Planning a 2 days in Brussels itinerary? Heck yeah, you are since Brussels is a compact, super walkable city that is brimming over with fun things to do.
Therefore, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re short on time and can only spend the weekend in Brussels.
And trust me, you won’t run out of cool and unusual things to do in Brussels.
After all, this city is wonderfully historic, with plenty of beer, waffles, chocolate, and Belgian fries to keep you satisfied during this Brussels 2 day itinerary.
Trust me, I should know. I come back to Brussels every chance I get and am always finding new places to explore and new foods to try.
I mean, at this point I think I’ve been to Brussels at least 10+ times – whether for 24 hours in Brussels or a full week.
So, put the overly generic, AI-generated two days in Brussels itinerary away and check out this mega epic insider’s guide instead.
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After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves
Best Time to Visit Brussels in 48 Hours
Do you know how you quickly realize after 24 hours in London that the weather is a bit crap?
Well, it’s kind of the same thing in Brussels. Because on the whole, the weather is dark, gray, cloudy, and rainy. BLECH.
However, if you’re looking for bright, sunny skies then the best time to visit Brussels is in the summer.
That being said, good weather = peak tourist season and high prices.
Alternatively, if you want to save some money, avoid the crowds, and enjoy drier/warmer weather then the best time to visit Brussels is during shoulder season.
Typically, that’s any time in April, May, September, and October. So, visit during that time and enjoy an epic 48 hours in Brussels itinerary.
Pro Tip: Late November and all of December are great times to visit Brussels since there are tons of winter events (aka Winter Wonders) and Christmas Markets to enjoy.
Just be aware that it will be crowded, cold, and pricey. So, brace yourself if you visit at this time of year.
Getting Around During Your Brussels 2 Day Itinerary
What you’ll quickly realize during your two days in Brussels itinerary is that Brussels is a stunning, compact city that is easy to get around.
Therefore, walking is a great way to visit the city’s top attractions during your 48 hours in Brussels itinerary.
In fact, the only Brussels landmarks that you’ll have a hard time walking to are Atomium, Mini Europe, and the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur.
And that’s where Brussels’ incredible public transportation system comes in mighty handy since there are plenty of buses, trams, and metro lines for you to use.
Just purchase a MOBIB Basic card. Next, choose between either individual or multi-trip options with the option to select 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour tickets.
You can then access these services at major stations like Bruxelles-Midi or Brussel Zuid, Bruxelles Central or Brussel Centraal, and Bruxelles Nord or Brussel Noord.
Plus, if you fly into Zaventem Airport then you can actually take a quick train into the city center.
Pro Tip: Traffic in Brussels can be pretty awful and really slow you down. That’s why I would not recommend the hop-on hop-off bus here.
Where to Stay During Your 2 Days in Brussels Itinerary
Not sure where to stay in Brussels 🍺? My pick is MEININGER Hotel Bruxelles City Center. It’s centrally located with a mix of dorms and private rooms that appeal to everyone.😃
With so many hotels to choose from, figuring out where to stay during your 48 hours in Brussels itinerary can be a real challenge.
However, use my handy insider’s guide to select the perfect Brussels hotel for you, regardless of your budget.
- Sleep Well Youth Hostel (budget) – This sleek, refined hostel feels more like a boutique hotel than an actual hostel. So, expect lovely, modern designs that are coupled with great prices. Additionally, this place is run by a not-for-profit organization, is well-located, and offers great free walking tours as well as a decent Continental breakfast.
- MEININGER Hotel Bruxelles City Center (mid-range) – Located in a former brewery, this central hotel offers stunning views of Canal Bruxelles-Charleroi. Rooms are also a mixture of dorms and private rooms with modern decor. Additionally, breakfast is available for a fee) and there’s a lovely, modern, industrial-style bar on-site.
- The Dominican (Luxury) – Just a 6-minute walk from the Grand Place, this amazing, contemporary hotel sits inside a historic, 17th-century building. Plus, rooms are well-appointed with quirky decor, flatscreen TVs, and Nespresso machines. Just don’t leave before using the sauna and visiting their restaurant with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows.
