A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Brussels vs. Cancun for Nightlife, Families, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Brussels or Cancun?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Brussels and Cancun. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Brussels

Brussels is a authentic, colorful, and multicultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Cancun

Cancun is a wild, party-hard, and tropical city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Brussels and Cancun: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Brussels or Cancun?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Brussels than Cancun. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Brussels is very popular for its food, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while Cancun attracts visitors for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. Cancun is more touristy than Brussels and is popular for its water sports, white sand beaches, popularity at spring break, and access to Mayan ruins. Brussels is famous for its beautiful architecture, grand squares, diverse population, and delicious waffles. It is also well known for La Grand Place (Grote Markt).

La Grand Place (Grote Markt)
La Grand Place (Grote Markt)

How is Brussels different from Cancun?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Cancun and Brussels. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Brussels or Cancun?

Brussels
Cancun

Both Brussels and Cancun have high quality landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts. The city is filled with impressive architecture, fascinating art museums, and innovative science and technology museums.

Cancun offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. It's possible to do a day trip to visit the impressive Chichén Itzá, but closer by you'll find El Rey Maya Ruins and El Meco Archaeological Site. You can also visit the Maya Museum in town. For something truly unique, you can take a diving or snorkeling trip to the Cancun Underwater Museum.


Is the Food Better in Brussels or Cancun? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Cancun is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Brussels has a huge number of terrific restaurants. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. There are Lebanese, Japanese, and Indian restaurants among others. Popular local dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Cancun area. If you step away from the tourist scene, you'll find some amazing local restaurants that serve authentic and fresh Mexican cuisine. Favorite dishes in the area include tamales, sopa de lima, and tacos al pastor.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Nightlife?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is renowned for nightlife. Also, Brussels is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife and partying.

Cancun is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. It's long been known as a party destination and there are large world famous clubs as well as smaller bars where you can hang out. The party never stops here, so be prepared for all night dancing and drinking, and it will definitely live up to its reputation.

If you're looking for night time activities Brussels has a few options to choose from. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Resorts?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is renowned for its resorts. However, Brussels is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Cancun for its luxury resorts. You'll find most of the accommodation options in the Hotel Zone, which runs along Boulevard Kukulkan. The stretch can be divided into three areas, which each have a slightly different personality.

Brussels is not a resort destination.


Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is renowned for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Brussels is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

People travel from around the world to go scuba diving and snorkeling in Cancun. Beautiful reefs and world class dives make this a popular destination for those who want to explore the undersea world. You'll find plenty of snorkeling and dive excursions in the area with diverse coral and marine life.

Brussels is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Beaches?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is renowned for its beaches. However, Brussels is not a beach destination.

Cancun offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. There are stunning white sand beaches and turquoise blue water that make this a beautiful beach destination. There are miles of sandy coastline with many of the beaches found in the Hotel Zone.

Brussels is not a beach destination.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for its Old Town?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels is a very popular place for its old town. However, Cancun does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Brussels. The old town in the city center is where you'll find the greatest concentration of historic sights. The area is surrounded by tree-lined boulevards and is easy to explore.

Cancun does not have a historic old town.


Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Hiking?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is a good destination for its hiking experiences. However, Brussels is not a hiking destination.

Cancun offers some nice hiking trails. There are some beautiful walking paths and hiking trails that are within the area.

Brussels is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Brussels or Cancun?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, Cancun is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Brussels draws large crowds to its stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Many visitors go to Cancun to go shopping. While most people visit for the beaches and nightlife, there are shopping malls and markets where you can enjoy some retail therapy.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Families?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Brussels is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Cancun is very family-friendly. Although this part of Mexico has long had a reputation for its party scene, the area also attracts many families, who come for the family-friendly resorts, world class snorkeling, and fascinating jungle tours. You can snorkel at the Garrafon Natural Reef Park or have fun on the water slides at Ventura Park. Xel-Ha Park is also worth a visit.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Brussels is very family-friendly. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.


Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Couples?

Brussels
Cancun

Cancun is renowned for romance. Also, Brussels is still popular, but not quite as popular for its romantic activities.

Cancun is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. As a world class honeymoon destination, you'll find stunning white sand beaches, amazing snorkeling and diving, and a huge range of entertainment options. You can enjoy the nightlife scene or check out Cirque du Soleil. Sunset boat cruises and romantic horseback rides all make this an amazing honeymoon destination.

