Travel Guide to a Weekend in Brussels

Nestled within the heart of Europe, Brussels is a city that captivates the senses with its rich history, artistic treasures, and an irresistible fusion of flavors. If you thought Brussels was boring you would be very wrong. This travel Guide to a Weekend in Brussels will help you unravel the charm of Brussels so you can pack it all in!

Rooftop bar in Brussels sunset over the city
Rooftop 58

Renowned for inventing the french fries, some of the most exquisite chocolates, and of course its waffles. The Belgian capital is a haven for foodies. But that’s not all – Brussels doesn’t just tantalize your taste buds; there is a feast for the eyes with eclectic architecture, famous art and of course the statue of the peeing boy! Plus the city boasts being home to the largest rooftop bar in Europe. So let’s go…

Gardens in Brussels with building behind
Botanic Gardens Brussels

Getting to Brussels

The airport is north of the city and about half an hour by car. Or there is a brilliant metro system. I came by train from London into the Eurostar terminal. It was about 20 minutes drive or 10 minutes on the metro direct to our hotel.

Brussels sign at Eurostar woman pointing at it

Hotel in Brussels

We had quite specific requirements for our hotel. Close to the city, not too blow out but also a bit boujee and with a triple bed room. A large room with no rollaway bed nonsense. I found the Hotel Indigo just north of the city that also lead straight to the shopping district. (That was a coincidence!) And just a few minutes walk is the rooftop bar, Tope (not a coincidence!)

Hotel Indigo in Brussels jungle lobby
Hotel Indigo jungle lobby

Triple room or not, this hotel was fantastic and I would stay here again without the need for the specialist room. Cute lounge and bar area. Great staff and a jungle themed area by each floors lifts! Complete with sound effects! The rooms were large, and beds comfy. Perfect for a weekend.

What food to eat in Brussels?

Where to eat the best waffles in Brussels

Waffle in Brussself
Waffle from Wolf Food court

Waffles: The standard breakfast at many a US household but in Belgium they serve as a on the go snack!! For the most famous of this fluffy pastry wonders head to Maison Dandoy.

Maison Dandoy shop for waffles

They have been making waffles since 1829 so they know their stuff! You just have to choose what kind – Liège or Brussels waffle? Liege are soft, squigy and syrupy. The classic ‘Brussels waffles’ are the square and crispy ones that contain almost double more sugar! I mean, I suggest both!!

Waffles in Brussels

And if you are like me and restricted being GF then a stones throw from this famous shop you can find Maison de Crepes – that have GF ones!!

The Best fries in Brussels

Giant statue of fries at La Friterie

French fries move over … they have been stealing the limelight when actually these potato pieces originate in Belgium. Apparently American soldiers mistook being in Belgium for France. I think it was someone who liked alliteration! Either way they have traced back to 1600’s and make sure you don’t just buy any fries while you are here. Not all are made equal!

Portion of fries in newspaper cone in Brussels

You need the triple fried, in a cone with Mayo for the true experience! New York Times dubbed Masion Antonine as the best in the world! But there’s lots of places – namely all the ones with queues!! Frit Flagey, Fritland or Friterie Tabora to name a few! (The latter is open throughout the night for those needing a post partying snack!)

Wolf food court

Dim sum from the Wolf food market in Brussels
Dim Sum at Wolf Food Market

If you can’t decide what to eat and especially if it’s a rainy day, head to the Wolf Food Court. Here you will find all the food choices from sushi to burgers, sangria to the best chocolate brownies. 17 restaurants all all set in a relaxed atmosphere with outstanding and surprising food.

Jars of juice at wolf food market
Cocktails and mocktails at Wolf Food Market

Belgium beer

Due to being GF I don’t drink beer as finding GF options is tricky. But for beer lovers you want to come to Brussels. Renowned for their beer with even a beer festival in September you will be spoilt for choice

The best breakfast in Brussels

Cafe in Brussels called Creme
Creme cafe

I had researched intensively the best breakfast in Brussels. Repeatedly Chicago and Crème kept coming up. But the former was not open the weekend we went, Crème it was. No reservation, aussie inspired catering for all dietary requirements. This seemed to be the locals choice. And sure enough it was packed by 10.30! Frustratingly they didn’t have GF bread in and I was craving eggs on toast but there were alternatives.

3 plates of breakfast at Creme cafe in Brussels
Creme breakfast

Cafe Tiere, Chez Franz and Wild Lab all were strong runners up should we have been there longer. I also had seen Albert rooftop offered an all you can eat buffet brunch. But we stopped by for a coffee and it was a small selection, no atmosphere and a little disappointing. Could have been it was forecast to rain but I was advised to book just a day or so before and clearly there was no need.

Yellow chairs on albert rooftop in Brussels
Albert rooftop bar

Best chocolate shop in Brussels

Chocoholics buckle up … Brussels is may just be your mecca! There are the fanciest of chocolate shops on every corner of the cobbled streets of Brussels. There’s chocolate making classes, tours, a museum and even a factory! Channeling Willy Wonka’s obsession you will be in chocolate heaven!