Best 2 Days in Brussels Itinerary
I know 2 days never seems like enough time in any major city. However, if you plan your 48 hours in Brussels itinerary well, you should be able to see all of the city’s major highlights.
So, you’ll begin your two days in Brussels itinerary by exploring the historic city center.
You’ll then check out epic spots like the Quarter des Quais and the European Quarter before moving to the outer edge of the city.
Day 1 of Brussels 2 day Itinerary
Okay, I know I have a lot planned on day one. And yes, it may seem a bit daunting. But, Brussels is a capital that is easy to walk around. Therefore, it is possible to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
But, first, let’s start with the breakfast of champions at Jat’ Café in the Royal Quarter of Brussels.
It’s a charming, centrally located cafe that has an amazing selection of coffee, juice, bagels, and omelets available for either breakfast or brunch.
Plus, they even offer live music, making this a great place to sit and relax.
Once you’re done with breakfast, head over to the Grand Place. It’s easily one of the most stunning places in all of Brussels.
Yeah, no joke, I’ve seen a ton of awesome European architecture. But, this place takes the cake, or waffle as the case may be.
So, it makes sense that this plaza is definitely one of the top UNESCO World Heritage sites in Brussels.
And hidden within the labyrinth of streets that make up central Brussels, this cobblestone-laden, main square rises before you as you enter from one of the area’s many side alleys.
Truth be told, Rue des Harengs is the best way to enter the Grand Place since you get an amazing view of the exquisite,15th-century city hall, as well as the charming guild halls that also line the square.
Take some time to marvel at the opulence of architectural majesty that includes baroque gables, gilded statues, and elaborate guild symbols.
However, special highlights include the Gothic-inspired Brussels City Hall and the exquisite facade of the Maison du Roi.
Pro Tip: If you have time, head around the corner and take a quick picture of la bourse de Brussels, or the historic building that is home to the Brussels Stock Exchange.
You can also check out some of the best cafes in Brussels too.
Next, it’s going to be a quick walk over to the next stop on our 2 days in Brussels itinerary.
Known locally as Manneken Pis, this statue is just 61 cm tall and depicts a small boy pissing into a fountain.
Yup, it’s pretty hysterical to see and a pretty random city icon if I do say so myself. Of course, New York City is known as the Big Apple so I shouldn’t judge.
Designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy (the Elder ) and put into place between 1618 and 1619, this little guy was replaced by a copy, in 1965, and is now dressed up in hysterical outfits for different national holidays and special events.
So obviously you must visit Brussels during a holiday, just so that you can see this little guy dressed up in all his glory during your 48 hours Brussels itinerary.
Pro Tip: Everyone knows about Manneken Pis but fewer people know about his sister, Jeanneke Pis. This little peeing lady is located across the street from Délirium Café, along Impasse de la Fidélité.
Also, pick up some Brussels souvenirs featuring this dynamic duo while you’re here.
Because it will take you exactly five minutes to grab a quick selfie with Manneken Pis, take some time to relax and wander through the charming streets of Lower Town.
After all, the Old Town area is hella charming and filled with gorgeous historic building after gorgeous historic building.
Plus, you’ll be able to get a real feel for the city during your Brussels 2 day itinerary and can enjoy various local landmarks as well as incredible Tintin-inspired street art.
In particular, Boulevard Anspach is a great road to walk along since it is brimming over with vibrant bars, delicious restaurants, and fun comic book stores.
And while you are on Boulevard Anspach you CANNOT miss The Bourse. It’s the city’s gorgeous stock exchange and features neoclassical architecture from 1873.
Sadly, you can’t step inside but you can take a photo or two before continuing your 2 days in Brussels itinerary.
Stop for Belgian Frites
By now you’re probably pretty hungry. However, even if you’re feeling just a wee bit peckish it’s still a good excuse to try one of the most famous foods in the entire city.
And that food is none other than Belgian Frites, aka Belgian fries. They’re a little different from their American and French brethren because they are cut thickly from Bintje potatoes.
Now, while much of the Old Town has remained relatively unscathed from the ravages of time, the exception to this rule is the area around Place Sainte-Catherine.
