| 10 min read
A rainy day in Brussels isn’t exceptional, especially if you visit during off-season. On average, we have about 199 rainy days per year, but luckily it never rains the entire day. In between showers you can enjoy Brussels most important landmarks, but it’s wise to have a plan B when the sky turns grey again. Luckily, there are lots of indoor activities to make the most of your visit. Here’s our ultimate list of fun things to do in Brussels when it rains.
Read a comic book in the Belgian Comic Center
Attached to the Belgian Comic Strip Center is a small library where you can browse through a large collection of comic books and do some reading. Apart from the classics of the Franco-Belgian cartoon, they also have a selection of more recent works. You’ll find about 1500 cartoons in Dutch and French and 3000 others in a large variety of other languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Russian… but also Latin, Jiddish and even Papiamentu!) Access to the library is free if you have a ticket for the museum or a mere 0,50 EUR without one. The library is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Spend some time in the Galeries Royales de Saint-Hubert
One of the main things to visit in Brussels, the Galeries Royales are covered shopping arcades in tof fancy boutiques with lovely shop displays, which are great for window shopping. You can also do some research into Belgian chocolate by sampling pralines from the different prime chocolatiers that have a shop inside these galleries, like Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus, Mary, Godiva… Also, make sure to look for Librairie Tropismes, which has both contemporary and classical fiction and non-fiction on offer, and is one of the most beautiful bookstores in Brussels. End your stroll through the Galeries Royales with a delicious waffle from Maison Dandoy, which is even better when combined with a home-made hot chocolate.
Play indoor games with friends
You want to meet up with your friends, but you’re bored of hanging around in the same bar again? How about changing things up a little? Brussels boasts a large selection of thrilling indoor activities which are so much fun when shared with friends.
- An escape room is always fun: work together to solve the mystery as fast as you can. Enygma has several challenging games like 'The Nautilus', 'Sherlock' or 'Mayan Temple'...
- Have you ever wielded an axe and slung it at a target? Both at Woodcutter and Tomahawk, situated respectively at Bruxelles Chapelle and Porte de Namur, you can master the skills and challenge your friends in an axe-throwing game.
- Alternatively, you can also play a few rounds of laser tag at Space Laser Game. Set up ambushes, run around and try not to get hit by the enemy.
- Personally, I think the most overwhelming indoor experience are the Virtual Reality games of Futurist Games. As you play alone or with others, you’ll enter a virtual world that feels so real you can almost literally sense everything that happens around you.
A virtual trip through Belgium
Although not a game, another virtual activity are the virtual trips through Belgium from Imagine Belgium. You'll start your trip ziplining over Grand Place, after which you'll visit several important cities and places in Belgium. If you're visiting Belgium and you don't know yet where to go, this could be an excellent teaser to help you decide. In their shop you can also buy all kinds of nice local and sustainable projects. It's situated on Grand Place, so hop in and have a look!
Buy a Brussels Card and do a round of museums
If you enjoy visiting museums, you’ll never get bored in Brussels. The city bears so many different art galleries and exhibitions that you’ll even have to sacrifice some sunny days if you want to visit them all. The most economic way to explore the different museums in Brussels is by buying a Brussels Card, which grants you free access to a large selection of Brussels museums. The Sewer Museum, the natural sciences museum, the fine arts museum and the Halle Gate are just a few among many that are definitely worth your time.
There's another atypical museum which will especially interest the younger generation an that's Smile Safari, an Instagram and Tiktok museum where you can go crazy and create photos and videos that will stand out.
Get culinary: make Belgian chocolate and Brussels waffles
When you’re visiting, or even more when you’re living in Brussels, you have to learn a thing or two about Belgian chocolate and waffles. You may have become proficient at pointing out the best places where to get them, but do you know how to make them? As you will find out during these workshops, it’s not that complicated and really fun to do. During the 2.5 hour chocolate workshop you’ll learn how to make pralines, ‘mendiants’ and hot chocolate, and you’ll get to take home a nice little box filled with hand-made chocolates. After the 1,5 hour waffle workshop you’ll know the difference between a local waffle and a tourist waffle, as well as between a Liège waffle and a Brussels waffle. And possibly the best thing about the workshop is that, once you’ve learned the recipe, you’re free to make as many waffles as you can eat, along with a few to take home!
Visit a brewery
Now that we’re talking about Belgian specialties, we can’t leave out the famous Belgian beer. Among the many activities for Brussels beer-lovers, visiting a Brussels beer bar is always good fun, but maybe you'd like to try something different for a change? Why not visit brewery to learn more about the brewing process? Cantillon is one of the oldest breweries in Brussels that has specialized in a specific type of sour beer, called ‘Lambic’. During the guided tour through the brewery, you’ll learn what it is exactly, how it’s made and you’ll get to taste a few at the end.
Watch a stand-up comedy show
When the weather is all grey and dull, chances are it’ll have an effect on your mood as well. There is no better cure against the winter blues than having a good laugh every now and then. And that’s what English Comedy Brussels has specialized in. Every week, or sometimes every other week, a different English-speaking comedian is invited to entertain you with a hilarious stand-up show, during which he or she tackles recent topics, striking stereotypes, taboo subjects and much more.
Drink a hot chocolate in the cat café
Especially when the weather is gloomy, it's nice to receive some extra warmth in the form of cuddles. Soft, furry cuddles if possible. There's one place where you can get lots of those and that's in the cat café Le New Chatouille. Order a hot chocolate and maybe a snack if you're hungry, and in the meantime you can observe and pet the other (furry) guests.
Treat yourself to some quality time
Does grey weather put you in a bad mood? Why not counter that by pampering yourself with something nice? It's the moment to get a new hairstyle, a nail styling, a massage... If you want to clear your head and medidate, you could try the floatation center Sea of Clouds. Basically you will enter a float tank filled with super salty water so that you float without effort. Since there are no distractions whatsoever, you can fully concentrate on your own sensations and let your mind travel freely.
Make plans for when the sky clears
If the suggestions mentioned above didn’t motivate you to get outside and do something, you can also stay in, enjoy a hot cup of chocolate and make plans for when the days are bright again. Browse this website and discover fun things to do, interesting places to visit, authentic beer bars and great restaurants, all of which are also marked on our interactive map of Brussels. Maybe you can make your own map pinpointing all the stuff you’d like to do later? You can also save the pages you like and organize them with a free program like Evernote. Another great way to sample inspiration for later, is search Instagram on hashtags like #bittenbybrussels, #brusselsfoodie, #igersbrussels… and save the most interesting posts for later.
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