What about Brussels?

Old Nov 7th, 2002, 08:44 PM
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What about Brussels?

Fares seem low; what about Brussels? Love to hear from those who have visited. Prob go in March before the fares change.
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 09:24 PM
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fares are low to brussels... march 2001 my boyfriend and i flew into brussels because it was so cheap... then rented a car, which was also cheap, and drove to france.. we visited bretagne and pays-de-la-loire before driving back up to belgium and staying in a castle-turned-b&b about 50 mins from brussels (it was cheap... only $60 per night for a gorgeous room).. we visited brussels but it's really not the most exciting in the world.. mostly a financial center. we drove up to bruges, which was lovely, and then up to holland for a day trip. brussels is a great starting point for europe but it would say it's not a whole trip by itself... just not that much to see compared to other major cities in europe. it's a great place to hang out.. food and beer are cheap and excellent..but i think you should couple it with some other cities. mostly we just walked around and looked at the shops. good luck with your trip!
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 12:52 AM
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Brussels is easily worth a day or two - I've spent six or so weeks in Belgium and about a week in Brussels. The food is exceptional (the speciality being mussels and chips - or fries depending on where you're from!), and if you like beer, there's something like 1500 different types you can get, all with their own distinct glass.

Places to visit include the Grand Place, basically a large rectangle of very grand, very tall buildings dating back as far as the mid 17th century. This is the epicentre of the touristy bit of Brussels, and dozens of small cobbled streets radiate out from here with a plethora of restaurants, bars and shops.

The Atomium is quite good fun (a giant iron atom model, a hundred or so feet high) - it's out of the centre a bit but the metro is quick, clean, and efficient. It's also over by a huge entertainment complex including an Imax and a park. Mini Europe is over there too, a scaled down version of all landmarks in Europe that you can walk around.

Basically, I'd go for the food and drink at any time, but I only live 35mins flying time away! If I can help with anything more, let me know.
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 04:39 AM
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I agree that Brussels is only worth a day or two. It's the only place in Europe I've been disappointed. Grand Place is very grand indeed, there's a very nice cathedrale not far from it but otherwise I found it dirty and boring compared to other major (and minor) cities. Brugge was wonderful and Brussels is only a couple hours from Paris, not to mention lots of other places.
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 04:54 AM
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We didn't find Brussels particularly good to visit. Other than the square it was just a big city. Well, we all have our personal tastes. However, Brugge is a different story. A lovely, charming town. Be sure to spend a day and night there. For Paris information e-mail me: [email protected]
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 05:00 AM
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Thanks for the tips; we had thought of the location being in great proximity with other cities/countries and the relatively short travel distances to see many sites.
Appreciate the info.
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 06:49 PM
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My husband and I just returned. We spent 8 days in Belgium and loved it. Could easily have spent another eight and not had enough time there. Brussels is a charming city, the food and drink are fabulous, the architecture interesting, and the museum excellent. The Grand Place is charming, but is only a beginning. I think this city is very underrated. We stayed at the Hotel Welcome, which was charming, reasonably priced, and convenient. We also visited Antwerp, another underrated city, Brugge, charming but over-rated, and Ghent, a real treasure. I'll be glad to supply hotel/restaraunt reccommendations, etc. if you'd like. I received a lot of helpful advice from this site before going. Grab those cheap tickets, and have a chimey for me.
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 09:21 PM
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You're right, Betty, Brussels is close to a lot of places to visit. Paris is only 90 minutes by train. Brugges is about an hour. Amsterdam about three hours. Might make a great home base if you can save a lot of money on airfare - but you'd have to save a lot. An open-jaw flight between two cities could be better and avoid a train trip, not cost much more and save time.

I spent only a few hours in Brussels this fall on the way from Paris to Amsterdam by train. I had five hours to wander around. Went to the Grand Place and to the Musical Instrument Museum. Not sure if I need much more time there, but I was struck with how friendly the locals seemed to be toward me, an obvious tourist. Two or three people smiled and asked me where I was from as I wandered around the city. That *never* happened to me anywhere in France or The Netherlands. I hope to go back to Belgium based solely on that good impression.

Old Nov 8th, 2002, 09:34 PM
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I personally found the Grand Place to be the nicest thing about Brussels. Outside of Grand Place the city isn't unique. I saw pictures of Bruges and it looks more picturesque.
Old Nov 9th, 2002, 08:18 PM
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If you visit Brussels and plan to rent a car, do it when you are ready to leave, and go to the airport to rent it. So much easier to get out of town from the airport than renting a car in town.

Yes, Paris can be done as a daytrip but the roundtrip rail fare is $129 so it isn't cheap. If you are going to spend that kind of money, you should just go stay a few days. There is much more to do in Paris than Brussels.

I wonder if some of the airfares could be lower than train fares. I did see some Easyjet ads over there (Paris to London or Liverpool $25? I think). Wonder if they fly out of Brussels as well.
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