The Smile Safari Instatour is a new walking tour of 5 kilometres that takes you through the heart of Brussels.
You’ll discover flashy street art, colourful façades and cosy bars and restaurants that can be posted on your social media without having to use a filter. Make sure to stop by Smile Safari, the Instagram and TikTok museum in Anspach Shopping.
WALK THE INSTATOUR
Download the route or use Google Maps to go for a walk.
1. Catching smiles
Smile Safari – Boulevard Anspach 24
Camera at hand? Battery fully charged? Smile on your face? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’re ready for the Smile Safari Instatour. Our starting point is the Smile Safari museum. While we promise you a safari inside, get ready to be blown away by the exotic scenes you will discover once you step outside into the wild!
2. Secret garden
Jardin Rooftop – Marché aux Poulets 7
A garden in the middle of the buzzing city centre? To discover this oasis of peace you’ll need to take the elevator. The panoramic view over Brussels that will open up to you will serve as your background on this beautiful rooftop terrace. Beautiful photos guaranteed. Even when the bar is closed you’ll be able to find a beautiful wall for your pictures by the entrance.
3. Ring the alarm
CENTRALE for contemporary art – Place Sainte-Catherine 44
The Centrale is a real hotbed for artists coming from Brussels and the rest of the world. Painted in a bright red that you’ll only find one fire trucks you can’t miss the façade. Street artist Jef Aerosol made a beautiful piece of graphic work for you to photograph. Do you have some time to spare? Don’t hesitate to visit one of the great expositions here.
4. Paint the town
Restaurant Le Consul – Quai aux Briques 38
As a real Ketje from Brussels would do, Mickey Mouse paints his tag on the door of restaurant Le Consul. Still, everyone wonders who put Mickey there? And will you pose with mischievous Mickey as his partner in crime?
5. Retro resto
Chicago Café – Rue de Flandre 45
Culinary break! You would think that you can put your phone aside for a moment while taking a seat at the Chicago Café. Wrong! The plates leaving the kitchen are little works of art and cakes tend to be decorated with edible flowers. And while you have your camera rolling, don’t forget to capture the vintage interior too.
6. Nature growing on the wall
Little alley – Rue de la Cigogne
The narrow Rue de la Cigogne with its cobblestones and façades covered in green is the perfect definition of quaint. Real Brusseleirs claim there is a secret tunnel running underneath the houses. Just wait for that one perfect ray of sunshine and the perfect photo takes itself.
7. Pretty criminal
Police station – Rue du Houblon 6
Don’t worry we haven’t brought you here so you can get a mugshot. No, you’re here because the tiling on this building is particularly stylish. You’ll need to search a bit to find a good frame without the police signs but once you found it, nothing stands in the way of taking a beautiful picture. And no need to panic, posing in the wild is still legal.
8. Game, set, action
Cancha, basketball field – Nouveau Marché aux Grains 20/30
The playful lines and graphic stripes on a basketball field are always a godsent for your photos. Bball in the Sky asked artist Dema One to paint the field with a fresh layer of groovy blue and yellow paint which makes this the perfect Instaproof setting for all your artistic ideas.
9. Classic beauty
Menelas Ouzerie – Vieux Marché aux Grains 25
Next to the Greek restaurant Menelas Ouzerie you’ll find a stone bust of a historical figure on the lookout. Although historic might not be entirely accurate anymore as someone has given the statue a modern make-over with a purple graffiti blindfold sprayed over its eyes. Perfectly fitting in contemporary Brussels and a funky element for you to be inspired!
10. Little smiles
Kat en Muis – Vieux Marché aux Grains 35
Whether you’re the cat or the mouse, you won’t come back empty-handed from your hunt here. You’ll find everything you need to dress yourself (and your mini-me’s) in the best fitting fashion items so that you’ll look your best for the rest of the walk. Definitely worth to hop in.
