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Brussels Culture & history

Our most recommended Brussels Culture & history

Brussels Atomium Entry Ticket with Free Design Museum Ticket

1. Brussels Atomium Entry Ticket with Free Design Museum Ticket

Discover stunning panoramic views of Brussels and explore exhibitions about Belgium and digital art with this entry ticket to the Atomium. Take a walk through design works from the 20th and 21st centuries with a ticket to the Design Museum. Enter the iconic Atomium which symbolizes an iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times. Step into this relic of the past which was created for the 1958 World Fair. Marvel at 360-degree panoramic views of the 19 municipalities of Brussels. Stroll through the permanent Atomium exhibition which tells the history of this pavilion. Visit two temporary exhibitions, including 'ID#2021', an immersive sound and light show and 'View from My Window' which tells the a Belgian success story through a multimedia display. Have the option to purchase Belgian specialties or seasonal dishes at the Atomium Restaurant which offers exceptional views from 95 meters above ground. Visit the Design Museum Brussels to learn about Belgian design and its history. Make your way through permanent and temporary exhibits and see the Plastics Design Collection of around 2000 plastic objects.

Choco-Story Brussels: Chocolate Museum Entrance with Tasting

2. Choco-Story Brussels: Chocolate Museum Entrance with Tasting

Journey through the story of chocolate at Choco-Story Brussels, and learn the origins of the precious commodity and its transformation to the finished product. Delve deep in the history of the Aztecs, and discover how cocoa arrived in Europe.  Admire the exhibits of the museum, including illustrations, informative panels and videos that explain the culture of cocoa and how it is turned into chocolate. Watch a demonstration by a master chocolatier on how to make artisanal pralines.  Enjoy several tastings throughout your visit, and benefit from the chance to purchase some chocolates in the gift shop.

Brussels: Magritte Museum Entry Ticket

3. Brussels: Magritte Museum Entry Ticket

Visit the world's largest collection of works by René Magritte. Enjoy access to more than 230 works and archives of the famous surrealist artist. View oil paintings, sketches, and sculptures, as well as posters, photographs and films made by Magritte himself. After viewing the surrealist masterpieces, take a relaxing break at the on site café and restaurant. Stop by the shop for an impressive selection of posters, postcards, gifts and books.

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

4. From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the center of Brussels and relax on the 100-kilometer journey to Bruges. Upon arrival, discover the charms of “the Venice of the North” and see why the entire historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Marvel at highlights such as the Lake of Love (Minnewater Lake) and the 13th-century Begijnhof complex, founded in 1245 to house lay religious women. Go to Walplein Square, where the shady trees and cafes provide a perfect place to relax. Visit Stoofstraat on the site of the city's former Red Light District, and see medieval monuments such as the 11th-century Old St. John’s Hospital. Look at the world's second tallest brickwork tower at the Church of Our Lady, and see other historic monuments such as Gruuthuse Palace, the Dijver Canal and the tiny piazza of Tanners Square (Huidenvettersplein). Go to one of the city's most photographed spots at Rozenhoedkaai, and admire the Belfry on Castle Square. Admire the facades of the Gothic-style Town Hall and the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood. Visit Market Square (Grote Markt) to see the Bell Tower (Belfort) and Sint-Salvator’s Cathedral. Then enjoy 1-hour's free time for lunch (at your own expense) and the chance to sample some of the city's delicious chocolates.  Next, drive to Ghent, where the inhabitants have been popularly known as "noose-bearers“ since the days of Charles V. Take a guided tour of the city's historic buildings, such as the Castle of Gerald the Devil and Saint Bavo Cathedral, where you can look at the painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Admire the Belfort (Bell Tower) and peculiar Gothic and Renaissance-style Town Hall. See one of the city's oldest monuments at St. Nicholas’ Church opposite the unusual facade of the Masons’ Guild House. Journey along the embankments of the medieval port of Graslei, and discover other highlights such as the majestic Castle of the Counts of Flanders, the charming Patershol neighborhood, the Great Butchers’ Hall, the Old Fish Market, and Friday Market Square.

Brussels: 2.5-Hour Chocolate Museum Visit with Workshop

5. Brussels: 2.5-Hour Chocolate Museum Visit with Workshop

Learn to make your own chocolates with the help of a professional chocolate maker. Create mendiant chocolates, personalized chocolate bars, and lollies to take home with you. Afterward, you can visit the Choco-Story Brussels museum. Explore with your audio guide and discover the history of cocoa and chocolate in an interactive and fun way. Enjoy chocolate tastings and watch a demonstration of Belgian's famous artisanal pralines.

