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Home > Belgium > 27 Things To Do Alone in Brussels: Solo Travel in Brussels

27 Things To Do Alone in Brussels: Solo Travel in Brussels

By Dymphe / January 22, 2023

If you're looking for things to do alone in Brussels , you'll love many activities in the city. Solo travel in Brussels is amazing.

Brussels is the capital of Belgium . Some famous things to see in the city are Manneken Pis and the Atomium. Traveling to Brussels is great, as there's a lot to do.

Those who visit the city by themselves will have a wonderful time for sure. There are many ways to connect with others or to have a relaxing time alone.

One of the most fun things to do to meet people is joining a group in the city for coffee. Or you can join a running club in the city which is amazing if you want to be active. Another amazing activity is doing a Belgian chocolate workshop. This is not only great if you want to meet others, but it's also very fun to learn more about chocolate!

If you want to relax in the city, you can visit a beautiful botanical garden or you can go to a park.

Furthermore, there are also things to do if you want to learn more about the city during solo travel in Brussels. For example, you can do a bus tour. But you can also tour the Atomium!

Some other things to do alone in Brussels are doing a waffle-making workshop or seeing Mont des Arts. This lovely city has so much to offer!

Table of Contents

1. Do a Belgian Chocolate Workshop: Fun Thing To Do Alone in Brussels If You Love Chocolate

Here's one of the best things to do alone in Brussels that involves chocolate.

You can do a 2.5-hour chocolate-making workshop in Brussels .

During this experience, you learn all there is to know to make your own small chocolates. You'll learn various techniques and you'll learn about different fillings.

What's great is that you leave this experience with a box of your own chocolates, which is awesome!

Another thing that makes this experience great when you are alone is that this is a group activity. Thus, you can connect with others during it. That's why it's amazing for solo travel in Brussels!

2. Join a Running Club in Brussels

For those that like running, this is one of the best things to do alone in Brussels.

You can join the " Brussels Runners " Meetup group.

Buildings in Brussels

This group is great for making new friends while being active.

The group organizes group runs where you run about 3 to 6 miles (or 5 to 10 kilometers). And you do that at a speed that is comfortable for everyone joining the group.

This makes the group great for a casual run that has a large social aspect to it! And this is great during solo travel in Brussels!

3. Join a Group of People for Coffee: Amazing Thing To Do Alone in Brussels To Make Friends

This is one of the best things to do alone in Brussels for you if you like coffee.

There is a Meetup group called " Weekend Morning Coffee Group " that is great to join.

This group organizes meetups on Saturday morning at various places in the city.

At these meetups, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, while enjoying the company of others as well. This makes the group great for making new friends as well! So if you want to meet others during solo travel in Brussels, this is perfect.

4. Do a Food Tour of Brussels

The " Brussels Culinary Evening Tour " is great during solo travel in Brussels! This tour allows you to discover the city's food.

Mont des Arts

Together with other people, you walk through the city from one venue to the next. It's one of the most fun things to do alone in Brussels if you like food.

At each place, you can sample a particular type of food, which is awesome! This makes it possible to try out a diverse number of foods in one evening.

Also, you can have food together with others during this tour, which is great during a solo trip as well!

5. Do a Waffle Making Workshop

One of the most iconic foods of Belgian is the Waffle.

Because of that doing a waffle-making workshop in Brussels is a lot of fun during solo travel in Brussels.

During this experience, you'll learn how to make your own waffles and you can eat waffles, which is great! In total, the experience takes about 1.5 hours.

Also, what's great is that you do this tour with a group. And this allows you to socialize, which is great! That's also why it's one of the best things to do alone in Brussels.

6. Visit the Botanical Garden of Brussels: Relaxing Thing To Do Alone in Brussels If You Like Nature

The Botanical Garden of Brussels was a large botanical garden.

Nowadays, it is an urban park that is great to visit on your own.

Botanical Garden of Brussels

There is beautiful nature that is perfect for a relaxing stroll!

Also, you find Le Botanique here. And you can also go there after visiting the park, which is awesome!

7. Discover the City on Your Own During a Self-Guided Tour

You could do a guided tour of the city, but you can also explore the city on your own.

The best way to do that is through a self-guided tour. A self-guided tour is one of the best activities for solo travel in Brussels.

GPSmyCity's Brussels self-guided walking tours are great for discovering places in the city.

View of Brussels

For example, there is a tour that lets you explore the various institutions of the European Union.

Also, there is a chocolate tour of Brussels. And there is a great tour with which you can learn about architecture.

What's great is that you can download these tours to your phone, and then walk in the city by yourself. Moreover, along the way, you get information about the sites you see!

8. Do a Guided Day Trip to Ghent and Bruges

Another one of the best things to do alone in Brussels is taking part in a day tour.

You can do a day tour from Brussels to Ghent and Bruges .

Cathedral and buildings

These are two lovely historic cities that both have a lot of sights to offer! And this tour is a great way to explore Flemish cities.

Furthermore, what's great is that you get a guided tour of each city. This allows you to learn a lot about both Ghent and Bruges.

What's great is that you can also do a boat cruise through the picturesque canals of Bruges, but this is optional.

9. Go Hiking Together With a Group: Nice Thing To Do Alone in Brussels To Be Active

If you like hiking, you can join the " Brussels Hiking Group ".

This is a Meetup group that is great for everyone that likes walking and being outdoors.

Square in Brussels

The group organizes walks in the city and many other places in Belgium. You can almost always reach the start of the walks by public transport.

What's great about the hikes of this group is that they allow you to discover a lot of beautiful spots in the country.

Also, you can get active and you can meet new people through this group. This is great as well during solo travel in Brussels.

10. Play Table Tennis Together With a Group of Other People

One of the most fun things to do alone in Brussels is joining the Brussels Table Tennis Meetup .

This group organizes meetups where you can get together with others to play!

What's great is that there is a very casual atmosphere and there are no strict rules. This group is great if you want to have fun.

Also, what's great is that everyone can take part in the meet-ups. That's because everyone may join the group, regardless of what your skill level is.

11. Tour the Atomium and See Art

One of the best activities for solo travel in Brussels is going to the Atomium .

This is likely the most iconic building in the city, and people associate it with the city of Brussels.

Atomium and flowers

It is a very modern building that that dates back to the year 1958. It consists of metal tubes connecting steel spheres. Seeing it is amazing.

Besides that, you can enter the building, which is an experience I recommend.

From the structure, you have a lovely view of the city!

Besides that, there are various exhibitions inside of The Atomium. Visiting these exhibitions is great to do on your own, as alone you can completely focus on what's on display!

12. Take Part in a Summer Tour of the Royal Palace of Brussels

The Royal Palace of Brussels is an official palace of the royal family of Belgium.

That's why visiting the palace is a great activity. You can see the building from the outside, which is lovely.

Royal Palace of Brussels

But what's even more fun is doing a tour of the building. You can do so on certain days in summer. This is one of the most interesting things to do alone in Brussels.

Doing this on your own is great, as there is a to see here that you can see without distractions!

13. Debate Others Through a Meetup Group: Wonderful Thing To Do Alone in Brussels To Meet New People

Joining the " Brussels Debaters " group is great during solo travel in Brussels as well.

This is a group through which you can get together with others to debate various topics. These topics are often controversial.

What's great about this group is that you can get new insights, and you can connect with others! Also, you might make new friends when you go to a meetup of this group.

14. Take Part in a Public Guided Tour of the City Hall

When you are doing solo travel in Brussels, you likely see the city hall of Brussels.

You can find it on the Grand Place

City Hall in Brussels

What's great is that you can do a guided tour of the City Hall during certain days of the week.

During these tours, you can see the building from the inside. The interior of the city hall looks incredible.

Besides that, you can learn a lot from the tour. You'll learn about the city's history and about the legislature of the city!

15. Play Badminton With Other People Through a Group

If you like badminton, this is one of the best things to do alone in Brussels for you!

You can join the " Badminton Brussels " group for this.

This is a great group that organizes badminton events on Wednesday. These events are a great way to play the game, and to meet others!

16. Do a Bus Tour of Brussels: Interesting Thing To Do Alone in Brussels To See the City

If you want to get to know the city during solo travel in Brussels, you can take part in the " Brussels: Grand City Bus Tour ".

This is a lovely tour that takes about 2.5 hours.

Houses in Brussels

During it, you'll go to various sights in the city by bus.

Some of the places you'll visit are the Atomium, the European Parliament, Grand Place, and much more! You will see almost all highlights of the city through this tour!

This makes the tour great as well if you are short on time.

Along the way, you get a lot of information on the places that you visit. And you do this tour together with other people, which is also great during a solo trip.

17. Relax at the Mont des Arts

Another one of the best things to do alone in Brussels is going to Mont des Arts.

This is a lovely place in the city.

Mont des Arts in Brussels

You find here a small public urban garden that is great to sit down at and relax. This is amazing if you like nature.

Besides that, you find a lot of museums surrounding this garden. For example, the Musical Instruments Museum is next to it. This makes the place a lot of fun to visit.

18. Do a Creative Glass Workshop: Nice Thing To Do Alone in Brussels That’s Very Unique

If you like being creative, this is one of the best activities for solo travel in Brussels.

The " Tiffany stained glass discovery workshop " is a lot of fun.

This is a workshop where you can learn to work with glass. In total, the workshop takes about 3.5 hours, which is plenty of time to learn a lot of new things.

You'll learn all kinds of techniques to create your own piece of glass art, which is awesome!

Also, you do this experience together with others, and this social aspect is fun as well.

19. Take Part in a Guided Walking Tour of the City

Doing a guided walking tour of Brussels is another one of the best things to do alone in Brussels.

A local guide takes you through the city center and shows you the most famous sights of the city. At each spot, the guide gives you a lot of information, and you can ask all the questions you want!

Grand Place

Some of the places that you'll visit are Grand Place, Manneken Pis, and Galeries Royales St. Hubert.

Moreover, this is a group tour, which allows you to socialize with the others that join the tour.

20. See Comic Exhibitions at the Comics Art Museum

Going to the Comics Art Museum is another one of the best things to do alone in Brussels.

This is a museum where you can find a lot of objects related to Belgian comics.

If you are into comics, this is a lovely place to visit during your trip!

Besides that, there are temporary exhibitions at the museums. Here you can see even more comic-related objects. Seeing this on your own is a lot of fun!

21. Visit the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are great to visit. You can find this place a bit outside of the city center.

For a few weeks in Spring, you can go here!

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

During this period, you can see the greenhouses and the plants inside of the greenhouses for free.

This is an awesome experience, and it's great that you can relax at this place. There is beautiful nature and architecture that is perfect for this. Going here is one of the best activities for solo travel in Brussels for sure.

22. Join a Pub Crawl: Great Thing To Do Alone in Brussels in the Evening

If you want to discover the city's nightlife, this is one of the best things to do alone in Brussels for you!

You can take part in a Brussels Pub Crawl .

Brussels in the evening

During this 3-hour experience, you go to various venues together with a group.

This allows you to party all night, make new friends, and have a lot of fun!

23. Attend a Contemporary Art Exhibition at WIELS

Going to WIELS is great if you like seeing contemporary art during solo travel in Brussels.

WIELS is a great contemporary art center where you can see contemporary art.

There are various temporary exhibitions throughout the year that are great! Going here all by yourself is great, as you can completely focus on the art that's on display!

24. See an Art Exhibition at the Art & History Museum

One of the best museums to visit in the city is the Art & History Museum .

This is a museum that you can find at the Cinquantenaire Park and it is very large.

Art & History Museum in Brussels

You can find here a large variety of objects. This makes going here great if you don't want to see a particular type of art.

There are objects from all over the world, and from all periods in time.

For example, there is Asian art and Polynesian art here.

Also, you can find here items from the Roman Empire and ancient Egypt! This makes the place great to visit.

When you go here on your own, you can better immerse yourself in the objects that are on display. And this makes your experience at the museum much better!

Also, there are often temporary exhibitions at this museum that are great to visit as well. This makes the museum have even more variety, which is awesome!

25. Learn About Chocolate at Choco-Story Brussels

Another one of the best things to do alone in Brussels is to experience Belgian chocolate.

You can do this at Choco-Story Brussels .

This is a small museum that is all about chocolate.

You can learn here about everything. You'll get information about the history of chocolate, the process, and much more.

Also, you can see a chocolate-making demonstration that is a lot of fun to see.

And during the tour, you can also taste chocolate, which is great! This makes it amazing if you like sweet food.

26. Go for a Relaxing Walk at Brussels Park

Going for a relaxing walk at Brussels Park is another one of the best solo activities in Brussels.

Brussels Park is a beautiful park with a lot of nature, a fountain, and walking paths.

Brussels Park

You can find it in the city center close to the Royal Palace and the Palace of Justice. This makes the park convenient to visit wherever you are in Brussels.

It is a lovely place for a walk while doing solo travel in Brussels.

Also, what's great is that you can go here for a morning run. If you like being active, this is a great way to start your day!

27. Go to an Art Exhibition at Le Botanique: Perfect Thing To Do Alone in Brussels If You Like Art

Le Botanique is a large greenhouse that used to be part of the Botanic Garden of Belgium. Nowadays, it is a cultural venue.

You often find here art exhibitions that are wonderful to attend. And going here is one of the best things to do alone in Brussels.

Seeing the art is great to do on your own, as you can completely focus on what's on display without distractions!

Also, I love that the exhibitions take place in this historic and beautiful building. This makes the exhibitions much more special!

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Solo Travel Story

The view from Mont des Arts in Brussels

A Complete Brussels 3 Day Itinerary For First Time Visitors

Seeing Brussels in 3 days is doable and will be an exciting experience. Here’s my Brussels itinerary for first time visitors to make the most out of your stay. I invite you to follow along and explore this wonderful city with me. Brussels is often overlooked when planning a city break. Sure, it may not have as many famous landmarks for which e.g. London or Rome are known for. Its charm comes from various experiences, which I’ll share with you in this Brussels solo travel guide.

My “Brussels in 3 days” guide for first time visitors includes a detailed day-to-day itinerary filled with activities for solo travellers. I’ll also tell you which activities I feel you could skip and share further insights into navigating around Belgium.

Table of Contents

What is Brussels known for?

Our perception of Brussels may vary culturally, but to me, Brussels is known for:

  • Atomium & Manneken Pis
  • The capital of the EU
  • Flower carpet in August

Not much. How about you? What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Brussels?

Brussels is a lifestyle city, and you need to explore the areas that pique your interest the most. To me, this means coffee culture, architecture, and history. Brussels delivers on that front and can keep you busy for many days. Costs and prices listed in this Brussels 3 Day Itinerary are correct as of June 2023.

Brussels Itinerary Day 1: City Centre Highlights

You can’t come to Brussels without seeing the city centre. Don’t be shocked by the slightly neglected and dirty corners of the central area, just look ahead, and admire the historic houses. Start at the UNESCO-certified Grote Markt (Grand Place) . I have yet to meet a visitor who wasn’t deeply impressed by the sheer grandeur of this square. No matter how often you come here, the Grand Place will excite you again and again.

Brussels City museum at grand place

Find out more about its history and the surrounding buildings at the City Museum , which is also in the square. The top floor is dedicated to the UNESCO site, its certification process, and the ongoing preservation efforts. The museum also showcases the original Manneken Pis . The statue from the 15th century was often vandalised, decapitated, and kidnapped, hence why it was in the best interest to keep this beloved citizen in a safer environment.

Good to Know : the City Museum, as well as Sewer, Manneken Pis wardrobe and Fashion Museum have a free admission on every first Sunday of the month.

Next on your list for your Brussels itinerary should be the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert . Check out the chocolate shops and experience the high-end atmosphere of this grand shopping arcade. At 210 metres long and 8 metres wide there’s enough space for flanering. Annually, six million visitors enjoy this exquisite passage, built and designed by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar.

Regarded as Cluysenaar’s masterpiece, the arcade opened in June 1847, shortly after Belgium gained independence. It is Europe’s oldest shopping arcade. The building with exquisite architecture was modelled after the Parisian passageways, which impressed other major European cities, such as Leipzig and Milan. Cluysenaar’s gallery would consist of two parts to connect the districts La Monnaie with La Grand-Place. Today, only two more arcades out of the original six, are preserved in Brussels: the Galerie Bortier (1848, also designed by Cluysenaar) and the Passage du Nord (1881).

Bortier Galerie in Brussels art nouveau arcade

If you’re in the area, stop by the beautiful Tropismes bookstore, which is just as old and glamorous as the arcade. The exquisite interior with a high, decorated ceiling and mirrors houses over 80,000 books – mostly French literature with a focus on psychology, philosophy, sociology, and Brussels urban development. The bookstore is not crowded, and you don’t have to pay an entrance fee.

Tropismes bookstore in Brussels

Did You Know : You’ll find a Waterstones bookstore with English publications on Boulevard Adolphe Max, near the Passage du Nord. If you’re after German publications, there is a small selection at Filigranes bookstore (EU Quarter).

