Brussels stopover

Old Feb 4th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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Brussels stopover

My boyfriend and I are heading to Madrid, Barcelona and Paris this summer.
Chicago to Brussels to connect. Arrive 9.15 am depart 2.15pm. Is there enough time to get out and see Brussels for maybe 2 hours? How far is the city from the airport.
On to Madrid 4 nights (Thursday to Sunday), Barcelona 3 nights (Sunday to Wednesday) and then Paris (4 nights).

I picked Madrid for the weekend part of the trip as that seems to be a more exciting time to be in town, while Barcelona is active even during the week. Is that a good plan? We are mid 30's and will do the foodie; tapas; drinks experience. Probably not much clubbing or beach time. Should we spend an extra day in Barcelona instead of Madrid?
Also, I love Paris and he will too. Should we spend less nights in Spain?
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Old Feb 4th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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http://www.brussels.info/airport-to-brussels/'


the link might help
the train station is a few minutes from the main attraction.
I think it is durable .

Since it is summer, more time in Barcelona than Madrid would be better IMO.
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Old Feb 4th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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sorry, doable.
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Old Feb 4th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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Yes, I've durred it. I mean done it. The train leaves about 4 times an hour straight from the airport to Brussels Central, which is a few minutes from the Grand Place. It takes 17 minutes. Even if you are only in the center for one hour it's better than sitting around the airport. My tendency is to return to the airport a full 2 hours prior to passing security for the connecting flight - - and you can wind up walking a LONG way within the BRU airport to get from the train to the gate.
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 05:19 AM
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Thanks so much for your responses. I will take that advice and definitely spend an hour or two in Brussels and also spend more time in Barcelona than Madrid.
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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You should be back at BRU by 1 pm.
When you enter landside to a Schengen destination you will just go through security. Which can be a bit crowded during the morning and evening rushhour but not during the day.
But it can be a bit of a walk. Average walking time from station to security and further on to the Schengen Gates is appr. 20-30 minutes, incl wait at security.

If you want to save time, buy your return train tickets online and print at home. The line at the airport's ticket counter is often long.
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Oh yes! Go to the Grand Place! Perhaps the greatest square in Europe. Have a beer and just enjoy the view. Just off it is the famous "Maniken pis" and on the other side stroll into Galeries Royales St. Hubert. Can't wait to go back.
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