11. Taking a dive into street art
Instawall in the street – Rue de la Grande Île 19
The name of the street could be considered as a writing on the wall as it’s an island filled with fun for you and your camera. Whether you prefer the illustrated underwater world on one side or the funny cartoon wall on the other side, you’ll find a treasure trove of inspiration up for grabs! Don’t forget to take a walk in the adjacent street, the Rue de l’Eclipse, where graffiti drawings are showcased on both sides.
12. I love Brussels
Green little alley – Rue de Bon Secours
Not far away from Manneken Pis you can take a stroll down the Rue de Bon Secours. While the Quartier Saint-Jacques in the heart of Brussels is particularly known for its tourist shops, you’ll also find some hidden nooks and corners like this alley. A few steps, some climbing plants, a painted comic character… Feels a bit like you’re walking in Paris.
13. Love is love
LGBTQ+ alley – Rue de la Chaufferette
The rainbow flag waves proudly in the Quartier Saint-Jacques which is particularly visible in the Rue de la Chaufferette. The first red wall on the corner is already an invitation for the first snapshot. When walking into the street you won’t be able to miss the paintings by Ralf König. If you’re into colour and diversity, you’ll feel right at home in this outdoor gallery that wants to put the LGTBQ community in the spotlight.
14. National treasure
Square – Grand-Place
Brussels wouldn’t be Brussels without the Grand-Place. And if you don’t take a photo of it, you haven’t really been in Brussels. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to get your camera going between all the ornamental gold and the gothic galleries. Not taking a photo here would almost feel like an insult to the 17th century architects who designed it!
Fresco – Marché aux Peaux 13
When you walk into the Impasse de la Tête de Boeuf you might expect to walk into a grey alley but prepare to be blown away by the enormous fresco flaming with colours just around the corner. The Bosnian artist Rikardo Druskic turned this wall into an ocean of colours with this fresco called “You can only see well with your heart”. It’s the kind of painting you cannot stop looking at, you’ll find something new on there each time you blink your eyes. If that doesn’t make you smile, we don’t know what will.
16. Royal light
Gallery – Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert
The Queen’s Gallery really lives up to its name. The 19th century monument harbours a mix of little boutiques, well established brands and a cinema. The perfect place for a classy portrait with the natural light seeping through the glass roof covering the entire gallery.
17. Add milk
Cereal Corner Brussels – Rue des Bouchers 68
You don’t have to be a sweet tooth or a sugar junkie to have fun here. Thanks to the dozens of colourful cereal boxes and the crazy mix of pops, loops or flakes in a bowl you’re in a unique setting to shoot some pretty photos. And while taking that perfect snapshot you’ll hear the crackling sound of those tasty cereals in the background.
18. Purring cat
Statue La Chatte à Bicyclette – Rue de l’Ecuyer 50
The mascot of the Brussels bicycle sharing system Villo! welcomes you into the Rue de l’Ecuyer. The statue of the happy white cat might serve as a bicycle parking but it’s first and foremost a sculpture created by Alan Sechas. And luckily you can hop on because the statue loves to be a model for your photo.
19. The white stripes
Park with white trees – Place Sainte-Gudule
How to turn a group of trees into one attractive visual whole? By painting each of them white and creating a tight lined landscape. Curious to know what that would look like? You can admire it in the park right across the Sainte-Gudule Cathedral. Besides giving the trees a nice look the white paint also protects them against heat and cold.
20. Dangerously good
Wolf – Rue du Fossé aux Loups 50
Who said that markets were old-fashioned? Wolf proves that markets can be a trendy and popular concept with its covered market where you’ll find coffee bars, a chocolatier, an organic store and a garden. Here, they really understand what food sharing stands for. Everything is local, charming and a perfect match for your Instagram page. You won’t hear any sad howls when spending time at Wolf.
21. Sweet smiles
Dunkin’ Donuts – Rue Neuve 2
Let’s end the walk by restoring those sugar levels at Dunkin’ Donuts. Whether you decide to eat them here or take a dozen of them home, you don’t walk out here without giving your camera a taste of the colour explosion inside. If you think about it, a pink donut kind of looks like a baked smile, don’t you agree?