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Brussels – Top Sights and Gluten Free Eats

WELCOME TO THE BRUSSELS TRAVEL GUIDE

Come explore this charming Belgian city rich with history, architecture, local gastronomy, and tons of chocolate! I loved exploring this less popular European city and getting a taste for the local culture.

Need to Know for Brussels:

Currency: Euro 

Check conversion here

Language: French, Dutch, English, German

Airports:

BRU – Brussels Airport

Electrical Outlets: 230V supply voltage and 50Hz, Type C and E plugs

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation – Brussels is a pretty small city so you’ll never be that far from where you need to go. I stayed at the Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place. This was a great location and a lovely hotel.

Getting to Brussels:

By Train: If you’re coming from within Europe, a train is a great option to get into Brussels. These trains will likely come into the Brussel-Zuid/Midi station.

By Plane: Since I was coming from the U.S., I flew into Brussels with a one stop in London.

Getting Around:

Trains/Buses: The public transportation system in Brussels is fantastic and pretty easy to navigate. You can get on and off the trains and buses by using a contactless credit card. They usually just do the train announcements in French, so it is helpful if you understand French. Otherwise, ask the people around you.

Walking: Brussels is a small city, so you can get pretty far just by walking around.

Uber: There are Ubers available, but there are less of them so you might have to wait a while and pay a little more.

Brussels Dinner
Brussels Train
Brussels Streets

Things to See and Do in Brussels

Go on a local walking tour: There’s a lot to see in Brussels, but without a tour, you wouldn’t know the context of significance of most of it. I highly recommend going on a “free” walking tour (you must tip your guide at the end). I went on this tour and I’d highly recommend it for getting a feel for the city! 

Chocolate Making Class: Belgium is probably most known for its specialty in chocolate – so you have to indulge in this while you’re here! I did a chocolate making class through Get Your Guide, which had a great combo of education, tasting chocolates, and making chocolate to take home.

Grand Place: The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels, surrounded by ornate buildings including the City Hall, guild houses, and Maison du Roi. Right off the square, you’ll find tons of great bars and restaurants. 

Free Walking Tour Brussels
Chocolate Making Class Brussels
Grand Place Brussels

Get a Waffle (or two): I found TWO great spots for gluten free waffles in Brussels. First, I tried VEGANWAF’ which had gluten free vegan waffles. These are takeaway only so I got one with my friend and we ate them in the Grand Place. I also had a GF waffle at Sister Cafe, which is a sit down cafe with tons of great GF options including focaccia. 

For normal gluten eaters – my friend/tour guide recommend getting a waffle at Maison Dandoy, or one of the little yellow food trucks!

Manneken Pis: I don’t know why this little fountain of a boy peeing is so famous, but everyone comes to see this when in Brussels. Sometimes the boy is dressed up in different outfits by the City Museum that has over 1,000 outfits to choose from. 

Monte de Las Artes: This plaza is at the base of the Garden of Monte de Las Artes. If you walk up towards the Place Royale Bruxelles, you’ll have a great view of the city! You’ll also see people hanging out on these steps and there will usually be a street performer attracting tourists.

Waffles in Brussels
Manneken Pis Brussels
Mont des Arts Garden

Atomium:  This incredible structure was built in 1958 for the Brussels World’s Fair and is now one of Brussel’s most popular tourist attractions. The structure is built to represent an iron crystal. Visitors can go inside and experience what is now a museum and restaurant, with a spectacular view of Brussels. An adult entry is  €16. 

Palace of Justice: One of the biggest and most prominent buildings in Brussels, the Palace of Justice stands tall towering over the city. This is also one of the most expensive buildings in the city with its construction totalling over 50 million Belgian francs. The cost of this construction sparked controversy given there is also a housing problem in this area of the city. 

The View Grande Roue Bruxelles: Right next to the Palace of Justice, The View is a ferris wheel observatory with spectacular views of the city. The cost is €10 per person and is open 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM most days! 

Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert: A popular shopping area lined with luxury chocolate shops, souvenir stores, and many nice restaurants. 

Atomium Brussels
Palace of Justice Brussels
The View Brussels

Favorite Restaurants I Tried in Brussels (GF Options!):

1
La Taverne du Passage Upscale belgian food! I tried the sole and it was fantastic.
2
Sister Cafe A cute cafe that specializes in gluten free options! I had a fantastic waffle sandwich here for brunch.
3
𝕀𝕝 𝕍𝕖𝕝𝕚𝕖𝕣𝕠 This place had gluten free pizza, beer, and tiramisu!
4
VEGANWAF' Gluten free and vegan waffles!
5
Brasserie Ommegang A great Brasserie right by the Grand Place. I had fantastic mussels and frites.
La Taverne du Passage
Sister Cafe Brussels
GF beer Belgium

This is just what I did during my short time in Brussels. There is so much more to explore! On my list for next time:

Musée Magritte

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Museum of the Belgian Brewers

Jeu de Balle flea market

Eat at Le Marmiton

 

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Comments:

  • Marit

    January 12, 2024

    Wow! This looks like such an incredible experience. Thanks for the recommendations!

    reply...

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