Heading to Europe and wondering how to spend a weekend in Brussels? I gotcha! Here is everything that you need to know from getting to this country, to where to sleep to where to go after Brussels.
What is Brussels known for?
- The cuisine is possibly top of this list. The famous waffles and Belgian chocolate alone are worth the trip in my eyes.
- If you’re a beer drinker, Brussels has a lot of locally made beer to choose from.
- Brussels has an incredible range of architecture.
- There is an abundance of museums and an impressive range of art galleries.
- Brussels is also a great backpacker spot due to its vibrant nightlife.
How to get to Brussels
Let’s start right from the start, getting to Brussels.
How to get to Brussels from Ireland:
There’s also the option to fly from both Cork Airport and Knock Airport, unfortunately, these are not direct and you’d have to make a stopover.
How to get to Brussels from other European destinations:
Brussels is very accessible to other European countries. It is
We took a train from Amsterdam central station.
How long should I go to Brussels?
Ideally, I would say that two or three days is plenty of time to see most of the city. If you’d like to spend a day in Bruges or head out to Ghent, another city in Belgium, I would say three days is perfect.
When is the best time of year to visit Brussels?
They say that the best months to visit Belgium are April, May, June, and then September and October in the autumn time. During these months the weather conditions are best. There tend to be a lot of events and festivals during this time too.
Surprisingly, Belgium gets more rainfall than the UK and even more than the Netherlands. The rainiest months in Belgium are usually July and early winter in December.
We visited Brussels this January 2023, and the weather was mostly rainy, to be honest. We wore jackets and warm clothes for most of the time.
Do the locals speak English in Brussels?
Belgium has an extremely impressive English language proficiency. Belgium comes in sixth place out of 112 countries in the world for its level of English. It is estimated that 55% of the population of Belgium can speak conversational English. If you’re a solo backpacker or just backpacking for the first time, Belgium would be a perfect country to start with for this reason alone!
Where to stay in Brussels?
We stayed in B-aparthotel Ambiorix and liked them. They were based in a good location that was walkable to the city or alternatively right beside the bus station.
How to travel around Brussels?
We found Brussels so easy to navigate our way around. Brussels is actually a ’30 city’. This means that the speed limit in Brussels is 30 km/h for all road users. There are some exceptions to this rule for example in certain residential areas where the speed limit is up to 20 km/h.
The entire capital city of Brussels is a low-emission zone. What this means is that the most polluting vehicles are not permitted to drive in the city.
We got around the city mainly on foot. We found most attractions in Brussels very easy to find.
There are also trams, metros, and buses around the city too. We used the app City Mapper to navigate our way around and found it very handy.
What to do in Brussels?
1. Take a trip to Autoworld
What is Autoworld? Autoworld is a massive exhibition museum of vintage cars. It has over 250 European and American automobiles from the late 19th century to the 1990s.
How much is entry?
The entrance fee to this museum costs €15 for adults or if you have a valid student card it’s €11. Once you enter with a valid ticket you can stay for as long as you want.
How do I get to Autoworld?
This museum is literally located right beside the Parc du Cinquantenaire. Therefore, it is best to walk here or there is also the option to take the bus.
How long should I stay in the museum?
This really depends on yourself and how much you’re enjoying it. Typically, people spend between 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes here.
Autoworld is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm and until 6 pm on the weekend.
2. Visit the brand-new Prison Island
This is a brand-new Prison Island in Brussels and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something fun and different to do while you’re here.
This video describes in a few seconds what this attraction is like!
What is Prison Island?
Prison Island is a new tourist attraction that contains 32 cells. You enter and basically, solve a challenge to get out. The doors aren’t locked and you can leave when you want so no fear if you’re claustrophobic. It also has mini golf and arcade games to choose from too.
How much does Prison Island cost?
The attraction costs per hour are as follows:
1 hour = €20 per adult or €18 for a student.
1 hour 30 minutes = €25 per adult or €23 for a student.
2 hours = €30 per adult or €28 for a student.
How do I get to Prison Island?
Prison Island is located in the city, of Rue Grétry 12, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.
What time does Prison Island open?
Sunday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Monday – Wed: 12–9 p.m.
Thursday – Friday: 12–11 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
Is it worth it?
Prison Island is so brings out the competitive side of people.
3. Visit the Atomium
- Visit the Grand Place Mannequin de Pis Mont des Arts.
- Stop by the Parc du Cinquantenaire. This is pictured below and is basically a historical arch with beautiful gardens behind it.
3. See The Royal Palace
4. Check out the impressive Parliament Building.
5. Take a day trip to Bruges.
Bruges is a city yet stunning city in Belgium. It’s only an hour’s train ride from Brussels and I highly recommend checking it out. Here is a full detailed blog post with all you need to know about visiting Bruges.
Where to eat and drink in Brussels?
Where to get brunch in Brussels:
We ate brunch in Woodpecker Family and highly recommend it.
Where to get the best pizza in Brussels:
I’m not being dramatic when I say that I got one of the nicest pizzas I’ve ever had at Nona Pizza. This is me delighted with myself in the picture below. Nona also has a Nona Pasta place right beside it, so just beware of that! They also only take walk-in appointments so go early if you’re there during peak season.
The best food market in Brussels:
Wolf Food Market for a food hall with every type of food you’d be looking for.
The best waffles in Brussels:
There are literally Belgian waffles on every single corner, but here are a few places that were recommended to us;
Where to go after Brussels?
As mentioned above, Brussels is extremely accessible to other countries in Europe.
The easiest countries by train to travel to next would be;
- The Netherlands.
- Belgium has a lot to offer as well as Brussels, I would definitely check out Ghent the next time I go.
Don’t forget to save all my Tik Tok videos for quick and easy tips!
Here is a little snippet of what to remember!