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One morning in Brussels

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Aug 5th, 2012, 01:27 PM
  #1
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One morning in Brussels

Hi,

My husband and I will have a nearly 5 hour morning layover in Brussels next week. (We land at 6:25 AM with the connecting flight departing at 11:15 AM). If all goes well (i.e. flight is on time and no delays getting through immigration) we are planning on taking the train to Brussels Central Station. Can you recommend a nice spot for breakfast? What else might we be able to do/see in our very limited time? I imagine many spots will still be closed at that early hour. Thanks in advance!

Michelle
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Aug 5th, 2012, 01:51 PM
  #2
 
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I am always amazed at the high confidence level people with a 4-5 hour layover have who want to leave the airport. If it were me, I wouldn't do it as life happens - planes are late, immigration lines can be long, you can get lost in the city, etc.

But...if you are really determined, the big attraction in Brussels city center is the status of Manneken Pis, http://www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm/4328. I suppose there is no opening or closing time as it is a statue. Good luck.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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You will get some (sort of) breakfast appr. one hour before you land.
So I guess you don't need a full breakfast (or don't want to waste the time that you don't have).
IF you think that after going through passport control you still have enough time, you can go to Brussels Central by train (get a return ticket at the airport's station).
Arrive 6:25, get to train station between 7:00 and 7:30 (depends on how crowded passport control will be).
So you could be in Brussels around 8:00.
You will find bakeries and small cafes already open.
You can walk around Grand Place which is just 10mins walking max from Brussels Central. I would not expect to find any shops open before 9am or 10am, with the exception of grocery and convenience stores, and bakeries/ cafes.
As security can be crowded at the Schengen pier (assuming that you will connect to a Schengen destination), I would try to be back at the airport 1 hour before your boarding time, i.e. 90min before departure.
If you need to be at the airport at 10:45, you should be back at Brussels Central by 10:00.
So in a best case scenario, you may have 2 hours to spend walking around.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 02:37 PM
  #4
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Thanks, I read on an earlier thread (http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ons-please.cfm) that leaving the airport should be doable. Of course if our flight is delayed or passport control is backed up we will stay put.
We are connecting to Bilbao, Spain--I am not sure which part of the airport the flight will leave from though. We will find out from the airline what time they recommend returning to airport.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 02:49 PM
  #5
 
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Your flight to Bilbao will leave from the Schengen pier (midfield pier), the A gates.
If you arrive from the US or any other non-Schengen country your plane will dock at the B gates, the central terminal building.
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Aug 8th, 2012, 02:06 AM
  #6
 
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Every hour you have three direct trains from the airport to the Central station. The trip takes 17 minutes.

Walking around the Grand Place/Grote Markt and having a look at Manneken Pis might be fun to do.
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Aug 8th, 2012, 04:22 AM
  #7
 
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If you decide you have enough time to head into the city, the Grand Place is the logical place to visit. It is truly spectacular. I would get a book with a good description of the square and all the buildings out of the library and copy the relevant pages. It is more interesting if you know the history of the various guild houses and the architectural details to look for.
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