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Things to do in Brussels

There are a lot of things to do in Brussels, from its landmarks and museums to its shopping districts. Brussels is a fantastic city for shopping, a fact often forgotten because the town gets most of its press as the EU capital. Find out for yourself by window-shopping in the Galleries Royales St-Hubert, Europe’s first covered shopping gallery, which opened in 1847. Now its vaulted brass ceilings—state of the art then and beautifully antiquated now—cover 54 upscale shops retailing leather goods, books, clothes and more.

There’s also the city’s old botanical gardens. Le Botanique is a cultural centre, with its 19th century glass and wrought iron buildings, hosting French language theatre, performance art and dance, while a traditionally manicured formal garden surrounds it and is a lovely place for a stroll.

But we still haven’t touched on one of the best-known things to do in Brussels. If your stroll makes you thirsty, it might be time to take advantage of Belgium’s brewing tradition. Look opposite the infamous Manneken Pis, the statue of the small boy doing what it sounds like he’s doing; there you’ll find the Poechenellekelder, a non-tourist tavern whose large beer list is as good an introduction as any to Belgian ale.

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  • Antiquing in Brussels

    To go antiquing in Brussels is to bask in civility and ease. Stay hard by the Gothic, gilded Grand Place - a square called on of the most beautiful... More
  • Biscuiterie Dandoy

    Treat yourself to a package of speculoos (traditional Belgian spice cookies) to snack on as you descend back toward the Grand Place. More
  • Cantillon Brewery

    One of the few active breweries remaining in Brussels is the family-run Cantillon Brewery, built in 1900 in an old warehouse and famous for its aci... More
  • Congo Gallery

    These dealers in African art and relics as well as the adjacent Congo Basin Art History Research Center can be found on a charming lane off the Pla... More
  • Costermans

    Established in 1839, this antiques store is one of the few still holding on to its spot on the Place du Grand Sablon. Its salons are filled with 18... More
  • Desmet

    At the Desmet antiques gallery, nearly everything is of majestic scale and almost nothing is Belgian. Sarcophagus-like stone tubs come from France,... More
  • Dune 234

    The multitalented Muriel Bardinet (dealer, interior designer, painter, photographer) puts the chic back into shabby. Behind the striking curved-gla... More
  • Galerie Pierre Mahaux

    An ormolu-mounted fruit-wood desk and a bench of thick rubber molded to resemble giant blocks of chocolate front a huge painting of African dancers... More
  • Haute Antiques

    Haute Antiques houses 40 dealers whose wares span the full range of styles and periods, from a fanciful iron birdcage and a mod trapezoidal firepla... More
  • Hema

  • Jacques Brol

    Though they aim to emulate Axel Vervoordt, this design store is a more affordable and polite version of eclectic Belgian style. More
  • La Maison des Maîtres Chocolatiers Belges

    This shop has closed. In Brussels’s main square, 10 master Belgian chocolate makers are showcased at this boutique, where they host daily workshop... More
  • L'Horloge du Sud

  • Marolles District

    Rue Haute, like parallel Rue Blaes, traverses the Marolles district; both are dotted with antiquaries that grow more affordable the farther you tra... More

Explore things to do in Belgium for more options.

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