Always on time

Tours Brussel

Explore the historic center of Brussels and see many attractions such as the Grand Palace, Manneken Pis and the Place de la Bourse. See the impressive historical architecture that Brussels is known for and learn about the interesting history of this city. Then drive to the Jubilee Park to enjoy the sight of the Triumphal Arch. Here you will also have the opportunity to take a break and eat something before your guide takes you to the famous Atomium. At the end of the day, your driver will take you back to the hotel. Since it is a private tour, everything is very flexible and we can adapt the tour to your needs.

The Magritte Museum is part of the Museum of Fine Arts and has a separate entrance. René Magritte was a surrealist painter who died in Brussels (Schaerbeek) in 1967. A typical feature is the text he wrote on his paintings, the most famous of which is probably “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe), although he did paint a pipe.

His main goal was to make the viewer think about art and surrealism. This museum contains more than 200 works by Magritte, the largest collection in the world of this painter. Are you an art fan? Then you should definitely have visited this museum!

The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe ter Kapellekerk, shortly known as Kapellekerk at the end of the Hoogstraat, has a gothic appearance. Especially notice the somewhat distinctive west tower that seems unfinished. What is certain is that it has Baroque features.

The tomb of Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Earlier in the 12th century a Romanesque chapel stood on this spot. When construction of a church began in the early 13th century, the church was immediately given the somewhat atypical name Kapelle church. It has always been the church for the workers from the Marolles. Inside you will find beautiful sculptures but the showpiece is the modest tomb of the painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569), who spent his last years in the Marolles neighbourhood. Above it you could have seen an original Rubens, but it is a copy. A priest apparently needed money in 1765 because he sold the original artwork.

In the 14th century, Brussels had two city walls with numerous city gates. When the walls were demolished in the middle of the 18th century, this Hallepoort was the only city gate that was spared. This was because at that time it housed a prison. In addition to its military defensive function, the Hallepoort was later used as a storage depot for weapons, a shelter for the homeless, a granary, even as a Lutheran church and therefore also as a prison.

The Royal Museums of Art and History

The Hall Gate received its Gothic exterior appearance in 1870. Now the Hallepoort houses a branch of the royal Museums of Art and History. On several floors of the museum you get the full story of the Brussels city walls (construction, defense, demolition…) with enlightening explanations and maps. A separate room displays objects about the Brussels guilds, ethnology and folklore. The cradle of Philip the Handsome (father of Charles V) is on display.

Gorgeous panorama

A nice extra to this visit is the possibility to discover a unique panoramic view over Brussels. After 170 steps via a bluestone staircase, you arrive at a platform with a 360° view of the city. Info signs with photos help you locate the various places and sights. Unique, surprising and a very worthwhile experience.
Every first Wednesday of the month you can visit the museum in the Porte de Hal for free (from 13h)..

The eternally scaffolded Justice Palace was designed in the 19th century by architect Joseph Poelaert. The Brussels architect (1817-1879) drew up numerous plans for buildings in the city: Palace of Justice, Church of Saint Catherine, Congress Column, Théâtre de la Monnaie, etc. The inhabitants of the Marolles neighbourhood gave him the unflattering nickname of “Skieven Architect”. A corruption of “chief architect” or was it more to highlight his role in the forced expropriations?

One of the largest courthouses in Europe

The Palace of Justice is one of the largest buildings of its kind in Europe. It was erected on the highest point of the city, on the site where criminals were strung up on the gallows hill. It was built for 20 years. To give you an idea of its size. The Palace of Justice covers an area of some 26 000 m² or some 3 soccer pitches.

The Egmont Park (1.5 ha) belongs to the former Egmont Palace and dates from the beginning of the last century. It is an oasis of peace in this busy part of Brussels. You can get as close as the gates at the back to get a good view of the stately Egmont Palace, but you won’t get any further. In a corner of this park you can still see a vaulted well from the 15th century (the Groote Pollepel). If you want to have a terrace in a quiet green place in Brussels, now is the time.

The Egmont Palace

The Egmont Palace was built in the 16th century by order of the family of the Count of Egmont. It was already thoroughly rebuilt a century later. What you see now dates from the 18th and 19th centuries. It cannot be visited and is used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has offices across the street.

The Royal Palace of Brussels is not the residence of the king, it is the place where he receives visitors. When he is in the country, the Belgian tricolor is also flying. The Palace is an amalgamation of many buildings whose current appearance dates from the early 20th century.

You can visit this palace from a few days after the National Day until early September.

The Park of Brussels or Warande Park is very crowded: it is a targeted passage for many commuters going from the Central Station to their workplace. But you will also find many ordinary park visitors.

From hunting ground to park

The area was the former hunting ground of successive castle lords. The Burgundian dukes came here to hunt wild boar, deer and other game. The current park has an area of 13 ha. The central walkway connects the Royal Palace with the Palace of the Nation, which houses the Federal Parliament of Belgium.

TheBelgian Chamber of Representatives or Paleis der Natie, as the building is officially called, can be visited in groups. As an individual visitor, you can visit it on July 21. This building dates back to the 18th century and was first used as the local seat of government. On days when the federal parliament is working you can see some well-known politicians entering and leaving here.

Different architectural styles influenced the appearance of the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula, Gothic and Baroque being the main ones. This church gained particular fame at the funeral of King Baudouin and the wedding of Prince Philip and Princess Mathilde. The wedding ceremony coincided with the end of the years of restoration of the cathedral.

The meridian of Brussels

Through this church runs the meridian of Brussels. Fortunately, the cathedral is not enclosed by buildings so you can enjoy the aura of this monument. You can go in and out freely outside of worship times..

