A Day Trip to Brussels from Paris or London

How to Plan a Short Visit to Brussels

Author: The Traveling Professor/Sunday, July 30, 2017/Categories: Paris

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A favorite trip is to take the easy 1 ½ hour train ride up to Brussels (known as Bruxelles in French).  Trains run frequently from Gare du Nord into Brussels Midi station.  The round trip fare is less than $100 if booked in advance.

Brussels is a terrific walking city.  It’s funky, it’s gothic, and the mussels cannot be beat.  Have a Belgian waffle and bring some chocolate home.  In many ways it is much different than Paris.  English is widely spoken and beer, not wine, is the national beverage.  For Brussels tourist info, including a map, try this link: www.visitbelgium.com.

Here are my recommendations for things to see and do in Brussels:

  • Grand Place (aka Grote Markt):  I love to strut around the grandest square in all of Europe.  It is surrounded by guild houses, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Musée de la Ville.  
  • Mannekin Pis:  This is an irreverent statue of a young boy doing his business.  It is certainly not in the class of the Eiffel Tower, but it might be Brussels most famous landmark.  Have a chuckle, take a snapshot, and move on.
  • Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (Royal Museums of Fine Arts): This is a fine collection of mostly Belgian art, both historical and contemporary.  There are works by such well-known artists as  Rubens, Van Dyck, and  Rembrandt.  Website:  www.fine-arts-museum.be.
  • Chocolate:  While strolling the streets off the Grand Place notice the chocolate boutiques sprinkled about. Don’t hesitate to sample the goods but don’t overdo it, save some room for a Belgian waffle and mussels and beer later.  You can always bring some chocolate back to Paris.
  • Mussels and Beer:  Beer is a high art form in Belgium.  It is only enhanced when it is paired with mussels (moules) and twice-fried fries (frites).  My little slice of heaven for this delight is La Villette.  Website:  www.la-villette.be.
Since Brussels is a business city, the best hotel deals are found on weekends.   I like the friendly 3-star Atlas Hotel Brussels at www.atlas.be.

If planning a trip to Brusells and London, note the Eurostar train travels between the two cities.

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