See, back in the day this epic spot was a fish market with a series of piers that extended well into Brussels.
Today, though, you’ll find a square here that is home to the incredible, Church of Saint Catherine.
Feel free to step inside this Roman Catholic Church and admire the gorgeous interior, which was built between 1854 and 1874.
Afterward, relax at one of the many bars in the area before checking out Tour Noire, a historic stone tower, and a bell tower that was associated with the Church of Saint Catherine.
Les Galeries Saint Hubert and Belgian Waffles
No Brussels 2 day itinerary could ever be complete without a stop at Les Galeries Saint Hubert.
And that makes sense since this is an awe-inspiring shopping arcade that was one of the first in Europe when it was initially built in 1847.
Now, as you walk through this two-hundred-meter-long shopping complex, stand in awe of the building’s bas-relief, beautiful chandeliers, and stunning glass ceiling that illuminates the shopping complex.
And while this shopping arcade is lovely, let’s admit it, you’re really here to taste some of the fine Belgium chocolate and hunger-inducing waffles that can be found here.
Personally, my favorites are the Speculoos and Waffles at Maison Dandoy, closely followed by the chocolates from Pierre Marcolini chocolate boutique.
However, both purveyors of fine desserts have multiple locations across the city (and country). So, if one location is too crowded then just go somewhere else for the best waffles in Brussels.
I just like Maison Dandoy in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert since you can sit, relax, and enjoy your waffle while watching all the people stroll by.
But, just as an FYI, Maison Dandoy can get stupidly crowded.
Therefore, try to visit at an off time since there are a limited number of tables that offer full service. And, yes, you can only get a waffle if you sit down to eat.
Pro Tip: When you order a Belgian Waffle during your 2 days in Brussels itinerary, do not smother it in heaps of toppings, even if you’re having it as the best brunch in Brussels.
Yeah, that ruins the flavor of the waffle and is a big no-no in Belgium. Instead, limit yourself to two toppings. Personally, I went with strawberries and whipped cream. However, the choice is up to you.
Belgian Comic Strip Center
Believe it or not, comic books are very mainstream in Belgium and are also a huge part of the local culture.
Therefore a visit to the Belgian Comic Strip Center is an absolute must for anyone planning to spend 2 days in Brussels.
After all, this museum in Brussels is all about the preservation of comic book art. And in doing so, this institution gives visitors a better appreciation for this underrated art form.
So, see how a comic book comes to life, from the very first sketches to the very last color application.
This way, you’ll gain a better appreciation for classic comic books like The Smurfs and The Adventures of Tin Tin.
Also be sure to admire the actual building the museum is housed in since it features unique, Art Nouveau architecture that was created by Victor Horta.
Pro Tip: If you really love comics then head across the street to the free comic strip exhibit there.
Quartier des Libertés
After you’ve channeled your inner child like whoa, mosy on over to the Quartier des Libertes and visit a more high-end neighborhood in Brussels.
Sure, this area has a bit more of a residential, suburban feel. But, it is home to a ton of super opulent buildings that you’ll deffo want to take pictures of during your two days in Brussels itinerary.
In fact, be sure to wander down Rue Royale and visit the oasis of greenery that awaits you at Place de la Liberte Square.
You can even stop by the Congress Column since this local landmark features the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at its base.
It’s also a monument that pays homage to the creation of the country’s first constitution in 1830.
Finally, we’ve reached the end of day one and you’re probably ready for beer, beer, and – on yeah – more beer.
And Delirium Cafe is THE place to try authentic Belgium Beer since this bar is home to upwards of 3,000+ different beers, including Delirium Tremens (aka the beer this place is named for).
Just ask your friendly bartender for advice and they’ll help you find a beer that suits just about any palate.
Pro Tip: Want to enjoy a more formal dinner? Then head to Pasta Divina since this place is known for its delicious sauces and homemade pasta.
I loved the spinach-infused pasta but the Bolognese is supposed to be epic too.
Day 2 of this 2 Days in Brussels Itinerary
I hope you had a good night’s sleep because we’re not about to take it easy on the second day of your epic 48 hours in Brussels.
