48 Hours in Brussels – A 2 day Itinerary
2 Day Itinerary for Brussels
Brussels may not be the first destination that springs to mind when planning a short break but this underrated city is vibrant and fascinating with so much to offer visitors.
Brussels City is the capital of Belgium and is considered by some to be the heart of Europe, largely due to it being home to the European Parliament and the European Commission. So if you are planning a trip to Europe any time soon, be sure to add a 2-day itinerary for Brussels to your travel plans!
Brussels enjoys a largely temperate climate, with clear seasons. The summer months of June, July, and August are the peak season when you will experience the most crowds and the highest prices.
The best times to visit would be April and May or September and early October as the temperatures are mild, there’s a good chance of sun, and prices are much more reasonable than during the main tourist months.
When most people think of Belgium they think of waffles, beer, and chocolate, although not necessarily in that order!
Belgium really is a leader when it comes to all three of those items and it is crucial that you indulge in each during your visit. However, in addition to these scrumptious offerings, Belgium, and Brussels in particular, has so much more to offer its visitors.
Packed full of an impressive variety of museums, galleries, entertainment venues, and shopping opportunities you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to planning how to spend your days. Then, as night falls the city really comes alive.
Trendy music venues, theatres, and nightclubs create a buzzing atmosphere and there are some top-class restaurants in Brussels too.
Festivals are a big thing in Brussels and another great reason to choose to visit in May would be to get involved in two of the biggest. Both the Brussels Jazz Festival and the Zinneke Parade take place in the middle of May and are an amazing way to really immerse yourself into Flemish culture and tradition.
Brussels is a fairly compact place, with excellent public transport links so wherever you stay within the city won’t be too far from the main attractions. That said, the city centre is by far the best place to stay if you like to be in the heart of the action.
The main town square in Brussels, La Grand Place dates back to the 12th century and was once a crucial food market for the city and surrounding areas. Today it is still a well-known venue for fine Belgian cuisine and a Unesco World Heritage site.
If you prefer to stay somewhere fancy and upper class then you should consider Avenue Louise. This prestigious district is one of the most expensive and chic in the city. It offers a wide selection of upscale designer shops and boutiques as well as luxury restaurants and exciting landmarks.
The following 48 hours in Brussels itinerary gives you plenty of suggestions to ensure that you make the very best during your stay in this wonderful city. From the must-see attractions to the unmissable restaurants, we have got you covered! Read on for ideas of what to do in Brussels in 2 days!
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Overview of 2 Days in Brussels Itinerary
Check out what you can enjoy on your two day trip to Brussels :
Day 1 in Brussels
- Eat breakfast at Chicago Café
- Brussels City Museum
- Chocolate Making Workshop
- Lunch at La Villa in the Sky
- Brussels Park
- Autoworld Brussels
- Dinner at Chalet Robinson
Day 2 in Brussels
- Brunch at Leopold Cafe Royal
- Musical Instruments Museum
- Lunch at Le Mess
- Magritte Museum
- Dinner at Le Pecheur Nord
Day 1 in Brussels
Enjoy Breakfast (or Brunch!) at Chicago Café
Chicago Café is located in the bustling area of Rue de Flandre and is seriously popular with locals and tourists alike. Start your 2 days in Brussels right with a delectable hearty breakfast at this trendy and Insta- worthy hot spot.
Idiosyncratic in its decor, with quirky chipboard walls and charming, deliberately non-matched cutlery the food at the Chicago Café is made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
The Brioche French toast here is out of this world and the coffee served is sure to set you up for your day of exploring.
Discover History at Brussels City Museum
A crucial addition to your Brussels itinerary is a visit to the Brussels City Museum. Just a short and pleasant stroll from your breakfast spot, the museum features more than 7,000 items, including artifacts, paintings, and tapestries from Brussels’ history.
A visit here is a great opportunity to learn more about your host city. On arrival, you will find two magnificent buildings standing opposite each other on Brussels’ Grand Place.
On one side you have Brussels’ City Hall and on the other the Broodhuis (Bread House), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing the Brussels City Museum.
Be sure to see The Manneken Pis, which takes pride of place at the museum. This cheeky statue has become one of the most important landmarks in Brussels and tourists flock to see it and learn its story.
