Summer in Brussels is full of events and things to do!
Photo by Bibhash (Knapsnack.life) Banerjee
The Midi Fair, one of the oldest summer events in Brussels, takes place from July to August. Modern and traditional attractions to enjoy with the kids, or just by yourself! During the summer Brussels also has its own summer festival, during ten days in the month of August you can attend multiple concerts and cultural activities in the city center. Another interesting event that happens twice in the summer is the Ommegang.
The Ommegang of Brussels is a type of medieval pageant, celebrated annually. Nowadays, the event takes place twice a year, at the start of June and July. Its starting point is in the Sablon/Zavel district in the historic center of Brussels and it ends with a large spectacle at the Grand Place. Since 2019, it is recognised as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Photo: The Brussels Times/Ommegang
Looking for a park to spend the day under the sun, or maybe have a little picnic?
You could go to Laeken and kill two birds with one stone visiting the Atomium, the big metallic representation of an atom that we all know. Besides being one of the most representative monuments in Brussels, the park that surrounds it is worth walking around. Plenty of grassland and spots under the trees to spend the day. Moreover, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city’s skyline. Near by, you can also find the Botanic Garden, a must visit for plants and gardening enthusiasts! It is also surrounded by green areas where you can rest or walk around.
Another indispensable tourist stop is the Cinquantenaire Park, built in 1880 to commemorate Belgium’s independence. This park also hosts multiple events throughout the year, with picnic tables and diverse playgrounds for the little ones.
It also gathers the Arts & History Museum, part of the Fine Arts Museums in Brussels, as well as the military and armed forces one. If you look for a park to take a rest, or maybe a drink, during your visit in the city center, then the Park of Brussels is what you are looking for. Known for years as the Royal park, since the Royal palace is ubicated across the road of one of its sides.
Are you an art-goer? Discover the rest of the Museums that conform the network of the Fine Arts Museums in Brussels. Near the place Royale you can find the Old Masters Museum, the Modern Museum, the Fin-de-Siecle Museum and my personal favorite, the Magritte Museum. The collections show works of most famous Belgian painters like Rubens, as well as many international artists.
Being Brussels Europe’s capital, the Parlamentarium is a must and in the weekends entrance is free (just be sure to book your ticket in advance online)!
Complete your visit to the European quartier by learning the origin and organization of the European Union. It is free and it is open 7 days a week!
Besides being Europe’s capital, Brussels is also the capital of comic books. Inside a beautiful art nouveau building, you can find the Belgian Comic Strip Center. There is a permanent exhibition as well as temporary ones to learn about the worldwide famous Tintin and furthermore.
Instead of getting a present in an overcrowded souvenir store, we highly recommend checking out Brussels flea markets and second hand stores.
Our favorites are the Marché aux puces, which takes place every Sunday very near to Midi train station. It is a real flea market where everybody can sell, so it can be a treasure hunt to enjoy every Tuesday, Thursday and on the weekends usually from 7 am to 14pm.
If you consider yourself to be more refined or you just love antiques, the Marché des Antiquites et du Livre du Sablon has taken place every Sunday in the Place du Grand Sablon since 1960. From unusual objects to African art, be sure that you will find something to catch your attention.
These are only some ideas, but Brussels gathers all kinds of different markets around the city. We recommend a quick internet search for those of you who love the idea of a cozy morning in the market!
Apart from the markets, the shops of Oxfam magasins du monde are the best option to buy your chocolate, beer or any fair trade goodies you may want! There are several locations to go, and it is always a safe option for your souvenirs.
As we recommended in the general tips, go for a local guide to make the best out of your visit to the most famous monuments in Brussels.
Why is it so famous a fountain of a peeing kid or why is it golden La Grand Place?
All the locations have a story behind it and the visit will be enriched with a little history behind it!