The Best Guided Walking Tours To Take in Brussels

From the stately Mons des Arts garden to the hidden nooks and crannies of Brussels, these seven walking tours all offer completely different perspectives on the metropolis | © Global Enterprises
From the stately Mons des Arts garden to the hidden nooks and crannies of Brussels, these seven walking tours all offer completely different perspectives on the metropolis | © Global Enterprises
When it comes to walking tours in Brussels, you’re spoilt for choice. There are those dedicated to Art Nouveau, comic book murals, chocolate havens and even expert beer cafés. So picking one can be a challenge. Don’t fret: we’ve done the work for you. Here are seven niche tours we can highly recommend.

Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop by Global Enterprises

Try the chocolate-covered strawberries at Godiva | © Alena Kravchenko / iStock

This one’s a must for foodies. Belgium has a stellar reputation for turning cocoa beans into chocolatey goodness and now you can try your hand. This most indulgent of walks starts in front of the first Godiva store, built in 1926. Next, it’s onto many a chocolate legend, such as Neuhaus, inventor of the soft-centred praline. For three hours, you’ll make your way from one chocolate temple to the next, passing landmarks and sampling authentic and exotic creations as you go. At the end, you get to make your own pralines. For those who consider themselves avid snackers but terrible cooks, this tour by Brussels Chocolate Tours is a great half-day out.

Duration: 4 hours

Price: €70 (£63) for adults, €40 (£36) for kids (6-12)

Walking Tour by Viva Brussels

Take in the city’s renowned Manneken Pis statue | © Westend61 / Getty Images

Backpackers and penniless students will be delighted to hear of this tour, organised three times a day come rain or shine – because you get to pay whatever you can afford. Besides hallmarks such as Manneken Pis, La Bourse and the Royal Palace, a young team of guides will share with you the capital’s urban legends and lesser-known mysteries. They’ll also give you the local scoop on where to get the best fries, cheapest waffles, free museums and beers at democratic prices. In the end, you simply pay what you thought the tour was worth or what’s within the limits of your pocket book.

Price: whatever amount you’re willing to give

Starting point: Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium, look for the orange umbrella

Comic Book Tour by Bravo Discovery

Spot Hergé’s Quick and Flupke spying on Agent 15 © Olivier van de Kerchove / visitbrussels.be

Belgian-born comic strip heroes Tintin, Marsupilami and Spirou are everywhere in Brussels, but you need to know where to look. Going in search of the icons painted on walls throughout the city centre and Laeken during a tour is the best way to discover the nooks and crannies of the capital. Some of the frescoes play into the architectural qualities of the location they’ve been assigned, such as the Ric Hochet wall, where the adventurous reporter is dangling from a rooftop to swing into a girl’s bedroom. The project was launched by the City of Brussels in 1993 and has come to count more than 50 murals, and this number increases every year.

Duration: 2 hours

Price: €10 (£9), €9 (£8) for students and free for children

Brussels Sightjogging

Jogging allows you to reach the must-see spots of the Belgian capital quickly and easily | Courtesy of Brussels Sightjogging

These private tours are great for athletes who tend to miss exercise on their city trips. The energetic guides – all locals with a passion for running as well as the city they call home – promise to stick to your pace and the distance you’ve determined while they show you the highlights of Brussels. This is certainly a different way of discovering the city. It’s one of the most adaptable experiences and can be one of the most scenic: the tour starts under the towering Atomium and heads through several parks, leaving you surprised at just how much green space there is in the capital.

Duration: 1.5 hours (approx)

Price: €39 (£35), 25% discount for students

Starting point: dependent on the selected tour

Beer Tasting Experience by Sandemans Brussels Tours

Sample some of the country’s famous beers for a taste of Brussels © Arterra / Getty Images

Beer culture runs deep in Belgium’s identity. In three of the capital’s specialised beer bars, you’ll get to enjoy one of the famous Trappist beers, brewed in monasteries under the strict supervision of the monks, and the Lambic, a Brussels specialty made exclusively in the Pajottenland region. It’s the perfect occasion to ask questions, and your guides are overflowing with beer knowledge so they’ll love to offer personalised beer advice tailor-made to your taste buds. Don’t forget your ID for this adults-only tour.

Duration: 3 hours

Price: €19 (£17)

Art Nouveau Tour by Bravo Discovery

Marvel at the Albert Ciamberlani house built in 1897 by Paul Hankar | © Olivier Schram / Getty Images

Brussels played a pioneering role in the development of the Art Nouveau style, with its rounded lines, oceans of glass and fanciful iron flourishes, thanks to the visionary Victor Horta. On this tour, you’ll get a chance to see Horta’s famed Brussels mansions, along with the private home of another Art Nouveau pioneer, Paul Hankar. First up is the impressive Musical Instruments Museum by Paul Saintenoy, and closing the tour is the atelier and house of Horta himself, now a museum. The price of the tour is whatever you’re willing or able to pay.

Duration: Every Saturday for 2.5 hours

Price: whichever amount you’re willing to give

Brussels Mysteries and Legends Tour by Global Enterprises

The Vatican isn’t the only hub to boast signs of secret societies | © Shevchenko Andrey / iStock

The Freemason and Templar societies are hardly confined to the borders of Italy’s Vatican or Dan Brown’s imagination – on this tour you’ll learn more about how these legendary organisations also exist in Brussels. Secret symbols are hiding in plain sight all over the city, in churches and temples, although they often go unnoticed by both visitors and locals. The passionate guides on this tour will point them out. The tour includes an entrance fee to the underground Coudenberg ruins, former seat of government and home of Charles V, and at the end, a hot waffle and chocolate to reward you for your efforts.

Duration: 4 hours

Price: €65 (£58) for adults, €35 (£31.40) for kids (6-12)