What to do in Brussels when it rains

 In Belgium, Blog, Go exploring

Spending a weekend in Brussels is a wonderful idea: exploring the Grand Place; walking the Comic Strip Route; hunting down the most beautiful Art Nouveau architecture or going to local flea markets is great fun. Oh wait, all those things are outdoor activities! Fret not, there are plenty of fun activities to do in Brussels when it rains! As the true cosmopolitan city that it is, Brussels has a plethora of museums and fun activities you can partake in when visiting under the rain. Time to give you an overview.

Practical information for visiting Brussels

What language is spoken in Brussels?

Officially the Brussels region is bilingual. All official signs are written in both Dutch and French. As the city is home to the European Institutions and many expats you will find a lot of the signage is also available in English.

A well known fact about Belgians is their ability to speak multiple languages, so do not worry if your French and Dutch are non-existent because English will get you by perfectly!

Public Transportation in Brussels

When in rains in Brussels, walking around the city is a lot less fun. The good news is that Brussels is very well connected through a metro and expansive bus network that are easy enough to navigate. The Brussels inner-city public transport uses one single ticket across the various bus, metro & trams systems.

To find out the most up to date times and information to purchase tickets you can download the public transport (STIB) application.

Visiting museums in Brussels – The Brussels card

Visiting one of the many museums is a great activity to do when the Brussels rain is pouring down upon you. Your worries will be soon forgotten once you step foot in the magical world of Magritte  in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts or learn all about the Dinosaurs in the Museum of Natural Science.

The city of Brussels has created a Brussels Card which can be purchased for 24h-48h-72h and starts at €29. The card gives you discounts to various tourist attractions in Brussels (including many museums) & tickets to public transportation. Purchase it online or at any of the tourist offices dotted around in the city.


Activities to do in Brussels when it rains

Visit the Museum of Natural Sciences

If you are looking for what to do in Brussels when it rains for kids perhaps the Museum of Natural Science can provide a fun answer. This Museum in Brussels is a great interactive museum which houses the largest Dinosaur Gallery in Europe! There are exhibits about the evolution of Humankind, Animal kind and all about the 250+ year history of the museum. Ticket prices for adults are €7

Brussels Rain - Natural History Museum Brussels
The impressive Iguanodons in the main hall

Get cultured at the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert

When you are downtown, and all of a sudden the Brussels rain starts gushing down you might need to think fast. The Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert is centrally located and has a lot more to offer than you might think.

This gallery not only houses some of the best Belgian chocolate stores in the city, it is also home to a beautiful theatre and a cinema. On a dreary day there is nothing better to lift the mood than to catch a show or a movie. Check out what is playing and find the perfect answer to your quest for things to do in Brussels when it rains.

What to do in Brussels when it rains - The Royal Theatre
The Royal Theatre - Copyright GRSH

Visit the European Institutions

Brussels houses the European Parliament and the European Commission. Both institutions can be visited throughout the year, although be sure to check out the official website for exact dates and the admission prices. Visits will take a couple of hours and offer a perfect educational activity to do in Brussels when it rains.

Brussels Rain - European Parliament
The European Parliament

Check out the Brussels Subway Art

If you are spending a rainy weekend in Brussels, chances are high you will be taking the metro at some point. While usually taking the metro is not such a thrilling activity, the city of Brussels has made it into something fun!

A total of 70 metro stations contain some form of artwork: sculptures, photographs and cool murals. The Brussels Capital Region worked together with the STIB (the operator of the metro in Brussels) to create an overview of the artworks (in French) Alternatively, you can check out some English articles on the subject to help you out.

Although not part of the Metro Art Project, the metro station het Pannenhuis on line 6 . If the Brussels rains keeps bucketing down, add this metro station to your list of activities! The vibrant architecture is something straight out of futuristic movie.

a weekend in Brussels
Metro Pannenhuisje credit: www.gzaracasphotography.com

Take a Guided tour of the City Hall of Brussels

The Grand Place of Brussels is undisputedly one the main highlights of the city. Lavish 17th century golden guild houses adorn the square and have earned the square a UNESCO classification. Rain or no rain, when visiting Brussels the Grand Place is an absolute must.

So in your hunt for activities to do in Brussels when it rains, do not scratch off the Grand Place, simply adapt your plan to ensure you can get a view of the Grand Place from inside. How you might ask? Simple, by taking a guided tour of the Brussels City Town Hall – the landmark 15th century towering over the guild houses on the main square. Tours run every week on Wednesday and Saturday at select hours. Be sure to book in advance.

Brussels rainy day - Grand Place
Visit the imposing Brussels City Hall

Belgian Chocolate Workshop

Belgium is widely known for it’s chocolate! What better way to spend a rainy day in Brussels than to learn how to make you very own Chocolate. There are plenty of workshops available that range anywhere from 20minutes to a full day. If it is really rainy, my suggestion would be to go for this half day workshop which will cost €29 and is given in English.

You will learn the basics of professional chocolate making which includes tempering the chocolate, finding the right ingredients and of course the taste test. Enjoy!


What to eat in Belgium - Belgium Chocolate
Delicious Belgian Chocolate! Credit Tamas Pap (Unsplash)

Beer Tasting in Brussels

Belgium and beer go hand in hand! Visiting Brussels without having tried at least one of the local beers would be a real shame. There are so many different types of beers, there is bound to be – at least – one that you like. If you are short on time and happen to be visiting Brussels during the week head over to Delirum Bar and try one of the 2000+ beers (not all Belgian).

If however you are looking for a fun activity to do in Brussels when it rains why not try a beer tasting. If you are in mood for a little more of an unconventional Belgian beer tasting be sure to check out the Belgian Beer Project.

Tours are available in English or French and can be taken individually or in group. The group tours last around 2h and include a tasting of 6 different beers , an explanation of the process of brewing beer and a tour of the brewery itself. Individual tours are shorter (around 20 minutes) and offer a tasting of 4 beers.

Beer tasting in Brussels
Beer tasting with the Brussels Beer Project

Where to stay in Brussels

When visiting Brussels especially when it rains, location really is key! Here are some recommendations for hotels you might like.

  • Warwick Brussels: A beautiful 5-star hotel with views of the Grand Place from their rooftop terrace. Located 3 minutes walk from the Grand Place.
  • The Hotel Brussels: A sustainable hotel with the highest public views over the city. The hotel produces green energy and only uses locally sourced food. The location is right on the main shopping artery of the City: Boulevard de Waterloo
  • Stanhope Hotel: A luxury 5-star hotel with a full team dedicated to sustainability. With it’s impeccable location, beautiful building and dedication towards sustainability it is hard to say no to this property.

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