Sightseeing

La ville de Brusselle. [Amsterdam : Jean Neaulme, 1757]. (detail)

There is plenty to see and do in Brussels. To get an overall idea of places to visit, as well as accommodation and entertainment possibilities, please take a look here.

First-time visitors could start with a city tour, for example with the Hop on Hop Off red buses.

Our Top Tips

With so many attractions on offer, it’s difficult to know where to start. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, we’re happy to share some of our own personal recommendations.

The absolute must is the Grand-Place, which has been named the most beautiful square in the world (Victor Hugo) and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Dominated by the 97-metre belfry of the Town Hall, it boasts a remarkable series of seventeenth century façades.

The Grand-Place

Close to the Grand-Place (just follow the crowd) is another must: the tiny, insolent, Manneken Pis fountain.

View of the statue of Manneken Pis, Brussels. Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
The statue of Manneken Pis

The Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) is located on the Mont des Arts, the former palace of the Dukes of Brabant which was home to, among others, to Emperor Charles V (1500-1559). The palace burned down in 1731, but some remnants of that era can still be seen: for example the Nassau chapel which has been incorporated into the Library and is now part of the KBR museum circuit, the Coudenberg archaelogical site with its sixteenth century cobblestoned streets and the old structures of the former palace underneath Place Royale and the foundations for today’s royal district.

In the immediate vicinity of the KBR there is a series of remarkable museums which should appeal to art and history lovers: the Old Masters Museum, the MuséeModernMuseum, the Magritte museum, focusing on the Belgian surrealist artist, the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) with an extraordinary view over Brussels from the restaurant on the top floor, the BELvue museum, in a narrow street next to the Royal Palace of Brussels, devoted to Belgian history.

Another remarkable ensemble of arts and history museums is located in the Cinquantenaire Park, outside the central district; a short visit is planned within the framework of the Symposium, but it is easy to spend a whole day visiting the 140 rooms of Art & History Museum or the Royal Military Museum with the nearby Brussels Air Museum and Autoworld, the car museum.

Post-Symposium excursion

A proposal for a three-day tour of Belgium (Antwerp, Ghent, Ypres WWI battle field) is being prepared by our travel agency Preference.