6 Reasons to Visit Halles Saint-Géry (1882)

  • Covent Garden style
  • Cradle of Brussel’s origin
  • Free (and interesting) exhibitions
  • Cultural Heritage Information desk (with substantial info material on Brussels)
  • Relaxed dinning & drinking atmosphere
  • Public piano

Halles saint gery in brussels on a warm summers day

Brussels 3 Day Itinerary: Don’t Miss Out On

De Brouckere Square with the historic Metropole Hotel. This 5-star luxury complex is currently under construction, but you can sneak a peek inside through the window. The luxurious interior of this early Art Nouveau building rivals Budapest’s splendour.

Enjoy the views at the museum hill (Mont des Arts) and watch the sunset from here.

Good To Know : there are three tourist information centres in Brussels Central. 1. Visit Flanders on Rue du Marche Aux Herbes – they sell day tours to the Flanders region. 2. Visit Brussels at the Town Hall, Grand Place – mixed, some good information, but their focus is on selling tours. 3. Cultural Heritage Information at Halles Saint-Géry – they have more informative material, e.g. specific neighbourhood brochures and Brussel-specific books. I absolutely love their free “a la cart” brochures on each neighbourhood. The brochures are packed with local information, walking routes, history and food recommendations. In total there are 23 to collect. Some of them are online, but not all of them, e.g. Bruxelles A la Carte Central (in French & Dutch only).

Brussels a la carte thematic brochures on each brussel neighbourhood

Brussels Itinerary Day 2: Art Nouveau & Local Neighbourhoods

Brussels is regarded as the “cradle of Art Nouveau”. The city was a playground for several architects and has over 1000 well-preserved buildings, including villas, hotels and cafes. The style particularly distinguishes itself by capturing the delicacy and beauty of plants and nature. The dragonfly and its fine wings often inspired Brussels architects. The style is so exquisite and characterised by none other than Victor Horta, who catapulted the city to the status of “capital of Art Nouveau”. To commemorate his work, the city currently celebrates his 100th anniversary with various openings, events and exhibitions.

The staircase at hotel hannon in brussels

Did You Know ? Some buildings are called “maison” and some “hotel”. Maisons are residential buildings, often as part of a row. Hotels are grand townhouses and, in the past, free-standing with a garden in the back.

You can take part in the celebrations with the Brussel Art Nouveau pass , which is available in two versions. Valid for 9 months, it allows you to visit some of the most exclusive maisons, usually closed to the public, as well as museums and special exhibitions. Cultural events and other guided tours of unique Art Nouveau buildings also take place throughout the year. Of course, opportunities to visit these extraordinary places are rare and require quick initiative on your end and prior booking.

Brussels Art Nouveau Pass

Did You Know: Palais Stoclet is currently in the news. The Palais designed by Josef Hoffmann and decorated lavishly by Gustav Klimt is regarded a heritage gem of immense cultural significance. The city has been fighting for years to demand the access of the building to the public. You can explore the interior of Palais Stoclet in the immersive exhibition “ Restitution ” at the Art & History Museum (until mid-April 2024).

You can embark on a self-guided art nouveau walk yourself at any time. The neighbourhoods of Saint Gilles, Ixelles and Etterbeek in the south of Brussels, as well as Schaerbeek in the north, are the hotspots to see the buildings, their delicate facades and sgraffito decorations. Pin some of the most popular ones in your Google Maps and start exploring. There are around 1000 art nouveau buildings in town so you will eventually stumble upon some gems. You can also pick up a copy of “Brussels Art Nouveau – Walks in the City” by Cecile Dubois at the Horta Museum (25€) or The Art Nouveau Brussels guide (5€) from the Tourist Information.

Saint Gilles/Ixelles area

  • Hotel Hannon
  • Horta Museum
  • Rue Africane 92
  • Maison Rosenbaum
  • Maison A Ciamberlani
  • Hotel Tassle
  • Hotel Solvay
  • Rue du Lac 6 & Rue Belle Vue
  • Hotel Max Hallet
  • Hotel de Brouckere

outside the Horta Museum in Brussels

  • Library Solvay
  • Maison Couchie
  • Maison Saint-Cyr
  • Hotel van Eetvelde
  • Gutenberg Square 5, 19

Gutenberg Square Brussels art nouveau architecture

Brussel Central

  • Café Falstaff
  • Café Le Ciro
  • Horta Brasserie & Comic Strip museum
  • Tropismes bookstore
  • Golden Palace Bourse (Privat-Livemont)
  • Waffle Factory (Rue du Lombard)
  • Parthe cinema

Golden Palace bourse in Brussels with Privat Livemont art work decorations

TOP TIP : some of these exquisite buildings are in private hands and generally not open to the public. There are, however, numerous opportunities throughout the year were visits are possible, e.g. Maison Saint-Cyr hosts small intimate events, the Day of the Memorial in September as well as Banad Festival in March.

Whilst you are in the southern area of Brussels, check out The View Ferris Wheel at Place Poelaert. Enjoy the ride, and the views and fall deeply in love with Brussels. Costs 10€.

Brussels Itinerary Day 3: Brussels North or East

I’ve come up with two options for your third day in Brussels. Explore the old Expo area in the North or head east to spend your day in the EU Quarter.

North Brussels: Expo Site

After brunch, take the tram to Heysel. Heysel station is just a short 5-minute walk from the former Expo site. You can visit Miniature Europe, the Atomium or the Design Museum. The site is extensive parkland and some of the old Expo Palaises can be seen from the outside.

Entrance to the Design Museum is included in the Atomium ticket. This 102-metre-tall landmark is synonymous with Brussels. Its 9 spheres, each 18 metres in diameter, are home to an exhibition about the Expo 1958. The space serves as an events location, museum and art centre. I really enjoyed my visit and learnt about Expo 58 as well as the construction of the Atomium. It is an interesting creation and like most Expo sites, this one has been badly neglected. It has a touch of an abandoned place, yet the city maintains a few conferences and shopping centres here to keep the area “alive”. The spheres are connected through tunnels which engage visitors with a laser show. In total, you can spend a good 90 minutes here.

Atomium, ticket prices start at 8€.

Brussels famous landmark the atomium

If you have energy left, walk back into central. The 5km walk will roughly take an hour, depending on how often you may want to stop for coffee or admire some architecture along the way. It’s also a different vibe in the summer in comparison to the winter. On the way back via Laeken ( Laeken A La Carte ), I ended up at the newly developed area of Tour and Taxis . This is a heavily gentrified area with brand new apartment blocks, a Museum of Illusions (WOM), a beach bar and the trendy Gare Maritime food market hall , which can also be used as an events space. Even though the sightseeing bus passes by I doubt many tourists will make the effort to come here, as it is still a bit outside of the touristic centre. This is for you if you value local vibes.

East Brussels: EU Quarter

After brunch, walk through the Parc de Bruxelles and follow Rue de la Loi until you’ve reached the  EU Quarter , home to the EU Commission and EU Parliament. 

Some parts of the EU Quarter are open to the public but need booking in advance (even though their official tourist brochure says otherwise). All experiences are free to visit.

House of European History  – this new exhibition extends over six floors. You must first collect your multimedia guide on the top floor and then begin your exploration from the first floor. From the myth of Europa and Zeus to WWII, the Cold War and the Soviet occupation to Brexit – the exhibition focuses heavily on Germany and France. It often feels as if other parts of Europe, such as the Baltics, Finland or the Danube region, have been forgotten. Depending on your interest, this could take up to 90 minutes.

EU quarter in Brussels

Parlamentarium  – interactive exhibition on the history of the EU and its values, current developments and member states. This is a very flashy exhibition with interactive elements and many information panels. It is mainly aimed at schools and will therefore be full of study visitors. For me, the experience wasn’t really informative, and the excessive use of multimedia including IG filters and sending inspirational messages celebrating the EU spirit felt cringe-worthy and forced. Again, depending on your attention level and tolerance for multimedia exhibitions, this can take up to 90 minutes.

The hemicycle at the european parliament in brussels

The Hemicycle  – horseshoe-shaped debating chamber for EU member states including seats for delegates and translation chambers above the seating area. Register your visit to the Hemicycle in Brussels in advance and go on a self-guided tour. I was lucky during my visit and a German course was on tour, so I didn’t need the audio guide. The tour guide explained a few things about the translation profession in the EU. Up to five translators, each with five languages, can sit in one chamber. Most languages ​​are covered within one team, if there is no speaker, e.g. Estonian, the translation team can “dial in” to another translation team, e.g. English and translate from their reporting. Most translators in the EU work freelance/consultancy but can earn up to 10k per month. Rare languages ​​such as Finnish, Estonian, Lithuanian or Greek are preferred when applying. Depending on the security checks, a visit to the hemicycle can be completed relatively quickly and in 30 minutes. However, be warned. Many school classes will be visiting again.

Brussels Itinerary Bonus: Day Trip

Belgium is a small country and easy to explore by train. Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent are all just a short ride away. You can also purchase tickets at short notice/on the day as the price won’t increase. The situation is different for international travel, e.g. Lille, London or Rotterdam. These train journeys need to be booked at least a month in advance to secure the best prices. Tickets can be expensive, although Lille and Rotterdam are close to Brussels. For now, let’s focus on Belgium (I’ll add more destinations in future, e.g. Leuven, Charleroi and Liège).

The top 3 things you do when you touch down in a historic Belgian town are:

  • Climb the Belfry
  • Embark on a canal tour
  • Eat chocolate drenched waffles

Antwerp –  Antwerp is my favourite as it reminds me very much of my Leipzig. Out of the three suggestions, it is also the liveliest. Antwerp is an affluent merchant city, which is clear as soon as you enter the iconic train station. Not only is the train station the benchmark for everything to come, but Antwerp has lots more to offer. It is known for its Diamond trade, but the young and dynamic city has many activities and interesting museums. The architecture has countless unique art nouveau buildings similar to those of Brussels. A self-guided walking tour requires some planning on your part before you set off. Antwerp offers cafés galore and marks the start of the Belgian Camino.

READ MORE : Quick Guide to the Antwerp Coffee Culture

Belgian waffle in Ghent

Ghent – Don’t be disheartened by a brisk 30-minute walk into the historic town centre from the train station. Countless 12/13th-century buildings await you and create a magical charm. The area around the post office is the centre of action with many restaurants, cafes, and shops. A must-do is to climb the Belfry and visit the city dragon. Don’t leave without trying the local speciality Cuberdon, a sweet, chewy treat. Single ones can be purchased e.g. from The Candy Corner (Kleine Vismarkt).

Cuberdon belgian sweet and treat

Bruges – I’ve been there twice now and would describe Bruges as a historical Disneyland version. It’s like travelling back in time. The UNESCO-certified centre has gorgeous houses, quaint squares, and local shops. It’s even more enchanting in the winter and Christmas season. The top thing to do in Bruges is to admire the medieval buildings and get lost in the mace of its cobbled streets.

Brussels Activities to Avoid

These are Brussels activities that disappointed me or didn’t engage me as much as I hoped. What doesn’t work for me might work for you, which is why I included them in this Brussels 3 Day Itinerary.

The EU Quarter didn’t engage me much. Part of the reason was the rude staff and their arrogant attitude towards visitors. The exhibitions heavily represented Germany and France and felt too dominant. You rarely learn anything about other parts of the union. I understand why some countries feel “forgotten” by the EU.

Brussels Itinerary: Coffee Culture, Camino & Leipzig Connection

Coffee Culture in Brussels: the coffee culture in Brussels is thriving and has a long history. I picked up a booklet from the Cultural Heritage desk at Saint-Géry and will study it carefully and provide a more comprehensive follow-up post once I have settled in Brussels. Then I will be able to review more places and also provide more insights. At first glance, I can tell you that Brussels has traditional European coffeehouses in Art Nouveau style. The most popular ones are Falstaff & Café Le Ciro in the centre. Coffee-wise I don’t have any complaints so far. All drinks, as well as brunch sessions, have been good here.

Of course, Brussels is expensive and coffee costs around the solid 4€ mark. Brunch sits at around 20€

modern coffee culture in Brussels

Best Cafes in Brussels : Franks, Lloyds, Hinterland, Leopolds’, Café Capitale, Ana Attento, To Meli OK : Living Room, My Little Room, Café du Sablon, Forcado Pastelaria Avoid : POZ, POPs, Kafei Consider : Jackie, The Bank, Kaffabar

READ MORE : Brunch in Brussels Guide: the Best and Worst Cafés

Camino: There are 48 brass scallops in central Brussels to mark the route to Santiago. I stumbled upon my first scallop trail marker on the Grand Place (Godiva store corner Rue de la Colline). A follow-up investigation at the Tourist Information (town hall) confirmed that there is an active pilgrim community in Belgium. They have kindly printed some information about the Camino in Brussels  (in French and Dutch only).

Top Tip : Bring your Credential as it will allow you free entry to the cathedrals in Belgium. Plus, people will be happy to give you a stamp.

The route starts at Place Madou and then runs through the centre of Brussels. After Brussels, it is still 2,200 km to Santiago! Pilgrims in Belgium came mainly from the north (Antwerp) and entered the city via Leuvensepoort (Madouplein). The focus of the pilgrims was to reach the Church of St. Michael and Gudula, as they also venerated other saints. Like the urban development in Santiago, the pilgrims also shaped Brussels’ city structure. There were several fountains and smaller marketplaces with halles, such as Halles Saint-Géry, to provide food and shelter for the pilgrims. Some historic hostels date back to the 14th century (Saint-Jacques d’Overmolen in the area south of Manneken Pis) and now only survive as small ruins or memorial plaques. Whilst you’re in the area, have a look at the Church of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours.

Camino way marker in Brussels EU Quarter

Leipzig Connection : Leipzig was mentioned at the free exhibition on the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert during June. The shopping arcade is part of a wider network of preservation for European passages, which the Mädler Passage in Leipzig is a member of.

What else is there to know about Brussels?

  • Supermarkets : You’ll get an awkward amount of uneven change in supermarkets. So you’ll end up with lots of 1p and 2p coins in your wallet. Cashiers get annoyed and refuse to take these when you want to pay on the dot.
  • Prices and costs vary tremendously e.g. can of ice cold coke, Brussels Central: 2.40€, Brussels Saint Gilles: 1.10€, Antwerp Central: 80p
  • You often have to shop around to get the best deals. Local supermarkets, e.g. Carrefour is very expensive. Example: Febreze costs 6€ in Carrefour, but only 2.50€ at Action. Aldi/Lidl are sparse and not in every neighbourhood.
  • Public Transport : Be careful when you travel on the metro. Fare evaders are common and will squeeze through the turnstile with you. Some of them can be aggressive and even push you.
  • The old trams are very narrow, so be careful when entering and embarking. It is not always clear, how to open doors in the old trams. From the outside there is a green vertical strip which you have to press. It’s odd AF.
  • Public WiFi : Brussels and WiFi are incompatible. All WiFi networks require a password and log in details. Usually even if you do register or have WiFi details it is still a lucky game if you can actually get on the network. In most cases you won’t. I have not been able to connect to the public City WiFi as I never receive a text code to verify. I once received the code after requesting it 5 days ago. Obvs my session was long expired by then.
  • Train Travel : is moderately priced in Belgium e.g. Antwerp tickets depend on the time of travel. Weekday travel ranges between 10-16€ return, Ghent 10€ return.
  • It gets costly internationally, e.g. Lille or Rotterdam even though these cities are close by and only 100km away. Tickets start at 80€ return. You can save 30% off the ticket price if you book a week in advance.
  • General Things to Know about Brussels : Always look up. The real Brussels happens from the first floor upwards!
  • The city tax in Brussels is 4.20€ per day but gets scrapped if you stay longer than 91 nights. This might be good to know for digital nomads and long-term travellers as the city tax would start all over again if you choose to stay at different properties during your stay.
  • Language Situation : French and Flemish (Dutch variant) are the official languages in Brussels. No worries, most Brussellers speak English and will react positively if you ask them nicely to switch languages. All Belgians have been very helpful and friendly. Be aware though, this is international English, so speakers will often have strong accents, make many mental breaks (erm, you know) or may use the wrong diction.
  • Belgian Chocolate Souvenirs : best to buy these in town and directly from your chosen Chocolatier. The deals at the airport aren’t as good, plus there is a completely different collection available. Some chocolatiers only have small sections available at the airport instead of their own shop.

Making of “Brussels 3 Day Itinerary”

Here are some insights into my work and research when I compiled this post:

  • Spent time in Brussels and researched extensively on site
  • Visited exhibitions, maisons and gathered information
  • Researched, assessed and processed material
  • Visited Tourist Information to compile material for my post
  • Bought additional material at my own expense, such as books on coffee culture, art nouveau in Brussels and pass
  • Went on day trips at my own expense to provide travel options & recommendations

Maison dArthur Nelissen art nouveau house in Brussels

FAQs about Brussels 3 Day Itinerary

I understand this is quite a lengthy post and you may have some quick questions about my Brussels 3 Day Itinerary. You can, of course, always come back to any section of my post and read in more detail what you’d need for your trip. If you have questions or need help, please get in touch and I’m happy to assist.

How many days in Brussels?

This is an itinerary designed for 3 days in Brussels, which I feel is a good amount of time for a first visit. I have also done Brussels as a day trip from London and now moved to the city. There is still so much to explore. Again, this is heavily dependent on what piques your interest.  

