- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Brussels Guide (PDF)
With a wide variety of exciting activities and attractions in Brussels, expats are bound to discover something new to explore and enjoy every day. New arrivals wanting to get a feel for the city and its attractions should purchase the Brussels Card, which grants entrance to most of the city’s museums and transport on buses, trams and metros.
It's also a great way to get familiarised with the public transport system. On the other hand, hop-on-hop-off buses are great for those wishing to observe their new home from a good vantage point while going from place to place.
Recommended sightseeing in Brussels
Belgian Comic Strip Center
The Belgian Comic Strip Center is one of the city's most popular attractions, where off-beat humour, vivid colours and fabulous illustrations abound. Visitors can enjoy an extensive collection of comic-strip art, with particular attention paid to Belgian native Hergé's Tintin.
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Brussels is home to Europe’s very first shopping arcade, completed in 1847. This noteworthy attraction isn't to be missed. If the impressive and aesthetic architecture isn’t enough to dazzle, peruse the shops, make a few purchases, and watch the world go by over a cup of coffee from one of the quaint arcade cafes.
The Grand Place is frequented by locals and tourists alike, and is indeed well worth a visit. Spend the afternoon admiring the wonderful architecture that surrounds the square, peruse the stalls that line it, or enjoy a cup of coffee at one of its pavement cafes.
Brussels Town Hall
Architecturally speaking, Brussels Town Hall is one of the finest buildings in Brussels. It survived some of the worst bombings during World War II when nearly every other building on the Grand Place was destroyed. Take a tour of this magnificent building and discover the art, architecture, tapestries and history that lie inside.
One of the city's most noted attractions is the small Manneken Pis statue which stands proudly relieving himself atop a fountain basin. The statue represents the 'zwanze' or good sense of humour of Brussels residents. There is a decades-long tradition of putting the statue in costume, with costume changes occurring every few days – so regardless of what time of year the urinating urchin is visited, he will be dressed in the season’s best.
Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate
Anyone with a sweet tooth should head directly to the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate for a decadent day of fine Belgian chocolate. The museum is a tasteful tribute to the country’s famed love of chocolate. Visitors can even see the master chocolatiers at work and sample their wares.
The original official residence of the Belgian Royal family, the Palais Royal stands as magnificently as ever in front of Brussels Park and is used for official functions and ceremonies. Tours take place during the summer months, allowing visitors to enjoy the palace’s art and historical artefacts.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts
No resident of Brussels is a true resident until they’ve visited the Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Expats who make the journey will have the opportunity to view one of the finest collections of Fleming art in the world by artists such as Ruben and Van Dyck.
Are you an expat living in Brussels?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Brussels. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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