9 Things To Do In Waterloo, Belgium

Things to do in Waterloo Belgium
| 3 min read

Waterloo is world famous for the defeated battle by Napoleon on 18 June 1815 under the command of the Duke of Wellington who led Anglo-Dutch troops to victory. Belgium is not just a great place for history enthusiasts, but also a great pick for those who want a break from daily chaos with its small towns such as Genval, which has many lovely Airbnb vacation rentals where you can stay while you visit all the sights in the list. Meanwhile, history buffs will be in a constant fix trying to figure out what to do in Waterloo, the main attractions of which include the Battlefield, museums, and memorials dedicated to the Battle of Waterloo. So, if you want to explore the historic city while staying comfortably in a cozy hotel, here is a list of all the top things to do in Waterloo, Belgium.

1. Visit the Church of Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph's Church, Waterloo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alta Falisa used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Church of Saint Joseph, completed in 1689, is a must-visit site with its rich history and architectural beauty. The church is renowned for its stunning stained glass windows, intricately carved stalls, and bas-reliefs dedicated to soldiers. It also features a bust of Lord Wellington. The church was originally built in the hopes of King Charles II having an heir, during a time when Belgium belonged to Spain.

In 1855, the architect Emile Coulon constructed the third church, showcasing a remarkable Baroque style. St. Joseph’s Church offers a fascinating glimpse into the past and showcases impressive architectural craftsmanship.

Church of Saint Joseph

Address: 1410 Waterloo, Belgium

Website: Church of Saint Joseph

Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)

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2. Waterloo Battlefield

Waterloo 18th of June
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alta Falisa used under CC BY-SA 4.0

For military and war enthusiasts, or even if you’re a tourist just visiting Waterloo, Belgium, a trip to this famous battlefield should be on your itinerary. Although there aren’t many remains of the battlefield today, it is a place of reflection and contemplation where was fought one of the bloodiest battles of all time.

Waterloo Battlefield

Address: Route du Lion 315, Waterloo 1410, Belgium

Website: Waterloo Battlefield

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Waterloo Battlefield

Photo of Waterloo Battlefield shared by content creator from Singapore, Pamela Loh

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3. The Wellington Museum

Wellington Museum Waterloo - 01b
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EmDee used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Despite its small size, The Wellington Museum is very informative with many authentic pieces of furniture, beautiful sketches and paintings from the period. It was here where Wellington stayed for 2 nights before the Battle and the room and desk where he wrote his battle orders and reports is kept exactly as it was 200 years ago when he used it as his Headquarters. If you want to find out about the events of 18th June 1815, a visit here is a must.

The Wellington Museum

Address: Chaussee de Bruxelles 147, Waterloo 1410, Belgium

Website: The Wellington Museum

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4. Lion's Mound, Panorama & Visitor's Center

Waterloo - l escalier de la butte du Lion
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Piero d'Houin dit... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You won’t be able to miss this top attraction in Waterloo, which is Lion’s Mound as you wander around the Battlefield area but before you climb up it, just next to it is the Panorama, a huge, round building. Walk inside and you’ll find the canvas painted by Louis Dumoulin in 1912 to mark the first centenary of the battle. Within the newly renovated Visitor Center organizers have combined the use of technology to explain events leading up to the battle and there is an excellent audio guide and 3D film to help you understand further.

Lion's Mound, Panorama & Visitor's Center

Address: South of Waterloo, Waterloo 1420, Belgium

Website: Lion’s Mound, Panorama & Visitor’s Center

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5. Brocante du Lion

Waterloo - De Leeuw -4
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Foroa used under CC BY 2.5

Take the long line of steps to the top of the Lion’s Mound from where you will get an incredible view of the former battlefield. At the top is an enormous cast iron lion, representing the monarch’s victories and was inspired by the 16th-century Medici lions statue in Florence. The single paw which rests on the globe, “announces the peace that Europe has won in the plains of Waterloo”, in the words of the architect.