Is Brussels worth visiting?

Don’t expect Brussels to be overloaded with popular attractions left right and centre. If you like architecture and lifestyle, international flair and food, Brussels is for you. I’ve compiled a list with some potential pro and con considerations.

Pros : – small, compact – lots of lifestyle offerings – well-connected to other cities – characterful neighbourhoods – character lies outside of the city centre, perfect for exploring and own adventures – Belgian Camino – Open vibe, feeling of familiarity and welcome

The View Brussels Ferris wheel in brussels

Cons : – expensive, very outdated accommodation – city centre and tourist areas need more upkeep, quite dirty & messy – can feel a bit “European superiour”, remember this is a multilingual city and people have certain cultural expectations e.g. approach with French – needs some preparations, otherwise you’ll be disappointed and struggle filling your time

Is Brussels solo travel friendly?

Brussels is very friendly towards solo travellers. I have no complaints or any negative experiences to share (yet). It is a safe city, however as all big cities, it has its dodgy areas and in parts, it’s not the best maintained city. Waste dumping makes the city look unattractive and some buildings need desperate upkeep. I tolerated it during my time living there, it is of course a different story if you only visit Brussels for 3 days.

Thanks so much for reading. If you’ve enjoyed my Brussels 3 Day Itinerary and would like to support my blog & research, you can do so via Buy Me a Coffee .

Till next time,

You may also enjoy reading:

  • Odd Quirks Of Living In Brussels You Should Know About
  • Brunch in Brussels Guide: the Best and Worst Cafés
  • My Ultimate Eastern Europe Itinerary around the Danube Region
  • Is The Eurostar London to Brussels Train Link Worth It?
  • Visiting Bruges In December Is Always A Good Idea
  • 3 Week Itinerary For An Epic Baltics Tour & Finland Trip

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About SoloTravelStory

Blogs about her travel adventures in the world from her London home.

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So much information and helpful details here Carolin. Appreciate the effort of curating this itinerary for us specially to someone like me who haven’t been to Brussels yet. I’d love to check out the Art Nouveau architecture of the city. It seems Brussels have a lot. I have always wanted to decorate our place with hints of art nouveau style and visiting the city will surely usher me some inspiration. And I think I know where the perpect place to start – the Tropismes bookshop! #flyingbaguette

Jan –

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Lyn (aka Jazz)

I always love a UNESCO site, Art Nouveau, bookstores, and chocolate! Definitely would want to see Palais Stocle since I am a huge fan of Klimt. It sounds like Brussels is a place for me!

The EU area sounds very interesting, disappointed to learn about the rude staff and lack of diversity in the exhibitions. I think I would still visit but I appreciate the head’s up to keep my expectations low.

As always, I appreciate your coffee culture reports.

Lyn |

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One of my favourite things to do in Brussels was just walk around, admiring the gorgeous architecture and finding little hidden gems along the way. It’s nice that it doesn’t feel like it needs to be a go go go city. Great tip about getting out of the centre and visiting the food market hall. That’s something I would love to do and not something I thought of seeking out the first time I was there. Of course no trip to Brussels is complete without filling an empty suitcase with chocolate, I was spoiled for choice. You’re making me really want to go back to Brussels again soon and explore some more

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It’s been over 20 years since we were last in Brussels and your detailed post has prompted us to think about returning. We visited some of the places you mention (the Atomium looks shinier than when we were there- maybe they gave it a polish!) but somehow we missed out on the fabulous Art Nouveau – we are huge fans of that movement. The staircase at Hotel Hannon is just sublime! We would definitely want to do the self-guided walk and it was a handy tip about the Art Nouveau Pass and the heritage days, definitely worth thinking about the timing on the trip. Good to know about additional day trips – we visited Bruges, but not Antwerp or Ghent – and they both sound delightful.

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Brussels was the first foreign city I ever went to – I was 14 years old and it as much a wonderous place then as it is today. Interesting to read about the difference between a Maison and Hotel – never knew that story. For me, just wandering the streets and taking in all those old, quaint buildings is enough of a sightseeing tour in itself.. It has some gorious buildings and your pics bring out the majesty in many of those buildings.

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WOW! That is such an incredibly detailed post! I have never been to Brussels but this post seems to emphasize all the important places and a few to avoid. I like the length and detail as it gives a true flavour of the city. Now I want to go there! Thanks.

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Sarah's Sojourns

Great article, except it’s convinced me I need way more than 3 days to see Brussels! I definitely want to get out and do some day trips.

Last time I was there I really enjoyed just wandering around and eating lots of delicious food so missed a lot of the things you mention!

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James Fahey

I am a little ignorant when it comes to Brussels but great to see it’s worth a few days in the capital of the EU. Grote Markt looks epic. I would love to see the Art Nouveau architecture having been impressed when in Riga so that would be on my itinerary for sure. I enjoy visiting small and compact cities which means getting around is easier and you don’t waste time so it’s ticking all the boxes for me! I would also enjoy going around the EU quarter to see if I can spot any notable people in power.

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I confess that I never put Brussels on my list of cities to visit because I didn’t realize how interesting it would be. The architecture of the central area is beautiful. I’m fascinated by Art Nouveau, so I’m sure I’d be delighted with the city. And for book lovers, the Tropismes bookshop is spectacular. I had no idea that the Way of St. James passed through Brussels 🙂 Once again, it’s a very comprehensive article full of fabulous tips for those who want to visit the city!

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Tiffany Pence

I always thought Brussels was a modern city, but happy to learn about all the Art Nouveau architecture! I was considering Brussels for its Christmas market, chocolate, and waffles, but now I know there’s more to this exciting city!

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What a great guide! I used to go to Brussels for work occasionally (pre Brexit) but didn’t see half of the goodies mentioned here. I did love the art nouveau, the mussels and the fries as well as the chocolate! And once I got the hang of the underground I found it an easy city to get around. Now I need to go back and fill in all the gaps in my itinerary.

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My sister in law is doing a long layover in Brussels for our trip in January (I didn’t have the time off), so I’m sending this to her so she knows what to do with a short time frame in the city. I love that you also included places to avoid – so true that not everywhere is worth it!

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Brussels looks like a very beautiful place with many places to visit, really thank you for taking the time to leave every detail written in this blog and for the recommendations I must definitely put it on my next vacation, I am from Cusco Peru and also love a solo traveler, I invite you to also visit my country, we have many places to visit. 🙂

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Yasser Moosa

What a delightful journey through Brussels! Your 3-day itinerary is a treasure trove of must-visit spots, blending history, culture, and those irresistible waffle stops. I can almost taste the chocolate through your vivid descriptions. Thanks for sharing your solo adventure; it’s like I strolled through the Grand Place myself! Can’t wait to read more tales from your solo travel escapades. Safe and happy travels!

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Thanks for sharing such a detailed itinerary. It’s great that you’ve added pros and cons.

Chloe | The Coconut Atlas

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This is an excellent itinerary for Brussels. I love the city so much and I could meander around looking at the beautiful art nouveau for days! Thanks for all this insight into such an amazing city. I’ll definitely bookmark this for my next visit to Belgium.

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Riana Ang-Canning

I really enjoyed our visit to Brussels back in 2023 – it’s a surprisingly cool city! Though I missed out on lots of the beautiful art nouveau architecture and coffee culture that you found. Looking forward to exploring more next time!

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A Solo Travellers Guide to Brussels

  • guides & tips

February 13, 2020

A Solo Travellers Guide to Brussels

Edited by Matthew Wears

Traveling to Brussels alone has to be one of the most exciting things to do as a traveler, I think. This city has so many different cultures and languages, so you’ll always feel totally at home, no matter where you’re from. As an Italian who has lived in Brussels for ten years, I know what it feels like to travel around the Belgian capital on your own. If you’re worried to solo travel Brussels then you really shouldn’t be, it’s one of the friendliest places in the whole world! You could sit down in a bar at night and start of a conversation with pretty much anyone, it’s really that sort of place. There’s also a ton of super cool things to do in Brussels on your own, so don’t be worried about finding them. That’s my job! I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite spots to come when I’m on my own, as well as some cool ideas for you to experience the unique nightlife in Brussels too. It’s the bars and restaurants where you’ll find so much of the city’s character, so these are important places to come if you want to meet some new people. So here’s my personal Brussels solo travel guide!

Where to stay

Where to stay

I think for people travelling to Brussels alone, you’re going to want to find somewhere that’s got a bit of a vibe about it. The first place I would recommend staying would be in would have to be the Marolles area, a part of the city that sits just on the edge of the historic central district. In recent years, this neighborhood has begun to get super popular with tourists and expats, so you’ll definitely be mixing with similar people here. This sudden influx of visitors means that Marolles has gone from being a pretty working-class kind of neighborhood, to one of the most exciting in the whole of Brussels. Expect to find lots of antiques markets, traditional styled buildings, and of course plenty of local spots to grab a few beers at night. One of my top tips is stay away from boring hotels, there’s loads of really quirky private rooms available here that are much more exciting.

City Unscripted article image

This being said, the beauty of Brussels is that wherever you end up staying, you’re never going to be far from the center. Just south of Marolles lies the neighborhood of St. Gilles, another super popular expat area that oozes typical Belgian culture. There is absolutely tons of cool stuff to see down in this part of town, from cinemas, theaters and art galleries, some of the best solo activities Brussels has to offer can be found in St. Gilles. Another great place to stay would be super vibrant and slightly more upmarket Ixelles area. This is still popular with locals and tourists, but you’re not going to get that same bohemian vibe that you find with St. Gilles. Instead, you’re going to find cool cafes and trendy bars with a pretty stylish feeling about them. The African quarter, Matongé, is also worth checking out for those of you who want to experience some unusual nightlife in Brussels .

What to do

Despite its small size, Brussels certainly has an awesome range of tourist attractions that should be on your travel itinerary. Of course, the main sights such as the Grand Palace and the Manneken Pis aren’t restricted to this Brussels solo travelers guide, but they’re still must see attractions . For somewhere that’s vibrant and full of all kinds of people, you should check out the Marolles Flea Market that takes place every morning in the Place du Jeu de Balle. This is a pretty amazing selection of weird antiques, interesting artworks and everyday items such as vinyl’s and books. There’s also plenty of vintage clothing to be found here, so if you’re like me and love to find that second-hand bargain, this is definitely the place to go. This is one of my favorite things to do in Brussels on your own, I still come here now after ten years.

City Unscripted article image

For some other cool things to do in Brussels on your own, you should really head downtown to the Ixelles and St. Gilles neighborhoods. Not only are these two of the best places to stay, but I’d also recommend you spend an afternoon exploring them. Brussels is one of Europe's greenest cities and there’s plenty of places to chill out during the day. Ixelles is filled with loads of tranquil green spaces, especially the Tenbosch Gardens. This 19th century walled garden is one of the most beautiful parks in the whole city, especially during summer when the flowers start to bloom and many locals sit out on the grass. Another place that’s worth checking out is the beautiful Kings Gardens. This is actually a private garden, although there are group tours that operate every day which would work well if you wanted to mix with some new people.

City Unscripted article image

When I’m travelling on my own, I love to find the best views wherever I am. In Brussels, you should definitely go to the beautiful Poelaert Square. This is located right in front of the grand Justice Palace, which still to this day remains one of the biggest buildings in the whole of Europe. From here you can not only see the law courts, but you can also get stunning views of the rest of the city too. Also, you couldn’t solo travel Brussels without visiting the iconic Atonium building either. This weird and unique building in the center of the city is a maze of metal tubes and staircases, with some of the best panoramic views of the city. Another cool thing to do would be to take a day trip out of the city ! Because of Belgium's small size, you can travel to nearby cities such as Bruges or Antwerp and back all in one day. 

Where to eat

Where to eat

Like pretty much anywhere else, searching for where to eat in Brussels really depends on what kind of food you want, as well as how much you’re looking at spending. For anyone looking for a medium budget option that’s going to give them a taste of some real Belgian favorites, then you have to try Beat. This stylish spot is perfect if you want to socialise with locals or travelers, and the food is really great too (especially the brunch). One of my favorite places to eat has to be 52 and the Secret Garden down in the Ixelles neighborhood. The food is a fairly simple Italian classics, but the restaurant itself is easily one of the coolest in the city. The quirky European furniture give this place a really unique, vintage kind of vibe, and as you might expect, there’s also a very hidden garden area that’s great for warm nights.

City Unscripted article image

Even though Belgium isn’t particularly famous for its food, that’s not to say you can’t find some super interesting places to eat around the city. La Quincailleirie is undoubtedly one of these places, and I’d say visiting here is one of the most u nusual things to do in Brussels . The building is an old ironmongers’ shop that really doesn’t look like it’s changed too much over the years. This looks like the set of a movie and you can still see a lot of the original features, such as the dark wood walls, the huge clock and of course amazing central iron staircase. This is a great place to come to splash out! For all you budget travelers, try going to Mano à Mano down in Ixelles. This is a super cheap pizzeria that’s very basic, but very tasty! This is a real locals spot too, so it’s great if you want to go and make some new friends and practice your French.

City Unscripted article image

Most places in Belgium are totally safe for you to walk around at any time of day, but is Brussels safe to travel alone? The answer is yes, although I would recommend not to walk around the downtown areas alone after dark. If you do, make sure you keep to the well-lit areas with plenty of people. Also, make sure you take your travel documents with you when you’re walking around the city. I’ve heard of a few cases where people have been asked to show them but haven’t had them available. One more thing I’d say is don’t litter - apart from being a lazy, row-rate thing to do, you’ll get fined for it! For transport around the city, there’s only one way I’d completely recommend; bicycle. To solo travel Brussels and not rent a bike would be totally crazy, it’s one of the best cities in the world to pedal around. Because it’s so small, you can pretty much ride everywhere in no time at all. Just be warned, there’s plenty of hills that will get your blood pumping.

Hello, curious traveler! Embark on a unique experience with Hello, curious traveler! Embark on a unique experience with City Unscripted Brussels. Our personalized, private tours, led by local hosts, make you feel like you’re exploring the city with a knowledgeable friend. We’ll take you to well-known sights and reveal Brussels’s hidden gems, unveiling stories typically missed by traditional tours. So unscript your journey, and see Brussels through the eyes of our local hosts!

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Solo travel brussels – the ultimate guide.

Solo Travel Brussels

Recently, I took a fantastic solo trip to Belgium, flying into Brussels Charleroi. I spent three days in Brussels and then travelled on to the beautiful cities of Bruges and Ghent. I found Brussels to be a fantastic city for solo travellers, with plenty of cafes, walkable tourist trails and street art. It’s an international city, too, making it easy to meet other travellers and digital nomads. In all honesty, I could quite happily live in Brussels….I will definitely be returning! Today, I am excited to share with you my guide to solo travel in Brussels.

Disclosure : is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to, Get your Guide and other affiliated sites. Affiliate links may be used in this article on  ‘Iolo travel Brussels’ , but they do not impact on the price that you pay and they do help me to get this information to you for free.

Introduction to solo travel in Brussels

Brussels is a lot smaller than London or Paris and so it feels more manageable to get around. Much of the centre is pretty walkable, and I would recommend a walking tour on your first day, which will give you a good historical overview and help you to get your bearings. Regarding budget, I would recommend that you plan for at least 100-150€ per day. Even if you stay in a hostel, Brussels isn’t cheap (I paid around 45€ a night a LATROUPE hostel) and spent around 30-40€ a day on food. Then you need to consider tips for guides and entrance to attractions and museums.

solo travel Brussels Grand Place walking tours

Is Brussels safe to travel alone

I was in Brussels for three days and felt very safe there. I saw a few homeless people, but no-one that bothered me. You are recommended to wear your backpack on the front rather than on the back, some guides reported the odd pickpocket ‘tagging on’ to walking tours’ ready to take any opportunity that they can to swipe your wallet. Pick pockets and muggers are common in the following areas…

  • At Brussels Gare du Midi/Zuidstation and Brussels Gare du Nord
  • On international trains, particularly the Paris-Brussels and Amsterdam-Brussels
  • In busy areas of central Brussels, including the EU quarter.

Also, there has been a recent terror attack on Brussels – two Swedes were shot dead by someone allegedly inspired by ISIS (October 2022). Always check the foreign office recommendations and guidance before you travel. However, on the whole, these incidents in Brussels are rare and it is generally a safe place to travel alone.

solo travel Belgium Grand Place Brussels

Photography copyright: All the images in this blog are original photography by Amy Green and are property of @templeseeker (unless otherwise stated). Please do not use these without permission or without giving credit. If you would like to use any of these images please email: [email protected] for permission. 

How long should I spend in Brussels?

I would recommend 2-3 days in Brussels to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in the city. The main sites CAN be seen in just one day, but you would be very rushed and tired, so I would not recommend doing it that way. If you give yourself 2-3 days in Brussels you will also have some time to explore the different neighbourhoods in Brussels such as the Sablon and St Catherines.

If you are lucky enough to have a week in Brussels, you will be able to see a great deal of the city and also take a few day trips while you are there – I highly recommend a day trip to Bruges and Ghent . You might also find this article on one week in Belgium helpful.

Is Ghent worth visiting?

