A Different Take on Brussels
Even though Brussels is a small city, there are a TON of little hidden gems for you to see. You can live there for years and still not see all of the weird little museums, neat parks, and fantastic drinking spots for you to enjoy.
Sure, everyone knows about the main attractions at the center of the city, but the further out you go, more and more little hidden treasures can be found around every corner -- usually only known by the locals.
Read on for our list of the best lesser-known things to see and do in Brussels.
Take A Stroll Down the Comic Strip Route
Many people have no idea that Brussel's has a rich and vibrant history with comic books. The famous city may actually have somewhat of a love affair with art and graphic art in general (most of which can be seen at the Brussels Comic MuseumLink opens in a new tab). The thing is, the museum is a main attraction for the city, while the comic strip route remains surprisingly lesser-known. You'll find Tintin art all over the strip, of course, but there are all kinds of art all over that's a real treat to witness.
Go Bargain Hunting at Les Marolles Flea Market
The days of massive flea market shopping are all but dead in most parts of the world, but the labyrinthian Les Marolles Flea Market is anything but dead. It's an incredible place to find a great deal on second-hand items of any kind: books, antiques, furniture, art, electronics, and even newer items that were recently discarded. If you're a bargain shopper and love to pick up little knick-knacks at low prices, this is one place you don’t want to miss.
Take in The Belgian Architecture at The Horta Museum
The Horta MuseumLink opens in a new tab is hands down one of the best demonstrations of classical Belgian architecture in Brussels. This art nouveau structure is absolutely breathtaking, and a surprising number of tourists never even hear about it. It was originally built by the famous Belgian architect, Victor Horta, but was turned into a museum to put his legendary talents on full display.
This place is pretty incredible to witness. The colors, contour, and structure design are truly masterful. Even if you're not into art or architecture, this place is worth a visit.
It's widely known that Brussels is one of the most diverse cities in the worst, with over 175 languages spoken there. The Matongé quarter is absolutely full of African-inspired architecture and culture, in large part due to many colonial ties with various African nations throughout Belgium's history. The shops have rich, vibrant colors and designs that stand completely out from the rest of Brussels. There is also a multitude of awesome bars you can go have a good time at. This is an area we don't think you should miss.
Beer Drinking at Parvis De St. Gilles
You really haven't gone off of the main beaten path until you go out and experience the area around St. Gilles. If you're a big beer drinker or love to have a good time, this is without a doubt one of the most fun places in the city. There are traditional Belgian watering holes around every corner, with the church of St. Gilles sitting right in the center of the square. This area is also known for its cafes, so you can begin your day at Café Maison du PeupleLink opens in a new tab and then go from there.
Explore Parc Duden
This luscious, green park is actually one of the oldest that exists within the city. Many of the locals consider it the best park in Brussels because it misses a lot of the tourist traffic the other parks get. It's filled with gorgeous buildings, such as the Duden Park Chateau, and is littered with little lakes for you to enjoy. This park is also filled with hills that go as high as 300 ft, so it's a very different experience than the other parks in the city.
Have a Night On The Town in Flagey
This part of the city actually has as many as 10 roads that all lead straight to it, and its nightlife is some of the most lively and exciting in Brussels. The square exhibits a near art-deco style and there are a bunch of great bars speckled all over the place so you can enjoy some great Belgian beer. There are also several music halls, cinemas, and a Flagey weekend market that has some of the best fresh produce money can buy. You'd be hard-pressed to find anything better to do at night than hang out in Flagey.
Check out La Belladone
This is a relatively small area, but there are still a host of good bars that seem like they're stuck in time right from the 1920s. Many of the restaurants have dark wood and copper trim furniture which is an impressive aesthetic not seen in most other parts of the city. Sipping a cocktail just feels right in one of the bars here. If you're bored of the same old, same old, you should check La Belladone out. This is another local favorite, so make yourself at home and enjoy a pleasant night with the locals.