And if you’re in need of a delicious brekkie before you go sightseeing, then be sure to visit Creme and try the Eggs Benedict with bacon. Just be prepared for a wait since this restaurant is popular.
Place du Petit Sablon
If you’ll only do one thing in this charming neighborhood then let it be visiting Petit Sablon Square.
Not only does this rad little spot great you hella epic views of Egmont Palace, but you can walk through a series of well-manicured gardens too.
Aftward, admire some lovely statues and enjoy a cool fountain with statues of Hornes and Egmont.
Mont des Arts
Home to one of the most stunning panoramas in the city, Mont des Arts is a complex and walking area that is brimming over with incredible esplanades, gardens, stunning views, and more.
It also serves as a great walking path between the Royal Quarter and the Grand Place since this iconic spot sits just beneath the Place Royale and connects the upper/lower parts of the city.
In fact, the entire area was initially built for the Universal Exhibition in 1910 and was then later updated in the 1950s.
So, current highlights include the KBR (once the Royal Library), a shopping area, and the Square congress center, which features a statue of Albert I and a glass cube.
Pro Tip: While you’re here during your 48 hours in Brussels, be sure to listen for the sound of the carillon in the lower end of the covered passageway.
Museum of Musical Instruments (Rue du Musée/Coudenberg)
Rue du Musée is an enchanting little road nestled in between Mont des Arts and the Royal Palace.
Therefore, it’s the next natural stop during our 2 days in Brussels itinerary.
Plus, there are tons of cool and unique things to see here, like buildings with amazing architecture or a Whirling Ear sculpture (yeah, you read that correctly).
There are even a wealth of interesting museums here like:
- The KBR Museum (local history)
- Experience Brussels
- The Fine Arts Museum
- Les Amis des Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Bel
- And more!!
However one of my all-time fave museums in Brussels is the Museum of Musical Instruments.
See, this fun place sits inside the Old England Building which is a unique, art-nouveau-style building that has the words, “Old England Building” on it.
So, step inside to see the most extensive collections of historic, world instruments on the planet.
Because with over 2,000 instruments in the collection, you will quickly become enchanted by the diversity of high-quality instruments on display here.
Just be sure to grab a pair of headphones before entering the museum since many of the museum plaques were in French only at the time of my visit.
Pro Tip: If you’re feeling hungry then use a cool, vintage elevator to go to the tenth floor and have lunch at Mim Restaurant (FYI I was here awhile ago so the quality of the food may have changed).
Yeah, this is a cool panoramic rooftop cafe, with an outdoor terrace, where you can order delish things quiche, which is to die for.
Royal Palace of Brussels
From the Musical Instrument Museum it is a super short walk to The Grand Palace, which is open annually to the public for free tours, from around July 21 through September.
Currently, The Grand Palace is used as the king’s administrative residence or main workplace where he receives foreign dignitaries and conducts daily administrative duties for Brussels.
But, you don’t really have to worry about any of that since you’re here during your Brussels 2 day itinerary to experience the amazing architecture and exquisite decor of this historic center of government.
So, pretend your royal AF and glide up the main staircase like the baller that you are.
Next, walk through the building and take in the classic, Imperial decor of the Empire Room, the oldest room in the palace.
Continue on and savor the beauty of the Goya Room, the Coburg Room, the Louis XVI Room, the Throne Room, the Large Gallery, the Mirror Room, and the Thinker Room.
Yeah, there are a ton more rooms but it seems kind of silly to list them all here. Hands down though, my favorite room in the palace is the Mirror Room.
It is truly unique, with an exquisite, iridescent, green ceiling that, believe it or not, is made out of 1.5 million Jewel Beetles (the piece is known as the “Heaven of Delight”). Crazy right?
Pro Tip: If the palace isn’t open during your 2 days in Brussels, then head to the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts instead.
This art museum consists of two separate museums that present visitors with an assortment of classic art in the form of refined Flemish portraits (at the Musée Magritte) and modern art in the form of quirky modern masterpieces (at the Musée d’Art Moderne).
Parc du Cinquantenaire
Okay, now we’re gonna step away from the old town and walk past the EU buildings to explore Parc du Cinquantenaire.
