
  • Free walking tour with booking fee Ghent and Bruges: full day tour from Brussels
  • Total cost of a week, flight included: from € 792,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Brussels: the best months are from May to September when the weather is milder and the risk of rain decreases - find out more
  • the main airport is 11 km from the center, reachable by: express train € 5,00, bus line De lijn € 2,00 or taxi € 45,00. The Charleroi-Brussels airport is 45 km away, connected by Brussels City Shuttle € 13,00, bus + train € 10,00, taxi € 70,00
  • the area around the Grand Place is very comfortable but expensive. Marolles and Sablon are convenient for attractions although not very central. Outside the center (reachable in 15 minutes by metro) the Ixelles, Saint Gilles and the EU Zone districts
  • Getting around: can be easily visited on foot. To move to the more peripheral areas, the metro, trams and buses are very efficient (ticket € 2,10) - find out more
  • Recommended cards and passes: Brussels Card allows access to various museums and discounts on various attractions, from € 28,00 for 1 day to € 44,00 for 3 days; the Brussels Card with public transport includes transport by STIB, from € 35,50 for 1 day to € 62,00 for 3 days

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