If you ask me, Brussels (and Belgium in general) is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe.
It is also full of photogenic and Instagram worthy spots! The best part? Most of them are pretty close to each other, which will definitely help you capture all the best locations while the city’s still asleep… Zzz
In this post, I’ve put together:
• A list of the best photo spots in Brussels for first-timers
• Photo tips for each location
• The best hours to shoot at each photo spot (whether you’re a solo traveler or not)
• A summary map to help you save time
Photo spot #1: Grand Place
I’ve been living in Brussels for years and I still can’t get over how beautiful the Grand Place (or Grote Markt in Dutch) is. The Grand Place alone is one of the main reasons why I’m convinced that Brussels is totally underrated. I mean… look at it!
Another great thing about this stunning square is that the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to finding the perfect angle for your shot.
You will need to wake up fairly early to get a shot like this one and have the Grand Place (almost) to yourself. But hey! Believe me, you won’t regret the early morning wake up call!
If you’re brave enough to wake up at sunrise, most days, the sun casts a gorgeous light on the building’s facades. But be prepared, a lot of delivery trucks arrive pretty early in the morning, which might make taking the perfect shot more challenging than expected. Fingers crossed!
Is the Grand Place tripod friendly? Yes, but it gets very crowded during the day, so the earlier the better.
When is the best time to photograph the Grand Place?
• Summer: from sunrise until 7.00-7.30 am
• Winter: 8.00-8.30 (at sunrise)
Photo spot #2: Mont des Arts
Paris has “Rive gauche” and “Rive droite” while Brussels historically has “Ville haute” and “Ville basse”. Mont des Arts is considered to be the link between both parts of the city.
This location is not only a delight for photography and travel enthusiasts, it is also one of the best spots in town to enjoy the sunset.
If you’re an early bird, this is definitely a good spot to enjoy the sunrise as well and capture its gorgeous colors. If not, you can always come back at sunset 😉
Is Mont des Arts tripod friendly? Yes (before the crowds arrive)!
When is the best time to snap Mont des Arts?
Before 9 am is generally a good time. I’ve noticed that it’s not necessary to wake up super early to get a good picture without being photobombed.
Photo spot #3: Pharmacie anglaise
If that’s not a fairytale castle, then I don’t know what that is! The pharmacie anglaise is actually a former pharmacy converted into a bar with a very cool and quirky decor inside.
Mont des Arts and the pharmacie anglaise are basically located on the same spot, which will allow you to kill two birds with one stone and make the most of your morning photoshoot.
Is the Pharmacie anglaise tripod friendly? Yes.
When is the best to snap the Pharmacie anglaise?
It’s possible to get nice shots most of the day. The earlier the better of course, but it’s not necessary in my opinion.
Photo spot #4: Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Built in 1847, the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert are Europe’s oldest shopping arcade (and definitely one of Brussels’ main architectural gems). The Galeries are home to many chocolate shops, cafés, jewelers, and various shops.
Are the Galeries royales tripod friendly? Yes (at least before the shops open).
When is the best time to take pictures at the Galeries royales?
In any case before 10 am before the shops open. But to be on the safe side, 8.30-9. am is a better time to avoid any guests in the background.
Photo spot #5: Palais royal
What if I told you that Brussels’ Palais royal is actually bigger than Buckingham palace? Well, at least its facade is 50% longer. However, its floor area is much smaller (fun fact of the day, you’re welcome ;p).
When is the best time to take pictures at the Palais royal? Basically all day long. We loveee that don’t we?
Is the Palais royal tripod friendly? Not really. It’s fairly busy during the day and is located right next to a pretty busy road, so you will probably struggle to find the right angle with your tripod only. If you’re traveling solo, make sure to go early.
Photo spot #6: Atomium
Say Hi to the Eiffel tower’s little sister (or cousin?), the Atomium, which was built in 1958 on the occasion of Brussels World’s Fair (Expo 58). The installation was never taken down and later became one of Belgium’s main landmarks/tourist attractions. The Atomium is now a museum where you will find both permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as a stunning view over Brussels! However, between you and me, I wouldn’t make this a priority.
When is the best time to photograph the Atomium? As long as you arrive before its opening time (10 am), you will generally have it all to yourself. This photo spot is the only one that’s located outside of the city centre of Brussels, which is why I would keep it last.
Is the Atomium tripod friendly? Yes, 100 %! Especially if you’d like to recreate the shot above, a few dozen meters away from the main entrance. However, given the Atomium is one of Brussels’ most popular tourist attractions, it can get pretty busy during the day.
Summary map of the best photo spots in Brussels
I hope you found this post useful and that it’ll help you make the most of your trip to Brussels, Belgium! If you’re still busy planning your trip, you might want to have a look at these articles:
- 5 Popular Belgian Foods to Eat in Brussels
- Brussels in One Day: The Only Walking Itinerary You’ll Need
- The 5 Best Brussels Parks and Photo Spots in Autumn
If you have any questions, my DM’s are always open! You can find me on Instagram @rosesandpostcards
See you soon!