10. Galeries of Saint Hubert

Built in 1846 by Pieter Cluysenaer, the St. Hubertus Galleries were far ahead of their time and are still the most beautiful in the city. On the ground floor you will find all kinds of luxury stores such as Delvaux, Neuhaus and on the side of the Grasmarkt Tilquin with a beautiful collection of knives in the window. In Cinema Arenberg movies are still being played. Hunger or thirst can be satisfied in the Taverne du Passage or Mokafee. On the upper floors are (coveted) apartments.

A royal name

In homage to the royal house, the galleries were given royal names:the stretch east of the rue des Bouchers became Koningsgalerij, the stretch west Koninginnegalerij and the short stretch connecting the Koningsgalerij to the rue des Predikheren, Prinsengalerij. The gallery was originally called Sint-Hubertuspassage, in October 1965 it received its current name: Royal St. Hubertus Galleries.

11.Royal Coin Theatre

The Koninklijke Muntschouwburg or simply the Mint is very austere unlike other 19th century buildings. The Mint was first built in the early 19th century. It came on the site of the theater ‘De Munte’, built in 1700, named after the mint butcher’s shop that used to be located there. Since 1854, the pediment has been embellished with the semi-elevated sculpture The Harmony of Passions by Eugeen Simonis.

The Mute of Portici

The Mint immediately played an important role in the history of Belgium. The performance of La Muette de Portici on 26 August 1830 triggered the Belgian uprising and its eventual independence. Even before the end of the performance, the spectators stormed out of the room to put into practice the rebellion enacted in the play. Riots broke out, fires were set and barricades were erected. However, it would take until September 24 for the revolution to truly break out. The rest of the story is national history.

12.Stock Exchange

The 19th-century building of the Beurs can only be visited in groups. Nevertheless, it’s worth stopping and admiring the many figures and sculptures that decorate the Stock Exchange, made by artists such as the Jacquet brothers, Guillaume de Groot, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and his then novice assistant Auguste Rodin. Since 2015, Euronext Brussels is no longer in the stock exchange building (they relocated to the Marquis building) and it is therefore planned that this beautiful building will be given a new use.

The Belgian and his beer

The winning idea was a beer museum (also because market research showed that a 46% percent of tourists would like to visit a beer museum).

, the female counterpart of Manneken Pis, was placed in 1987 by local merchants to attract customers in the Faithful Corridor. You can visit this statue if you come near the Beenhouwerstraat.

Manneken Pis is the symbol of Brussels and even Belgium. The original statue dates back to the 17th century and can be found in the Museum of Brussels (Bread House). The Manneken has been through a lot: he has been kidnapped many times, damaged, … That is why a few copies were made and the original (although there is still a lot of controversy about this) statue now ‘lives’ in the Bread House.

Outfit change

In the meantime, the statue also has its own museum, GardeRobe Manneken Pis. Here you can find all the costumes that the statue has already worn. There are now more than 1000 costumes and each year the statue is dressed about 130 times in a different costume. The costumes have to relate to one of the following themes: origin, famous people, sports figures, charities, professions, folklore or designers.

The Grand Place of Brussels is the top attraction of the city. On the square you can find numerous guild houses, many of which have been converted into cozy cafes and restaurants. The Grand Place is also regularly converted for events such as the Christmas nativity scene and the flower carpet.

High Tower

The attention on the square is mainly drawn by the 96 meter high tower of the City Hall. The oldest parts of the town hall date from the 15th century but most of what you see is from the 18th century.
Furthermore, on the Grote Markt you will also find the Broodhouse. Here you can find the Museum of the City of Brussels. There you will find more information about the history of the city and also numerous works of art that have a link with Brussels. Here you will also find the original Manneken Pis.

Maison des Brasseurs

In the Maison des Brasseurs you can learn all about the production of beer. Besides an information center, the Maison des Brasseurs is also the headquarters of the Association of Belgian Brewers.

The Atomium is the 165 billion times enlarged representation of an iron atom. It was the main attraction at the 1958 World’s Fair. No one imagined that it would become a national symbol. It is about 100 meters high and now houses temporary and permanent exhibitions. A fast elevator takes you to the top floor and then you can descend further by escalators.The upper sphere houses a restaurant.

Our tip: Buy your tickets to the Atomium online and skip the queues, that way you can go straight in without waiting.

17.Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Tower

The Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower are of course visited in the first place for their typical architectural style. The Japanese Tower is located on the other side of the Jules Van Praetlaan, but has the same entrance as the Chinese Pavilion. Contrary to what you might think, these are not from a Brussels World’s Fair. Leopold II, the king who gave Brussels a different look, bought them at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900.

No longer accessible

You can still admire the buildings from the outside, but unfortunately they are no longer accessible for security reasons. Some masterpieces from the collection of Chinese export porcelain were exhibited in the China rooms of the Cinquantenaire Museum.

18.Royal Greenhouses

Every year the Royal Greenhouses are open to the public for a short period. It was Leopold II who erected these buildings here. This glass complex consists of several glass buildings that not only contain plants, but are also used for events of the royal family. Every year, the opening of the greenhouses is a big crowd puller.

19.Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Laeken

The Royal Palace is inhabited by King Philip, already from after the death of King Baudouin, as his father King Albert II continued to live in the Belvedere Palace. Unlike the Palace of Brussels, this is a residential palace. The Palace de Laeken dates back to before the independence of Belgium. However, the building was largely destroyed in a fire at the end of the 19th century. After its restoration, it was expanded.

The Planetarium is located between Bruparck and the Heysel Stadium. An unforgettable projection of the starry sky awaits you. It is a fairly recent building (1970s) with several exhibition halls.