Ideas for families

Family-friendly activities in Brussels

Get the lowdown on things to see and places to visit in Brussels with the whole family.

Just a short 2-hour drive from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal at Calais following the A16 and E40, there are plenty of things to see and do in Brussels. If you’re travelling with the family, with younger children or a mix of age groups, this guide will help you find the best activities.

From comics to chocolate, science to public parks, there’s something to enjoy around every corner of the city.

The musical instrument museum in Brussels with a yellow sign over a glass door set into a glass fronted building with ornate metal work all over its facade

Visit the Comic Strip Centre

The ultimate in comics, the Belgian Comic Strip Centre is filled with as many Belgian cartoon characters’ stories as you can think of, including favourites such as Tintin and the Smurfs. Settle in with the little ones (or big, comics are for all) and lose yourself in the reading room with comics in French, Dutch or English.

There’s also a museum where you can learn all about comic strip history, exploring the works and careers of authors such as Hergé and Roba. For active kids, try the comic strip walking trail which links a series of murals throughout the city.

Museum of Musical Instruments

Better known as MIM, this is a great day out for children, even if they don’t play an instrument yet. Originally set up to demonstrate early instruments to students in 1877, it’s now filled with historical instruments from across time.

You’ll be given headphones to listen to around 200 musical extracts of the instruments on display and if you head up to the tenth floor you’ll step out onto the panoramic terrace for views of the entire city. 

Miniature versions of famous buildings set into a green park and hill with a lift going to the top

Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate

You cannot visit Belgium without sampling some of its chocolate. The secret is that Belgian chocolates are made with 100% cocoa butter and no vegetable oil, giving them a far creamier texture. Choco Story, the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, will teach you even more facts as you uncover the history dating back to Aztec and Mayan civilisations that brought chocolate into its popular forms today. The children will love the demonstrations, and everyone can enjoy the gift shop!

Museum of Natural Sciences

Musée des Sciences Naturelles lets you explore plant and animal life. Opened in 1846, today the highlights include the entire skeleton of a giant whale in the hall, as well as the room reserved for dinosaurs, which includes the famous iguanodons of Bernissart.

A vintage mustard yellow open top car with black wheels and a metal steering wheel in a museum surrounded by other vintage vehicles

Autoworld

Impressive even for those not into cars, Autoworld has over 300 vehicles, ranging from cars and trucks to motorcycles, on permanent display. From the earliest models to contemporary cars, you are guided through the motorcar’s history dating as far back as 1896. See if you can spot the Minervas and several limousines that once belonged to the Belgian royal family on your visit.

Train World

The official museum of the 'National Railway Company' of Belgium, Train World sits in a preserved building of the old Schaerbeek railway station. Here you will find exhibits and presentations on everything related to railway engines. There are models, original locomotives and you can even "drive" a train in an interactive game. Make sure to get the kid's treasure hunt suitcase at the ticket booth, to help as a guide through the museum. 

The Atomium tunnel with white circular lights in the roof, red steps descending down to an open door, with grey rounded walls and blue handrails

Visit the beautiful Bois de la Cambre

At the end of Avenue Louise lies the Bois de la Cambre, a carefully landscaped, English-style park which owes its name to the nearby La Cambre Abbey. This unique piece of Brussels heritage attracts people all year round to walk, jog, cycle, and roller skate.

It’s a great place to relax with the family, especially in the warmer weather. The park is an offshoot of the Sonian Forest, so expect to spot rare and exciting flora and fauna, including 16 different species of bats and roe deer.

Atomium

This enormous sculpture is unique for sure, and certain to wow the kids. The Atomium was built in the late 1950s for the Brussels World’s Fair. As the central, flagship building for the event it was only meant to stand for six months. However, due to popularity, it’s still standing today and attracting many visitors each year. 

The 102m tall building is shaped like an atom structure, and a museum is housed inside the different spheres. You can take the record-breaking elevator to the top for panoramic views over Brussels, and then make your way through the different spheres to learn about the history and construction of the Atomium.

A row of bicycles with silver baskets on the front and all with yellow hubcaps over the back wheels with Villo! written on them

Mini-Europe

You have to head to Brupark, about half an hour outside the centre, for this attraction, but it is totally worth the trip. Discover 350 of Europe’s famous landmarks from across 80 cities at Mini Europe, all shrunk to 1/25th of their real height. There’s a 4-metre-high Big Ben, mini-Eiffel Tower, and the Acropolis of Greece. Some of the landmarks are interactive, you can push a button to make the Berlin Wall fall down, or another to see Mount Vesuvius erupt. 

Getting around Brussels

Brussels has an excellent transport network of trains, buses, and the metro. You can also hire bikes from around 180 stations across the city from Villo! which has an app to help you find the nearest bike. 

Purchase a Brussels Card

A Brussels Card gets you free entry into 49 of the museums, discounts on tourist attractions and an optional upgrade for unlimited public transport. If you’re planning on seeing a lot of sights, this could be very helpful.

Try the sightseeing bus

The Hop-On Hop-Off Tour bus has two routes with around 22 stops in total. You can get an audio guide (eight languages are available) and it’s a relaxing way to see exactly what you want to, without any walking. Smaller children may appreciate the break for their legs! The buses run regularly, and your tickets can be 24hr or 48hr unlimited hops on and off. 

Take your family to Brussels with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Keeping the kids entertained is top of the list for any family holiday. That’s why we have guides to excellent family attractions like Nausicaá, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Parc Astérix, so you can plan the best family holidays.        

Eurotunnel le Shuttle can get you to Calais from Folkestone in just 35 minutes and from there, Brussels awaits.

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Take your family to Brussels with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

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