Even many of the most seasoned travelers have no clue just how fun New Year's Eve in Brussels
can really get! Most people only go here to see the sights and eat authentic Belgian chocolates and waffles. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but there's more to the Belgian capital than its most famous touristy charms. On New Year's Eve, the city becomes one of the most magical destinations in the world. See Grand Place all lit up and looking straight out of a fairytale. Experience the city's nightlife at its most intense! And don't forget about the annual FCKNYE festival in Palais 12 too.
Explore The City
Weirdly enough, New Year's Eve is one of the best times to explore the different neighborhoods in Brussels
, especially the ones you'd ordinarily go to beyond the central areas and the popular tourist spots. As beautiful as these places are, there's more to the Belgian capital than the iconic Grand Place, Parc du Cinquantenaire, and more. But why the night of December 31st? For one thing, you can check out the various New Year's Eve events that might not be all that popular but are still worth your while. And you can do so by taking public transport
for free! The city famously doesn't charge anything for public transport on this special night.
See The Light Show at Grand Place
Speaking of Grand Place, there's no doubt that this is the place to be on New Year's Eve in Brussels. As the main public square of the city, not to mention its most famous tourist spot, this is where all the holiday action occurs. Among its many highlights include a fantastic light show held every hour. The lights and displays that decorate the palaces and grand mansions that line the public square turn the entire place into the Belgian version of Disney World
. You'll enjoy the shows as you wait for the clock to strike 12.
Watch The Fireworks
Once the clock strikes 12, the Grand Place puts on a spectacular fireworks display you wouldn't want to miss! Admittedly, it's nowhere near the likes of the fireworks in Dubai
, New York City, and more, but it's still a great show nonetheless. It's especially breathtaking seeing them against the palaces and historic buildings that make Grand Place the world-famous public square it is today. And with practically the entire city all around you, the festive mood amps up tenfold, further elevating the holiday celebration to one that you won't forget for the rest of your life!
Check Out The FCKNYE Festival
New Year's Eve in Brussels is defined by one event: the FCKNYE Festival. Held in the Palais 12 arena on Avenue de Miramar, it's an annual music festival that ends the year with bangers after bangers. The event invites popular artists from Belgium and around the world, ranging from rappers and rock bands to pop stars and music legends. They perform six different stages set up in the venue, letting you have a good time for as long as you want. After all, the FCKNYE Festival usually starts at around 20:00 (8:00) pm on December 31st and doesn't end until 6:00 am on January 1st!
Eat as Many Chocolates as You Can
The holidays in Belgium, specifically Christmas and New Year's Eve, are the perfect excuse to indulge in desserts. Are you on a diet? Do you plan to let go of sweets as your New Year's resolution? Well, forget all that on December 31st, at least. This is the end of the year, after all. You deserve to splurge on something that will put a big smile on your face. And what else could do just that than Belgian chocolates and waffles? Especially since there are many great pastry shops, bakeries, and chocolatiers in Brussels
Dine Along Avenue Louise
Of course, you shouldn't start your New Year's Eve feast with desserts right away. It's great to indulge in sweets for the holiday, but it's better to do so after a full meal. And since it's New Year's Eve, you deserve to go to the best restaurants in town! Namely those along Avenue Louise. This is the city's foremost luxury shopping district. Amidst the designer stores and high-end boutiques, you'll also find Michelin-starred restaurants
, exclusive diners, chic bistros, elegant cafes, and more. These are the types of places you ought to have your final meal of the year in!
Many would argue that New Year's Eve is the best holiday to party the night away. After all, the holiday is defined by staying up late and waiting for midnight. Why not do just that while drowning yourself in drinks and taking over the dance floors? Even Brussels, a city that's not exactly known for its nightlife scene, has bars and nightclubs that'll let you do just that! Go to Fuse on Rue Blaes if you think you can spend all night dancing to EDM and house music. Chez Maman on Rue des Grands Carmes, on the other hand, hosts drag shows that'll really liven up the party!
Host A Soiree
As mentioned earlier, Brussels isn't exactly a city known for its nightlife. It has a number of great hotspots, sure, but the city isn't exactly on the same level as Paris, London, or New York City. In fact, welcoming the New Year at home is just as common in the Belgian capital as doing all the other more exciting activities on this list. But that doesn't mean you still can't have fun either! There's no stopping you from hosting your own New Year's Eve soiree in your luxury apartment in Brussels
, is there? That'll be a great, slightly intimate, but still fun way to end the year!
You need to consider celebrating New Year's Eve in Brussels this year. It may not be the most popular city for the holiday, but the Belgian capital still has a lot in store for ending the year with a bang!