What better way of discovering Brussels than through the people who live there and new guided tours this summer? From the city’s historic parks to sustainable economy initiatives and discovering the capital’s micro-breweries, there’s something for everyone. It’s a fantastic opportunity to have an original experience, be it on your own, with your family or with friends.
And there are no better ambassadors than the people of Brussels to help you soak up the atmosphere and find the capital’s hidden gems. As a matter of fact, Brussels is a successful blend of its residents’ humour, cultures, sense of hospitality and open-mindedness. Here is an overview of the new guided tours and walks which visitors can enjoy throughout the summer.
A visit that’s completely safe
The return of guided tours comes with certain safety measures to enable visitors to have a relaxing time with complete peace of mind.
Here are the main measures:
- It is recommended to wear a face covering
- Maintain social distancing (1m50)
- Touching monuments, plaques, street furniture etc is prohibited.
The existing safety measures in public places and those put in place by the tour organiser are subject to change. Therefore we recommend that you contact your organiser for more information.
A synopsis of tours this summer
Brussels’ local color
The Marolles district and its social struggles The popular Marolles district is undeniably one of Brussels’ most authentic and well-known neighbourhoods, particularly for its famous flea market. Guided tours take place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. These give the public a glimpse of the district’s other aspects, through humorous stories of the many social struggles that have taken place there.
For more information: https://brusselsbyfoot.be/
Brussels beer tour
You are a beer lover, but do not know so much about it. You can differentiate a good beer from an ordinary one, but you cannot explain why? During a 2 hours long tasting, Legends of Brussels will tell you all you need to know about beer! They will tell you how beer is brewed, you will learn about its history and the different types of beer you can drink. They will document all this with the tasting of 6 Belgian beers. They will show you the way to taste beer and give you specific vocabulary for it.
After this tasting, you will become a true master! Start at the Grand Place and visit together three old Brussels bars. After this tasting, the guide will share with you a list of recommendations: breweries, bars and restaurants!
For more information: https://legendsofbrussels.com/
Behind the scenes of the City Hall
Situated in the Grand-Place, in the heart of the capital, the City Hall immerses visitors into the 15th century. Each week, guided tours show the public the secrets and hidden gems in what is one of Belgium’s most well-known monuments. A wonderful opportunity to learn more about its political roles over the centuries, as well as to discover its magnificent halls full of incredible paintings, sculptures and tapestries that evoke the various historical eras of the city.
For more information and to make a reservation: https://visit.brussels/en/event/Guided-tourCity-Hall-of-Brussels-innerrooms
The historic heart of Brussels
Many people have seen the capital’s iconic tourist sites, but how well do they really know them? This tour immerses the public into the history of Brussels and its emblematic figures and buildings. The programme features visits to the unmissable places in the centre of town: the Grand Place, the Manneken Pis (peeing boy statue), the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula and the Royal Palace. An original way of refining your historical knowledge of the capital.
For more information: https://visit.brussels/en/event/Promenade-historique-du-centre-ville
Brussels, its parks and pop-up outdoor bars
Every Sunday, visitors set off to discover a Brussels park thanks to Park Tours. A visit combined with a break to quench your thirst in one of the pop-up outdoor summer bars(guinguettes). A discovery of the often little-known history of Brussels’ parks, their biodiversity and green spaces that serve as the backdrops for Abbaye de la Cambre Guinguette – Bar Gisèle and Parc du Cinquantenaire Guinguette – Bar Maurice. Visits that are rounded off in beauty in front of these guinguettes.
For more information: https://arkadia.be/en
Discover Brussels’ green spaces by bike
Every weekend, the association Pro Vélo is offering guided tours by bike, of between 12 and 20 km, to discover Brussels and its numerous green spaces. A lovely way to explore another side of the capital.
For more information: https://www.provelo.org/en/section/bicycle-tourism
Sustainable Brussels and its restored urban wastelands
The new freight station at Tour & Taxis
one of the symbols of the renovated Canal district, this can also be visited as a preview. Recently revamped, this Art Nouveau building now hosts businesses, offices and restaurants. Its central promenade, adorned with interior gardens, allows you to admire the perfect union of industrial architecture (its steel and wood roof) and modern, sustainable technologies.
For more information:
A visit to the urban “Abattoir Farm”, the biggest suspended farm in Europe!
An extraordinary, hour-long visit to the Abattoir Farm, which includes the outdoor garden, the greenhouse and the fish farm, all with a magnificent view over Brussels. The urban farm was built in the heart of Brussels, on the roof of the Foodmet market hall. The Abattoir site is famous for its cellars, listed hall and lively market. It houses the only artisan abattoir to be built in the heart of a European capital.
For more information: https://bigh.farm/en-visits/
Discover Be-Here, the former Byrrh buildings
Tivoli Green City is the first fully sustainable district of Brussels, with only passive and zero energy housing, with crèches, a new square, car-free streets and a multipurpose hall. Residents share gardens, washrooms and other spaces. Waste water is purified and the district generates its own energy. Tivoli is flanked by two remarkable buildings, one new and one old. The striking wooden building with triangular windows is the GreenBizz business centre, an incubator for start-ups in the environmental or fair trade sectors. The old building of beverage company Byrrh, with its beautiful graffiti of vines, also houses a business centre, Be-Here, but also a biomarket.
For more information:
Brukselbinnenstebuiten : https://www.brukselbinnenstebuiten.be/english
Once in Brussels: https://onceinbrussels.be/en/produit/brussels-from-yesterdays-industrialheartland-to-today/
Greeters: discover Brussels through its people
The time has come to meet the Greeters, the enthusiastic Brussels’ residents who share their favourite spots in their neighbourhoods during a visit. These are quirky and original tours organised by the people of Brussels. They lead you on a walk, sharing stories about the neighbourhoods they love and telling you about their own experience of Brussels. There are 100 of them and each has their own style. From a former taxi driver who knows the city’s roads like the back of his hand, to a stand-up comedienne who will regale you with her best, most humorous stories, this tour is full of surprises.
For more information: https://visit.brussels/en/sites/greeters/
Tours alone, with your family or with friends
Ideas for walks to discover Brussels through its most colourful districts Brussels is one thing, and many. With its 19 communes and numerous neighbourhoods, visitors are surprised by its many faces. Sometimes popular, sometimes trendy, each neighbourhood has its share of surprises. The 15 neighbourhood walks available on the visit.brussels website offer 2h30 routes that will plunge you into the richness and cultural diversity of the neighbourhoods of Brussels.
For more information: https://visit.brussels/en/lists/neighbourhoods-walks-discover-brusselsneighbourhoods
A tailor-made visit in a bubble
Most of the organisations behind guided tours have issued a summer activity programme that has been adapted for small groups and is completely safe.
For more information on the different guided tour companies, visit: visit.brussels