Best Youth Hostel for solo female travel in Brussels

The best Youth Hostel in Brussels that I have found so far in LATROUPE Hostel on Boulevard Anspach. It is a great location – walkable to Grand Place. The hostel has clean and comfortable rooms with bedside charging points and clean bathrooms. There is good Wi-Fi throughout and a bar serving drinks and snacks (including pizzas). There are always friendly staff on hand and you can even pay 25€ for unlimited beer for the day! I felt very at home at LATROUPE Hostel and would highly recommend it for solo female travellers.

The Mandalorian Street Art Brussels

Safety tips for travelling alone in Brussels

  • Avoid busy areas, particularly protests or marches.
  • Wear comfortable shoes such as walking boots to avoid trips, slips or falls.
  • Keep your phone charged with plenty of charge and if possible have plenty of Data (I pay for roaming for my mobiles so that it works in Europe as well).
  • Don’t stop to speak to homeless or beggars on the street.
  • If walking at night stick to well lit areas and avoid quiet dark alleys.
  • Always check safety with the UK Foreign Office or your countries government travel advice before travelling. The up to date UK Foreign office advice on Belgium can be found here .

English is widely spoken

Belgium has three official languages: Dutch (Flemish), French, and German. Brussels is kind of in the middle of Wallonia (French speaking) and Flanders (Dutch speaking) parts, although Brussels itself is about 75% French. So a little French will help you along your way – my GCSE French helped me out a fair bit!

BUT, if you find all these language issues confusing, worry not….most people in Brussels can and will speak English! I found people would speak English to me in most bars, restaurants and museums. If English or French are your first language, you won’t have a problem in Brussels.

Is Brussels worth visiting La Bourse

Money in Brussels

The currency used in Brussels is the EURO. It is recommended that you take a mixture of cash and cards. Your UK credit or debit card is likely to work in Brussels, and there are some places that don’t like to accept cash, so quite often you will need to make sure you have your card ready!

Small € cents (0.01 and 0.02) are supposed to still be accepted in Belgium but many people do not take them! Have a few 50c coins in your purse for toilet stops.

Reasons to Travel Alone to Brussels

There are so, so many reasons to travel alone to Brussels! I found it a very easy and comfortable place to travel, and the trains were double deckers – fast and efficient! Here are my top reasons to travel alone to Brussels…

  • Brussels has an extensive travel network , making it an ideal base for further exploring other parts of Europe. For example, you can easily do day trips to Lille (France), Ghent and Bruges.
  • If you want to travel further afield and make Brussels a part of your Euro-trip , then other main capitals are really accessible. You could be in Amsterdam, Paris or Cologne by train within just a few hours!
  • Brussels is a very manageable capital (smaller than Paris) and you can see a lot for free on foot! Join one of the free walking tours that start at Grand Place at 10.30am (tip based so give what you can).
  • Brussels is an EASY place to get around for solo travellers – the ticket machines for public transport all have options in English and all take credit or debit card (my Barclaycard worked really well in Brussels).
  • Brussels has fantastic food options – you will get to try some amazing dishes including Flemish stew, moules-frites, the Pistolet (round breads) and, of course, plenty of Belgian chocolate!
  • There are some really fun touristy days out to be had , including the Atomium and Mini-Europe.
  • Architecture is stunning – don’t miss La Bourse, St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral, the Town Hall, the Galleries, the Royal Palace and the Palace of Justice.
  • Brussels has beautiful parks – don’t miss Parc du Cinquantenaire, Jardin du Mont des Arts and le petit Sablon.
  • Brussels is an international city , making it easy to meet other travellers and digital nomads.
  • If you like Street Art then you will LOVE the comic book route!
  • Remember to find the three peeing statues! Mannekin pis (the boy), Yaneke pis (the girl) and Zinneke pis (the dog!)

Peeing dog Brussels Het Zinneke pis

Solo travel Brussels – Dining out

Dining out in Brussels is an absolute privilege! I had the pleasure of being guided around by my friend Mark who now works for the European Commission. We went to Brasserie Surrealiste, which has a fantastic selection of burgers and beer, with a divine interior! Also I got the chance to try some moules-frites at Restaurant Francoise in St Catharines. Eating out isn’t exactly cheap in Brussels – plan to spend around 30€ for each meal out with drinks (can be more if you go for starters or desserts).

Brasserie Surrealiste Brussels

A good tip to save money when eating out is to avoid places with pictures of food (tourist traps!) and look for the Plat du Jour (dish of the day) which is often a set menu for say 25€. You are not expected to tip in Brussels – tipping is not really part of their culture because the waiting staff are paid a very decent wage. It’s not like the USA where the wages for servers are low and then topped up with tips dependant on good service.

Moules-frites in Brussels

Meeting other Solo Travellers

You don’t feel lonely in Brussels as a traveller. As it is such an international city, it’s easy to meet other travellers, international workers and digital nomads. Bars, cafes and hostels are great places to meet people. I met some great people in this hostel including an Australian board game designer and a Korean Police officer! If you are staying a bit longer in Brussels, there are plenty of meet-up groups and Facebook groups for people working in Brussels remotely. There are also a number of social groups for different activities including walking groups and board game clubs!

Is Brussels worth visiting Comic Book Route

Brussels has Excellent Tourist guides

The tourist guides in Brussels are excellent – most (if not all) will speak English and have an excellent knowledge of the history of the city. As I’ve previously mentioned, I highly recommend the free walking tours, most start from Grand Place at 10.30am every morning. It is advisable to book online in advance and although they are advertised as ‘free tours’ they do work on a tip basis, so pay what you think the tour is worth. I went on the ‘Ambassador’ free walking tour which was excellent! Book it here .

You can also book private tours, which are slightly more expensive but they can be tailored to your needs and interests. There are plenty of specialist tours as well – beers tours and the street art tour!

Brussels Solo Travel tips

  • Toilets – Most museums have toilets that they will let you use. You can also go into a local bar or cafe and they will probably let you use their facilities, although it is polite to buy a drink there. Some paid toilets will ask for 50c.
  • Take a refillable water bottle (mine is a SIGG) as there are plenty of places you can fill up your bottle and this will help you to avoid dehydration in Brussels.
  • Wear some sturdy walking boots (mine are Karrimor) because you will be doing a lot of walking in Brussels!
  • Take a rain jacket and sun hat – the weather can be very changeable. It can be very hot in August and rainy and chilly from around November to February.
  • Have some comfortable and conservative clothing for visiting Churches in Brussels. inn trousers and a blouse or hiking pants and T-shirts with sleeves (no tops with cleavage or shoulders showing) are ideal. When visiting churches remain silent, avoid flash photography and follow the rules as it is a place of worship.
  • Use the Metro to get between districts – it is fast, easy and cheap.
  • If you want to use the bikes or scooters in Brussels then download the following apps: Lime, Dott, Bolt.

Packing list for Solo travel in Brussels

  • Passport and travel documents (I travel with Ryanair and download the app on my phone)
  • Sturdy walking boots or comfy trainers – I like my Karrimor Weatherlite walking boots , which have good ankle support and are lightweight.
  • Comfortable clothing – jeans, shorts, T-shirts and leggings or hiking trousers. 
  • Comfortable dress and shoes for evenings out.
  • A refillable walking bottle – I use SIGG because they are sturdy and durable. 
  • Plenty of Euros (including small coins) and a VISA or MASTERCARD (Credit or Debit)
  • Padlock – for securing your belongings, especially if you stay in Youth Hostels as most have a locker or under bed chest available but padlocks not always supplied.
  • The Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg – I love to have a hard copy of the Lonely Planet to read on trains and also at times with poor wi-fi.

brussels solo travel reddit

Always get travel insurance

Remember to always book travel insurance for your trip to Belgium as medical care can be expensive. You will need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions if you have any.

Overall Verdict – Should I travel to Brussels alone?

Overall, I really enjoyed solo travel in Brussels and would highly recommend it. Brussels would work well for a newbie solo traveller or also can be enjoyed by someone more experienced. Don’t miss this fantastic diverse, manageable and exciting European city as a solo traveller!

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this article on Solo Travel in Brussels then you might also like to read….

  • Is Brussels worth visiting?
  • Best food in Ghent
  • Things to do in Ghent
  • Is Bruges worth visiting?


Hi, I'm Amy and I have over 25 years of travel experience. I love seeking out temples, Churches and other religious and historical buildings. My BA (Religions and Theology) and MA (South Asian Studies) were gained from the University of Manchester. When I'm not blogging about Europe, Asia and the Middle East you will find me at home in Liverpool with my husband and Blake the Patterdale terrier! Come and join me on my templeseeking journey around the world!

Brussels Solo Travel Guide

Brussels Town Hall Grand Square

Planning a solo trip to Brussels ? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:


  • Capital of Belgium and de facto capital of the European Union, with  ~1.2 million residents.
  • The center for international politics since the end of World War II , Brussels hosts the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • Has two official languages – all street names and signs are both in Dutch and in French.
  • Nicknames: Capital of Europe, Comic City


  • Currency:  Euro  (EUR).
  • Spoken languages:  Dutch  and French . English widely understood.
  • Best time to visit:  May  to  October .
  • Getting there: the airport is 12 km from the city center. Private, public, and Airport Express buses are available at Level 0. The Airport Line is operated by STIB that transfers passengers to Luxembourg or Brussels City Center.
  • There are two buses – Line 12 and Line 21. Line 12 (express) goes straight to the main station, while Line 21 has many stops. The last stop is the Royal Palace. Fare is EUR 4.00 on board.
  • The taxi stand is just outside the arrival hall and will cost approximately EUR 35.00 to Brussels Centrale.
  • Brussels Airport also has a railway line connecting to Brussels-Nord, Brussels-Centrale and Brussels-Midi. Train tickets can be purchased from the airport railway station (Level 1).


  • Best hostel for solo travelers in Brussels: Latroupe Grand Place . It’s not the cheapest in town, but you get what you pay for: great location and atmosphere, with friendly staff and clean rooms and facilities. Many community events organized. Book ahead, as this one fills up fast!
  • For hotels, look for places close to the Grand Palace – the Sablon area and Louise Avenue are both walking distance from the Palace.


  • The city center is quite compact and can be explored on foot .
  • Some sights are best reached via public transport . The Metro, trams, and buses are all operated by STIB and therefore share the same ticketing system. The most basic ticket is the “1 jump” ticket, valid only on any inner-city transport for 1 hour from the time of validation. This will cost EUR 2.00 on board. Tickets are cheaper when purchased at the metro station. There are 2 tram lines and 4 metro lines serving the Brussels city center.
  • Taxis can be booked by calling Autolux at +32 (0)2 411 41 42 or +32 (0)2 512 31 23, and Unitax-Brabant on +32 (0)2 715 40 40. There are numerous taxi stands on the sides of the main streets.


  • Drinking age is 16 , last call is 2 AM.
  • Tip : Brussels is famous for its traditional Belgian beer.  A la Becasse , famous all over the city for their jeune Lambic blanche (white beer served in a stone jug), is located at the end of a narrow passage near the Grand Palace.
  • Hip/local scene: the bars and cafes in Place Saint Boniface, the Saint Gery area (near downtown), and RECYCLART (located inside an underground train station). Place Saint Boniface closes down for a street party at least once a year during the summer time.
  • Great places to stop for a drink : Café Belga, Café Bizon ,  Bonnefooi , and Le Coq ($).
  • Check out the clubbing scene: C12 , Fuse , Zodiak .
  • College crowd: The pubs and cafés at Place Saint Boniface. Pubs to check out: Les Brasseurs ($) and Le Corbeau ($ – gastropub).
  • Cozy bars that locals love (don’t tell everyone): Le Pantin and the “hidden” bar at Hôtel L’Espérance .


  • The Grand Palace  is the historical heart of Brussels. This 15th-century town square, delicately sculpted and immaculately decorated, is where many visitors first become acquainted with the city. The square is bordered by bars, cafes, and famous Belgian chocolatiers. The Town Hall is located within the square.
  • Manneken Piss – this small bronze fountain sculpture (featuring a little boy urinating into the fountain basin) was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618.
  • The Atomium  is the “Eiffel Tower of Brussels,” just a short walk from the Heysel metro station. Constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair, the structure is made of stainless steel spheres and iron crystal. Enclosed escalators make the five habitable spheres accessible to the visitors. The top sphere offers a panoramic view of the city.
  • Mini Europe and Comin Strip . The Mini Europe theme park is located at the foot of the Atomium. It has scale miniatures of famous monuments and sites across Europe, featuring almost all of the countries on the continent. Tickets to Mini Europe can be combined with the Atomium visit.
  • The Belgian Comic Center contains a permanent exposition featuring the history and development of comics. Tickets cost EUR 7.50.
  • Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark  is located in the east side of the town, and easily reached  by Metro (take Line 1 east, and exit at Schuman). The terrace above the arch offers a great view of the city.
  • Justitiepaleis Brussels . One of the most impressive structures of the city, this is the central Law Court of Brussels.


  • Stroll around the historic center of the city: start at the Grand Palace and head towards the Centrale Station while checking out the Belgian Chocolatiers. Stop by a pub and try some traditional Belgian beer!
  • Walk around the stalls of the flea market at Place du jeu de Balle.
  • Head to Galleries Royal St Hubert and try the spacious Libraire d’art. There are some second-hand book shops in the Bortier Gallery, off Rue Madeleine.
  • Stroll around Place du Grand Sablon – this is a nice area with upscale stores, an antique market, great restaurants, and chocolate boutiques.


  • Brussels is a relaxed multicultural city with warm and welcoming locals. While Dutch and French are the local languages, you can easily get by with just English.
  • Belgium chocolate is famous and appreciated by chocolate lovers the world over. The most popular brands are Leonidas, Godiva, Neuhaus, Marcolini, Wittamer, Chocopolis, and Maison Renardy. Chocolates can be sampled at most of the local gourmets.
  • Belgian beer is a must try for beer lovers. Beer Mania at 174-176 Chausse de Wavre-Waversesteenweg (Ixelles/Elsene) has an extensive stock of over 400 beers.
  • Great restaurants in Brussels that locals love: O Liban ($$ – Lebanese with vegetarian options), CHEZWaWa (Cali-Mexican), Savage ($$), Lucifer Lives (brunch/cakes), Caspian (Persian), Mam Mam (Lao / Thai), Les Larmes du Tigre ($$$ – Thai), Toukoul ($$ – Ethiopian).
  • Where to find good cheap eats : the classic mussels, fries, and Belgian waffles are a must try. The best frites with a bizarre selection of sauces can be found at any of the following frikots – Maison Antoine at Place Jourdanplein, Chez Martine at Place Saint-Josse, Friterie Tabora (Rue de Tabora).
  • Some of the best budget restaurants are L’Express ($ – Lebanese with great vegetarian options), and Tapas Locas ($$) at Rue Marche au Charbons-Kolenmarktstraat. For authentic African food on a budget, check out Au Soleil d’Afrique .
  • Dangerous areas : Brussels is generally a safe city. Areas best avoided at night : Rue Antoine Dansaert, Schaarbeek, Brussels North, St-Josse, Marollen, Anneessens, Molenbeek, and Anderlecht.

Recommended trip duration:  2-3 days

  • Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Antwerp, Belgium
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Paris, France

2 replies on “Brussels Solo Travel Guide”

Wow that’s incredibly comprehensive, clear and short at the same time. Good job!

Thanks, Marco!

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Go! Girl Guides

A Girl’s Guide to Brussels, Belgium

With gothic architecture, delicious waffles and chocolate everything—there’s little not to like about traveling through Brussels solo. Except maybe the weight you’ll gain after a visit here (I swear I gained 5 pounds in 2 days).

Like most of modern Europe, women traveling alone through Brussels likely won’t encounter any problems when it comes to safety and there’s no dress code you need to be aware of here while exploring, though all travelers should be wary of pickpockets that turn up in the Grand Place.

Be careful with drinking here and be sure to know your limits and how you’ll get back to your hotel: the beer flows quickly and continually while in Brussels.

Here are our highlights of Brussels, Belgium and our favorite places to stay when you’re traveling Brussels solo.

Brussels solo must-sees

By: Brunello Menicucci

The Mannequin Pis

It’s kind of weird that one of the main attractions in Brussels is a small bronze statue of a little kid peeing, into a fountain, but hey, it is. Located at the junction of Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat, but you can probably find it just by walking through downtown and looking for where crowds are gathering.

Grand Place

It’s the city’s main attraction for good reason—a UNESCO World Heritage site and a stunning main market square with cobblestone streets and tall, stunning buildings anywhere you look. Being in the main square of Brussels is still one of my most favorite memories of Europe, and there are several cafes here for you to grab a seat and enjoy the views.


Take a whirlwind tour of Europe at Mini-Europe, which houses reproductions of monuments found throughout the European Union. In total, the park represents 80 cities and 350 monuments. It’s kind of weird, but in a good way.

This molecule-shaped stainless steel structure has become the symbol of Brussels and though it’s a little outside of the city, it’s worth a visit for the views of the city itself.

brussels solo travel reddit

By: Chris Yunker

The Hotel Brussels : A great option if you’re traveling Brussels solo. Close to downtown with clean rooms, great views and a luxe feel. Hotel has a sauna, spa and hammam and is also not very far from the airport (15 mins), which makes its location ideal.

Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo : 5-star rooms in a gorgeous building literally in the main square of Brussels, the Grand Place. If you want to be in the heart of everything, look no further!

9Hotel Sablon : 9Hotel Sablon is set in a quiet area of Brussels just over a 5-minute walk from both Grand Place and the Manneken Pis Statue. It features free WiFi and free international newspapers. Comfortable and immaculately clean, we also like this property for their Finnish sauna and whirlpool.

brussels solo travel reddit

By: Ralph Daily

Neuhaus For chocolate and pralines, look no further than Neuhaus, which started it all. Over 150 years ago this place was an apothecary that coated its medicine in chocolate to mask the taste. The chocolate became such a draw that the business model changed—now all you’ll find here is the sweet stuff.

Pro tip: If chocolate is what you’re after, take a stroll over to Sablon, where all the big chocolatiers have a shop. It’s a little less crowded than what you’ll find near the Grand Place.

Maison Dandoy If waffles make your heart sing, head to Maison Dandoy at 4 Place Stephanie, 1050 Ixelles. It’s one of the oldest waffle houses in the country, and still uses all-natural ingredients for its yummy offerings.

Fin de Siècle If you’re in the mood for food, check out Fin de Siècle, one of the best restaurants in Brussels. You’ll find heavy, delicious Belgian cuisine here, which is exactly what you want—you’re in Belgium, after all! Get there early, there’s always a line and they don’t take reservations.

What are your favorite things to see and do in Brussels? 

About Author

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Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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Home » Europe » Belgium » Brussels

Is Brussels Safe for Travel? (Insider Tips)

Brussels isn’t just the home of the “French” fries, waffles, beers and chocolate: it’s a stunner of a city with a ton of history wedged in between its winding cobbled streets. Gothic architecture juts up from the Belgian capital in a literal smorgasbord of fascinating fun.

However, whilst you’re exploring this European capital city and its historic best-bits, there’s a chance you might fall foul to something that is a more than just a little bit of a problem for visitors to Brussels: pickpockets. Also, there have been terrorist attacks in recent years. Being the EU capital city, Brussels is a target.

If you ever wanted to know how statistically safe Brussels is, or just wanted to know what the deal is with the safety on this city’s public transport, we’re happy to say that you’ve come to the right place!

You’re about to delve into a truly in-depth safety guide to Brussels where you’ll find important information as well as insider’s safety tips for just about anyone, from solo female travellers to families, so everyone can travel smart here and stay safe in Brussels.

brussels solo travel reddit

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How Safe is Brussels? (Our take)

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With all its Art Nouveau architecture, famous fountains, famous food, and lots of beer besides, Brussels is most certainly a European capital you should be considering on your hit list.

However, this walkable city doesn’t come without its issues. We’re talking petty crime. Everything from con artists to pickpockets roams the streets around busy tourist sites and transport hubs.

The crime rate, in general, may well be low, but there are definitely things you can do to avoid being targeted by petty criminals (we’ve got tips for you later!). Brussels boasts a few sketchy areas that you might want to steer clear of at night time.

There’s also a threat of terrorist attacks. Public transport and busy areas have been (and therefore could be) targets.

All that said, Brussels is a pretty small city of around 1 million inhabitants . Crime is generally pretty low and easy to avoid. Let’s get down into the nitty-gritty!

There is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, and this article is no different. The question of “Is Brussels Safe?” will ALWAYS have a different answer depending on the parties involved. But this article is written for savvy travellers from the perspective of savvy travellers.

The information present in this safety guide was accurate at the time of writing, however, the world is a changeable place, now more than ever. Between the pandemic, ever-worsening cultural division, and a click-hungry media, it can be hard to maintain what is truth and what is sensationalism.

Here, you will find safety knowledge and advice for travelling Brussels. It won’t be down to the wire cutting edge info on the most current events, but it is layered in the expertise of veteran travellers. If you use our guide, do your own research, and practise common sense, you will have a safe trip to Brussels.

If you see any outdated information in this guide, we would really appreciate it if you could reach out in the comments below. We strive to provide the most relevant travel information on the web and always appreciate input from our readers (nicely, please!). Otherwise, thanks for your ear and stay safe!

It’s a wild world out there. But it’s pretty damn special too. 🙂

brussels safe to visit

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Brussels is basically (but not actually) considered something of a “capital of Europe” since it’s where a load of the EU buildings are located; NATO buildings, European Commission and foreign embassies abound, too. However, there is still crime here.

In 2018, most of the crime in Brussels occurred in the City of Brussels – the very centre of the capital.  Grand Pace, Quartier Nord, Mantonge  as well as the Porte de Hal  and  Brabant  have the highest crime rates.

Overall, however, crime, in general, has fallen by around 20% in Brussels over the past decade; that’s with an increase of 15% of the population.

Having said that, compared to the second largest city of Belgium,  Antwerp,  Brussels has 20% more crime.

2016 brought difficulties for the city, and the country as a whole, as terrorist attacks occurred during this year. But this hasn’t deterred tourists from visiting: in 2018 tourist numbers increased by 2.2% on the previous year.

Finally, if you look at the good ol’ Global Peace Index, Belgium sits happily at 18st (out of 163 countries) – that’s between Mauritius  and  Slovakia. 

At the moment, Brussels is safe to visit.

However, it’s important to note that demonstrations occur quite frequently in the city. These happen mostly around the Schuman area and near transport hubs. Usually, these are peaceful, but there can be incidences of violence; they can also cause travel disruption around the centre of the city. It’s best to stay away from demonstrations and big gatherings.

It’s sad to say also that repeated, coordinated terrorist attacks (the most recent being in November 2018 ) have affected the city. These have occurred at the  Brussels Zaventem Airport, as well as the metro  and  Brussels Central Station. 

The heightened risk of a terrorist attack means that you should be vigilant, and understand what you should be doing in the event of one taking place.

Because of this, security operations by the police can take place at short notice. The public has been asked not to share these operations on social media, for obvious reasons.

On the whole, however, Brussels is safe to visit right now. It’s just important to be aware of the issues currently facing the city (like anywhere).

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

brussels solo travel reddit

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

safety tips for traveling in brussels

Brussels is generally a safe place to visit. It’s as safe as other European capitals, if not safer, but it also faces the same sorts of issues that many other places face as well. Pickpocketing, scams, distraction techniques by con artists and petty criminals mean that your trip could end turning sour, so we’ve put together our best safety tips for travelling to Brussels so you can enjoy your time here totally trouble-free.

  • Leave your valuables at home – everything from flashy watches to wads of cash is safer in your room… or in your money belt .
  • Don’t carry all your important stuff either – take copies of passports/IDs, and limit the amount of credit/bank cards you carry.
  • Be careful around big railway stations  – especially late at night – it is crawling with people who want to rob your stuff!
  • Avoid stations like   Brussels Gare du Midi / Zuid Station (the Eurostar Terminal), as well as Gare du Nord and Schuman ; petty criminals operate at these places in particular.
  • Other places should be avoided at night  – Brussels North, Annessens, Schaerbeek, St Josse, Anderlecht, Marollen, Malenbeek – all dodgy after dark.
  • Watch out for distraction techniques – asking for directions, high-fiving you, pretending to ‘tackle’ you (i.e. football), throwing things on the ground – it happens a lot.
  • Keep aware of overly friendly people  – something, they are not actually friendly.
  • Careful of your luggage on high-speed trains – don’t leave stuff on the racks; it’s known to disappear just before the train leaves.
  • Post-nightclub fights do happen – it can get pretty rowdy. Keep yourself to yourself and don’t hang around: head home!
  • Try to blend in with what you wear  – if you stand out as a tourist you will be more of a target.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at ATMs  – keep a note of who might be watching you.
  • Avoid taking cash out of ATMs at night  – it becomes a significantly sketchier task so best to avoid.
  • Know where you’re going  – Brussels may well be easily walkable, but there are still a lot of streets. Best not get lost and find yourself in the wrong part of town (see points 4 and 5) at the wrong time of day. Make sure you know where to stay in Brussels before you book your accommodation.
  • Keep belongings close to you  – dangly bags, phones in back pockets, SLRs round necks – all easy to snatch
  • Put bags under the table between your legs – even in restaurants, not just on the terrace. Things can get stolen.
  • Get yourself a sim card   – having data on your phone can make travelling around (and enjoying) a city much easier to do
  • Learn some French (or Dutch)  – most people speak French in Brussels, some speak Dutch (well, Flemish). A lot of people will understand English. But it’s still nice to have some of the local lingo down, if not just for restaurant menus!
  • Be careful of what taxis you get  – more on that later!
  • Use public transport to get home after dark – walking could be dodgy.
  • If you’re worried about terrorism… – visit the Belgian Crisis Centre website for more information

So there are a few tips on how to stay safe in Brussels. The most you’ll likely have to worry about is pickpockets; these pests are notorious for stealing people’s cash in the capital, so making sure that you don’t stand out, that you’re not carrying all your precious belongings, and that your stuff isn’t easily steal-able are all things you should be doing. Travel smart – that’s the bottom line here, people.

Just about the most annoying thing that can happen to any world traveller is losing money and nobody wants that – ever. It’s a great way to put a dampener on a trip and it can even put a stop to your travel plans.

In Brussels, there’s a definite worry of having your cash-pinched by a pickpocket. These things really can happen here. With that in mind, there’s one simple solution we’d like to share: money belt.

money belt

Start googling though and you’ll find a literal ton of choices to wade through, some ok, some not ok, but most of them pretty complex and just not what we’d call economical. The Pacsafe Money Belt is our best bet. It’s affordable, it looks and acts like a belt, and it’s sturdy – what more could you ask for out of a money belt!

It’s affordable, it’s rugged and sturdy, it’s simple – just one zip pocket conceals your hard-earned money! Easy.

In Brussels, there are pickpockets and petty criminals to watch out for. Even if you end up letting your guard down for just one moment (it can happen, no matter how well prepared and street smart you are) the best thing for it is a money belt. It’s honestly the most simple way to not have stuff – namely money – stolen from you. Keep your cash in a money belt and keep your pockets free of steal-able stuff.

If you need a little more room for your passport and other travel valuables, have a look at a  full-size money belt  that tucks under your clothes instead.

brussels safe to travel alone

Travelling solo is pretty awesome. You get to grow as a person, challenge yourself and see the world while you’re doing it. Sounds like a blast, right? Add to that the opportunity to meet some cool people and it can be an amazing experience. It’s not all roses, though.

Sometimes the ‘solo travel blues’ can rear its ugly head – a combination of getting lonely and jaded with time spent by yourself in different countries. Brussels is a safe city to explore, but here are some tips for solo travellers in Brussels to make it safer and to keep you grounded.

  • Make sure you pick well-located accommodation. Be careful of hostel descriptions saying they’re “centrally located” – it may be “central”, but it may also be in a sketchy part of town (especially at night). Definitely do your research when it comes to social hostels, hotels, and guesthouses.
  • Read reviews of hostels and places that you’re thinking of staying. Read comments that have been left by other solo travellers to see if it’s really all that good for people travelling by themselves. This is the best way to find something that’s best for you.
  • Take a walking tour around the city. Brussels is pretty small, so a walking tour will be a nice way to get to know what’s going on. Not only is this going to be a cool way to get to know the city streets, but you may also get chatting with some fellow travellers. Always good if you end up on a walking tour organised by your hostel!
  • Walk around the city instead of taking the Discover Brussels card. Purchasing it means that you can travel across the entire network for 48 hours, however, it’s not worth buying. You can walk around the city easily. And when you do need to use public transport, it’ll most likely be one journey each day – at night!
  • Research what you want to see and do when you’re in the city. You might end up leaving a little deflated if you just hit up the top sights, so read around for the best things to do in Brussels.
  • For authentic recommendations on what to do in Brussels, ask locals. The staff at your accommodation is a good place to start. Most likely they’ll know some hidden gems and off the beaten track things you could be getting up to in the Belgian capital.
  • Use one of the Villo! bikes. You can pick these short-term rental bikes up from one of the 180 stations located around the city and pedal it around to your heart’s content; it’s a pretty good way to get around!
  • Don’t forget to keep in touch with people back home. Not only is this a good way to stay grounded and in touch with the real world, but it’s also safer if your friends and family know what your travel plans are, i.e. where you are and what you’re up to.
  • Don’t be a dummy and pack all your cash and bank cards into one bag; if that goes missing, you’re stuffed. Spread your valuables around, don’t lose them, and you may even want to consider bringing an emergency credit card – just in case, you know. For your cash, take a money belt.
  • Finally, Brussels is a fun place to party, but try not to get too wasted – it can be pretty dangerous doing that. Not only can the city’s drinking and partying establishments get pretty rowdy after closing time, but being completely drunk isn’t a safe way to get yourself home. It means that you’ll be putting yourself into (sometimes stupid) situations you wouldn’t be in otherwise.

Don’t let the pickpockets and petty crime put you off visiting Brussels: it’s a fun city to explore. You may be doing it by yourself, but the city is small and walkable, so you’ll be getting to wander around at your own pace without having to worry if anyone else in your group is getting hungry. That being said, there’s no one else to watch your back, so keep your common sense intact, keep in touch with people, and stay safe!

Is Brussels safe for solo female travellers

Like a lot of places in Europe, Brussels is safe to travel as a solo female traveller. However, you’ll probably still have some concerns about your trip to the city. What are you going to do? Who are you going to meet up with? Will you be lonely? All these worries (and more).

To help you out we have got together a list of our best tips for solo female travellers in Brussels. It may be a safe city, but travelling by yourself has its own issues; travelling by yourself as a woman comes with even more risk, too, but don’t you worry – we’ve got it covered.

  • Book yourself into accommodation that’s good for solo female travellers. The best way to do this is to read reviews that have been written by other solo female travellers. If they’re positive and favourable, it’s probably a decent place to stay. Book yourself into a female-only dorm and get chatting with other like-minded people; you may find yourself a drinking buddy!
  • Be open-minded when it comes to getting to know other people. Ask other solo female travellers if they want to go grab a coffee, go visit a cool restaurant, whatever. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to meet other people who are in the same boat as you.
  • Other than hostels, other good places to meet solo female travellers include Facebook groups like Girls Love Travel.  Get yourself on the group and see if anybody else is in Brussels the same time you are.
  • Don’t be afraid to join in the social activities at the hostel or accommodation you’re staying at. Get involved in pub crawls and walking tours, of course, but also don’t shy away from chilling out in the social areas to meet and mingle with other travellers staying there.
  • You don’t need to worry too much about what you wear in Belgium, let alone Brussels. However: pickpockets will target people who look like tourists. So take a look around you and see what the local ladies are wearing. Try to follow suit, rather than wandering around in activewear and walking shoes.
  • Know how to get home if you’re heading on a night out. The Red Light District near Gare du Nord, for example, is a hotbed of sex workers and drugs and is not the ideal place for a solo female traveller to be wandering around lost after dark. If in doubt, get a taxi.
  • Don’t walk around poorly lit areas at night time. In fact, you might just want to avoid walking around at night at all .  With this in mind, don’t blindly follow your Google Maps route home – it could take you on a sketchy shortcut. Stick to the main streets.
  • Ignore and move on if you stumble across groups of men who might catcall. Maybe more likely to happen at night time, and more than likely in some of the city’s sketchier areas.
  • Keep an eye on your drink – drink spiking can happen, so keep hold of it. To be extra safe, don’t let strangers buy you drinks.

Like in most other European cities, you’re going to be generally pretty safe as a solo female traveller. Then again, being a female traveller, you will have other risks to watch out for – as you would anywhere. The thing to remember here is common sense.

That means just doing things you would do at home: not falling for scams in the streets, not getting chatting to weirdos in the streets or out at night, not walking home through dodgy areas after dark… All this and more are things you probably already do at home anyway.

Watching out for any potential dodginess aside, you’re going to have an awesome time in Brussels. It’s a fun city to explore since it’s easy to wander around. However, it’s still a city and cities can get lonely. Make friends with fellow travellers, meet up with people, enjoy.

Is Brussels safe to travel for families

Brussels is very used to families visiting and, as a result, is a safe place for families to travel.

First things first: you can often find family rooms at hotels in Brussels. That’s a pretty handy thing, but even handier is the fact that younger children quite a lot of the time stay for a reduced rate, which is awesome – especially if you’re on a budget.

There’s also plenty to get up to that will keep your kids entertained whilst you’re there, too. Start with the famous peeing statue,  Manneken Pis and look out for his daily outfit changes, which are all on display at the  Museum of the City of Brussels.

Other things to keep you (i.e. your children) out of trouble is the Museum of Natural Science – there’s a ton of information here, and dinosaurs. What small person doesn’t like dinosaurs?

Being a chocolate-y city, there’s chocolate making workshops to get involved with. Maybe you won’t want to do this with your kids actually, because they may go insane.

There’s a lot of cool medieval buildings to generally enchant you and your children though, which is always nice. Another plus is that, unlike other “pretty” European capitals like Paris or Rome, Brussels is much more chilled out and much less stressful; the pace of life is less frantic and there are fewer people around, making it an easier place to take children.