Brussels: Autoworld Museum Ticket

6. Brussels: Autoworld Museum Ticket

Book your admission ticket to Autoworld, the National Automobile Museum located in the heart of Brussels, the capital of Europe. The museum is housed in a historic building that was built in 1880 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kingdom of Belgium. From 1902 to 1936 the building hosted motorcar and motorbike exhibitions, and since 1986 it has featured a major part of Ghislain Mahy’s renowned collection. On permanent display are more than 250 vehicles, ranging from cars and trucks to motorcycles. From the early models of the distant past to contemporary cars, visitors are guided through the motorcar’s fabulous history beginning in the late 19th century. Autoworld is a museum on the move, featuring temporary exhibitions throughout the year that take on various automotive themes. Every 2 years Autoworld organizes a major exhibition within a specific aspect of performance design. Past themes have included Bugatti 100 Years, Belgian Racing Legends, Ferdinand Porsche, Heritage and more recently Italian Car Passion.

Brussels Guided Bike Tour: Highlights and Hidden Gems

7. Brussels Guided Bike Tour: Highlights and Hidden Gems

Head out on a bike to discover Brussels' famous landmarks and hidden gems with the help of your local guide. Explore different neighborhoods of the city and see how they are all distinct and unique. Make a stop along the way to sit down and enjoy a drink at one of the cozy terraces in the city.  Hop on your bike for a great introduction to Brussels and its widely diverse neighborhoods. Pedal past the Marolles, the Fish Market, and the Courthouse, but also some less obvious spots that will offer you a surprising view of the city. Make stop around half-way of the tour and put aside your bicycle to have a short break in a cozy bar or terrace with the group. After, continue to discover more of what Brussels has to offer. 

Brussels: Train World Museum Entrance Ticket

8. Brussels: Train World Museum Entrance Ticket

Access one of the most enchanting museums in Brussels with an entrance ticket to Train World. Located in the old Schaerbeek rail station building, the museum opened in September 2015 and boasts over 8,000 square meters of space. Benefit from a free downloadable Train World app to help you make the most of your visit. Once inside the museum, explore independently and see highlights such as the 19th-century "Pays de Waes" locomotive, the oldest preserved locomotive in continental Europe. Head to the on-site restaurant when you need a break or to enjoy lunch before or after your visit. Experience the warm hospitality of the restaurant and brewery "RN Express" and dine in a unique environment.

Brussels: Fin-de-Siècle & Old Masters Museum Entry Ticket

9. Brussels: Fin-de-Siècle & Old Masters Museum Entry Ticket

Discover the history of Brussels from 1868 to 1914 through its art at the Fin-de-Siècle Museum. See how Brussels developed a reputation as a cultural hotspot during that period. Enjoy the Fin-de-Siècle Museum, located in the heart of Brussels, dedicated to the 1900s, when Brussels was a unique artistic crossroads and the capital of Art Nouveau. The museum hosts paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, photographs, films, models, and decorative objets d'art. Explore works from major art schools such as Impressionism, Symbolism, Wagnerism and Art Nouveau. See works by famous Belgian artists, including James Ensor, Victor Horta, and Henry Van de Velde. Check out the museum's collection of works by foreign artists, such as the great Paul Gauguin, and stay tuned for upcoming special exhibitions.

Tervuren: AfricaMuseum Entry Ticket

10. Tervuren: AfricaMuseum Entry Ticket

Easily accessible by public transportation from Brussels, AfricaMuseum tells the story of human and natural history with a collection of artifacts from the colonial era in central Africa.  Until March 5, 2023, discover the temporary exhibition "EUROPA, Oxalá", which shows the work of 21 European artists and intellectuals whose family origins lie in the former colonies in Africa. These artists, born and raised in a post-colonial context, present a reflection on their heritage, their memories, and their identity. Aiming to objectively frame the art and cultural objects acquired during Belgium's rule in Rwanda and Congo, the museum has undergone extensive renovations and is now open to the public.  Topics of colonial history, sustainable development, and biodiversity are now addressed head-on following the museum's redesign. A curated collection of contemporary art has also been added to paint a fuller picture of Central Africa, past and present. Your entry ticket will give you access to walk the French gardens, browse collections of artifacts that bring the past to life in the remodeled, and see contemporary African art.

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Frequently asked questions about Brussels

What top attractions are a must-see in Brussels?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Brussels?

The best day trips and excursions from Brussels are:

Bruges

Other Sightseeing Options in Brussels

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What people are saying about Brussels

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 2,754 reviews

We bought tickets on January 1st. Even though we had tickets, we had to wait a long time in the cold. However, it is a structure worth seeing, and I really liked the interior.

Both simple and complete, both in terms of "history" and manufacturing processes.

super interesting, fun, we really enjoyed this moment of discovery!

The museum had a unique collection of European early century cars.

This was amazing! What a nice way to visit a city.