A day trip to Brussels with the kids? Read our tips!
Brussels is hip. The capital of Belgium and Europe has a lot to offer for day tourists with children. Who doesn't love Manneken Pis, a tasty waffle and beautiful architecture?
Our Brussels route
Below we guide you to a number of educational, sustainable and remarkable places. The route can be found in Google Maps via this link.
We start our tour at Brussels Central Station, passing through the beautiful Grand Place. From there we walk to a nice surprise for gourmets: Choco Story is a true paradise where you visit a Mayan temple, board the boat that brought the first cocoa beans to Europe, and discover how the first praline was made in Belgium. The visit includes a demonstration and a chocolate tasting. Yummy!
Anyone who sees Manneken Pis for the first time may be a little disappointed by its small stature (61 cm), but most kids think this fountain is amazing. Manneken Pis is the symbol of the mocking character of the people of Brussels and a tourist attraction that you should not miss as a child on your first visit to Brussels.
Fancy a break? Then La Fleur en Papier Doré is a nice destination where you can eat typical Brussels dishes. An ideal place for when the weather is uncooperative. Try booking in advance.
For sunny days, La Fabrique en Ville is an ideal alternative to enjoy a homemade brunch - with a children's formula - on the terrace. There is a games room and a park where your kids can entertain themselves whilst you take a break. Booking in advance is advised.
After lunch, if you feel like discovering sustainable and original designs, walk passed the Justice Palace and Avenue Louise to Yuman Village, a concept store based on the circular economy. You will also find children's clothing from Bonjour Maurice and The Extra Smile.
In the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences - a boring name for a very nice museum - you will discover how dinosaurs lived, evolved and went extinct. You will learn how fossils are formed and hear the scream of the Parasaurolophus. The temporary exhibition Antarctica takes you on an exciting underwater expedition and on icy land where you'll meet a colony of emperor penguins, see seals and experience the rich biodiversity of the white continent as if you were there. At the entrance, children receive a free fill-in booklet with a quiz. Attention: you can only buy tickets online.
End your day with a quick outside view of the European Parliament buildings. Have your kids guess which flags belong to which countries. The visitor center is not designed for children, but admission is free.
How to move around?
The above Brussels route can be done on foot if your children enjoy walking, and if the weather is somewhat dry. Fortunately, Brussels has a fantastic public transport network. Please note: masks are mandatory from 12 years old, at the stops, in the stations and on the vehicles.
It is better to leave the car at home, or park on the outskirts of the city and continue traveling by tram or metro. More information can be found on the website of the Brussels transport company STIB.