If you’re planning on going out of season (not summer), Brussels will be even quieter. Just make sure you wrap up warm.

You won’t have to worry, at all, about picking up things like nappies, formula, baby food, any other children-based supplies; it’s a family-friendly city and there’ll be shops everywhere selling this kind of thing.

One thing to note: children in Brussels are pretty well behaved. You won’t see many kids running around screaming, so you may want to limit how much your own children do that.

It’s also probably not a very good idea to take your own pram with you. Cobbled streets and steps don’t make for a very pram-friendly environment, so you may want to don a sling if you’re planning on taking a toddler.

Basically, Brussels is 100% safe to visit with children, no doubt about it.

brussels safe to drive road

It may be safe to drive in Brussels, but we wouldn’t say it’s a great idea.

Unless you’re planning on a road trip driving in Brussels will end being a pretty pointless and very expensive exercise. It can get jammed with traffic, there’s a bit of speeding, lots of one-way streets and parking is pricey; those are just a few reasons.

More alarmingly, the road-related death rate in Belgium as a whole is almost double that of the UK.

If you do end up renting a car and driving yourself around you need to be really careful of where you park your car. You need to basically not keep anything valuable in your car – like, ever. Break-ins are not uncommon and thieves have sometimes even grabbed valuable-looking stuff from cars through open windows at traffic lights, so keep those rolled up! Make sure you also purchase solid rental insurance before you hit the road.

You also need to be aware that the city has a low-emission zone in the centre, which limits what sort of vehicles – and how many – can actually enter the “zone”.

Traffic can be very speedy in the city. There’s that to watch out for, but then again you shouldn’t speed yourself. There are a lot of unmarked speed cameras and the fines, if you’re caught, are pretty dang steep.

Trams (which we’ll talk about in a bit) take priority over other traffic. Not stopping for trams is dangerous. If a tram stops, you stop.

You’re not allowed to drink alcohol and drive, obviously, and using your phone whilst driving is stupid too – as well as illegal.

What we’re saying is that driving in Brussels isn’t worth it. It can be scary, unsafe and end up costing you a lot of money. There’s a perfectly good public transport system in place so, if you’re planning on staying in  central Brussels , then don’t bother with your own wheels.

Cycling in Brussels

Brussels is a beautiful city, which is best discovered by bicycle. You can decide your own tempo and ride wherever you want. Lots of Brussels citizens are skipping their car or public transport. Riding your bike through the city, to work or just to meet up with friends has almost become the new trend.

But is it safe? Generally speaking, riding your bicycle is pretty much the fastest and safest way to get from A to B . Of course, there are always exceptions, but if you stick to the rules, the worst-case scenarios become really unlikely.

Especially with the rise of the e-bikes, wearing a helmet has become one of the most important precautions when cycling around the city. Technically, this is not mandatory, but you’re better off safe than sorry.

Brussels has developed a well-connected bike lane network . There are a couple of panoramic paths that you don’t want to miss out either. To get more information about the bicycle map and traffic rules, you can check out the City of Brussels page .

There are two ways to get your hands on a bicycle:

  • rental shops: choose your type of bike and explore the city. This comes in handy when visiting the city for the first time since your rental can give you an introduction and tips.
  • bike-sharing:   there are over 300 bike stations in Brussels, and all you need to do is download an app, find a bike, pay online, and you’re good to go. You’ll pretty much find them around every corner.

Uber exists in Brussels and it is, like Uber around the world, safe.

It works the same as it would in any other country, connecting you with a driver in mere seconds. You can pay through the app, track your journey, and all the other useful stuff that makes Uber so beneficial.

There’s nothing more to say other than to reiterate that Uber is safe in Brussels… and much cheaper than taxis.

Are taxis safe in Brussels

We’re not going to lie: the taxis in Brussels are some of the most expensive in Europe.

On top of that, the only “safety” issue you’re going to have with them is being overcharged – even more!

The base fare for taxis in Brussels isn’t that expensive, really (2.40 Euros): it’s the price per kilometer (1.80 to 2.70 Euros) that really racks that meter up, and that’s without mentioning additional surcharges for things like luggage and waiting time.

Licensed taxis are usually black, or white, and will have a “TAXI” sign on the roof.

The taxis should always use the meter – and you should always pay the price that’s on the meter! No questions!

You can find taxis at taxi ranks outside places like train stations, big hotels and top sights like the  Grand Palace.  Alternatively, you can ask at your accommodation for the number of a reputed minicab company.

Another thing: the taxi drivers in Brussels have a bit of a reputation for being slightly aggressive and driving a little too fast. If you’ve had a driver that you’ve been really dissatisfied with, you can report them; just make a note of their 4-digit taxi ID and you can make a complaint about them.

Mostly the taxis in Brussels are safe, just sometimes the drivers are a little bit unscrupulous.

Is public transportation in Brussels safe

Hands-down the public transport is the best way to get around Brussels. It’s quick, cheap and efficient – for the most part.

Safety-wise, there are some issues with pickpockets around some of the major stations, but generally, it’s pretty safe.

The metro was opened in the 1970s and encompasses 6 lines. However it doesn’t actually cover that much ground, so using the metro alone isn’t actually the best way to get around the city. It opens from 5:30 am till midnight during the week, 6:30 am till midnight.

Buses, on the other hand, are a pretty all-round decent way to get around the city – especially considering that it goes to places that the metro just doesn’t reach. They’re especially good if you want to traverse Brussels after dark: night buses run on Friday and Saturday from 12:15 to 3 am.

There are loads of them, they arrive every 30 minutes and they cover many of the city’s main streets. If you’re worried about any rowdy behaviour on the bus (which can happen) just sit close to the driver.

Then there’s the tram system. It’s got quite a claim to fame: Brussels’ tram lines, all 17 of them, make up one of the largest tram networks in the world.

It’s open from 6 am till midnight, runs past many of the city’s top attractions, and runs over as well as underground.

Trains are a good way to travel around Belgium as a whole. In fact, you may arrive in Brussels on a train (if you’ve caught the Eurostar, for example). If you arrive at the  Eurostar Terminal,  definitely be aware of your belongings and surroundings; this area of town really isn’t the nicest and is known for pickpockets operating in and around the station. Be careful of your baggage, too, and don’t fall for distraction techniques.

To sum up: Brussels’ public transport is safe. However, your money may not always be safe, so ensure vigilance especially in busy stations.

Is the food in Brussels safe

French fries, mussels, beer, chocolate, waffles: these are some of the tastiest, most iconic treats that will be in store for you if you plan on heading to Brussels anytime soon. Chocolate fiends, however, should make a beeline straight for Neuhaus, a 150-year-old chocolatier.

More chocolate can be found at  Sablon ; all the major chocolatiers of the city have a shop here. You can’t subsist solely on chocolate alone, even though we wish you could, so here are some pointers for exploring the culinary scene of Brussels whilst keeping your tummy safe.

  • Do not go to the Rue de Bouchers.  We repeat:  do not.  This is where you’ll find some of the worst restaurants in Brussels. Weirdly, they’re all geared towards tourists, but they’re all so bad – we just don’t get it. They’re overpriced, the owners are pushy, and the food is really not up to standard.
  • With that in mind, really do steer clear of tourist traps. If you head to a restaurant boasting an extensive menu, in English, with someone outside trying to get you in, it’s most likely you’re about to enter a tourist trap. These are more about making money than actual good food.
  • If you are going to try local food, then go somewhere that’s actually busy with local people. A good way to tell if they are locals is to listen: if they’re speaking English, it’s probably for tourists. The best thing about local spots is that you get to experience an undiluted experience of eating in a city.
  • As we said,  moules frites  (mussels and fries) is something you have to try. However, they’re not available all throughout the year. Eat them in season, between September and February. Don’t eat any dodgy mussels whose shells haven’t opened properly in the cooking process (this means they were already dead before cooking). You do not want to get ill from seafood: it’s nasty.
  • Hit up the waffle shops. Keep it simple: less is more. Steer clear of all the whipped cream and various toppings you can get – this is for tourists – and opt for a classic, minimalist waffle for the real taste. The tourist versions are called gauffres and sometimes you get a mini Belgian flag stuck in them for extra tackiness. You can get the real local ones from small waffle buses parked on the streets.
  • Go for food that’s cooked hot and fresh ; the street food in Belgium, in general, is amazing, but make sure you eat from a clean-looking stall where you can see stuff being cooked before your very eyes. The thing about pre-cooked food, on the other hand, is that you just don’t know how long it has remained unsold.
  • Make sure that you wash your hands. Exploring a city can make your hands deceptively dirty, so do make sure you give ’em a scrub before you eat – especially if you’re eating with your hands.

There you have it, folks! There is a whole lot of tasty food for you to stuck in to in the Belgian capital. If you are really worried about where you are going to eat, then we would recommend reading some reviews of top-rated places to eat in Brussels on sites like TripAdvisor.

Other than that, food hygiene is pretty good in Brussels. Just make sure that you really do avoid tourist traps, not just they’re low-quality everything and not “real” Belgian food, but also because they are expensive .  Eat local, go where locals go, and you’ll love it here.

Of course! The tap water in Brussels is safe to drink.

It’s actually pretty good – as far as tap water goes, we mean. That said, it does contain higher levels of lead than it should do – that’s because of all the old pipes. It’s an old city, after all.

However, that’s only in 2% of 900 water samples. If you want to stay extra safe, or don’t like the taste, use water filters to fill up your refillable bottle where possible (at your hotel or hostel) or if you’re really paranoid, you could always buy bottled water. Read our in-depth review of the  best travel water bottles here if you decide to buy a refillable bottle.

For the most part, however, it’s good to go – drink the water in Brussels and be merry.

brussels safe to live

Brussels is a pretty safe city to live in. Being a sort of unofficial hub for Europe in general, there’s a pretty international mindset here that’s generally quite welcoming of outsiders.

That being said, some outsiders aren’t very friendly – as proven by some of the terrorist attacks that have taken place within Brussels over the past few years. Obviously, there is a threat of terrorism, but it’s nothing you can do much about: just go about your daily business as you would and as Belgians do.

Another thing that makes it a little bit of an unsafe place to live in is the traffic. The streets are often clogged, parking is a mess, and – as we mentioned – the road-related deaths in Belgium are pretty high.

When it comes to specific areas in which to live in Brussels, we would recommend  Place Jourdan.  This is a fun, friendly neighbourhood with its own little neighbourhood square; locals go about their errands, there are a lot of bakeries, a Sunday market.  Place Jourdan  is a quiet, safe place to live in Brussels.

However, if you are looking for something more exciting and diverse, check out the neighbourhood of Schaerbeek.  There is a mix of cultures as well as architecture here, complete with things like banks, parks, great food, and good housing options.

The safest neighbourhoods overall though are to be found in  Uccle, Ixelles and  Woluwe Saint Pierre ; each one boasts fewer than 500 crimes reported per year. That sounds pretty safe to us.

Despite the high alert for terrorist attacks, Brussels is a safe place to live. There may be the risk of something happening, but this is the case in many European countries, and living your life in fear wouldn’t be a good way to go about things.

The best course of action is to just be sensible. There are, of course, areas to be aware of at night, too; chances are you won’t actually be going anywhere near them after dark, so you’ll avoid the petty crime that can occur.

As with all things, research is key. Talk to expats before you make the move, get local knowledge on good estate agents – things like that. As far as problems are concerned, there are no more or less than occur in other big, European cities.

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Belgium boasts a state-run healthcare system which is apparently one of the world’s best. Most of it, as you’d expect, is to be found in the capital.

That means you shouldn’t have to worry too much if something happens to you whilst you’re in Brussels. A lot of staff at hospitals will speak English and will give a high standard of care.

If you have an emergency in Brussels, dial 100; an ambulance will come to collect you and will take you to A&E.

If you are an EU citizen you should have your EHIC card on you at all times – just in case. That’s because the healthcare system in Belgium, though state-run, is not free. Non-EU citizens will have to pay, of course, so you should definitely make sure you travel with health insurance or good travel insurance.

Pharmacies are frequent throughout the city; most of these operate normal working hours, but there are a fair few 24-hour options, too. The best bet for finding a good pharmacy is to ask the staff at your accommodation, who will more than likely be able to direct you to the nearest one.

At pharmacies, you can buy a bit of over the counter medication, and get advice from the pharmacists themselves, but you won’t be able to receive a prescription; for that, you need to see a doctor.

To see a doctor, for minor complaints and ailments, you can go to a walk-in centre or clinic. You don’t have to make an appointment, but you will have to wait; the time you wait will depend on how urgent or severe your case is. Note: you will have to pay upfront i n cash at one of these walk-ins/clinics – better head to the ATM beforehand!

Here are some quick answers to common questions about safety in Brussels.

Is Brussels safe at night?

Yes, Brussels is safe at night. Do keep in mind that the hours after dark can get sketchy no matter where you are travelling to. As long as you don’t randomly walk around alone at night or make it very obvious that you’re a tourist, you should be perfectly safe.

Is Brussels a safe place to visit?

Yes, Brussels is a pretty safe place to visit. Obviously, you can make your stay a lot riskier by walking alone at night or hanging around sketchy public transport stations, but the city is generally very safe.

What is the crime rate in Brussels?

The crime rate in Brussels is bang in the middle with 55%. That doesn’t make it incredibly dangerous, but not perfectly safe either. Use your common sense when you explore the city and be aware of your surroundings at all times and you won’t encounter any problems.

Is Gare du Nord safe?

The Gare du Nord station is safe when you use it during the day. At night, this particular area is known for crimes like assaults and robberies. If you’re a female traveller, we’d suggest staying away from this area at night ,or, if you really have to, stick with a group of people you can trust.

brussels final thoughts

Though there may be sketchy neighbourhoods, a bit of petty crime, and even with the small threat of terrorist attacks, there honestly is nothing else to say apart from this: Brussels is safe. It’s safe to visit and you could even live there safely if you felt like it. Belgium itself is statistically one of the world’s safest countries; it’s up there with the top 20 most peaceful, according to 2019’s Global Peace Index.

Brussels, however, is where most of Belgium’s crime happens – it’s the capital city, so of course, there is going to be more crime here than in other parts of the country. Look at any European city: on the whole, it’s going to be considered safe. Then look at its capital: more often than not, it will have more of a reputation for being “rough” or “sketchy” or “dangerous”, which is only true for some areas in Brussels.

The best way to keep safe in the Belgian capital is to not be oblivious to your surroundings. Know that distraction techniques occur, that crowded areas like tourist sights and transport hubs attract petty criminals, that a terrorist attack could happen. Visiting Brussels without a care in the world and not considering any danger is likely to lead to it; be aware, travel smart, use common sense and you’re likely to avoid it.

Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means we earn a small commission if you purchase your insurance through this page. This costs you nothing extra and helps us keep the site going.

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Mathilde Magnier

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Do not trust anyone on the trains in Brussels. Thieves ride the trains all day to rob. No CCTV cameras, no police presence at stations and nobody cares. Train staff say “yes this happens daily” and seems like there is absolutely no plan to keep people safe. We were just robbed (passport included) at Schuman (Bruxelles Nord – Luxemburg). We were so much happier taking the train into Strasbourg and other locations were trains have cameras, there is a police presence and also very visible emergency numbers posted in the train. Brussels seems too relaxed and it seems to be encouraging theft by not having any deterrents.

Writer described very well!! It is very safe, just be aware and dont trust everybody, like she said if someone is to friendly it is probably bc they want something from you, try to avoid and dont take random people to your airbnb or stay or tell them details. There is always people with bad intentions that might steal or try take advantage of you. In general is quite easy to see who is normal and who is not lets say but not always ? if someone weird is following you go away or go to public places. Even if you are a tough guy avoid any fight bc u might be surprised how many people can throw a high kick or takedown here and some are very crazy or have multiple people around to help them just in case. Also dont say anything bad about islam here because 23% of brussels is muslim and we respect that alot. The bars are very cool and u can find very cheap and good streetfood!! There is beautiful places and alot of fleemarkets or foodmarkets on sunday.

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The Solo Traveler's Guide To Brussels

brussels solo travel reddit

Brussels, a city often overlooked when compared to its big player neighbors: London , Paris , and Amsterdam , is just the place to plan your next solo adventure. Whether you are making a pit stop in Western Europe or whether you have arrived at your main destination, there is plenty to see and do when flying solo in the European capital.


Join A Guided Tour

Brussels hosts a large variety of cultural and culinary tours available through many different outlets. There’s something for everyone, ranging from tours highlighting Brussels’ famous paintings of comic book heroes painted across the walls of the city, to chocolate and beer lovers tasting tours. The best part of guided tours is finding yourself in the company of like-minded travelers while exploring a new city.

Practice Your French

MeetUp is an app designed for people roaming alone in foreign places. In Brussels, popular MeetUp groups include The French Language MeetUp Group where everyone from beginners to native French speakers gets together to parler Français. These events often are hosted at trendy wine bars, so if you want to meet people and you’re feeling courageous, grab yourself a glass of Merlot and get ready to roll your R’s at the next French night.

