15 Best Brussels Tours

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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With a population of 11.4 million people, Brussels – the capital of Belgium – is an exciting place to be. The city has a very important role in Europe, but it’s also a top tourist destination for travelers from all over the world.

The city is mostly known for its foodie scene, which includes Belgian chocolate and plenty of beer. A popular place to indulge in these things is in the Grand-Place Square, where quaint little cafes and pubs are tucked away in 17th-century buildings.

A number of historical buildings, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, line the old streets, and the city is home to an abundance of parks and almost 100 museums.

Throughout the year, many festivals take place in Brussels, including the Brussels Summer Festival, The Iris Festival, Couleur Cafe Festival, and The International Fantastic Film Festival on Brussels.

Below are 13 of the best tours in Brussels.

1. Take a Walk Through History in Brussels

Brussels, BelgiumSource: TTstudio / shutterstock
Brussels, Belgium

Walking tours offer visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the city and its people. This 2.5-hour walking tour of Brussels is the perfect way to see many of the iconic sites and learn more about the history and culture of the city.

Follow your knowledgeable guide as he or she leads you through the historic heart of Brussels while pointing out notable places and telling stories about life in the city.

You’ll make your way to the Atomium, a national symbol that was originally meant to only stand during Expo 58.

2. Taste the Food of Brussels

Brussels Food TourSource: www.getyourguide.com
Brussels Food Tour

When it comes to delicious food and drink, Brussels is known for more than just chocolate and beer. Join a foodie expert guide on this food-tasting journey through the streets of Brussels.

During this three-hour tour, you will sample ten local food items, including street foods, traditional favorites, and dishes representing the city’s mix of cultures.

Enjoy some Bloempanch sausage with a local beer in a downtown cafe; chow down on fries dipped in mayo the way Belgians eat them; try a waffle with a cup of coffee in a traditional cafe.

As you make your way from place to place, pay close attention as your local guide tells stories and provides tips about the local foodie scene.

3. Learn all About Art Nouveau

Bailli DistrictSource: periscope / shutterstock
Bailli District

Brussels is known for its unique architecture, which includes many buildings built in the Art Nouveau style.

During this three-hour tour, your local guide will tell you everything you need to know about this style of architecture as you make your way around various parts of the city that are home to famous examples of Art Nouveau.

Start your journey at the Grand-Place, where you will jump on a tram headed for the Bailli District. Here, in this pretty village, you will see some of the most important Art Nouveau buildings in the city.

Other notable buildings you’ll see include Old English House, Hotel Tassel, Hotel Ciamberlani, and The Beukman House.

The tour ends in front of the museum dedicated to the man who started the Art Nouveau movement, Victor Horta.

4. Take a Day Trip to Cologne and Monschau

CologneSource: Shutterstock

Escape Brussels for a day of sightseeing and exploring picturesque Monschau and historic Cologne in nearby Germany.

As you make your way towards the border in the comfort of a coach, you’ll see the stunning scenery of the Eifel mountain area and get a history lesson and hear stories from your knowledgeable guide.

Your first stop will be the small town of Monschau, where you’ll have some free time to wander the cobblestone streets and alleys.

Next, you will explore the lively city of Cologne. Explore the Roman walls and see medieval buildings. Admire a beautiful cathedral and relax on the shores of the Rhine. Use your free time to do some shopping in the world-class shops and try legendary Kolsch beer in a cozy pub.

5. Explore Brussels with a Flexible Walking Tour

BrusselsSource: S-F / shutterstock

This two-hour tour will take you to many of the top attractions in Brussels, but it doesn’t need to follow a strict itinerary. The tour is flexible, and your guide is open to suggestions that can include venturing off the main tourist path.

As you and your local private guide make your way through the historic city, you’ll see notable sites, including the guild houses on Grand Place, Mannekin Pis Statue, and Place Royale.

Along the way, your guide will tell you about the history of the city, and how it came to be the fascinating place it is today.

6. Take a Trip to Bruges by Train

Bruges, BelgiumSource: Catarina Belova / shutterstock
Bruges, Belgium

With this eight-hour tour, you’ll arrive in the medieval city of Bruges in style. Hop on a train in Brussels to make the journey to Bruges, where you’ll join a local guide on a comprehensive walking tour of the historic city.

During the tour, you’ll taste genuine Belgium chocolate and beer and admire art at the Groeningemuseum. You’ll also see famous attractions, including the Church of Our Lady, Market Square, De Halve Maan Brewery, and Benedictine Convent of the Begijnhof.

After the guided tour, you’ll have three hours to explore the city on your own. Grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant or take a canal cruise before hopping back on the train for the return trip to Brussels.

7. Learn about the Great War with a Flanders Fields Remembrance Tour

Passchendaele BattlefieldSource: Erik AJV / shutterstock
Passchendaele Battlefield

Embark on a 13-hour historical journey highlighting infamous sites of the Great War. Start your journey in the comfort of a coach and make your first stop at a German Cemetery.

Next, visit the WW1 trenches and Essex Farm Cemetery, where John McCrae composed his celebrated poem “In Flanders Fields.”

Along the way, you will also stop at The Brooding Soldier, Passchendaele Battlefield, and Tyne Cot Cemetery, which is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. You’ll also cross the border into France, where you’ll tour the Vimy Memorial.

Before heading back to Brussels, you’ll witness the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate.

8. Beautiful Tulips and Historic Delft

DelftSource: shutterstock

On this 12-hour tour into the nearby Netherlands, you’ll spend the day being immersed in scenery, history, and culture.

Join your local guide on a comfortable bus and make your way through the beautiful countryside filled with bulb fields and windmills.

