5 hours in brussels

May 1st, 2007, 09:19 AM
  #1  
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5 hours in brussels

What should I hit? Any restaurant recommendations? We have an 8 hr layover from Brussels to Venice. Leaving this Saturday- VERY exicted.
jt7dreamz is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 10:50 AM
  #2  
 
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Go to the Grand Place (Grote Markt). Beautiful architecture, restaurants on side streets (expensive on the square).
Inge_On_The_Go is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 10:58 AM
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What kind of meal do you want? A quick snack or a leisurely lunch? Budget?

Ex: Lola (on the Sablon) is a popular spot, moderately expensive, kind of stylish, serves Saturday lunch. OTOH, you may be happy with a fun quick experience at Leon's on one of the little streets by the Grand'Place.
The Grand'Place and the Sablon are the obvious highlights. You probably won't want to venture too far from there given your time frame.
BTilke is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 01:53 PM
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There's actually a good restaurant at the airport.

The Grand Place, and for all of us tourists, the Pissing Boy, not far from there.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 06:02 PM
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Grote Mrkt - and stop along the way for a snack - and try the beers they are wonderful, pick up some chocolates for later or gifts. I found the small boutiques had much better flavour than the big brands, IMHO. Enjoy! Oh- the streets are rounded cobblestone - so if you can, wear a crepe or soft rubber-bottom shoe!
ninasdream is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 11:53 AM
  #6  
 
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jt7dreamz (or anyone else) did you do your short daytrip to Brussels? How did it work out? Is the train easy from the airport>downtown & back?

I expect to arrive BRU @ 7:35 AM on a Tue and connect out about 2:30 PM, probably the same flight as yours to Venice. I dread sitting around the airport for hours, especially after an overnight flight. I spent a week in Brussels about 20 yrs ago with my kids, and we had a great time.
Willy123 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 02:51 PM
  #7  
Sallygirl42
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Hi jt, I just returned from 8 days in Brussels. It's very easy to take the train from the airport to the center of Brussels, it takes about 30 minutes if there are no significant delays. The train from airport to Brussels city center costs 2.80 euro. I think you'd want to get off at the Central station but I'm not quite sure.

I agree with previous posters that your best bet is the Grand Place and surrounding area. I had lunch one day at the Chez Leon (the Formule Leon, a bucket of mussels, bucket of fries, and a beer costs 14.50 euro) and it IS very good and very authentic.

Keep in mind that many shops and whatnot don't open in Brussels until around 10 a.m.

Wear comfortable shoes and take an umbrella! I assume you will be storing your luggage at the airport somewhere or will have checked it onto your next flight?
 
Jul 29th, 2007, 02:51 PM
  #8  
Sallygirl42
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Oops, sorry, meant to reply to you Willy.
 
Jul 29th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Thanks Sallygirl (my Mom's name!)

Brussels, why not!!! Train from the airport (with minimum carryon bag)to Central Station, is that correct? Will look for Chez Leon near Grande Place. It has to be better than sitting around the airport for a minimum of 6 hours (darn those FF mile connections!) but on the other hand, I will be way out of sync since it's something like 2AM EST;

What's the Brussels aiport like? Anyplace to rest? I tried Skytrax and got no good info.
Willy123 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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ttt:=Thanks Sally, and anyone, have you hung out at Brussels airport for many hours?

I tried to buy FF miles just to buy time at the Business Lounge(is there one for AA?) but Business class is not available for the day I am traveling. I am not good with jet lag these days ;<(
Willy123 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 05:21 PM
  #11  
Sallygirl42
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I am not sure about the airport - when I left I was running late for my flight so the nice women at the Continental desk escorted me through the lines at passport and security

Yes, go to the Gare Central (Centraal Station) and from there is a short walk to the Grand Place (I would use Google maps to see a satellite view of the area and map out your route beforehand). Chez Leon is on the Rue des Bouchers, which is a touristy street just about a block or two behind the Grand Place. Chez Leon and Aux Armes de Bruxelles are the best places on that street and they are right across from each other.
 
Aug 2nd, 2007, 08:08 AM
  #12  
 
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Looks like we have same deal. Our original AA/Brussels flights were to have a short layover, but appears that has changed. Do not know for sure yet but I suspect AA will move us to the 255 flight as well (in November) so we too will arrive 730 am and have layover. Now I have a couple of other questions. It has been several years since I have been in Brussels.

Will we clear customs in Brussels (I assume so since it is our first point of entry into the EU)? How long does that take? Is there any left luggage facility so we could avoid dragging our carry on bags with us? General rule of thumb for time needed to get back to airport for flight checkin and security clearance - how long will lines be and how fast do they move.

My wife has never been to Brussels so we figure we might as well head to Grand Place so she can see it and also see Mannequin Pis.

Thanks
Reisender is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 08:48 AM
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Reisender - You will go through immigration, but you won't claim bags. Just walk out the green customs exit. You'll claim your bags at your final destination, and clear customs there if necessary.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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Yup, Reisender, same connection, AA BRU>VCE The idea of shlepping into Brussels for a day of sightseeing is sounding less attractive as the trip nears (i leave Mon Aug 13th). When I get to Venice I have to collect my bags & rent a car and drive about 1 1/2 hrs East. So I would much prefer to catch some sleep in Brussels, as I will be really jet lagged.

I have tried to find out about the Brussels airport, can't seem get info on places to hang out & rest. I called AA & other airlines to buy a Business lounge pass but no one will allow it since I no longer have Gold or Elite or whatever status. Anyone here have airport info? Rastaguytoday, which restaurant did you say was a good one at the airport? Or is there only one?
Willy123 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 02:09 AM
  #15  
 
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Get out of the airport - go for a nice lunch and relax. Not Chez Leon. You can get lunch in Brussels in a one star michelin restaurant for under 40 euros.

However if you want to hang out in the airport -
http://www.brusselsairport.be/en/

You will have to changer terminal for Venice - the Venice terminal has many more shops and bars etc than the one you will fly into from the US.

Regarding the lounges...there are quite a few...access to the Brussels airlines lounge can be bought for 15 euros - but it's nothing special

There is a Sheraton in the Airport itself - so you could rent a room and sleep for a few hours.
Lawchick is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Thanks lawchick, I will check out your info. I am exhausted before i leave, this is not a sightseeing trip.
Willy123 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Thanks to all. If anyone has done the store bags, take metro to Grand Place, quick bite, and back to check in for 255 pm flight would love to hear if it was stressful or easy. I have stayed near the airport so know the train is easy - just wonder if flight arrives at 730 (assuming it is on time) if the jaunt downtown and back in that time frame is reasonable.

Thanks.
Reisender is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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grand' place and pissing boy - you have about 4 hours too long here.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Palenq I do not disagree as I have been there done that but my wife has not and since the layover has come up really would like to see "grand' place and pissing boy -" and I can grab a nice white beer.
Reisender is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 10:21 AM
  #20  
 
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no i was being stupid - Brussels has its plusses - the area around the National Palace and museums above the Central train station is very pleasant to stroll around in.

and Brussels, being a cosmopolitan town with all those EU Brusselscrats is said to have great restaurants.

Beats sitting at the airport.

On the train back to the airport, just after Gare du Nord, on the right side you get a bird's eye view of one of Europe's classic redlight districts - can easily see the picture windows with, yes, red neon lights and scantily clad babes sitting in them.
PalenQ is offline  

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