Brussels in one day: the best route


This guide of what to see in Brussels in one day It will help you prepare the best route through the city, making the most of the time, without forgetting any of the most important visits.
Keep in mind that although we know that 24 hours is a short time, the historic center of Brussels revolves around the Grand Place, so it is quite small and can be walked perfectly on foot, something that will allow you to reduce times considerably and thus be able to see more things.
In case you want to get away from the center a little to get to know the European Quarter or the Atomium, more recommended if you have more time, you can use the city's efficient public transport.

Based on our two trips to the Belgian capital, the first one combines Bruges and Brussels and the second on a trip to Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp, we have designed the best route of Brussels in one day So you can enjoy the maximum experiences that this city offers. We start!

How to get from the airport to Brussels

Brussels has at the airports of Charleroi and Zaventem, the two most common entrance gates that tourists use to reach the city.
If you do not find cheap flights to Zaventem airport, located 15 kilometers from the capital, we advise you to look for flights to Charleroi, located 55 kilometers away and where most low cost companies like Ryanair operate.
The best means of transport to transfer from the two airports to your hotel in Brussels are:

  • Bus: The FlibCo bus that leaves every half hour from Charleroi airport will take you to Brussels-Midi or South station in one hour for 17 euros. From this station you can take the local bus or the tram that will bring you closer to the center, located about 20 minutes walk.
    Lines 12 and 21 leave from Zaventem airport, which will take you to the Schuman stop in 30 minutes for 4.5 euros or 6 euros, if you buy the driver's ticket. From this stop you can take the subway that will bring you closer to the city center.
  • Train: to arrive by train to Brussels from Charleroi, first you have to take the Airport express bus, which will leave you at Charleroi station, and from there take the train towards Antwerp that will leave you at the 3 main stations of the capital. The total journey time is just under 80 minutes and the price is around 15 euros.
    From Zaventem you have trains every 10 minutes 24 hours a day, which leave you at the central, south and north stations of Brussels, in less than 20 minutes for 8.5 euros.
  • Private transport: If you hire this comfortable service, a driver will wait for you at the airport raising a sign with your name, which will take you to the door of your hotel in 20 minutes from Zaventem and in one hour from Charleroi. You can book this transfer here.
  • Cab: The price of a taxi is 45 euros from Zaventem and around 100 euros from Charleroi.

For more information on the transfer you can check this post on how to go from Brussels airport to downtown.

Where to sleep in Brussels

Our recommended hotel to make a Brussels route in one day It is the Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi Hotel, which has a good connection to the city's airports, being located next to the Midi Station and a 15-minute walk from the old town. In addition to its excellent location, the hotel has modern facilities, a full breakfast and attentive staff.

Tips for a trip to Brussels

Following this series of tips and recommendations can help you on your first visit to this well-known Belgian city:

  • Complete this list of essential places to visit in Brussels and this one of the best things to do in Brussels.
  • If you have a day and want to know some points farther from the center such as the Atomium or the European Parliament, it is advisable to book the tourist bus with comments recorded in Spanish of the main tourist attractions of the city.
  • If you are going to travel a lot by public transport it is better to buy 10 tickets for 14 euros or the one-day ticket for 7.5 euros, than to buy each way for 2.10 euros.
  • To know the history of the city and not miss anything important, it is very interesting to book some of the best free tours in Brussels with a guide in Spanish or this guided tour of the city.
  • If you are thinking of traveling in August, try to match your visit with the carpet of flowers that covers the Grand Place, which will make this moment unique and unforgettable.
  • In addition to trying some delicious Belgian waffles in a street stall, do not forget to order in the restaurants the traditional mussels with potatoes (moules et frites) and delight the palate with the renowned Belgian chocolate in one of the famous chocolate shops like Godiva
  • If you have a tight budget, book the hotels months in advance and check the prices of the menu before entering any restaurant, it is a rather expensive city.
  • If you do not want to pay commissions when withdrawing money from ATMs and always have the current exchange, we recommend using the N26 card to pay and the BNEXT card to get money, our two favorite cards for travel.

For more recommendations you can consult this post of tips for traveling to Brussels essential.

What to see in Brussels in one day

The route of Brussels in one day Start arriving early in the Grand Place, to see one of the most beautiful squares in the world with few people.
This square is surrounded by large historical buildings and trade union headquarters with beautiful facades, including Hotel de Ville, Le Piegeon, Maison des Brasseurs, Maison du Roi, Maison des Ducs de Brabant, Le Renard, Le Cornet and Le Roy d'Espagne.
As a story in the Le Pigeon building lived the French novelist Victor Hugo during his exile in Belgium.

Map of Brussels in 24 hours