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Day trips from Brussels

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Feb 23rd, 2013, 07:36 AM
  #1
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Day trips from Brussels

At end of October we shall be in Brussels, and we have three free days.
We already have been in Belgium, so we visited Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges.
We are interested to see beautiful architecture, picturesque streets, churches, castles.
We shall travel by train and we would like to do day trips, probably 3 trips.
I am not sure which of the below towns to visit (I have a list of 6 and need to select 3).
Can you please tell me your opinion about these places , which of them is more beautiful and interesting and can be visit in a short day trip (at end of October the days are short).

1. Aachen
2. Mechelen
3. Tervuren
4. Tournai
5. Liege
6. Maastricht

Maybe have you other suggestions about nice towns to be visited?

One more question: I see that in Belgium there are train tickets for seniors. If we are not from Belgium or from Europe, can we still buy those tickets?
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 08:39 AM
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I enjoyed Dinant!

https://www.google.com/search?q=dina...w=1024&bih=672

But, Maastrict is also on my bucket list.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 11:43 AM
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If you are going to Tervuren to see the Royal Museum for Central Africa, it will probably be closed for a major renovation by October. Other than that, not too much to see although the tram ride is pleasant.

I think Aachen is fascinating and would recommend going there.

We really enjoyed visiting Tournai but be aware that the cathedral is undergoing major renovations

On our last trip to Belgium we did day trips to Mechelen and Leuven and liked both.

My TR from 2011 describes what we did in Tervuren, Tournai, Mechelen and Leuven.

If you have never visited the Art Nouveau sections of Brussels I would recommend going to Ixelles and Saint-gilles, especially the Horta House museum.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 12:57 PM
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Joanny, thank you for advice about Dinant. It looks so nice! I'll include it in my plan, I see that it is also easy to go there.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 02:23 PM
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VT, thank for info about Tervuen. I'll skip it.
For sure I'll go to aachen. Also Leuven seems to be very nice.
Your TR is very useful, it seems that you had a great time in Belgium.
I like Art Nouveau, so for sure Horta House in my plans.


Now I want to visit so many places, I think that I have to add at least one or two days in Belgium!
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 02:43 PM
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forgot to mention that you should qualify for senior tickets in the Belgian system which are very cheap. A great deal.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Dinant, Leuven or Maastricht would be my votes too!

Lavandula
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 04:33 PM
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Aachen does have some classic sights and a delightful central square for people watching. Mechelen is great if you love Belgian beer, as the Het Anker brewery forces a stroll all the way through the center to sample its fantastic beers in a great atmosphere, before wobbling back to the train station. I actually stayed three nights in Liege on my last trip, but didn't appreciate it, and wound up spending little time there - - instead particularly enjoyed the side-trip to Namur, which has great churches, a pleasant atmosphere, and a couple nice beer bars.
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Feb 24th, 2013, 01:01 AM
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Lille is easily accessible from Brussels, Vieux Lille has alot of old interesting architecture. We try to visit every year and always enjoy it.

Here is a link to the official tourism websitebr />
http://www.lilletourism.com/info-1-296-0-gb.html

I also agree with the poster who suggests looking at other areas within Brussels itself, these areas often get overlooked yet Brussels has alot more to offer than just Grand Place.
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Feb 24th, 2013, 01:20 PM
  #10
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Thank you all for the great suggestions.
I have now to read more about all these places and to decide what to visit in the short time that I have (3 days for day trips) or maybe I'll add two more days.
Thanks again.
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Feb 24th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Odin is right, there is enough in Brussels for several days. What have you already seen in Brussels?

Lavandula
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Feb 24th, 2013, 04:54 PM
  #12
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Lavandula, we walked in Brussels and saw the Grand Place, Galeries St-Hubert,place du Petit Sablon ,Manneken Pis,the Park and Royale Palace (only from outside), visited the Town Hall, we were at Atomium. Also we were at waterloo.

Now, the first thing that I want to visit in Brussels is Horta. I do not know about other more sightseeing and I would be glad to receive recommendations.
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Feb 25th, 2013, 03:02 AM
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Horta Museum is a good one, not to be missed. You can also do Art Nouveau walks of Brussels (self-guided). There are also quite a few good museums (Museum of Musical Instruments, the museum inPorte de Hal and the museums in the triumphal arch in the park Cinquantenaire (catch the metro to Mérode).

If you are interested in just seeing daily life you might consider visiting Ixelles - the posh shopping street is Avenue Louise, but the lively, hustle and bustle ones are Chaussée d'Ixelles and Chaussée de Wavre (African neighbourhood called Matongé). Walk down Chaussée d'Ixelles to Place Flagey (about 20 mins) and have a coffee or a beer in one of the cafes when you get there. There is a cultural centre with performances at this square, called the Flagey, and some duck ponds, as well as a 17th century abbey on the other side of the ponds, Abbé de la Cambre. I think you can't go in but you can walk around it. On the way there is also the Museum d'Ixelles, which has works by some well-known artists, including Toulouse-Lautrec.

At the end of Avenue Louise, actually not far from Place Flagey, is a major park, the Bois de la Cambre. You can catch a tram down the length of Avenue Louise.

If you like markets, there is the Sunday morning markets at Gare du Midi (enormous, with a middle eastern feel) or the daily flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle (mornings only), the weekend morning markets at Place Flagey or the antiques markets at the Place du Grand Sablon (also weekends).

That's just a few ideas - sounds like you have already seen quite a bit of Brussels.

Lavandula
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Feb 25th, 2013, 03:03 AM
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Maastrict would be a good choice. Dusseldorf and Cologne not very far either, and only 30 min apart! I live in DD....lots to do here!
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Feb 25th, 2013, 03:13 AM
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Other places I would go in Brussels include some of the museums. I love Flemish painting so the excellent collection at the Musée d'Art ancien is a high point for me. The Museum of Musical Instruments (in a beautiful Art Nouveau building) and Musée Magritte are other possibilities. If you are a Tin Tin fan, there is also the Musée Hergé. The cathedral is worth a visit.

Try to find a guide book showing the different Art Nouveau buildings near the Horta House. If you can time your visit there for a Wednesday, there is a nice market at the Place du Chatelain. There are other markets on the weekends.

I recommend this web site for some different ideas on thing to do in Brussels
http://www.mysecretbrussels.com/

here is a walking tour that might be fun
http://www.anothertravelguide.com/en...r_derek_blyth/
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Feb 27th, 2013, 12:02 PM
  #16
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Lavandula and Vttraveler, thank you very much for all the suggestions.
I shall find more info regarding these sites and I'll try to include them in my plan.

Bethany, we included Maastricht in our plan, as so many people recommeded this. We already visited Koln and loved it.
I never was in Dusseldorf yet, maybe in our next trip to Germany..
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