You can wander the winding cobblestone streets, or visit the famous sights like the Cathedral of St. Gudele and the elegant shopping arcade, Galeries St-Hubert. Or go to the Comic Strip Museum, housed in a historic Art Nouveau department store.
The main sights in the city centre are the Grand Place, Manneken Pis (the little statue of a boy peeing, it’s the symbol of Brussels), the Atomium, Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark, the Royal Palace or Palais Royale/Koninklijk Paleis, the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral and Musee Magritte Museum.
Bars, restaurants and museums are clustered within the compact city centre, enclosed within the petit ring, which follows the path of the 14th-century city walls. The medieval city is clearly defined by its narrow, labyrinthine streets, making it easy to distinguish the later additions, such as Léopold II’s Parisian-style boulevards (Belliard and La Loi) today lined with embassies, banks and the grand apartments of the bourgeoisie and close to the glitzy new EU quarter.
In the city centre of Brussels you can sample local specialties like fresh waffles, handmade chocolates and Belgian fries, and go to a local cafe where you can try some of the local brews for which Belgium is rightly famous.
Main Squares located in Brussels City Centre
Grand Place or Grote Markt — the main square of Brussels Belgium. It’s surrounded by the city’s Town Hall, the Breadhouse or King’s House (Maison du Roi or Broodhuis) and Flemish town houses. It’s the main tourist destination of the city and surrounded by many great value apartments and hotels such as Residence Grand Place and Best Western Hotel Premier Carrefour de l’Europe.
Mont des Arts or Kunstberg Square — town center square offering the best views of Brussels. On clear days the tower of the Brussels Town Hall at the Grand Place, the Koekelberg Basilica and the Atomium can be seen from the Kunstberg.
Martyrs’ Square — Place des Martyrs or Martelarenplein is a neo classical square close to Brussels most popular shopping street, Rue Neuve or Nieuwstraat.
Place Royale or Koningsplein — King’s Square in the city centre of Brussels dominated by the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg. Other buildings on the square are the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, The Palace of Justice are south of the square, and Brussels’ town hall. At the center of Place Royale is a statue of Godfrey of Bouillon.
Place d’Espagne or Spanjeplein — shopping hub. Jazz concerts are held at the square during the summer months.
La Place de la Monnaie or Muntplein — square between the Bourse and Place de Brouckère.
La place de Brouckère or Brouckèreplein — one of Brussels most prestigious squares and home to a palace, the Hotel Metropole, and the former Eldorado Cinema.
Place de la Bourse or Beursplein — square in front of the Brussels Stock Exchange (BSE). The Beursplein/Place de la Bourse is after the Grand Place, the second most important square in Brussels.