This post covers several free walking tours in Brussels, with subjects ranging from historic landmarks and art to alternative views of the city and even celebrities that have lived in the area.
There are a lot of free walking tours available in Brussels which cover a variety of interesting details about the city.
Most free tours in the area focus on the history of Brussels, providing stops at several notable sites and landmarks.
You can also go on an outing which gives you an alternative perspective of the city, going into the lower sectors for a look at some of the lesser-known buildings, structures, streets, and more.
Some tours focus on the architectural history of the city, giving guests a greater understanding of how and why certain structures were built with a specific style in mind.
There are also night tours that will give you a look at what some of the most notable landmarks look like after dark.
Finally, you may also want to consider taking a food tour to discover some of the best dishes available in Brussels.
Each of these services works on a tip-based basis, which means you can pay whatever you feel the tour was worth after it is over – even nothing.
That said, most people enjoy their pay-what-you-wish walking tour enough to contribute at least €10-€15.
If you’re looking for a more extensive tour that covers different subjects or you just want to avoid large groups, check this list of paid small-group tours.
These free walking tours will take you through the historical centre of Brussels, providing details about some of the most important sites in the upper city.
In addition to covering history from centuries ago, some of these tours will also delve into subjects such as Belgian beer and chocolate, and at least one of them includes a free sample!
You can expect to see the following locations on these tours:
- The Royal Palace
- The Grand Sablon
- Palace of Coudenberg
- Musical Instruments Museum
- Cathedral of St. Michael & St. Gudula
- Royal Gallery Saint-Hubert
- And more!
If you’re interested in seeing these locations and learning more about them, consider taking one of the tours listed below.
This is essentially an introductory tour that provides both historical information and details about contemporary life in Brussels as well.
A majority of ratings for this tour are very positive, and several reviewers indicate that their guide also provided information about the best places to grab a drink and enjoy a meal.
You can currently take this 2-hour tour in English at 14:00 (2 pm) every Saturday and Sunday, but it’s also available in Spanish at 10:45 am and 17:00 (5 pm) each day.
Discover the historical centre of Brussels and learn about a variety of subjects including the Habsburgs, political intrigue, the guild of archers, the Burgundian dynasty, and more.
In addition to the 2 ½ - 3-hour free walking tour, you’ll also receive a free tasting of authentic Belgian chocolates, which definitely sweetens the deal!
This tour is offered in English and Spanish daily at 15:30 (3:30 pm), and in French every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 10:30 am.
This is another company offering an introductory tour of Brussels. In addition to covering the basics of the city's history, they also provide information about some of the more forgotten or ignored details.
At around 2 ½ hours in length, this tour visits many of the same locations as other introductory outings, with a few additional stops such as Mannekin Pis and Mont des Arts, an incredible viewpoint in the city.
You can take this tour in English twice a day on Monday and Tuesday at 10:45 am and 15:45 (3:45 pm).
Much like other companies on this list, Mundistour offers an introductory tour that covers the basic history of Brussels including some secrets and details that make the city unique.
Aside from the historical side of this city, you can also expect to learn about some of the best foods to eat in Brussels such as chocolate, fried potatoes, and beer.
This 2-hour tour is available in English from Thursday through Sunday at 10:30 am. You can also take the tour daily in Spanish at 10:30 am.
NOTE: The English tours will not be available again until January 2022.
Sandemans New Europe
This company is well known for its free tours, as they offer services in several different European cities – including Brussels.
Learn all about the history of this city stretching from its beginnings 1,500 years ago to more modern examples of art and culture such as the comic art scene of the 20th century.
The best thing about this 2 ½ hour pay-what-you-want tour is that it is available in English and Spanish at 11 am. The English tour is also available at 13:30 (1:30 pm), and the Spanish tour is also offered at 16:00 (4 pm).
While much of the historic district in Brussels will be found in the “Upper City,” there are also some pretty interesting locations to see and learn about in the “Lower City.”
There is at least one free walking tour which covers this area, and a few self-guided walks that cover neighbourhoods like Matonge (the African Quarter) and subjects such as the LGBTQ culture in Brussels.
Here are a few of the sites you can expect to visit on these tours:
- The Grand Place
- The Black Tower
- Monnaie Square
- St. Catherine Square
- Saint John the Baptist Church
- Vieux Marché aux Grains street
- Church of Our Lady of Assistance
- The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
- And more!