Brussels is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town. There's a vibrant nightlife scene and many diverse restaurants that couples can enjoy exploring.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels and Cancun are high quality places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Many backpackers visit Cancun. Mixed in between the luxury resorts are a few hostels that cater to the backpacker crowd. There are so many activities in the area, from diving to partying, that appeal to the backpacker crowd, that it won't be long before you find your people.

Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Students?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Cancun is not popular with students.

Brussels is very popular with students. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.

Cancun is not popular with students.


Is Brussels or Cancun Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels is renowned for times when you don't have a car. Also, Cancun is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus, and waterbuses.

You'll find some public transit in Cancun, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The buses are an efficient way to get around. They stop along Boulevard Kukulcán and throughout the downtown.

Is Brussels or Cancun a more walkable city?

Brussels
Cancun

Brussels and Cancun both are high quality when exploring on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

Cancun is a very walkable city. The Hotel Zone is where most tourists spend their time, and this area is very walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Brussels Worth Visiting? and Is Cancun Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Cancun or Brussels?

How long in Brussels or Cancun?

Both Brussels and Cancun have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Cancun than in Brussels. Usually, 1-5 days is a good amount of time for Brussels, and 4-7 days is enough time in Cancun.

Families should spend more time in Cancun than Brussels. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cancun, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cancun than Brussels. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cancun that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Brussels than Cancun if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Brussels.


  • How many days in Brussels or Cancun? Ideal Length of Stay
    Brussels 1-5 
    Cancun 4-7

One day in Brussels or Cancun?

Brussels is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

The beautiful city of Cancun offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Brussels or Cancun?

Brussels is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the shopping, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Cancun is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Brussels or Cancun?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Brussels. Don't miss the shopping, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Cancun is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cancun, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Brussels or Cancun?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the colorful big city of Brussels. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Cancun is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cancun has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in Belgium, The Best Luxury Tours to Belgium, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Playa del Carmen, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Cancun.


Which place is cheaper, Cancun or Brussels?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Brussels is €137, while the average daily cost in Cancun is €136. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Brussels and Cancun in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brussels 73
    Cancun 90
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brussels 146
    Cancun 180
Compare Hotels in Brussels and Cancun

Looking for a hotel in Brussels or Cancun? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Brussels


Hotels in Cancun


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Brussels Hotel Prices and Cancun Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brussels 17
    Cancun 16
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • VIP Transfer between Brussels Airport (BRU) and Antwerp: $248
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Brussels HTL-APT(BRU): $81
  • Transfer to Brussels National Airport: $73
  • Transfer from Antwerp <-> Amsterdam Shuttle (1 to 8 Places): $176
  • Transfer Shuttle Leuven <-> Schipol Airport Amsterdam (1 to 8 Places): $176
  • Transfer Shuttle Leuven <-> Amsterdam (1 to 8 Places): $176
  • Transfer Chauffeur Limousines Services: $130
  • Shuttle Transfer Brussels Gare du Midi <-> Ghent (1 to 8 PLACES): $59
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Brussels from/to airport: $61
  • Private Transfers Between Brussels Airport and the City: $108
  • Private Transfer from Brussels to Luxembourg with Luxury car: $236
  • Private Transfer from Brussels to Amsterdam By Luxury car: $273

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cancun

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cancun:


  • Taxi Around Town
    1.54
  • Airport Shuttle (for 2)
    13
  • Ferry to Isla de Mujeres (for 2)
    15
  • Local Bus (for 2)
    1.88

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cancun

Also for Cancun, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer From & To Cancun Hotel Zone: $49
  • Private Transfer to/From Cancun Airpor/Hotel zone: $44
  • Airport Private Transfer Puerto Aventuras: $96
  • Airport Transfer Cancun: $60
  • Airport Transfers to Costa Mujeres - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $211
  • Airport Transfers to Puerto Juarez - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $164
  • Airport Transfers to Puerto Morelos - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $143
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cancun Airport CUN to Cancun by Minivan or Minibus: $34
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cancun Airport CUN to Tulum by Minivan or Minibus: $117
  • Atv Cancun (cenote, Ziplines, Lunch And Transfer Included) : $69
  • Boat Adventure in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve with Transfer from Cancún: $192
  • Buggy Trip in Cozumel Island with transfer from Riviera Maya: $176

Is it cheaper to fly into Brussels or Cancun?