Chocolate museum poster

But for the most famous chocolate shop want to head to Neuhaus. Jean Neuhaus started covering his medicines with chocolate to make it more palatable. A spoon full of sugar really did help the medicine go down! Later in 1912, his grandson replaced the medicine with sugar fillings and this is how the praline was invented. If you are wanting to sample these or just get as gifts then theres actually a few shops scattered about the city. If you are bulk buying and have time, jump on the metro and head to their outlet shop about 40 minutes on the metro for some cheaper Neuhaus chocolate!

Neuhaus chocolate shop in Brussels

Out of the vast array of other chocolate shops I headed for ‘Mary’s‘ Chocolatier. Mainly as my god daughter is called Mary and it was her birthday a few days later. But also supporting women in the workplace, Mary was the first female-owned chocolatier. I mean what other chocolate shop would give you a plastic bag to protect your gift bag from the incoming rain!

Gift bag from Marys chocolates with a plastic bag to protect from the rain in Brussels
Mary gift bag

The other famous chocolates you will probably know of are Godvia or Gillian but you can buy them at home, in the supermarket. So not as special to bring back.

Street in Brussels with flowers on the building Pierre Marcolini
Pierre Marcolini choclate shop


This is definitely a destination for a weekend of purchases! Aside the chocolate shops, you will want to head to Rue Neuve. This is full of all your high street stores for guilt free shopping as foreign money isn’t real money! 😉

Rue Neuve shopping street in Brussels

For a true shopaholic make your way to the more high end shopping arcade at Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. Reminded me of the Queen Victoria building in Sydney – both beautiful buildings but this one was built in 1847 almost 40 years before the Sydney one. Which makes it is one of the first shopping arcades to be built in Europe. So a purchase here is a true perfect souvenir!

Galleries Royales Saint Hubert building

Culture in Brussel

Grand Palace

This UNESCO World Heritage site is an absolute must. Even if you aren’t interested in visiting the palace, the area it is set in is exquisite. As you enter the square the sheer magnitude of this royal home takes your breath away. The sun catches the gold of this magnificent building and the light dances on the square below.

Gran Palace in Brussels

As it was drizzling by the time we got there the photo’s don’t do it justice. It is also host to the Brussels Christmas markets and I can imagine it would be a winter wonderland of magic. Especially with all those chocolates and waffles!

Comic book graffiti art

Graffiti by Greg and Dany in Brussels
Graffiti by grey and Dany

This art form covers a huge part of the city and is renowned for it. Who knew! I didn’t. Home to some famous comic strips including TinTin and The Smurfs! You can do organised tours to see all the graffiti really reminded me of the lanes in Melbourne.

Magritte Museum

Magritte art in Brussels

Belgium born surrealist artist, Magritte was ironically the artist I focused on for my art GCSE. So was extra special to see some of his work. His museum is over near the Albert rooftop and you will see art on buildings in homage to him. This is the arty area of Brussels.

King Albert statue in Brussels
King Albert that the roofrop bar is named after

Meyboom parade

If you are planning a trip to Brussels in the summer then be sure to time it with the Meyboom Parade on August 9th. We were a week early but there was a preview parade that was every kind of weird!

Meyboom parade - characters on stilts
Meyboom paracde

The costumes are a wonder and the tradition to be admired. Starting in 1213 this parade is to celebrate a victory over a neighbouring city, Leuven, though the reason is now folk law! A tree has to be planted by 5pm between Rue des Sables and the Rue du Marais or the victory returns to Leuven!

Manneken Pis

When I read that a statue of a peeing boy was one of Brussels main attractions I thought they really are scraping the barrel! But sure enough this statue attracts huge crowds. Renowned as a legend for peeing on explosives and saving the city a statue was built in his honour.

Manneken Pis statue
Manneken Pis statue

The novelty of visiting this statue also lies in seeing what costume you will find him in! He’s had over 900 and his own website. The area the statue is set in is one the busiest I found in Brussels – graffiti, bars named after him and even a shop! Getting the pic is definitely an Instagram V reality moment! But a weekend travel guide of Brussels wouldn’t be complete without suggesting adding this pic to your memories.

people infront of Manneken Pis statue.
Insta V reality at Manneken Pis

But not to be sexist we now have Jeanneke-Pis – a young girl one and Het Zinneke – a dog peeing statue!

Jeanneke-Pis -

Rooftop bars in Brussels

Brussels sets the scene for stunning sunsets and an eclectic mix of historical landscapes and modern architecture. The bars tend to come alive at night with the usual mix of boujee, party and chill most capital cities provide. But it also boasts a rooftop claim to fame for the recently open ’58’ which is the largest rooftop bar in Europe. To read more click here.

Rooftop bar view in Brussels
Rooftop 58

Is Brussels Boring?

I had mix reactions when I said we were headed for a girls weekend in Brussels in August. Namely, isn’t it boring? And that’s not very summery! But what I found was the opposite. Well the weather was hit and miss! But Brussels turned out to be a shopaholics, chocoholics, foodaholics beeraholic and rooftopaholic’s dream! (Yes they are words 🤔) And if you like to dance into the wee hours, can highly recommend our spontaneous visit to ‘Roosters’! Recommended by our waiter … the weekend was anything but boring. How could it have been when it started with a bath full of rubber ducks on a secret rooftop bar!

Secret rooftop by Warwick with rubber ducks in a bath!
Secret Roofop by Warwick