Join the Chocolate Making Workshop, Rue des Foulons
Take a short, scenic walk from Brussels Grand Place to Rue des Foulons, the home of The Chocolate Making Workshop. Here you will learn the basics of Belgian chocolate making.
During the workshop you will learn how to properly temper your chocolate, to make pralines and French mendiants, all from scratch.
By the end of the workshop, you will have made over 35 handmade chocolates by yourself and the workshop will kindly provide you with a beautiful box to put them in, so you can take them away as a souvenir.
If chocolate is not your thing then this company can also arrange waffle-making workshops or a beer-tasting experience instead!
Lunch with the best views of Brussels at La Villa in the Sky
Grab a taxi and take a short ride through the city to the popular area of Avenue Louise and to the IT Tower which is home to La Villa in the Sky.
This fabulous restaurant sits at the top of the 100m high IT Tower. It is a majestic glass structure with contemporary decor and design.
Breathtaking, panoramic views of the entire city can be enjoyed as you eat your lunch which is prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Dionisio and his team of culinary geniuses.
The theatrically visible kitchen enables you to admire the precision of the chef whose food is characterized by exceptional produce and fun, sometimes quirky side dishes.
Take a stroll around Brussels Park
Walk off that delightful lunch with a stroll around Brussels Park. Formally known as the Royal Park, it has a rich and fascinating history.
It was designed in a neo-classical style by architect Guimard and gardener Zinner. On arrival large pond greets you, complete with an elegant water fountain.
You’ll find stunning statues of Greco-Roman mythology, the Vauxhall, a bandstand, the Théâtre Royal du Parc, and even Kiosk Radio, a bar where you can enjoy a drink and a dance barefoot among the trees! In nice weather, many people gather in the park to picnic, sunbathe, or exercise.
Ride on over to Autoworld Brussels
A great way to finish a packed day of adventure during your 48 hours in Brussels is a trip to Autoworld Brussels. Even if you don’t have a particular passion for all things motor cars you will enjoy a visit to Autowrold as it is educational and inspiring.
Autoworld was built on the extensive and well-preserved car collection of the Mahy family, one of the largest in the world. You will find many Belgian brands such as Minerva, Germain, FN, Imperia, Fondu, Vivinus, Nagant, Belga-Rise, and Miesse.
There are more than 250 vehicles to observe at the museum. One zone is dedicated to sports and racing cars, while “Belgium at Autoworld” tells the romantic story between Belgium and the automobile industry.
Autoworld is located in the Southern Hall of the Cinquantenaire in Brussels, which is worth seeing alone as it is one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in Belgium.
Dinner at Chalet Robinson
The Chalet Robinson is located on a small island, in the heart of the charming Bois de la Cambre, and reachable only by a super cute little boat.
The ambiance is unmistakably rural and quiet, and the restaurant offers diners a splendid view over the natural park. Due to the nature of the access to the bistro and the outdoor space, it is probably best to visit during the spring and summer months.
During good weather, the unique terrace is open for seating and offers a stunning view of the lake where you can enjoy your meal, which has been prepared using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Day 2 in Brussels
Grab Brunch at Leopold Cafe Royal
After such a busy start to your two days in Brussels, you may start your second day in a little more leisurely fashion and opt for brunch as opposed to breakfast. Leopold Cafe Royal is a super spot for brunch and serves a varied menu of delicious options.
If your trip falls over a weekend in Brussels then even better as the Leopold Cafe Royal serves a particularly special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.
Enjoy coffee, juices, bagels, and various toasts. Perhaps even treat yourself to a glass of bubbles with your brunch. What better way to commence the second day of your 2 days in Brussels itinerary?!
Take a walk around the Musical Instruments Museum
A trip around the Musical Instruments Museum in the heart of Brussels is a great way to spend a morning. The magnificent entrance to the museum is an excellent example of the Art Nouveau style that dominates this area of the city.
The museum is home to over 9000 musical instruments, and the museum’s superb world-class reputation is mainly built on its extraordinary, diverse collections.
There are opportunities to listen to many of the instruments via the free audio kits available, and guided tours are regularly arranged.
There is a well-equipped shop to pop into and here is the ideal place to grab souvenirs and keepsakes of your trip.