Prices for flights to both Cancun and Brussels change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Brussels 38
    Cancun 26
Typical Food Prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Brussels.

  • Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $28
  • Hard Rock Cafe Brussels with Set Lunch or Dinner : $30
  • City Center Guided Food Tour with Tastings: $62
  • Food Tour in Brussels - Do Eat Better Experience: $107
  • Secret Food Tours Brussels: $126
  • Brussels Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $131
  • Market Tour and Cooking Lesson with a Belgian Gourmet Meal in a Brussels Home: $160
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $164

Typical Food Prices in Cancun

For Cancun, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cancun

For Cancun, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Captain Hook: Pirate Show and Dinner Cruise in Cancun: $46
  • Mayan Chichen Itza And Pirate Dinner Two Day Experience: $57
  • The Ultimate Cancun Taco & Street Mexican Food Tour: $59
  • (2x1 price) Dinner Show and Pirates Experience : $63
  • Cancun Street Food Tour with Food Stalls, Local Market and Murals: $64
  • Puerto Morelos Walking Food Tour: $71
  • Guided Cancun Local Mexican Food Tour: $71
  • Cooking Show & Tequila Tasting: $77
  • Cancun Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $78
  • Cancun Hands-On Mexican Cooking Class : $79
  • Mexican Cooking Class with fresh Local Market ingredients selection and transpor: $79
  • Columbus Romantic Dinner in Cancún: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brussels 23
    Cancun 32

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Beer Tasting Tour in Brussels: $24
  • Brussels Walking Tour with Waffle Tasting: History and Delights: $23
  • Walking Tour with Audio Guide on App: $7.33
  • Christmas Gems of Brussels - Walking Tour: $263
  • 2 Hours Walking Tour in Brussel: $33
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour in the templar village of Lissewege: $77
  • 3 Hour Private Bike Tour in Brussels: $200
  • 4 Hour Private Tour in Brussels : $275
  • 600 Years of History and Heritage: A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Leuven: $7.99
  • A Self-Guided Tour of Brussels' Secret Places and Untold Stories: $5.99
  • A Self-Guided Tour of From Medieval to Modern Times: $8.99
  • A Self-Guided Tour of Medieval to Modern Times: $7.99

Typical Entertainment Prices in Cancun

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cancun's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Seasick Pills
    0.55
  • Whale Shark Tour (for 2)
    94

Tours and Activities in Cancun

For Cancun, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Visit to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen + Shopping Tour: $7.45
  • ATV Jungle Adventure with Ziplines, Cenote Transportation Included: $8.00
  • Tour to Kin Ha Cenotes with Craft Jewelry Workshop : $10
  • Guided Walking Tour of the Punta Cancun Lighting Tower: $15
  • Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun: $17
  • Cancun Lighthouse Tour with Cenote Tour and Shopping Tour: $20
  • Best ATV & Mavericks Experience in Cancun + Cenote + Zip Lines : $20
  • Explore Tulum, Coba, Cenote, Playa del Carmen full day 4x1 tour: $22
  • Day Tour to Isla Mujeres Catamarán with Unlimited Drinks: $22
  • Chichén Itzá Marvels Day Trip:Cenote Oxman & Valladolid Adventure: $25
  • Adrenaline day in Cancun, Atvs, Ziplines and Cenote experience in the best park!: $25
  • ATV, Ziplines and Cenote swim full experience from Cancún : $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brussels 13
    Cancun 12
Typical Alcohol Prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl - Nightlife & Party Experience: $18
  • Pub Crawl and Nightlife Party Experience: $18
  • Beer Yoga at Tipsy Tribe Brewery & Distillery: $23

Sample the Local Flavors in Cancun

Also in Cancun, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Social Pub Crawl in Cancun: $34
  • Small Group EkBalam Pink Lakes Cenote and Tequila Distillery Tour: $287


When comparing the travel costs between Brussels and Cancun, we can see that Brussels is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Even though Brussels is in Europe and Cancun is in North America, both of these destinations have relatively similar prices of travel. Generally, the levels of luxury and expenses are the same for these cities even though they are geographically far apart.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Brussels Expensive? and Is Cancun Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Brussels or Cancun?

Brussels has a larger population, and is about 88% larger than the population of Cancun. When comparing the sizes of Brussels and Cancun, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.