Brussels: 48 hours in the capital of Europe
Updated: Apr 26
Brussels is a perfect city trip destination. But I can recommend to do some research before you go, because the nicest spots aren't always easy to find. So herewith some of my favorite places in the capital city of Belgium.
Palais de Justice
The Palais de Justice or Palace of Justice is the most important court building in Belgium.
It was built between 1866 and 1883.
Sometimes it is possible to enter the immense hallways and stairs, but I wasn't always that lucky. And if you find a closed door, don't be sad, because from the front of the palace you have a great view over a huge part of the city.
This is one of my favorite coffee bars in Brussels. Here I always have the feeling that I am in Paris :) The cozy café is situated on a corner close to above mentioned Palais de Justice. From the window seats you have a nice view at the crossroads and the surrounding buildings. You can choose from freshly baked cakes; like lime cake, brownies, croissants and a couple more.
Street with little arch close to the Magritte Museum. The museum is dedicated to the work of the Belgian surrealist artist, René Magritte and has the world's largest collection (230 of his works and archives are displayed).
I normally do not like cafés with more than 10 tables, but this place is great for a quick bite.
It is located in a quiet street close to the Royal Palace.
Their lunch is fresh and tasty, the staff very friendly and the coffee strong...
Exactly as their slogan says: Coffee and love are best when strong :)
When the Royal family goes on holidays, they leave the doors of their splendid palace open to the public. Click on above link to get redirected to the website of Visit Brussels to see when you are welcome. In 2018 it will be between 21st of June until the 2nd of September.
Jardin du Petit Sablon (Kleine Zavel)
This little park with fountain in the historic upper town is just stunning!
Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Right next to the Grand Place, these galleries from 1847 - de la reine (queen) / du roi (king) /des princes (prince) - are home to lots of luxury boutiques, clockmakers and chocolate shops. It's a nice place to stroll around and buy some famous Belgian chocolates.
This Japanese restaurant has a bright interior (and stunning old floor) and overlooks the lively Place Saint-Boniface in the Elsene (Ixelles in French) district. This district is a wonderful residential area with many Art Nouveau buildings. Here you can find local shops, café's and restaurants far away from the big chain stores.
Beli is a family run Lebanese restaurant with a bright interior and small terrace in the front.
We tried the Sunday Brunch and it was simply heavenly! I could eat their cauliflower with tahini every day...
Mont des Arts | Kunstberg
The name means "hill/mount of the arts". It has a beautiful public garden and from the upper stairs you have a nice view over the historic center of Brussels.
At this modern trattoria close to Avenue Louise you can choose from a wide variety of good wines and eat the delicious pasta of the day. The pasta was simple but very tasty. The cheese platter alone is worth to go back another time :)
This boutique hotel is situated in a quiet street close to Avenue Louise (and at walking distance from above mentioned Gazzetta). There are 37 rooms in a “cozy industrial” style all decorated around the photography concept. Each room has a unique photo of Brussels created by an artist.
Fika is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning "to have coffee", often accompanied with pastries, cookies or pie. But for the Swedish people 'fika' isn't just a coffee break; it's a moment to slow down and appreciate the good things in life. And that is exactly what you can do here! They make their own pastries, including the famous cinnamon buns. Good to know: you can't see it from the front, but in summertime you can enjoy their garden at de back of the café. Fika Coffee is nearby above mentioned Little Tokyo.
There is a lot of street art in Brussels. Here you see me in front of a mural close to Place Rouppe.
At Place Rouppe (or Rouppeplein) they serve espresso and slow coffee with very tasty sticky banana bread. It is a good place for breakfast or lunch as well.
The owners dog Marcel is always around and very curious, calm and friendly, so don't worry if you are afraid of dogs ;)
Villa Empain is certainly one of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces of Art Deco in Brussels. It was build between 1930 and 1934 and after huge renovations which ended in 2010 it is now home to art exhibitions, concerts and conferences.
Are you visiting ANTWERP as well?
Check out my favorite hotspots here.