Discover more about these landmarks on one of the pay-what-you-wish walking tours below.
In addition to their historical tour which covers the upper city, they also offer an alternative tour of the lower city which covers more information about the people and trades that made Brussels what it is today.
This 2 ½ hour free walking tour has at least 19 different stops, and it is very well rated with plenty of reviewers indicating their outing is both informative and entertaining.
You can take this tour every day in English and Spanish and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 10:30 am.
Brussels was the site of at least one significant artistic movement known as Art Nouveau, and there are a lot of buildings and structures which reflect this style throughout the city.
There is at least one free walking tour which covers this subject, and some self-guided walking tours you might want to consider as well.
Each provides details to help visitors understand what Art Nouveau is and how to spot some of the most notable architecture in Brussels.
While on these outings, you can expect to visit some of the following sites:
- Hotel Otlet
- Hotel Tassel
- Hotel Ciamberlani
- The Beukman House
- Hotel Goblet d’Alviella
- Van Rysselberghe House
- René Janssens House
- Paul Hankar House
- And more!
If you want to find out more about what sets this architectural style apart from others, consider taking one of the pay-what-you-want tours below.
Discover some of the most historically relevant architectural examples of Art Nouveau in all of Brussels on this free walking tour.
In addition to walking through the Bailli neighborhood – which has more examples of this art style than any other part of the city – you’ll also have the opportunity to see some museums.
This 2 ½ hour tour is offered in English, Spanish, and French every Saturday at 10 am.
BRUSSELS NIGHT TOURS
If you want to experience this historic city after dark, there is at least one company offering a pay-what-you-wish walking tour of Brussels at night.
This isn't a common service, so if you're interested in seeing what all the historic sites look like when the sun goes down, you might want to consider taking this tour.
Here are a few of the sites you can expect to see on this outing:
- Royal Galleries
- Jeanneke Pis
- Church of San Nicolas
- Church of Notre Dame de Bon Secours
- Plaza de las Fontaines
- St. Catherine's Church
- The Black Tower
- Zinneke Pis
- And more!
Find out what makes all these landmarks shine after dark by taking a pay-what-you-wish Brussels night walking tour.
In addition to their introductory tour of Brussels, this company also offers a tour at night which actually covers a lot of locations that aren't included on their other outings.
Some of the stops on this journey could almost fit better in an alternative tour, with examples like the Puppet Theater and a neighbourhood known for its LGBTQ community which has several beautiful murals to see.
This tour is around 2 hours long and it's available in English and Spanish on Thursday and Friday at 18:00 (6 pm).
NOTE: The English tour will not be available again until January 2022.
Although there aren’t any pay-what-you-wish food tours currently available in this city, there are a few self-guided options you may want to consider.
These guides tend to focus on the two most popular dishes in Belgium – chocolate and beer.
That said, there are at least two self-guided food tours that provide details about great restaurants and full meals you should try before leaving Brussels.
We’ll also include a few paid options just in case you want a fully guided service that will go into greater detail.
GPS My City
Whether you’re looking for the best beer in Brussels or you want to satisfy your sweet tooth with some authentic Belgian chocolate, there are a few different self-guided tours provided by this service that you may want to use to find some of the most impressive dishes in the city.
In addition to the sweets and the booze, there are also at least two guides that include coverage of more traditional meal items such as crepes, burgers, deli foods, frites, and of course Belgian waffles!
- Brussels Beer Tour
- Chocolate Tour in Brussels
- Brussels Food Tour
- Eating & Drinking Your Way Through Brussels
These tours are available on the GPS My City app which you can download onto your smartphone using iTunes or Android.
Their GPS-enabled map will help you locate each of the stops on your self-guided food tour.
Additional Food Tours
If you want some help from a professional guide, there are several paid food tours you can take in Brussels which cover a variety of different foods. These outings typically cost anywhere from €50 to €100.
The advantage of these tours is that they provide the perspective of a local, and in some cases, they’re even private outings with small group sizes.
Although it’s nice to have control over how and when you take a food tour, nothing beats the advice of a local on the best beer and eats in the city.
Check this list of paid Brussels food tours to find an outing that fits your schedule and covers the subjects which interest you.