City tour: Brussels through the ages

City tour with a local


By: Sophie

Upon arrival in a new city, everything can be so overwhelming at first and you might be wondering where to go first. In that case, a guided city tour is a great way to start. We recently tried the Brussels Through The Ages city tour, organized by two passionate Belgian guides, Céline and David.

Guided city tour in Brussels

The meeting point is actually one of the main highlights of Brussels. Your guide will be waiting for you on the majestic Grand Place of Brussels. Have you ever noticed that the architecture of the townhall is actually completely asymmetric? Or wondered what all those golden statues adorning the buildings around the Grand Place refer too? Your guide will point them out and explain what they’re all about.

Guided city tour in Brussels Guided city tour in Brussels

On this tour, you’ll also meet the famous Manneken Pis and learn why in hell a peeing little boy has become the symbol of Brussels. After walking along one of the last remnants of the medieval city wall around old Brussels, you’ll visit the beautiful Sablon church, which is where the famous Ommegang procession finds its origins. Also the little park in front of it is teeming with statues and historic anecdotes.

Guided city tour in Brussels Guided city tour in Brussels
Guided city tour in Brussels Guided city tour in Brussels

They’ll let you peek into the Musées Royales des Beaux Arts, not for the artworks, but for a quick introduction to art nouveau architecture. In this area, there are so many particular sights, like the palace of Charles de Lorraine, the exquisite Mont des Arts viewpoint, the Musical Instruments Museum… You’ll be tempted to wander off and take photos of all those beautiful monuments, but keep on paying attention to your guide’s explanation too, as they will also teach you a few interesting facts about Brussels beers.

Guided city tour in Brussels Guided city tour in Brussels

After learning a few things about the Belgian monarchy at the Royal Palace, you’ll have a break in Parc Royale. A bit later you’re up for a treat: after talking about Belgian beer, it’s time to actually try one too!

Guided city tour in Brussels

And there’s more good news. You’ll walk on to the Galleries Royales, a shopping arcades with fancy boutiques and… lots of famous chocolatiers! You’ll learn what drugs and chocolate have in common, and even get to try a delicious Belgian praline.

Guided city tour in Brussels

Unfortunately, this is the end of the tour. You’re now armed with the information to better understand this interesting city and to continue exploring it by yourself. If you’re looking for a particular place or activity, your guide will be happy to give you some recommendations.

Why this tour?

Guided city tours can be overwhelming sometimes given the overload of information and the number of participants. In this case though, the groups consists of 10 people at most and the guides add a load of funny anecdotes and interesting references to the information. Thanks to their broad knowledge, they’ll be able to answer almost all your questions about Brussels. After the tour, just ask them where to eat or drink, and you’ll get some nice recommendations based on your personal interests!

Guided city tour in Brussels

Practical information

  • The walking tour takes three hours. It begins on Grand Place and ends at the Galleries Royales.
  • The tour takes 3 hours and costs 20 EUR per person.
  • Check out the Brussels Through The Ages website to book a tour.
  • The tour is given in English, but might be done in French, Dutch or German upon request.

  • Guided city tour in Brussels


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