48 Hours in Brussels: A Local’s Guide

Dive deep into Brussel like a local with this 48 hour guide. Drinks, great food, art and nature, you’ll see it all!

Breakfast: donuts or something more healthy?

Coco donuts cronuts and specials (by Coco Donuts)

You probably just arrived in the city and are so excited to start exploring! For some quick but delicious breakfast head to Coco Donuts. They are located right in the city center, thus making them a perfect starting point for a day of exploring. They serve amazing donuts and coffee.

Buddy Buddy (by Brussel’s Kitchen)

Had a few drinks on your first evening and want to take things a little slower this morning? Head to Parlor Coffee for a slow and filling brunch. More in need of a healthy pick me up? Buddy Buddy will sort you right out.

Shopping: support independent shops

Librairie Nijinski (by Librairie Nijinski)

If you want to avoid busy stores, shopping in the morning is the way to go! The best places for independent shopping are Bailli, Rue de Haut and the Dansaert region immerse yourself in beer heaven at Malting Pot, browse through vintage and antiques in the Marollen, or look for unique books at Nijinski

Lunch: spring rolls or fries?

Spring rolls at knees to chin (by Brussels’ kitchen)

You’ll probably be famished after exploring all morning!  Time for a good filling lunch. Knees to Chin has two locations in town, so there is most likely one nearby. They serve amazing spring rolls that will keep you full for hours! They are super vegan-friendly too!

Fries (by Boaz Rottem)

Of course you can’t come to Brussels and not try fries. They are a great option if you want a quick bite and of course you can find them everywhere in the city! If you stay clear of big signs marketing fries in English, they’ll probably be good. But according to our Spotters Bintje and Fritland have be the best!

Art and culture: comics, art nouveau & Magritte

Brussels comic wall (by Visit Brussels)

Brussels has amazing museums, architecture, and cultural scenes. It’s an absolute must to squeeze some of that in on your short trip!

Why not combine exploring the city with a guided tour of its famous art nouveau architecture. ARAU offers the best tours to discover the hidden buildings in Brussels. You’ll get to admire amazing architecture but you’ll also explore Brussels and find places that you might want to return to.

If you are traveling with kids (or you don’t like architecture) you can also do the strip comic route. Brussel has many comic walls scattered throughout the city. They are super cool!

Magritte House (by visit Brussels)

One of Belgium’s most famous artists is Magritte. You might be tempted to go to the royal arts museum to admire his work but we suggest you get outside the city center, to Magritte’s old home. The entire house was turned into a lovely little museum in 1999. Here you can learn more about Magritte’s art, but also about his life.

Relaxing: mingle with the locals in a park

Parckfarm (By Tour & Taxis)

Even when you have little time it’s great to take some time to relax. It’s a great way to take in local life in the city. We suggest a walk in one of the many parks you can find in Brussels. Parckfarm is perfect if you want to combine the two. This little cultural hub is located in the Molenbeek “valley”. A long green park that meanders through the city. Parc Leopold, Parc d’Egmont, and Abbey La Cambre are also great parks close to the center.

Dinner: Belgian or Taiwanese/Thai?

Old boy Bao (by milkywaysblueyes)

Tucked away in a cozy little street in Saint-Gilles you will find Old Boy. This small restaurant specializes in sharing plates. They serve a fusion between Taiwanese and Thai cuisine with a European twist. Sounds complicated but it’s really good food!

Le Zinneke (by Lekker van bij ons)

If you want to get a taste of amazing Belgian cuisine head to Le Zinneke. They serve most of the typical Belgian dishes, but they are also well adapted to veggies and vegans!

Drinks: beer, beer or beer?

Parvis de Saint Gilles (by Isabel Elwood)

It’s time to get a taste of Brussels’ nightlife. We have made a whole blog post on the best places to drink Belgian beer but for this evening we recommend heading to parvis de Saint-Gilles. This amazing square has multiple great bars outside the city center. You’ll surely meet some great locals here!

Chalet Robinson (by Screen Brussels)

On day two you might want to take it a little easier. so. why not go and have a calming drink by the waterfront at Chalet Robinson. Afterward, you can stroll around the park before heading back to the city.


More? Check our Brussels blog or app!

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)