Bois de la cambre

Visit Bois De La Cambre

What can only be described as an enchanted forest, Bois de la Cambre is an urban park at the edge of Sonian Forest in Brussels. In the spring and summer, you will find people running, biking, picnicking and enjoying the beauty that these woods have to offer. If you brought your running shoes to Brussels, take advantage of the outdoors and make a tour of the lake.

BRAFA Opening Night

Visit An Art Gallery

Spend an afternoon admiring the works of Belgian artists at one of many art galleries in Brussels. Brussels is developing a booming contemporary art scene and is also host to the BRAFA art fair, one of the leading European art and antique fairs. Check online to see which exhibitions are happening during your visit.

Attend A Dinner Party

No more tables for one. Harvard Business School graduate Evelyne White was living in Brussels when she came up with BookaLokal , where the concept is easy: food brings people together. With BookaLokal you can find yourself a guest at a dinner party in the home of a Brussels local. This is a way to try homemade, cultural fare while meeting people from all over the world gathered together at a single dinner table.

Flea Market

Go Shopping

Brussels’ shops have something for everyone. As a solo traveler feel free to wander in and out of stores at your own ease without having to worry about a shopping partner. From high-end designers on Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo to the flea markets of Jeu de Balle, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the variety of shopping available within a short walking distance of each other. Take note: shops are closed on Sundays.

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brussels solo travel reddit

One day in Brussels: A Belgian’s list of the best things to do in Brussels in a day

There is a really good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (for which I am deeply grateful) at no additional cost to you.

Wondering what to do in Brussels in one day?! Brussels is not only the lovely capital of Belgium, but it’s a city full of history , architecture, great food and delicious chocolate. What’s not to love about this combination? If you only have 24 hours in Brussels, Belgium, this is the perfect one day City Guide for you! This is a curated list with the top things to do in Brussels in a day (your “must do” list) written by a native Belgian.

brussels solo travel reddit

How much time do you really need to visit Brussels?

Although it is possible to visit most of the principal sights in one day, I would recommend if you have extra time staying two full days in Brussels. Like that, you won’t have to rush to cover it all and you have time to visit some of the more original places or explore some of our famous beer bars.

But if you only have one day in Brussels, then do not worry because in here I highlight the main things to see in Brussels in one day!

Tip: My personal recommendation is to add to your Belgium itinerary the city of Bruges, which is sometimes called the Venice of the North. If you have limited time, you can go on a day trip from Brussels .

You can also combine Bruges and Ghent on a day trip, click here for the rates and availability. There is also a great full-day guided tour of Ghent in Spanish .

brussels solo travel reddit

How to get around the city of Brussels (+ Brussel Travel Tips)

Given that Brussels isn’t very large for a capital city, getting around and visiting its main sights (Brussels highlights) is very easy. Most of them are situated in the city center, within walking distance of each other.

A nice way to explore Brussels is by wandering around aimlessly through the pedestrian cobblestone streets and you’re bound to stumble upon its landmarks eventually.

Make sure that you check off the top ten places to visit in Brussels in one day mentioned below.

brussels solo travel reddit

Pro Tip: You can even visit Luxembourg on a day trip from Brussels .

You might also like our travel guide: 24 hours in Luxembourg

10 Best Places to visit in Brussels in one day – Fun things to do in Brussels

Grand place.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Grand place is the main and most beautiful square of Brussels. It’s surrounded by beautiful guild houses, the city hall and the museum of the city.

Hang around for a while and take your time to observe the architectural details in the facades of the guild houses.

Can you guess what profession they’re referring to? And also, did you notice that the city hall is not symmetrical at all? Try to spot as many differences as you can between its right and left wing!

brussels - belgium - grand place

Manneken Pis

Brussels has a thing with peeing statues. While wandering through the center you might have spotted Jeanneke Pis (a peeing girl) and Zinneke Pis (a peeing dog), but the most famous peeing statue is Manneken Pis.

Although the reason behind its fame is still unclear, many legends claim to explain its historical background.

One of them relates how a little boy was standing on the city wall and peed on the burning gunpowder fuse, thereby saving the city from a massive explosion. What a hero!

brussels - belgium - manneken pis

Rue des Bouchers

This is one of the most famous streets in the historical center of Brussels. It’s part of a network of medieval, small, cobblestone streets that together make up the Ilot Sacré (Sacred Island).

All of these streets are lined with seemingly nice restaurants, but be warned: this is a tourist trap. The food may be cheap, but it’s of a very low quality and the bill will rise quickly as soon as you order a few drinks.

Instead, I’ll give you some recommendations on where to eat below.

Nevertheless, the area around the Rue des Bouchers is nice to stroll around and maybe have a beer in the famous bar Delirium which has about 1000 beers on offer. Make sure to ask for the beer list (it’s a book!)

If you are a beer lover, do not miss this budget friendly 2.5-hour Belgian beer tasting experience .

Recommended: A perfect day in Bern, Switzerland!

brussels solo travel reddit

Mont des Arts

Walk up through the little park next to Gare Central and you’ll reach Mont des Arts, which offers one of the best viewpoints over the Brussels city center.

It gets particularly nice in the evening when a beautiful sunset sky adds some warm colors to the scene.

Don’t forget to look behind you as well, where you’ll find the Musical Instruments Museum, which is a former Old England department store and still has a beautiful art nouveau facade.

brussels solo travel reddit

Royal Palace

Located in front of the Royal Park, the Royal Palace is an imposing building that functions as the King’s administrative workplace. He and his family actually live in another palace in Laeken.

The palace isn’t usually open to the public, but for a few months every year in Summer, it’s possible to enter for free and to visit some of its impressive rooms, so try to plan your visit accordingly.

Afterwards, take a break in the Royal Palace in front of it. Why not bring a picnic?

brussels - belgium - royal palace

Galeries Royales

These covered shopping arcades are another sample of Brussels’ fine architecture. Built-in the 19 th century, the gallery complex consists of two major sections: the Galerie du Roy (the King’s Gallery) and Galerie de la Reine (the Queen’s Gallery).

There’s also a smaller side gallery called Galerie des Princes (the Princes’ Gallery). Here you’ll find a series of fancy (expensive) boutiques and some of Belgium’s most famous chocolatiers, like Neuhaus, Leonidas, and Marcolini.

Another Favorite: 3 days in Amsterdam Itinerary

brussels - belgium - galeries royales

Place Sainte-Catherine

Dominated by the Saint Catherine’s church, this large square is home to some of Brussels’ most famous fish restaurants, with Noordzee as one of my favorite lunch places in town.

In general, this entire area is very popular with locals who love to hang around by the fountain while sharing a drink with their friends.

brussels - belgium - place sainte catherine

Palace of Justice

This colossal landmark on Place Poelaert is the most important courthouse of Belgium.

Although the Palace of Justice been in scaffoldings since forever, it remains a very impressive and beautiful building.

But have a look inside too! You can enter the lobby for free and marvel at its beautiful classical architecture. It stands on the area where convicted criminals were hanged in the Middle Ages.

At least, they died with a last nice view, as the square offers a good lookout of the city with the Atomium in the distance. Bring something to drink and hang around for sunset on Place Poelaert , like the locals do.

brussels - belgium - palace of justice

Park du Cinquantenaire

This park is situated a bit further from the center, so you might prefer taking a metro to Schuman to get there faster.

Shaped as a pentagon, this park was created in the times of King Leopold II in honor of the 50 th anniversary of the Belgian independence.

Walk through the park until you get to the three triumphal arches. From the three museums situated around these arches, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces & Military History stands out, as it will also grant you access to the top of the triumphal arches from you’ll get an unbeatable view over the area.

brussels - belgium - parc du cinquantenaire

Of course, a trip to Brussels isn’t complete without a visit to the Atomium. Take the metro to Heizel and get your camera ready for a selfie in front of Belgium’s most iconic monument. Originally built for the World Exposition of 1958, the nine spheres represent the nine iron atoms as a symbol for the faith in scientific progress at that time. Although the park around the Atomium is a nice place for a walk, you can also buy a ticket and visit the interior to check out the temporary and permanent expositions, whizz through the tunnel via the escalators and enjoy the view from the highest sphere.

brussels solo travel reddit

Where to eat in Brussels: Three exceptional restaurants in Brussels

Chez gudule.

Located next to the Sainte-Gudule church, the restaurant Chez Gudule has specialized in a very unique cuisine described as Belgo-Vietnamese food.

The owners are fanatic travelers who brought back culinary inspiration from their travels and use them to give a twist to our traditional Belgian recipes.

For example, the nems have been prepared with Belgian beer, and the Belgian dish ‘waterzooi’ gets an exotic touch by adding coconut milk.

Read this: Why you need to visit Lviv, Ukraine

Au Stekerlapatte

Au Stekerlapatte is one of the most ‘Brussels’ places in Brussels. The name sounds absurd to us too, as ‘Au Stekerlapatte’ is a dialect word for a person so drunk he has to lean against the wall while staggering on.

As for the food, you can expect a variety of typical Brussels dishes, which are generally rather meaty. One dish that stands out for me is their ‘carbonnade flamande’, a stew prepared with Chimay Bleue beer.

Also the beer menu confirms its Brussels identity, as they offer large and original beers from different Brussels-based microbreweries.

brussels - belgium - stekerlapatte

La Quincaillerie

If you would happen to spend a romantic weekend in Brussels, it’s worth taking the tram to the commune of Ixelles, which boasts a vibrant restaurant district.

One of its most outstanding gems is La Quincaillerie , a former ironmonger’s shop turned into a beautiful restaurant. It retains some details of its former life like the hardwood drawers, the stairs, the balconies… The big clock above the central staircase isn’t an original piece, but it’s definitely a winning eye-catcher.

Make a reservation beforehand and insist on getting a table by the balcony, which is an excellent spot for a romantic tête-à-tête.

When it comes to food, La Quincaillerie is all about ‘bistronomy’, which refers to a combination of ‘gastronomy’ and ‘brasserie’.

What it comes down to is that you’re up for a culinary treat with high-quality food and biodynamic ingredients, yet the portions are large enough and prices are still affordable.

brussels - belgium - quincaillerie

Is it dessert time already? or better Chocolate time?

Something about Belgian chocolate (The Belgian Chocolate Culture)

When in Belgium, make sure to set apart enough time to explore our renowned chocolate culture.

Note: I totally recommend for you to take this chocolate tasting tour . It is a really nice one. There is also a really cool Belgian Chocolate making workshop, see here .

brussels solo travel reddit

Did you know that the first Belgian praline was actually invented in the Galleries Royales mentioned above?

Neuhaus was originally a pharmacist who had discovered a very smart trick to improve the taste of drugs: he enveloped them with a layer of chocolate.

This method became so popular that in the end he left the drugs out and replaced it with a sweet filling instead, thereby giving birth to the Belgian praline.

brussels solo travel reddit

Apart from the Galleries Royales, you can also find various chocolateries in the city center and in the Sablon area, which is a bit pricier.

brussels solo travel reddit

In summary, Brussels is a great city to visit where you can easily spend one perfect day. I hope that this post with the top things to do in Brussels in one day was helpful to you. Enjoy my lovely city!

Have you ever been to Brussels? If yes, share your experience in the comments.

This is a guest post by Sophie from the travel blog Bitten By The Bug

Author’s Bio: Sophie from Bitten By The Bug has a travel blog which focuses on Brussels and by extension other places to visit in Belgium. She loves to explore new restaurants and bars in her own city, and shares her recommendations on the blog. If it’s your first time in Brussels, you’ll also find lots of info to help you prepare your trip to the Belgian capital city. Follow Sophie on  Facebook ,  Instagram  &  Pinterest .

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Brussels in 24 hours - insider guide by a Belgian

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3 Best Hostels in Brussels – Belgian Beer in the Courtyard, Botanical Gardens and Insta-friendly Decor

Matt Kiefer - Hostel Expert on

Let’s jet set to the Belgium capital and discover the 3 best hostels in Brussels . Hand-picked by us, specifically for you.

Before you can scoff too much chocolate and sip one too many Belgian beers: you must choose your preferred hostel.

There may not be a 5 Star Hostel in Belgium, but we’ve found great hostels in Belgium you will enjoy for your backpacking Brussels trip. Whether you’re a solo traveller or a party hostel lover – we’ve covered all bases. We have also summed up the best hostels in Bruges .

Your shortcut:

  • 2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre – best for solo-travellers
  • MEININGER Bruxelles City Center – top pick for couples
  • Jacques Brel Youth Hostel – best for backpackers

Money-saving tip : Compare hostel prices with . They compare prices from Hostelworld, and others with 1 click.

2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre Brussels

We condensed it all to the 3 coolest hostels in Brussels. For those looking to extend their travels, have a gander at our 5 Star Hostels in Europe . We also have other guides in Belgium, like one on the best hostels in Antwerp , and one on all of the best hostels in Belgium .

This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…

  • are tired of crappy hostels!
  • want a social Hostel to actually meet people
  • are happy to spend $1 to $2 more for a much better experience
  • #1 2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre
  • #2 MEININGER Bruxelles City Center
  • #3 Jacques Brel Youth Hostel
  • Best hostel for solo travellers
  • Best party hostels in Brussels
  • Cheap hostels in Brussels

Other hostels worth a mention

  • How to book
  • A map of all hostel locations and sights
  • More hostels in Belgium and Area

Let’s set those horses free and get right down to it, shall we?

A Quick overview of the 3 Best Hostels in Brussels

To keep things simple, here are the 3 best hostels in Brussels:

2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

1. 2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre (wacky design hostel)

Get ready for striking design and relaxing ambience at 2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre .

This Brussels hostel is a real mix of vintage and modern, ideal for budget travellers, individuals and friends.

There are dorm and private rooms available. All vary in size, and some come with an en-suite. What’s great is that all rooms include linen!

Note : the age limit for dorm rooms is 35 years. We at Hostelgeeks do not like this kind of rule. We think a cool hostel should welcome all types of travelers.

Groups are also catered for, with a maximum booking of 10 people.

What to expect:

  • high-speed WiFi – for free
  • Full-equipped kitchen
  • Free cereal + hot drinks every morning
  • A free city tour to join

There is a large lounge area that will instantly grab your attention. It’s evident someone with a wacky personality designed the place! Tiny wooden chairs hang off walls, and bicycles from the ceiling.

What else can you spot?! It’s a perfect opportunity to update your Instagram.

What about the location of 2GO4 Hostel in Brussels?

2GO4 Hostel Brussels is secure and convenient, located right in the city centre. All major points of interest are within walking distance.

This includes bars, restaurants, shops, cool architecture, and nightlife.

2GO4 is the best hostel in Brussels for:

  • budget traveller
  • Solo travellers

Compare prices and read reviews at : | Hostelworld

2GO4 Quality Hostel City Centre is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium

2. MEININGER Bruxelles City Center

Located within the walls of an old brewery, MEININGER Bruxelles City Center has a warehouse vibe with a twist. Look closer and see the super cool graffiti everywhere!

The fun-loving design of the place, mixed in with awesome social & work spaces, spacious rooms and excellent amenities meant we couldn’t ignore this hostel in our top 3.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Outdoor terrace
  • Dedicated games room
  • Fully equipped kitchen & vending machines

As it’s a big place, it’s easy to find the vibe you’re looking for, whether it’s lively & social, or quiet and solitude.

There’s plenty of space to set up your laptop and get some work done, or simply chill and get chatting with new people.

Whilst there’s no free breakfast, you can still order one for an extra fee to start the day well.

What about the rooms? There’s such a good choice! From double and family rooms, to female-only and cosy 4-bed mixed dorms.

They’re all super spacious and come with little extras such as a table to work on and sofa area. Oh, and each room has a private bathroom!

We deem MEININGER Bruxelles City Center to be a top pick for:

  • Digital nomads

MEININGER Bruxelles City Center is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium

3. Jacques Brel Youth Hostel (atmospheric, minimalist design)

Jacques Brel Youth Hostel is certainly hipster friendly.

This lively, international hostel is bright and spacious. The minimalist design creates a comfortable atmosphere to suit all traveller types. This place is our coolest hostel in Brussels for backpackers.

Quality twin, triple, 4 and 6-bed rooms are on offer. All with an en-suite and free breakfast, yippee!

Psst! Linen and a towel are also included. Pay attention to this to avoid any extra fees.

Let us tempt you some more with these extras:

  • Free organic buffet breakfast
  • 24/7 key card access = NO curfew
  • Fully-equipped kitchen
  • Free Wi-Fi + PC access

There is an on-site bar here that serves fresh Belgian Craft Beer daily . Yum!

Besides that, make yourself at home in the huge outdoor courtyard – unique to the town.

Jacques Brel Youth Hostel makes it even easier to make friends with the available table tennis, air hockey, and football.

The question is; are you feeling lucky?

In the summer months this hostel hosts concerts, themed evenings, exhibitions and much more.

As for location, Jacques is a stone’s throw from Grand Place. The European district is only 1 mile away. Seriously, do you need anymore? Make Jacques Brel Youth Hostel your home when backpacking Brussels and Belgium!

Jacques Brel Youth Hostel is a number one pick for:

  • Backpackers
  • Social travellers

Jacques Brel Youth Hostel is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium

Best Hostel in Brussels for Solo Travellers?

We know what solo-travellers need when traveling the world on your own: A cool place to meet even cooler people, safe, clean, and fun! Right?

