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8 Hours in Brussels? What You Need to See!

Hello there! A while ago, I was given the chance the spend 8 hours in Brussels, Belgium’s capital. Having less than one day in Brussels is of course not enough time to do all the things you have to do when you are in Brussels. This magnificent city is better to be explored during an entire weekend, but I had to do Brussels in a day and that was awesome! There are many things to do in Brussels and a lot of sights to see, so let’s see how to spend a day in Brussels!

What to See During 8 Hours in Brussels

Brussels is a beautiful city that I loved to explore! Nevertheless, my time was a bit limited to only 8 hours in Brussels and therefore I will only recommend my very highlights to you! As a disclaimer, I would love to add: of course, there is more than you can discover in Brussels, but I tried to focus on only a few sites, so there is still time for you to enjoy each and every single one. And for you to have more time for the foodie experiences! If you consider spending more time in Brussels, you could check out the Waterloo Battlefield Museum

By the way, Brussels is also a great destination for traveling with kids! If you want to know more about what to do in Brussels with kids, check out this helpful itinerary!

Galeries Royales St Hubert

Our first stop, after having some breakfast was the Galeries Royales St Hubert. It is a lovely Galerie filled with beautiful and impressive shops! You can buy a lot of things, like clothes and small furniture or Belgian chocolates, or just sit down and have a coffee in one of the amazing cafés that are there!

8 Hours in Brussels - Galeries Royales St Hubert

Grand Place

Walking from the Galeries Royale toward Grand Place is already beautiful. The city of Brussels is just photogenic and you could walk it for hours. But its real treasure is the Grand Place.

We stepped a foot inside it from the Rue de la Colline and were overwhelmed by the beauty of the architecture! But then we turned around and saw all of the places we were even more excited! The buildings are just so beautiful. If this isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is.

8 Hours in Brussels - Grand Place
8 Hours in Brussels - Beauty of Grand Place

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Manneken Pis

This next site that I got to see was something, Brussels is famous for. But to be 100% honest with you, I am not sure, why it is that famous. But apparently, it is the thing you visit when you only have 8 hours in Brussels.

The statue Manneken Pis shows a small boy while he is peeing. And by small I mean small. He is not taller than a Golden Retriever. Nevertheless, the place around it is super crowded and everyone wants to take a picture of it. I had to get on my tiptoes to see it!

Little did I know, that it was only this small guy, where all the fuzz was about. But of course, you shouldn’t leave Brussels, without having a look at this little fella.

8 Hours in Brussels - Manneken Pis

We walked a lot while exploring the city. Finding the right pair of shoes for occasions like this can be quite challenging. Luckily there is this helpful guide on how to find comfortable yet stylish shoes for traveling!

Where and What to Eat Within 8 Hours in Brussels

Do you know which wonderful invention Belgium is famous for? Little hint, it is golden, crispy & delicious. It is the French Fry (and they are still mad about this name by the way!). But besides this small deliciousness, Belgium has a lot of other great culinary experiences to offer. And you can have all of them in Brussels!

Mort Subite

When I told my Mum what we did in Brussels, she told him that she has been to the same restaurant as we did, many years before! And this is because the Mort Subite is actually quite famous in Brussels!

My recommendation is of course to get you a beer there. Belgium has wonderful beer. But be sure to dine before, because the food there is not quite a reason to come back. Nevertheless, the restaurant is beautiful so therefore still worth a visit!

8 Hours in Brussels - La Mort Subite

La Vie En Marine‘s Guide to Antwerp


Belgian waffles are legendary. There are restaurants selling them at almost every corner in Brussels. And I urge you to try at least one of them when you are there! You can have them in a wide range of toppings, for examples chocolate, fruits, or marshmallows!

Related: 5 things Brussels is famous for!


As already mentioned, fries were invented by the Belgians. And that’s why they are incredibly good at making them and why you should definitely try them! But make sure to try more than one sauce! My personal favorite is a BBQ Sauce with fries but the classic would be Joppiesaus!


After a waffle for lunch and some fries for dinner, are you ready for the dessert? Belgium is famous for its super delicious chocolates! Make sure to bring some home for your loved ones but also try a wide range of tastes. Especially my personal favorite: Fruits de Mer. (Make sure, that you chose some made by chocolate; not the real seafood 😉 ). 

That’s already it! This is what we did during our day in Brussels! I really enjoyed the time there and would love to go back to see the rest of Brussels (and to try more chocolates)! If you want to read more about my travels in Europe, check out my Europe Bucket List. In case you are looking for more information about Belgium, have a look at my guide to Antwerp or my favorite cafés in Antwerp!

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8 Hours in Brussels, Belgium - La Vie En Marine


  • Luce

    This guide is awesome! You made me want to go to Brussels right now!

    • paula

      Hey Luce!

      Thank you so much for your comment! If you get to see Brussels, let me know if my tips were helpful!

      Paula from La Vie En Marine!

  • Lauren

    I have never been to Brussels! I definitely need to go. Thank you so much for this info :-)!

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