After all, you can’t plan a Brussels 2 day itinerary without stopping here since this massive park is more than a little iconic.
And you’ll get that sense once you walk beneath the giant Triumphal Arch (pictured above) that built to commemorate Belgium’s independence.
Then, afterward, feel free to just walk around the park since there are a ton of monuments, gardens, and art pieces for you to enjoy.
Or, you can always stop by Autoworld – to see one of the best car collections in the entire world – before checking out the Great Mosque of Brussels and the Art and History Museum.
Just remember that this park is huge. Therefore, you probably won’t have time to explore the entire place. Instead, pick out one or two attractions that you really want to see.
Pro Tip: For some super sweet views of the park go to the roof of the Cinquantenaire arcade.
Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur
After exploring the park, lets go to Koekelberg and admire sweeping panoramas of the city from National Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Yup, this amazing Catholic church sits high above the city, was fairly recently finished in 1969, and is the fifith biggest church on the planet (feel free to “oh” and “ah” at will).
It’s also a structure that is known for irs unique, Art Deco design. In fact, it may seem a bit similiar to you since it is modeled after Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in Paris.
Whatever you do, though, don’t leave without going up to the elevated gallery for even better views.
Next, you’re gonna want to get on the metro/subway and take that all the way to Heysel.
Yes, it’s a bit annoying since it will be virtually the last stop. But, you can always break up the journey with a visit to the Musée Wiertz or the Horta Museum.
Once here, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with a stellar view of a Giant Atom that stands at a whopping, 102 meters tall!
Okay, I’ll admit it. Atomium is rather touristy and a bit expensive, but legit, how many times in your life are you gonna see a giant atom? Especially when you only have 2 days in Brussels.
Plus, it’s not like this is just any old atom. It’s actually an iron atom in it’s traditional, crystal lattice form.
But, why a giant atom? After all, this structure is almost as useful as a giant ball of string.
Well, believe it or not, this enormous atom was created as a symbol of postwar progress, for the 1958 World’s Fair.
Since then, this landmark has grown in fame and has since become one of the top things to do in Brussels.
And if you want to go to the top of Atomium, definitely book tickets in advance since the line is insanely long, especially in the summer.
Additionally, if you have a bit of time during your 2 days in Brussels itinerary then be sure to walk across the street to Mini Europe.
It’s another super touristy attraction that presents guests with miniature versions of famous monuments in the EU.
In fact, the scale is 1:25 and it features tiny models of 80 different cities and upwards of 350 incredible buildings.
Pro Tip: If you’re in need of some delicious food then head to La Quincallerie for hummus, risotto, and roasted tomato and avocado carpaccio.
You’ll also love that this fab eatery features one of a kind decor that pays homage to it’s former life as a vintage hardware store.
So, enjoy a green, wrought iron staircase, walls lined with vintage drink bottles, and a huge vintage clock in the center of it all.
Map of This Brussels 2 Day Itinerary
2 Days in Brussels Itinerary FAQs
Is 2 days Enough to visit Brussels?
Yes, 2 days in Brussels is enough time to experience most of the city’s major attractions, as well as several museums and cool food-related workshops.
Although, with even more time in the city, you’ll be able to head to the perimeter and visit Mini Europe/Atomium since both landmarks are basically located next to one another.
How Many Days should I Spend in Brussels?
Plan to spend a minimum of 2 days in Brussels, 3 days if you have it. This way you can see all the major highlights and have time to just wander around the city too.
Yeah, it’s a super pretty, compact, historic metropolis that is a great place to walk.
Is it Worth it to go to Brussels for a Day?
Yes, it is worth it to go to Brussels for a day. After all, Brussels is a smaller city where all of the main attractions are centrally located near one another.
Therefore, even if you only have 24 hours in Brussels it’s still worth a visit.
How to spend 48 hours in Brussels?
If you’re planning a 48 hours in Brussels itinerary then some of the many things you can do include:
- The Grand Place
- Manneken Pis
- Delirium Cafe
- The Royal Galleries
- Mont des Arts
- The Comic Book Route (walk)
- The Marolles District
- And more!