Brocante du Lion

Address: Chaussee de Charleroi | Mont Saint Jean, Waterloo 1410, Belgium

Website: Brocante du Lion

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6. Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel

Posted by Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth on Monday, 3 July 2017

This Music Chapel was inaugurated on 12 July 1939 and was instigated by Queen Elisabeth and Eugène Ysaÿe, one of the greatest violinists and composers of his time. Designed to encourage and develop the talents of musicians from Belgium and worldwide musicians, it now hosts around 250 concerts a year so if you’re in the area, check out their program of events and enjoy a beautiful concert on your visit.

Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel

Address: 445, Chaussée de Tervuren, 1410 Waterloo - Belgium

Website: Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel

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7. Private Brussels Sightseeing Tour plus Battle of Waterloo Tour (from 161.19 USD)

Grand-Place Brussels - Maison du Roi
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user own work used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

On this one day tour you will firstly travel with a private guide through Brussels seeing iconic sights such as Grand Place, St Michael’s Cathedral, Statue of the Peeing Boy and the Royal Palace. Your trip will then pass through St Michael’s Cathedral, the Royal Palace, Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Tower before arriving at the location of one of the most pivotal battles in European history: The Battle of Waterloo. Listen, visit and learn about the significant sites in depth - a definite must if you’re interested in this important slice of history.

Brussels Super Saver: Private Brussels Sightseeing Tour plus Battle of Waterloo Tour

Price: from 161.19 USD


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8. Hougoumont

Zicht hougoumont
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Thundercloud used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Hougoumont farm shed is where much of the battle was fought and it is quoted that after the Battle, the Duke of Wellington said that the defense of Hougoumont was crucial to victory at Waterloo. Today, wandering the grounds, monuments, and grave sites of the British soldiers to get a feel of what troops had to endure at the time has become one of the top activities in Waterloo. Inside the farm shed, watch a film with many light and sound effects to learn more about the events of the Battle.


Address: 1440 Braine-l'Alleud

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9. Private Tour: Battle of Waterloo from Brussels (from USD 254.0)

Monument Gordon 04
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EmDee used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Go back to the events of 1815 and discover the legends of the Battle of Waterloo with this half-day private tour. Accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide, hear about the history of the Battle and visit the Wellington Museum, the former headquarters of Napoleon, take a tour of the battlefield, Lion Hill and walk to the Gordon Monument. At the end of the tour you will be full of new found knowledge from Napolean Bonaparte’s vicious defeat.

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Brussels to Waterloo Private Battlegrounds Tour with Lion Hill

Duration: 4 hours

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Step back in time when you visit Waterloo

Every year thousands of visitors come to pay their respects and to visit the historic sights and monuments at Waterloo. And, with offers on tickets to encompass all the major attractions, you won’t fail to miss out on seeing all the important historical sights and relive through the memories of the Battle that took place here.

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Along with these exciting things, Waterloo also has an interesting history. Did you know May 5th, 2021 marked the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte's death on the Isle of St Helena? A character with many lights and shadows, but who undoubtedly also left a memory in the history of Belgium with the French occupation and the so-called Battle of Waterloo (which was not fought at Waterloo... but at Braine-L’Alleud and Plancenoit).

The battle left us with tons of little details and curiosities... 

A few hours after the battle was over, the locals armed themselves with hammers and chisels and began to remove the teeth of the thousands of dead people on the battlefield. They then sold them to a multitude of dentists to make dentures. According to the National Army Museum in Britain, those who acquired this precious commodity did not bother to hide where they came from and called the product 'Waterloo Teeth' or 'Waterloo Dentures'.

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Waterloo, Belgium

  • What are some historic places to visit in Waterloo?

    One historic place to visit in Waterloo, Belgium, is the battlefield itself, where the Battle of Waterloo took place in 1815. Additionally, you can visit the iconic Lion’s Mound, Hougoumont Farm, Wellington Museum, and Church of Saint Joseph to further delve into Waterloo’s rich heritage.

  • What are some romantic things to do in Waterloo?

    A private sightseeing tour of the municipality is sure to be romantic, and you can couple it with a tour of Brussels as well. You could also immerse yourselves in the beauty of classical music at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, guaranteeing a romantic and memorable day together.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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