There’s two places we recommend for solo-adventurous:

  • Brussels 2GO4 Quality City Centre Hostel – but remember the age limit of 35 years
  • Jacques Brel Youth Hostel – fun with the in-house bar

Yet, there is one more cool Brussels hostel we think you would enjoy too.

It’s likely you’ve travelled by train and perhaps even slept on one during a long journey. But have you ever stayed in a train carriage transformed into a hostel?

Welcome to the aptly named Train Hostel in Brussels.

We believe we’ve found the best hostel in Brussels for solo travellers. It’s got solo traveller written all over it!

A huge library (introvert alert), spacious common area, games, beer and courtyard – plenty of opportunities to integrate…

If you want to, of course!

Compare rates at :

Train Hostel is the best hostel for solo travellers

Best Party Hostels in Brussels?

Well, although Brussels can have some fun nightlife with its cool bars, it is not really a place to party. For party hostel Brussels, better hop over to Bruges or Ghent. Especially Ghent has a vibrant nightlife, it is a students city.

After extensive research, it would seem that Brussels doesn’t have a party hostel per se. Bummer…

Instead, what is on offer are great hostels with on-site bars and close proximity to the city centre.

The best party hostel in Brussels is Brussels Hello Hostel .

The bar is lively, the rooms spacious and the centre is just a 5-minute subway ride away. Brussels party hostel comes with a young vibe, also pretty cool to meet more people as a solo-traveller and backpacker.

Oh and of course, the Belgian beer is worth a try!

Compare rates at : Hostelworld

Brussels Hello Hostel is the best party hostel in Brussels

Because we are well traveled and we want the best for you, we can’t just limit your choices into three hostels. We have here more hostels to choose from. Let’s go!

  • Sleep Well Youth Hostel

Generation Europe Youth Hostel

Sleep well youth hostel brussels.

Sleep Well Youth Hostel is one of the most convenient hostels in this list.

The staff here are extremely well-mannered and offers help  whenever you need it. The rooms are big and the beds are very comfortable. You see that plush hotel beds? Their beds are exactly like that.

Their breakfast is delicious, you no longer have to worry where to get the energy for the whole day trip. If you want to have a late night drink, their bar is open until late and they serve local beers at an affordable price.

I don’t know with you but shower rooms are the first thing I check whenever I go to hostels, I must say that Sleep Well’s shower areas are pretty decent.

The location is near to other stores so you’ll never run out of stocks – food, batteries, etc.

Facilities and amenities you can enjoy:

  • family rooms
  • game room with board games/puzzles, table tennis, and pool table
  • shared kitchen

Compare rates at : Hostelworld |

The best hostel for solo travellers in Brussels, Belgium

Before you say anything, I’d like to clear it up – Yes. it’s a coincidence that we have hostels with the word Youth in it.

Generation Europe Youth Hostel’s breakfast is awesome. Let’s start it with breakfast because it’s not often that you have free options for breakfast. You can change your menu if you like.

This hostel has a garden where you can just relax and appreciate the greenery. It also has a bar if you want to let off steam and have some drink.

If you love the hustle and the bustle of the city, this hostel may not be for you. It’s quiet and calm here. The vibe is leaning to Eco-friendly too.

  • picnic area with sun terrace, BBQ facilities, and outdoor furniture
  • walking tours and evening entertainments
  • game room with table tennis and pool table
  • family services including indoor play area, books/DVDs for children, and board/puzzle games
  • special diet menus (on request)

Compare rates at : Hostelworld  |

Generation Youth Hostel is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium

What about the cheapest hostels in Brussels?

Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Brussels.

  • Open with a full list of all hostels in Brussels
  • add your dates
  • Order the listings by price

Simple as that. is a price comparison site for hostels . They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.

Another smart Tip : Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.

Any Discounts?

You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the freshest hostel discounts directly in your inbox. We even have special discount codes we only share in the newsletter.

It is completely free to join!

How to book?

The most popular booking platforms are and On both platforms, your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

We included some handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

Read : Step-by-Step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Brussels best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand, ask questions, and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app .

Download the Hostelworld App here

QR Code to Download your Hostelworld app with one scan

Need an eSIM Card for Brussels?

Get your eSIM Card with instantly online. It is easy to set up and cheap! Read our review of Airalo here .

No more searching for mobile stores. Get your eSIM Card for now and enjoy it instantly after landing in your new destination.

Need an eSIM Card for Brussels?

Our Favorite Hostels in Brussels put on a map + sights

Just to make life that little bit easier, we’ve included this map with all the hostel locations.

Of course no adventure it complete without some great things to see and do.

And there’s plenty to do in Brussels!

Our top recommendations for Brussels are:

  • Visit the iconic Brussels Atomium
  • Join the fun and informative 2.5-hour walking tour
  • Feel like a giant at the Mini-Europe attraction
  • Take a day trip to Ghent and Bruges

For simpler travel around the area, take the hop-on hop-off tour bus.

Any questions about hostels in Brussels? 🤔

Join our Facebook Group !

Ask all your questions and connect with like-minded wanderers 🔥

You’ve reached the FAQ part and you’re itching to pick your hostel from the list above. Don’t worry, this won’t be long. We have here some of the top questions we often get.

Flights to Brussels?

Brussels is really well connected, and there is a bunch of cheap flights from many destinations inside Europe to Brussels.

We use Skyscanner and to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

review of Skyscanner flight searches

More Hostels in Belgium and Europe

We have covered your question on where to stay in Brussels. But, where next? Your backpacking Europe trip does not stop here, right?!

We have handwritten even more hostel guides for you, so you can focus on your travels instead of researching.

Here you find all the best Belgium hostels .

Here are other guides for hostels in Belgium:

  • best hostels in Bruges
  • best hostels in Antwerp
  • coolest party hostels in Brussels

Besides the places mentioned above, the coolest hostels in Belgium are:

  • Bruges: Snuffel Hostel
  • Antwerp: Antwerp Backpackers Hostel
  • Gent: Hostel Uppelink
  • Leuven: HI De Blauwput Leuven
  • Liege: Youth Hostel Liege

We have written following guides for other European countries and cities for you:

  • best hostels in Amsterdam
  • best hostels in Rotterdam – the Ani&Haakien Hostel is the coolest one!
  • coolest hostels in Paris , France
  • best hostels in Luxembourg

Find all our destinations we have written about here . We also have guides on the best hostels in Europe , the best party hostels in Europe , and the best coworking hostels in Europe .

Over to you

Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

Your question will help us to improve this Brussels guide.

Last note: Our commitment

This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks

Safe travels!

pin it for later

Best Hostels in Brussels, Belgium a complete guide and overview for backpackers

CLOSED: Sleephere

Update : Sorry folks, Sleephere permanently closed in late 2020.

Are you in search of a small, home-away-from-home style accommodation?

We’ve found you a suitor: Sleephere Brussels.

This guest house cum hostel sleeps a maximum of 16 guests. How cute is that?

Read : 7 types of Hostels

During the 20th century, the Botanique area became the Brussels City center of film-makers. This building hosted many major film companies during that time.

It’s evident the staff are incredibly accommodating because…

  • The whole house is available for use
  • Beds, mattresses and linen are 5-star quality
  • Luggage storage is available (even before you check in)
  • Typical Belgian foods are served during breakfast
  • All rooms are superior en-suite.

That includes private, shared, family and group-sized rooms. That is quite unusual for Brussels hostels, but after all, that is what makes these places good hostels.

Enjoy all of the common spaces designed to make you feel at home. These include terraces and a suspended garden with table tennis and BBQ area.

Relax in front of the TV or play some games. Why not, you’re on holiday!

Sleephere is perfectly located next to the botanical gardens. All major sights are within walking distance. A fun hostel in Brussels, no doubt.

We deem Sleephere Hostel to be a top pick for:

  • Peace + quiet lovers

Sleephere is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium

We are 100% Independent: Some links on Hostelgeeks are so-called affiliate links. If you decide to book through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you . Your support allows us to keep producing high-quality, independent content free of influence from hostels or external advertisers. Learn more here . 🙏

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Is Brussels Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Safety rating.

Based on 25 travel experiences

Based on our research and crime data

Based on 14 local experiences

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How safe is Brussels ?

Safety at night:

Safety at night: Moderate

Public transportation:

Public transportation: Safe

Street harassment:

Street harassment: Moderate

Petty crimes:

Petty crimes: Low

Tap water:

Tap water: Very safe

Is brussels safe to travel.

Based on 25 experiences


United States

Solo travel experience

I stayed in the city center but 4 or so blocks away from the main plaza. I liked being away from the noise of evening partiers but close to shops. I always felt safe walking back to the flat by myself after dark. It's a beautiful city, so I mostly walked around and marvelled at the architecture-art nouveau is my favorite design style. Dutch and French are the main languages spoken here. I understand very little of each, but still found it easy to get around. I spent around $550 on Airbnb for 3 nights which felt high, but the flat was beautiful and centrally located.

brussels solo travel reddit

Overall, Brussels was ok. It felt relatively safe for the most part, except at night when there were a lot of drunk men on the streets. I was harassed and groped by two drunk men at the train station one night. The city is pretty, but if you’ve visited Europe it’s nothing out of the ordinary. My experience in Brussels was relatively lackluster.

brussels solo travel reddit

I did feel safe even though there a lot of influencers (mostly men) that come to you and try to flirt (asking for your number, or very lame pick up lines) so they can record your reaction and post on the internet. It was a bit annoying and I was uncomfortable with that.

Group travel experience

Brussels felt like I’m in a movie. The Grand Palace in the night was enchanting. You could grab you drinks and accompany street singers. I felt safe. People are nice and helpful. It’s a bit expensive. Overall you should visit Brussels.


Family travel experience

1) centre is enough safe, But it wasn't very comfortable outside of it. 2) It was a very cheap trip, I spent the night at a friend's house, so I spent about 60 euros on museums and cafes, as well as some transport 3) The city is very beautiful, but there are always a lot of people on the main square and it is difficult to see it, I highly recommend coming before 10 or 11 in the morning

brussels solo travel reddit

I loved Brussels. A short train ride was enough to get to Ghent, Bruges and Ostend. I felt very safe there. I chose this place for Christmas and I was not disappointed. Many places were open on Christmas. Fantastic art museum. A little cheese shop that was to die for. My hotel was near the main station.


I went on a short trip to Brussel to visit my friend I spent there 4 nights. I had the best time, friendliest people and it was so easy to get around and I practiced my French although they speak another dialect but they were really nice and patient with me . Food was cheap and best thrifting experience 😍 They have shops where you by clothes and accessories by the kilo, so you basically weigh the stuff you want and you pay the bare minimum I got soooo many stuff for under 30€ I haven't tried many Belgian meals but the brunch meals are a must as well as the sweets ofc we had Belgian waffles which were funnily shaped as vaginas and penises 😂😂 It's really safe we were two girls roaming around brussels late at night and gladly we didn't encounter any problems with anyone. So an overall perfect experience 👌

brussels solo travel reddit

I was only there for 2 days, but I went around everywhere and felt quite safe. The only place that seemed a bit suspicious to me was the bus station late at night, because unfortunately there were a lot of homeless people there.

I recently traveled alone to Brussels and it was fantastic! I felt really safe, the hostel was great, and there were many things to do! What's more, I love Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate. I participated in a walking tour that was brilliant, it showed me all the most important landmarks and gave great recommendations on where to eat etc.

To do: - Visit the Grand Place - Explore Atomium - Take advantage of a free guided walk - Take a picture with Manneken Pis - Visit Galeries Royales - Admire the view from Mont Des Arts Food: Try Belgian waffles, fries and chocolate. Safety: The city is completely safe. Recommendations: Brussels is beautiful, with excellent food and drinks, but a bit boring.

Is Brussels safe for women?

Based on 14 experiences

Crime rates rating

Most places are safe except the main train stations that cab get a bit dodgy at night and around those neighbourhoods. The centre is quite safe and wherever students and young people hang out is completely safe

Brussels is a safe city if you know where to go. Normal advices are to be applied. Not walking alone at night in unknown areas is recommended. Sometimes I feel unsafe because of men, mainly not locals who are taking pleasure in frightening ladies.

Is Brussels worth visiting?

Overall rating.

based on 25 experiences


Pauline (26)

Brussels is a very beautiful and multicultural city. It is easy to communicate with locals weather you're doing it in English or French. The city center is very animated and very great to go and party with your friends!


Brussels is such a pedestrian friendly city and its almost impossible to get lost when moving around. Unlike countries like France, its important to only cross at pedestrians crossings, a faux pas I committed more than once. But generally people are nice and easy going, even in the most touristy parts where people are easily irritated. Most people switch easily between French/Dutch and English as well.

Meet locals in Brussels


Hello, I’m Remy 24, from Morocco, living in Brussels. I will be travelling full time with my Van for the coming year or so


Hi, my name is Noémie I like talking and meeting new people, but most of all I like dancing, saying anything, giving pleasure to the people I love, drawing ugly pictures in the corner of the page... And you ?

Stay with locals in Brussels

Can host for:.


My name is Zoé, I am a travel addict. I love to discover the world but above all I love to meet people from different cultures. I am always keen to learn new things and meet new people. I am also passionate about languages. I speak fluently French, English and Spanish. I am currently learning Italian, and my next goal is to get familiar with Portugese. I also started running and biking lately, which is something that allows me to empty my mind and feel free.

Upcoming visitors to Brussels


Hi! I'm Alba, I speak English, Spanish, Catalan and I'm working on my German. I'm into yoga, photography and always open to new experiences. This August I'm doing a solo Interrail visiting friends through Europe and hopefully making new ones as well. The initial plan is to go to France, Belgium and Germany, but if anyone recommends something nearby or wants to go somewhere together I'm also down so I'm very flexible. Excited to meet you!

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The Secret Service is investigating how the man who shot Trump got as close as he did

The Associated Press

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday.

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating how a gunman armed with an AR-style rifle was able to get close enough to shoot and injure former President Donald Trump at a rally Saturday in Pennsylvania, a monumental failure of one the agency's core duties.

The gunman, who was killed by Secret Service personnel, fired multiple shots at the stage from an "elevated position outside of the rally venue," the agency said.

An Associated Press analysis of more than a dozen videos and photos taken at the Trump rally, as well as satellite imagery of the site, shows the shooter was able to get astonishingly close to the stage where the former president was speaking. A video posted to social media and geolocated by the AP shows the body of a man wearing gray camouflage lying motionless on the roof of a manufacturing plant just north of the Butler Farm Show grounds, where Trump's rally was held.

The roof was less than 150 meters (yards) from where Trump was speaking, a distance from which a decent marksman could reasonably hit a human-sized target. For reference, 150 meters is a distance at which U.S. Army recruits must hit a scaled human-sized silhouette to qualify with the M16 assault rifle in basic training. The AR-15, like the shooter at the Trump rally had, is the semi-automatic civilian version of the military M16.

Former President Donald Trump is rushed offstage during a rally in Butler, Pa.

Trump is fine after an assassination attempt at his rally

The FBI early Sunday identified the shooter as Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, of Bethel Park, Pa.

The Secret Service didn't have anybody at a late-night news conference where FBI and Pennsylvania State Police officials briefed reporters on the shooting investigation. FBI Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek said it was "surprising" that the gunman was able to fire at the stage before he was killed.

Members of the Secret Service's counter sniper team and counter assault team were at the rally, according to two law enforcement officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

The heavily-armed counter assault team, whose Secret Service code name is "Hawkeye," is responsible for eliminating threats so that other agents can shield and take away the person they are protecting. The counter sniper team, known by the code name "Hercules," uses long-range binoculars and is equipped with sniper rifles to deal with long-range threats.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said his department and the Secret Service are working with law enforcement to investigate the shooting. Maintaining the security of presidential candidates and their campaign events is one of the department's "most vital priorities," he said.

"We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms and commend the Secret Service for their swift action today," Mayorkas said. "We are engaged with President Biden, former President Trump and their campaigns, and are taking every possible measure to ensure their safety and security."

The Picture Show

Photos: see how the trump rally shooting unfolded.

Calls for an investigation came from all sides.

James Comer, a Kentucky Republican who is the House Oversight Committee chairman, said he contacted the Service Service for a briefing and called on Director Kimberly Cheatle to appear for a hearing. Comer said his committee will send a formal invitation soon.

"Political violence in all forms is unamerican and unacceptable. There are many questions and Americans demand answers," Comer said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat, called for investigating "security failures" at the rally.

"The federal government must constantly learn from security failures in order to avoid repeating them, especially when those failures have implications for the nation," Torres said.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, posted on X that he and his staff are in contact with security planning coordinators ahead of the Republican National Convention set to begin Monday in Milwaukee. "We cannot be a country that accepts political violence of any kind — that is not who we are as Americans," Evers said.

The FBI said it will lead the investigation into the shooting, working with the Secret Service and local and state law enforcement.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department "will bring every available resource to bear to this investigation."

"My heart is with the former President, those injured, and the family of the spectator killed in this horrific attack," Garland said in a statement. "We will not tolerate violence of any kind, and violence like this is an attack on our democracy."

  • Donald J. Trump


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