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One-day trip in Brussels, Belgium

 
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danpop's pictureby danpop review
added on 13th of June, 2009

Maybe the first thing I want to point out from the beginning is that Bruxelles is not a one day city to visit. In my opinion, 2 or 3 days is minimum to see what’s more important in this splendid capital. But let’s say you don’t have much of a choice, and you have to limit yourself to just one day. What do you really must see that day? Here’s my choice.

First of all, arriving to Bruxelles can take a while, depending on the starting point. Let’s say you come from Charleroi’s new and fancy airport. No problem, getting to Bruxelles is a really easy task, because there are shuttles that depart frequently. Tariffs are low, 13 euros for going, and 22 euros for the return. If you come from Lille with a TGV, the trip only takes 30 minutes, from London with the same type of train the trip will last roughly 2 hours. And let’s not forget that the distance from London to Bruxelles is no more or less than 370 Km. Between Paris and Bruxelles there is something like TGV, called Thalys, the trip will take just 1 hour and 22 minutes, meaning that if you will start to watch a soccer match in Paris you will not be able to see the ending until you arrive to Bruxelles.

Ok, so now you’re in Bruxelles, is still morning, what can you do here? If you’re a woman, the perfect start for an unforgivable day starts with … a little shopping. Fortunately Bruxelles is filled with shopping centers, one particular mention being City 2, a huge shopping mall spread on 4 floors, with a wide diversity of offers. Clothes, electronics, music, movies, books, food or coffee, you name it; you have everything in this mini city inside a bigger metropolis.

Now for some real visiting. My suggestion, my decisive suggestion is to start with the Atomium. This engineering masterpiece is located next to the Heysel metro station, in a science dedicated location. Visiting hours are from 10 am to 6 pm, but the cash desk closes at 5:30. The structure was built in 1958, but it looks so 2058 with it’s futuristic design and impressive size (102 meters in height – 335ft). Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

After the Atomium stop, next thing is to take the metro to Bourse, De Brouchere or Rogier stations because this is the famous Bruxelles historical center. Grand Palace, the central market square in the city, stands out by the beauty of it’s medieval buildings, which convinced UNESCO to name it a World Heritage Site in 1998.

Next stop, Manneken Pis (little man urinating). Not the chastest landmarks, but who cares? This “not too shy” boy statue is located at the junction of Rue de l'Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat. On many occasion the statue is dressed, or other parts are attached to it, to celebrate the moment. Maybe one day you will see beer instead of water coming out of it.

Do not forget about Belgian chocolate. You can find stores selling this by piece or by box, and the taste is really something you will remember. The prices are for all budgets, and you can even find promotions like “buy 4 and you’ll get one for free”. And another tip about food: Gaufres (or waffles like most of us know them) are so tasty in Bruxelles. You’re not limited to just one kind, there are so many varieties that even looking at them you’ll get hungry. My advice: try the one with fruits and chocolate. Yummy.
 

Things about Brussels you may be interested in

 
 
The return - overview

1. May 29, 2009 My travel back to Lille (Lille)
2. May 31, 2009 You must visit Pas-de-Calais (Boulogne-sur-mer)  (* 43)
3. Jun 2, 2009 One-day trip in Brussels (Brussels)  (* 78)
4. Jun 3, 2009 On the way back home through Charleroi (Charleroi)  (* 81)

Start from beginning1 - 4          Journal overview


Read about Brussels in our travel-guide
 
 
 
guides

Recommended Antwerp Guide

Antwerp History

The 16th century saw Antwerp prosper commercially and culturally, as most of the commercial exchanges that took place in the port were controlled by foreigners. By 1560 it was the second largest northern European city and many foreign merchants started to arrive and settle here. The Portuguese brought in pepper and cinnamon and the diamond industry also started developing. The city became an international point of exchange with residents and merchants from Spain, Portugal and Venice and, due to its high level of tolerance, it also attracted a considerable number of Jews. Still it was not considered a free and independent city, as it was... Read more »

 
 
reviews

Recent reviews for Brussels

On the way back home through Charleroi - Jun 14, 2009, by danpop
It was the 3rd of june, 2009. It was a beautiful morning in Lille, although clouds were threatening the sun and from what I saw they were about to convince it to hide. I got up really early, at least for me, at about 7 o’clock. Shower... Read more »

Bruges, Belgium - Feb 5, 2015, by adam
Bruges is Belgiums most well-preserved historic town. It is situated at the Flemish Region. It is well known for it's exceptional architecture like it's houses, cathedrals, the historic city center and it's surroundings, and... Read more »

 
 

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