If you only have one weekend in Brussels, you have to prepare yourself by creating an awesome itinerary. Brussels is a popular tourist town with a lot of attractions, so you need to choose what you want to do and see while in town. You probably have more than one interest, though, so choosing a variety of attractions is best.
Whether you want to learn about the city’s history or culture, see the parks and gardens, or have fun at some of the more lighthearted attractions, you can find it in Brussels. That is why you have to consider your itinerary beforehand. And be sure to drop off your luggage or shopping purchases at a bag storage locker in Brussels to lighten your load as you explore.
Dinner Your Way
If you are too tired to go out, you can eat at the hotel or just order something. But if you want some extra excitement before turning in, take in a meal in the sky at the Atomium, dine underwater at Nemo33, try a 7-course meal at Le Rabassier or enjoy dinner and a show at Le Basilic.
A Night on the Town
If you still want to party, there are hundreds of pubs and clubs in Brussels. Fuse is a nightclub with a large dance floor that used to be a theater, so it holds 1,200 people if you like crowds. Zodiac is a busy place, too with a local following and techno music featuring three different rooms and awesome DJs.
You have to have a Belgian waffle while you are in town, and the Waffle Factory is a fantastic choice. They have about a dozen locations so you should find one easily. Whether you want a Liege waffle with honey or cream, a Brussels waffle with strawberries or Nutella, or a waffle sandwich (15 varieties), they have it.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts
You will need all day to visit all five museums at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Start at the Meunier, then check out the Wiertz Museum. See the Magritte Museum and Fin-de-Siècle Museum before the big finale of the Oldmasters Museum. You can grab lunch there, too before you go to your next stop.
Cinquantenaire Park is a great place to explore with 74 acres of gardens, museums, and monuments. See 350 vintage cars including a 1928 Bentley and 1930 Bugatti at Autoworld. Or learn about Belgian history at the Military Museum or the Art & History Museum. And you can’t miss the Great Mosque, which was built in 1880.
Have a pizza, sandwich, or pasta the Belgian way at Paolo’s Idea right outside the park. If you would rather have something on the go, grab a sandwich at EXKi Tongres at the other end of the park. For a nice Greek meal, sit down at Ellinikon just down the street or get a burger at Manhattn’s Burgers.
Grand Place Square
Grand Place Square looks and feels different at night. The buildings are festively lit, people are sitting around under the lights of the Town Hall Tower enjoying some drinks, and you can join them or grab a drink at one of the local pubs nearby. Try Delirium, which was in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most beers with 2,500 choices.
An Alternative Brussels Breakfast
If you are not a waffle fan, try Donuterie. They have some amazing and unique flavors like Blue or Pink Skittles with frosting, gummy bears, and Skittles. Flower Power has vanilla frosting with strawberry filling and raspberries. And Kit Kat Kisses has a white glaze and a Kit Kat bar on top. They even have bagels and sandwiches.
Since you don’t have time to visit all of Europe, go see it in miniature all in one place at Mini Europe. In fact, they have 350 attractions with mini-figures, cars, and even boats. You can learn about history or just have fun with the interactive exhibits like Big Ben and Mount Vesuvius. Try the café for lunch, too.
Built for the 1958 World’s Fair, the Atomium is a stainless-steel building shaped like an atom magnified 165 billion times. It’s a work of art with nine spheres connected with tubes, and it looks like it was made with metal Tinkertoys. The top sphere has a café so you can get dinner with a panoramic view.
Stop by Bonnefoo before calling it a night. This is a classier type of club with new music all the time. They stay open all night so you can dance until dawn if you like. Local musicians are typically on stage, but they also feature famous folks like Lefto, Gafacci, Piloot, Jus Raw, and Afrobot. And there is no entry fee!
If you have enough time before you have to leave town, take a short chocolate tasting tour. Learn about the history of Belgian chocolates and how the different flavors are made as you visit five chocolatiers. You also get to try some delicious truffles. It is a short half-mile walking tour that lasts about two hours.
Experience Brussels in Three Hours
Let a local take you on a three-hour walking tour to see the places you did not get a chance to see while learning some of the history. You can also see where the mysteries and urban legends are and learn the gory details. They even take you to see Manneken Pis, the famous peeing boy of Brussels.
You have to get some souvenirs before leaving. If you want to shop at a large mall with lots of choices, try the Westland Shopping Mall with 100+ shops or The Docks, with over 75 shops. Or just go to one of the souvenir shops around the city like Ticky Tacky, I Love Brussels, or the Belgium Gift Shop.
Make sure you grab your camera out of your luggage before dropping it off because some of the sights in Brussels need more than just a smartphone camera. You will want to take a lot of selfies though, so the smartphone is important as well. And maybe a selfie stick if you have a portable one. Have fun!