2 Day Brussels Itinerary for First Time Visitors

Located in the land of waffles and chocolate, Brussels, Belgium is the perfect weekend getaway city. The abundance of things to do in Brussels will leave you wanting to visit over and over again. This 2 day Brussels itinerary will have you taste everything there is to do in Brussels and leave you wanting more.

Brussels is a dreamy, European picturesque city that was founded in 979.  Its enchanting cobblestone streets, beautiful public parks, and efficient public transportation make Brussels truly a European mega center. 

As the capital of the EU, Brussels is a FANTASTIC destination, even if only for a few days! I have been fortunate enough to have visited this city three times in the past 5 years and every time I have gone with first-time visitors. Nonetheless, each time I have crafted a Brussels itinerary to meet the needs of my group.

This 2 day Brussels itinerary shows you the perfect way to spend your first time in Brussels!

Table of Contents

How Long Should I Spend in Brussels?

You should spend 2-3 days in Brussels, Belgium. Brussels’s in a mega city and has so much to do you will want a few days to get a taste of it all!

Although I recommend 2-3 days, if you have more time, 4-5 days would be perfect to see and do it all. Additionally, there are many fantastic day trips to take from Brussels too. Its location is perfectly situated between many incredible small towns and well-known iconic cities.

Taking a day trip from Brussels? Read 11 BEST Things To Do in Bruges, Belgium

Two Days in Brussels Itinerary

Day One: Two Days in Brussels Itinerary

Morning

Grand Palace 

Grand Palace - Brussels, Belgium

Cost: FREE

Grand Palace is the perfect place to start on your Brussels itinerary. It is quite the introduction to all the stunning architecture that Brussels has to offer. First, I would start here and definitely grab a coffee and enjoy having the square to yourself! In fact, take the opportunity to learn about the history of the square and take photos now. Indeed, it only gets more crowded as the day goes on. 

Additionally, consider taking a walking tour of the city. I really enjoy Freetoursbyfoot for my first visit to any new city. However, do not worry, we will definitely have you coming back to see the square at night too!

Manneken-Pis

Things to do in Brussels, Belgium

Cost: FREE

Just around the corner from Grand Palace is the best-known symbol of Brussels, the Manneken-Pis statue. This statue functioned as the city’s main source of drinking water from the 15th to the 19th century. However, today it is a popular tourist destination and displays the humor of the people of Brussels.

Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

a weekend in Brussels, Belgium

Cost: FREE

Next up, a beautiful gallery located just 10 minutes walking from Manneken-Pis, Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a beautiful place to get inside and do some window shopping. Built in 1846, this is a great place to stroll grab a coffee and stock up on Belgian chocolate for the rest of the day.

Afternoon

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Parc de Cinquantenaire

Cost: € 4.20 round trip

Following your shopping, head to a less touristy part of town to Parc du Cinquantenaire. 

Take the public transit from De Brouckere metro station and catch purple line 1 or yellow line 5 to Merode station. The train runs about every 3 minutes, so the total travel time here should be about 10 minutes.

Furthermore, Parc du Cinquantenaire is a perfect spot for a picnic. There is a restaurant inside of the park, or opt for a quick grocery run to pick up some lunch supplies and enjoy your afternoon with the locals.

Without a doubt, this area is so beautiful and definitely worth checking out during your visit.

Comic Art Museum

Cost: € 8

Next, head back towards the city center and experience the Comic Art Museum. Brussels is painted with comic book street art and is a huge part of their culture. Stop by the museum and enter a world full of comics. This museum is great for all ages but is more catered towards adults.

Evening

Delerium Beer

Delerium

Belgium is known for its chocolate, waffles, fries, and also beer! Next, stop by the Delerium just outside of the Grand Palace for a beer or just to enjoy the atmosphere. It is a tucked away dive bar, with lots of tourists and locals. However, this spot can get quite popular, but you have to say you did it.

Grand Palace

Finally, end your first day of your Brussels itinerary back at the Grand Palace. Splurge on a bite to eat in this beautiful city center hub and take in all the people watching. 

Grand Palace - Brussels - at night

Pro tip: check the Brussels city guide to see if any events are happening in the Grand Palace. This spot frequently hosts musicians or festivals.

The Grand Palace at night is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Europe, so take some time here to take it all in.

Day Two: Two Days in Brussels Itinerary

Morning

Belgium, Waffles

Breakfast

Obviously, no weekend in Brussels is complete without Belgian waffles. First, start with a morning cafe and a waffle! Start with a proper breakfast this morning as you will not have as much ground to cover on day two. 

Some of my favorite spots are:

Maison Dandoy

The Waffle Factory

Veganwaf’ 

St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral

a weekend in brussels

Cost: Free

Next, stop by St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in the city center. This Gothic cathedral was built at the beginning of the 13th century and today stands at the city’s main catholic cathedral.

Additionally, this is a great place to visit for architecture lovers and photographers, so plan on spending extra time if this is you.

If not, just stop by to check it out and keep exploring.

Afternoon

Atomium

Atomium

Cost: €16.95 Adult/ €9.25 Teen or Student/ €0.35 Child

Built for the 1958 World’s Fair, this structure is now undoubtedly the most iconic “building” in Brussels. In fact, you can spot it on your flight to Brussels!

Take a day trip from Brussels city center and head to the Atomium.

To get here, take public transit just outside of town to reach the Atomium. Once you arrive, you can marvel at the outside of the structure, or take a tour inside. If you like beautiful lookout points and interesting architecture, however, I would recommend taking the tour inside.

Additionally, there are many discounts at the Atomium. Seniors, students, children, and Brussels cardholders all receive discounts.

Evening

Mont Des Arts/Royal Palace of Brussels 

things to do in brussels

Lastly, visit Mont Des Arts. Mont Des Arts are the gardens in front of the Royal Palace of Brussels.

The Palace is usually closed for inside tours unless it is for select dates during the summer, but the gardens in front particularly offer a stunning view of the city. Additionally, from the top, you can catch a glimpse of the Atomium as well as the Basilica de Koekelberg (the 5th largest church in the world!).

Additionally, this is a popular spot to catch a sunset over the city and enjoy live music. Locals sit on the steps at the top to enjoy the views, music, and street performers.

Last by not least, if you are feeling up for it, head down the road about half a mile to enjoy a beautiful Ferris wheel ride.

Brussels Itinerary Conclusion

In conclusion, Brussels is a beautiful city, from its stunning parks, architecture, history, and food there really is something to do for everyone. Furthermore, a weekend in Brussels is not enough time to do everything in this city but is enough time to understand the city and do all the main tourist things.

I visited in July 2021 and all the locals were excited to see Americans and tourists back into their city. The locals are more than happy to share their beautiful city with you, so enjoy it!

This Brussels itinerary is meant to show you the best of Brussels in a meaningful way. I sincerely hope this Brussels itinerary helps you during your next trip.

I’m Danika! A travel obsessed, Disney adult, with a knack for budgeting.

In 2020 I was furlough from my “dream” job at Disney and have pursued my first love of travel ever since. I have traveled to 33 states and 28 countries spanning 5 continents.

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