Eat your lunch in a prison at Le Mess
Hop in a cab and head on over to enjoy the somewhat odd and unique opportunity to have lunch in prison at Le Mess near Etterbeek. Well, it is not a prison anymore, but it certainly used to be! Le Mess is housed in a former prison with all its quirky authentic architecture preserved.
The restaurant sits over two floors, and the Le Mess’ glass room is surely worth a visit. In fact, everything about this chic eatery is very different from what its history may suggest.
The elegant dining room has Philippe Stark-designed furniture and a refined yet comfortable atmosphere.
The chefs here make sure that all the ingredients they serve are local and healthy. Dishes are a combination of traditional Belgium delicacies and the very best European flavors and textures.
Visit the Magritte Museum
Regardless of how many days in Brussels you have to explore, be sure to join the other 300,000 + visitors who take a trip to the Musée Magritte Museum, located in the very heart of the city.
Here, you can study the world’s largest collection of the renowned surrealist artist Réne Magritte. From paintings and drawings, to sculptures and painted objects, as well as advert posters, musical scores, and photographs there is an extraordinarily diverse selection of work to observe and learn from.
In the Magritte Shop, you can purchase literature about Magritte and his contemporaries, as well as an impressive selection of posters, postcards, and original gift ideas.
Treat yourself to a fine seafood dinner at Le Pecheur Nord
Le Pecheur Nord is a super popular seafood restaurant in Brussels city centre. This quaint, non-pretentious eatery is held in the highest esteem by locals and tourists alike.
The nautical theme throughout is fun and playful, but the food offered is nothing but serious. The menu is made up of freshly caught and top-quality seafood cuisine including caviar, oysters, and various moules dishes.
The extensive wine list is designed to complement your dinner choices and the knowledgeable staff are only to happy to assist you in any way. The dessert menu here is also rather fabulous.
Tours in Brussels
Brussels Walking and Tasting Tour
With this super Brussels Walking and Tasting Tour, you get the opportunity to experience many of the city’s most popular landmarks up close.
As you explore the city you can enjoy traditional snacks and drinks along the way including waffles, fries, chocolate, and even some local beer.
Bruges Day Trip from Brussels
This Bruges Day trip from Brussels tour is a full-day excursion and could be a great addition to your mini break or indeed weekend in Brussels itinerary.
Your knowledgeable and local guide arranges all transport and transfer requirements for the trip as well as passing on valuable information about the areas you a visiting.
Remembrance Tour from Brussels: The Poppies of Flanders Fields
With this special and poignant tour, you can discover the history of World War I with a visit to the Flanders battlefields from Brussels.
Observe and pay respects at the impressive monuments that commemorate the lives of fallen soldiers and listen to commentary from your guide as you take in the solemn, patriotic atmosphere.
FAQ’s about two days in Brussels
Are two days in Brussels enough?
It can be surprising just how much you can squeeze into 48 hours! If you are motivated to see and do plenty in your time in the city and you manage your time well then 2 days in Brussels is plenty of time to visit, observe and enjoy the best attractions and enjoy some fabulous Flemish cuisine!
What should I do in Brussels for two days?
Be sure to include a visit to at least one of the superb museums on your trip to Brussels. They are a wealth of information and entertainment for tourists keen to learn more about the city and its history.
There are a variety of unique and quirky restaurants to enjoy a meal at, as well as quite a few Michelin-starred places serving world-class food whilst showcasing Belgian delicacies.
Try to combine fun things, with educational stuff and some traditional food for the real all-around city experience.
48 Hours in Brussels – A 2 day Itinerary – conclusion
We hope that this article has tickled your taste buds and encouraged you to plan a trip to the fabulous and diverse city of Brussels, which, as we have shown you, is packed full of things to see, do and eat!
Recommended tours in Brussels
- Hungry Mary’s Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour in Brussels
- Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop
- Brussels Chocolate Beer Waffle and Belgian Whiskey All-in-One (Small Group) Tour
- Legends of Brussels – Historical Walking Tour of Brussels
- Remembrance Tour from Brussels: The poppies of Flanders Fields
- Tell Me About Brussels! | Perfect Introduction | PayWhatYouWant with Booking Fee
- Small-Group Highlights of Brussels Bike Tour
- Brussels Waffle Workshop
- Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket
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