Time is one of the most precious resources when traveling. The goal is to make the most of it and a sightseeing bus pass will allow you to see all of Brussels in less time, comfortably, and learning about the city.
1. The best tourist bus in Brussels
The best option is the City Sightseeing bus company, which you can access by purchasing a one or two-day pass for the Brussels sightseeing bus. It is a double-decker bus that has two different routes covering the entire city. You can buy a pass for unlimited use for 24 or 48 hours and it has audio commentary on board.
How it works
The Brussels sightseeing buses are based on the concept of "free stops". This means that for the duration of your pass (24 or 48 hours) you can hop on and off as many times as you want and at as many stops as you want. This means that you can use the tourist buses to take a guided tour of the city or simply to move without detours between the different points of interest in Brussels during your visit.
My recommendation is that, at least once, you do the full route while listening to the audio commentary to experience the panoramic views of the city in comfort.
Details of interest
All buses are adapted and accessible for people in wheelchairs and strollers. The experience is designed to save time and gain in comfort, but also to avoid long walks between the different museums or monuments of Brussels, something that is especially appreciated if you travel in winter and can escape the low temperatures on board the bus.
2. Where to buy and how to use the Brussels sightseeing bus pass
You can choose between a one or two-day pass for the Brussels tourist bus and you can buy it online. When booking, enter the date on which you plan to start your trip. This date will serve as a reference for cancellation, but not for the activation of the voucher.
In other words, if your plans change, you will be able to cancel your pass up to 24 hours before your travel date, but, once you receive the voucher in your email, regardless of the date you have set, you will have 12 months to activate it.
The activation of the voucher or pass for the tourist bus is done with the first use. From then on you have either 24 or 48 hours to use it as many times as you want. To get the most out of it, I recommend that you activate it first thing in the morning. You only have to show on board the bus the receipt that will be sent to your email.
3. The routes
Each of the Brussels sightseeing bus routes covers a different area of the city with the second route focusing on one of Brussels' main monuments: the Atomium, further away from the center. With both the 24-hour pass and the 48-hour pass you will have unlimited access to both routes.
At each of the stops, you will find a map with the exact location** of the stops within each zone. You can also request it from your driver or have it emailed to you once your reservation is confirmed. In any case, all stops are easily identifiable.
Both routes have audio commentary on board which is available in English, German, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. All buses on both routes also have panoramic views and two floors.
Main route: the Europe Tour
- Brussels Central Station
- The Royal Palace
- Zavel or Sablon district, known for its elegant bars, restaurants, and chocolate shops
- Palace of Justice
- Museum of the architect Victor Horta
- Flagey Square
- The Parliament
- Leopold Park
- 50th Anniversary Park, next to the Art and History Museum
- Schuman train station
- Brussels Central Station
- Rogier Square
- Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
- Atomium Square
- Renné Magritte Museum
- National Basilica of the Sacré Coeur in the Koekelberg area
- Dansaert district, full of restaurants with pleasant terraces
- Brussels Stock Exchange
- Les Marollen district, ideal for partying
- Manneken-Pis, the famous statue also known as "the little man who urinates"
Ana's Traveller Tip
Let yourself be surprised by the city: start your route at any stop without planning anything and get off when you pass a monument that catches your attention.
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Hopping on the Brussels sightseeing bus is like taking a city tour, but if you want to complement it with a walking tour you have many options available in this article on Best Tours and Day Trips from Brussels.
The tour bus commentary will give you a more historical and objective point of view, but the guided walking tours led by a local guide will tell you about the less official history of the city including its legends and customs. Doing both activities is the perfect combo to bring back from your trip with your information and knowledge that will last as long as the visual memory of the highlights of Brussels.