Issue 50 / What You Can Do With 48 Hours In Brussels

What You Can Do With 48 Hours In Brussels

May 20, 2016

One day in Brussels is more than enough time to take in all the sights and enjoy what the city has to offer and so in 48 hours we will take you on a tour of two cities.


Map of Brussels.
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Belgium is one of the smaller countries in Europe spanning over 30,000 square kilometers. Although Brussels is the capital it is quite small and can be covered in a day. Central Brussels is divided into the Lower Town, where most sites cluster around the Grand Place and to the east, and the Upper Town on the Mont des Arts, where state buildings such as the Royal Palace and Palais de Justice are situated. 

It is best to pick one of the central areas to stay. Close to the main train station is a good idea since most tours start there and you'll have easy access to trams, buses and trains.

Day 1

8 am: Breakfast

Start with a good breakfast to get your day going. Brussels doesn't have the best skyline but that doesn't matter when you are looking from the Atomium at Square de l'Atomium. The emblem of the 1958 World Fair, its nine conjoined spheres shimmer over Brussels and there's a panorama deck in the highest sphere, at 102 meters high. Entry costs around 11 Euros.

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10:30 am: Time for some chocolate.

Brussels is known for chocolate and while walking around the street you will be able to smell the aroma filling your nose. There are a number of chocolate museums and workshops around but check in advance which ones are open for demonstrations on the days you are there. Choco-Story Brussels is the result of an encounter between two families who were passionate about the world of cocoa and chocolate. Here you can taste some amazing chocolate and watch a demonstration on how certain chocolate moulds are made. There is also a chocolate fountain churning out fresh warm chocolate and biscuits are available to dip in and try.

Chocolate making demonstration.
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11:30 am: Grand Place and Grote Markt

You will now be near the central square of Brussels. It is overlooked by two huge buildings with stunning art decor.The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. This is the perfect place to take some photos before lunch.

Grand Palace
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12:30 pm: Lunch time

Now that you are in the most popular square, look around, there a number of restaurants serving everything from pizza, burgers and chips to traditional Belgium cuisine. Just a walk away you will also find a number of Indian restaurants such as La Maharani, Royal Tandoori and Bombay Inn, all of which serve both lunch and dinner.

1:30 pm: Time to head to Ghent.

After you have filled your tummy it is time to walk towards the main train station again. Here you will find a number of trains going in all directions. Ghent is a lovely little city north-west of Brussels and it will only cost you around 18 Euros for a two-way ticket. 

It's around a 45 minute journey so sit back relax and take in the sights along the way.

3 pm: Ghent

When you arrive in Ghent make sure you ask the information centre which tram to get to take you into the centre. Ghent is not a huge city either so it is easily walkable once you hit the main area. If you come off around Korenlei you can walk around the buildings and take in all the amazing architecture. 

Castle of Counts
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Head towards the Castle of Counts. Phillip of Alsace had the imposing castle rebuilt in 1180. Overlooking the city from its battlements high up on the keep, you can feel the wealth and power that the Lord of the Castle would of had.

5 pm: Walk around

After finishing touring castle take a stroll towards the cathedral. You cannot miss the tall buildings when trying to find your way around. Near here you will also find St. Nicolas' Church and the watch tower.

Cathedral in Ghent.
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6 pm: Ghent by night.

Ghent is amazing to look at at night when the city is illuminated in lights. Head towards St. Michael's Bridge to capture some amazing photos.


St. Michael's Bridge
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Day 2

9 am: Bus Tour 

There are two lines that go around Brussels if you head onto the City Sightseeing Bus. Both lines take around 75 minutes but of course you will be hopping on and off to visit the attractions. 

Line 1 is the Atomium line. Although you visited the Atomium the day before there is still a lot to do on this line. It starts at Central Station but before you jump on the bus make sure you visit the cathedral situated near the bus stop. 

St. Michael's and Gudula Cathedral
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Once you are on the bus it will take you towards the Belgium comic strip. If you are a fan of The Smurfs then hop off here and visit the museum. 

Once back on the bus the Royal Serres is a nice place to visit, with the royal gardens and the Japanese tower. 

Royal Serres
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You will definitely want to visit the Manneken Pis, this is a statue of a young boy and although the reason behind the statue is not very clear there are a number of rumors as to why it is one of the most popular sites to visit in Brussels. 

Manneken Pis
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12 pm: Time to swap lines.

Now that you have completed line 1 it's time to hop onto Line 2. This again starts at the central station but will take you towards the Palace Royal. 

Avenue Lousie
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Stop Lousie is a good stop to get off the bus. Here you can walk around some of the luxurious shops as well as visit the Palace of Justice

1 pm: Lunch

This would also be a good time to visit some of the cafes or restaurants in the area and grab a bite to eat.

On this line of the tour you can visit the Museum of Natural Sciences, Autoworld and the Belgium Federal Parliament. 

4 pm: Tour is done.

Now that you have finished the tour of Brussels start enjoying the night life. Maybe head over to one of the many bars and join the locals for some drinks and then pick a nice restaurant to spend the evening and relax.

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Vallisa Chauhan


Vallisa Chauhan (@vallisachauhan) presents the Flagship breakfast show on Lyca Radio 1458. She has scripted and produced a full feature film called "Those 4 Walls" and is currently working on other projects. She loves travel and movies and tries to fit in both as much as she can.


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