Belgium

Belgium - Brussels

Don’t miss

One of Europe’s grandest squares is Brussels’ Grand Place, home to the Gothic Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) and 17th-century Baroque gems. Nearby is Brussels’ most photographed statue, the cheeky, folklore character Manneken-Pis. In the gleaming chrome-and-steel Atomium, the Upper Sphere offers skyline views as far as Antwerp. 

Retail therapy

Close to the gare de Bruxelles-Midi or Station Brussel-Zuid (Midi railway station Eurostar and Thalys terminal) : stall-hop at Place du Jeu du Balle flea market for second-hand goods and period furniture or find antique gems at Place du Grand Sablon. Take home Belgian chocolates from Brussels’ elegant chocolatiers, shop along Rue Neuve or splash out on designer label in the Italian Neo-Renaissance arcade of the glass-roofed Galleries Saint Hubert, one of Europe’s oldest malls. 

Eat & drink

Brussels is a food lover’s dream. Try moules (mussels) in the shellfish restaurants around St Catherine church near Grand Place or whet your tastebuds at street stalls selling everything from frites (chips) with mayonnaise, witloof (chicory in ham and cheese) and hot sweet waffles. Belgian beers are a national treasure, from hop-laden blondes to fruit-infused variants. 

Hidden gem

At sunset, head to the open-air Street Light Museum on Rue E Delva, an interesting mix of art and social history where 20 public street lamps demonstrate innovations in street lighting over the years. 

Day trips

About 20 minutes away, from Gare Bruxelles- Nord or station Brussel-Noord, is the university town of Leuven. Admire its Gothic town hall and stroll along cobbled streets of UNESCO’s Great Beguinage. Beer lovers will enjoy the Stella Artois brewery and the bars of Old Market Square. 

Remarks

Train tickets, rail pass to Brussels : with Rail Europe enjoy a rail travel to Brussels. Travel by train in Europe with Rail Europe, your travel planner.