Brussels, Belgium is truly a one-of-a-kind place with a flair of its own. Its architecture ranges from Gothic to modern, its citizens are from all over the world, and it’s jam-packed with everything from cafes to museums to pubs in every direction. A genuine melting pot in every sense of the word, the capital city of Brussels is a prime travel destination—even if you’re traveling alone!
That being said, it can be a pricy destination to explore, but there are ways to soak in all its quirky delight without killing your budget. So if you were planning on skipping out on a trip to Brussels for fear of ruining your wallet, this article is for you. Here’s how to enjoy a solo adventure in Brussels.
1. Explore the stunning art in Horta Museum | Adults: €10 | Students: €5
Art aficionados, don’t miss out on the home and workspace of Victor Horta. He was the renowned Belgian architect who essentially pioneered the transfer of Art Nouveau to the world of architecture with his Hôtel Tassel. His home was transformed into Horta Museum from 1898 to 1901 and hosts stunning artwork, furniture, mosaics, and more designed by Horta himself. You don’t have to have a passion for art to appreciate the beauty found within these walls.
2. Take some selfies with the Manneken Pis | Free
This is both a serious and an entertaining suggestion, and it’s safe to say that tourists everywhere agree. The Manneken Pis is a small statue of a little boy peeing (its Dutch translation) and has brought a good laugh to many. You might even get to see if all dressed up in a new outfit when you visit, which is just another good reason to get a selfie with the little guy.
P.S. this statue really is small, so don’t be disappointed!
3. Marvel in the walls of the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral | Free
There’s nothing like walking through the silent, elegant halls of a long-standing cathedral, and the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral is no exception. This stunning church is cloaked in Gothic architecture with a simple yet still intricate design. Marvel at its towering, stone exterior, and the skilled décor within, from the vibrant stained-glass windows to the baroque Maes Chapel.
4. Treat yourself to a ridiculous waffle at the Waffle Factory | €1-€3
Got a sweet tooth? Satisfy the craving with the mouthwatering (and creative) waffles at the Waffle Factory. These delicious treats are made fresh in-house, so you don’t have to worry about getting a long-frozen ego for your money. Whether you want a waffle decadently coated in Nutella and strawberries or a simpler ordeal featuring a dusting of powdered sugar, you’ll be in sweet-tooth heaven.
5. Explore the lively Grand Place | FREE
You could quite possibly fill your entire stay in Brussels by exploring the Grande Place. This cobblestone market square is the heart of Brussels, bustling with tourists and locals alike. It’s encompassed by breathtaking century-old, historic buildings that loom high above the ground in elaborate splendor. Strong guildhalls boasting decorative golden accents have their own flair as they symbolize various mercantile trades, from butchers to tailors to swordsmiths. The Town Hall—or Hôtel de Ville—stands out with its bold Gothic design, 315-foot bell tower, and incredible statues of saints and other notable figures. Trust us, you’ll have plenty of architectural eye candy to marvel at. But there’s more still.
Classic cafes are sprinkled throughout the square, along with bars, restaurants, and delectable chocolate shops. Indulge in an authentic, chocolatey masterpiece, or enjoy a rich coffee and fresh sandwich for lunch as you people watch amid the Grand Place.
6. The Atomium | Adults: €12 | Students: €8
Whether you want an incredibly cool view or want an experience like no other, make sure to venture to the Atomium. This stunning attraction is many things, among which it is a mind-blowing sculpture as well as an exhibition center. Standing at a towering 328 feet, the Atomium is made of stainless steel and resembles the structure of an atom. It was built in 1958 for the World Fair, but people were so enamored by it that it became a permanent attraction. Don’t feel like spending your money? Just standing before it and gazing at its structure will leave you in awe. But if you’re willing to shell out 8 to 12 euros, you’ll get an unbeatable panoramic view of Brussels from the upper sphere and interactive history lessons about Brussels, the Atomium, and more. All of that for €12? We’re in.
7. Try a new beer (or multiple) at Delirium Café | Price Varies
Last but certainly not least is heading to the beloved Delirium Café for some fantastic beer tasting. This quirky place has officially held the Guinness World Record for the most beers since the year 2004. Where else do you have almost 2,500 beers to choose from? Don’t miss an adventure here to taste something you won’t get anywhere else!
We get it: travel can be expensive, and it’s not always fun alone. Hopefully, this brief list has shown you the plentiful things there are to do in Brussels that you can enjoy on your own, and without going over budget. Whether you’re looking to experience authentic Belgian cuisine or take in the beauty of the extraordinary architecture, it’s all possible at a reasonable price. So put Brussels back on your list and get planning!