Stop first in the picturesque town of Delft, where you’ll see canals and old buildings, including a church that’s home to the underground burial chamber of the Dutch Royal Family. You’ll have some free time to browse the craft shops and explore the town.

Next, you’ll make your way to the Keukenhof Estate, where you’ll learn all about tulips before being given the opportunity to explore the stunning gardens, which feature more than seven million flowers.

9. Explore the Caves of Han and a Wildlife Park

Caves of HanSource: Twin Design / shutterstock
Caves Of Han

If you would like to explore the natural side of Belgium, depart Brussels and make your way to the Caves of Han, where you’ll take a tram ride to the entrance of these underground caves. See stunning natural galleries and halls lit up by LED lighting.

Next, head to the Wildlife Park, where you’ll see bears, reindeer, raccoons, and many other wild animals.

10. Discover the Heart of Europe

Grand Place, BrusselsSource: Koverninska Olga / shutterstock
Grand Place, Brussels

Take it all in with a comprehensive, eight-hour combination minivan and walking tour of Brussels. Meet your guide at your hotel and set out to see a combination of attractions both old and new.

Taste local beer and dine on traditional local fare. Pass by many architecturally-important buildings and historical sites, including Royal Palace of Laken, Atomium, Palace of Justice, Waucquez Warehouse, and the EU district.

After a lavish lunch, take a walking tour through the city center and see more historical attractions, including Grand Place, Kathelijneplein, and Place St. Cathérine.

11. Spend a Day Exploring Bruges and Ghent

GhentSource: Mapics / shutterstock

If you wish to explore two of Belgium’s most charming cities in one day, this ten-hour tour takes you on a journey to Bruges and Ghent.

Meet your guide in the center of Brussels and make the 100-kilometer trip to Bruges. See many of the historic attractions that make the heart of this city a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During your wanderings, you’ll get to see the Lake of Love, the former Red Light District, Church of Our Lady, Gruuthuse Palace, Markt Square, and Dijver Canal.

You’ll have some free time to explore on your own and have lunch before heading onto Ghent. Once again, you’ll explore the old city streets and see top attractions such as Castle of Gerald the Devil, Belfort, St. Nicholas’ Church, and the Castle of the Counts of Flanders.

12. Discover Upper and Lower Brussels

Manneken PisSource: Anibal Trejo / shutterstock
Manneken Pis

The city of Brussels is split into two sections – upper and lower. On this three-hour private tour, you’ll get to explore both.

Meet your guide at your hotel and make your way to the Grand Place in the Lower City. Admire historical landmarks and top attractions such as Manneken Pis, St. Catherine Square, and Saint-Hubert Royal Galleries while your guide provides you with some history of the area.

Next, you’ll climb uphill to the Upper City, where you’ll see more iconic attractions, including the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Place des Palais, and the Musical Instruments Museum.

13. Get a Taste of Brussels

Belgian Beer and Food Pairing in BrusselsSource: www.getyourguide.com
Belgian Beer And Food Pairing In Brussels

Brussels is known the world over for its great-tasting beer and delicious cuisine; you can experience both on this 3.5-hour tour.

Start your culinary experience in a tucked-away Belgian Tavern, where you’ll sample your first local beer. Move onto three more taverns that are off the beaten tourist path to sample three more local beers.

Next, head to a restaurant in the center of the city and pair four more local beers with various dishes, including mussels, chocolate pie, frites, and beef stew.

14. Take a Private Tour of Antwerp

Antwerp, BelgiumSource: Snehal Jeevan Pailkar / shutterstock
Antwerp, Belgium

Get picked up at your hotel in a luxury vehicle and head to Antwerp for a five-hour private tour of this historic city.

Arrive first in the heart of the city where you’ll wander Marquet Square. Here, you’ll see very old houses and tour Our Lady’s Cathedral which is home to two of 17th-century artist P. P. Rubens’ paintings.

Next, you’ll visit a diamond workshop and learn about the manufacturing of diamonds and how Antwerp is one of the world’s leading producers.

Before heading back to Brussels, you’ll drive by the oldest section of the city’s harbour.

15. Go Shopping in Maasmechelen Village

Maasmechelen VillageSource: Mali lucky / shutterstock
Maasmechelen Village

The shopper’s paradise of Massmechelen Village is only a 90-minute drive from the centre of Brussels and visitors to the city can easily spend a day shopping by simply hopping on the Shopping Express coach that departs the city.

Take in the lovely scenery during the drive and upon arrival, start browsing more than 100 boutique shops and outlet stores. With deals as steep as 60% off the retail price, you’ll find local and international luxury brands at a fraction of the price you’d normally pay.

Before heading back to Brussels, enjoy a bite to eat with the help of your included EUR 20 voucher for Ellis Gourmet Burger. Also included with this tour is a EUR 50 Maasmechelen Village Gift Card and a VIP card offering 10% extra savings at select shops.

15 Best Brussels Tours:

  • Take a Walk Through History in Brussels
  • Taste the Food of Brussels
  • Learn all About Art Nouveau
  • Take a Day Trip to Cologne and Monschau
  • Explore Brussels with a Flexible Walking Tour
  • Take a Trip to Bruges by Train
  • Learn about the Great War with a Flanders Fields Remembrance Tour
  • Beautiful Tulips and Historic Delft
  • Explore the Caves of Han and a Wildlife Park
  • Discover the Heart of Europe
  • Spend a Day Exploring Bruges and Ghent
  • Discover Upper and Lower Brussels
  • Get a Taste of Brussels
  • Take a Private Tour of Antwerp
  • Go Shopping in Maasmechelen Village