Getting Here and Around
Getting Here and Around
If you are traveling by car from Amsterdam, take the A1/E19 motorway. Once you reach the E40, follow the signs to the city. The trip takes around 2½ hours.
Brussels is connected to Amsterdam by the high-speed Thalys train network, which requires advance reservations. One train an hour leaves Amsterdam for Brussels, and the journey takes just under two hours. A normal InterCity train also leaves once an hour from Amsterdam Centraal, traveling via Schiphol Airport, and takes just over 2½ hours. The advantage of the slower train is that reservations are not required. The easiest way to ensure a cab is to call Taxis Verts. You can also catch a taxi at stands around town; stands are indicated with yellow signs. All officially registered taxis have a yellow-and-blue sign on their roofs. A cab ride within the city center costs between €6 and €12. Tips are included in the fare.
If You Only Have 1 Day
Head for the Grand'Place to drink in the gilded splendor of its medieval buildings. Wander the narrow cobbled lanes surrounding the square and visit the graceful, arcaded Galeries St-Hubert, an elegant 19th-century shopping gallery. Head down rue de l'Etuve to see the Manneken Pis, the statue of the little boy who according to legend saved Brussels by urinating to extinguish a fire. Walk to the place du Grand Sablon to window-shop at its many fine antiques stores and galleries. If it's a weekend, enjoy the outdoor antiques market. Have lunch in one of the cafés lining the perimeter, and don't forget to buy chocolates at one of the top chocolatiers on the square. Then cross over rue de la Régence to see the place du Petit Sablon before walking down the street to the Musée d'Art Moderne and the Musée d'Art Ancien to view collections ranging from the Surrealism of Belgian artist René Magritte to the delicately wrought details of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's The Fall of Icarus. Pick out a restaurant on the fashionable rue Antoine Dansaert for dinner. Finally, return to the Grand'Place to cap off the evening with a drink at one of the cafés to see the shimmer of the golden facades under the glow of lights.
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