What to do in Brussels?

Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:27 AM
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What to do in Brussels?

What is there to do in Brussels if you have 7 days?
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:45 AM
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Take side trips to Bruges and Antwerp. Buy chocolates. Check out Flemish painting. Walk around. Enjoy.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 07:05 AM
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Not a whole lot in Brussels. I was there for a week last summer. During that week, I did take a side trip to Bruges for 1 night and took the train down to Paris for about 2 nights. That left me 4 nights in Brussels. Go see the Grand Place at night and watch the light show on the far side. There are a couple of pretty cathedrals to view and some EU buildings to visit. Brussels seemed to be a fairly industrial city, so there wasn't a whole lot to do.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 09:21 AM
Jean Valjean
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IMHO, Belgium has got to be the most underrated country for traveling...

Take Brussels, for instance. It has a couple of GREAT art museums, one that focuses on modern art, one on ancient art. When you think that you can find most of the major works of flemish masters and Magritte on the same block, it takes a different dimension.

The Grand Place in Brussels has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and then there's the Grand Sablon (very classy), the Petit Sablon (very nice), the atomium (interesting), and St. Michaels Cathedral (or maybe it was some other Saint, I'm not sure).

Food is great (try a mussel frite plate at Chez Leon), beer is amazing, chocolates are fantastic, the people are very nice!

For day-trips, everything is close. Take Brugges, it is so beautiful it is almost insulting, and it has a small but superb little museum on flemish masters. The Basilica of the Holy Blood is also very much worth seeing. Take Ghent, which is kinda like Brugges but looks a lot more real, and you can see the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, which is just amazing. Or Antwerp, with a couple of Ruebens masterpieces in the cathedral.

We spent a week in Belgium last spring, and I have to say that it has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding holidays we have ever had.

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Old Oct 24th, 2000, 09:53 AM
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Walk around the main square sampling chocolates. Then sit down at a cafe and order a big waffle smothered in chocholate, washed down with a cup of the best hot chocolate you ever tasted. That's what we did, but be aware that it will take you the rest of the day to get over it. It really slowed us down, couldn't do another thing all day.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 12:35 PM
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In addition to Brugge, be sure to make a day trip to Ghent. I was disappointed with Waterloo overall.

You also can easily make a day trip into Amsterdam as it is only a few hours by train.

Sample all the chocolates and be sure to shop for lace.
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 12:17 PM
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Dont miss the Musee de Victor Horta - in the south of the City. I went with friends when we were in Brussels for two days and all voted it the best thing in Brussels. Now I don't want to talk down to anyone here... but if you don't know who Victor Horta is - he is a prominent architect connected with the Art Nouveau period. The museum is the house he designed and lived in... it is in fabulous, fabulous condition, and is just beautiful. Left me and my pals just speechless. If you are at all interested in art or architecture just go. Its on the tram routes from the centre of the city but we got a taxi.. not expensive and the guy on the desk at the museum rang for a taxi back in to town for us. I could not recommend anything else in Brussels more highly. Not even the choccie shops...
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 04:39 PM
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Take the train to Bruges and walk a lot, that way you will have more hunger for chocolates !!!

For the best, in our humble opinion, sample the delights at Maitre Chocolatier Verbeke, located just off the Market Square, address is Geldmunstraat 25.

I think they are closed on Monday.

Remember---you can never have too much chocolate !
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 02:06 AM
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And, on a Saturday or a Sunday morning, there is a charming flea/antique market on Place Grand Sablon. Opens early, Sunday hours until around noon. The city has some on the best restaurants this side of the Atlantic.
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 07:16 AM
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While in Brussels, you have to go for late night drinks at Cafe Loplop. Live music, and afterwards locals play the piano. It is awesome.
Old Dec 20th, 2000, 11:53 AM
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Definitely visit Bruges for a day - very impressive. In Brussels, l'Atomium and Bruparck are worth seeing for some commercialized dining. Of course, Le Grand Place is a must (there's a chocolate museum and a beer museum!), as is Mannekin Pis (a good photo op). Plenty of good restaurants and beer in this part of town. But if you tire of the city thing, I'd definitely recommend a side trip down to Namur (about a 30min drive down N11, or take the metro...) for a really nice, "non-tourist" destination. I've found the best food, chocolate, beer, theater, locals, etc there. A must see is the Citadel de Namur. What a view! And just a bit farther southeast, you'll come to Dinant. Very similar to Namur, but smaller. The Citadel de Dinant is breathtaking as you look up the cliffs!
Also, if you have a chance, you should visit one or all of the 7 "official" Trappiste Abbeys in the country: Roquefort, Chimay, Leffe, etc. It's where the monks have brewed beer and made cheese since the 12th century! You really have to venture out into the countrysides though to get to these places, and it'll help to know a good deal of French (not the case in Brussels, as EVERYONE it seems speaks at least 3 languages: French, English, Dutch). I found Waterloo to be ho-hum. But if you go, you must climb all the steps of the Butte de Lion! I love visiting Belgium because it is very diverse from the North (Brugge, Antwerp, Ghent, Oostend, etc) to the South (Waterloo, Namur, Dinant, etc), and it is a perfect "home base" for any European vacation. Hope you enjoy!
Old Dec 20th, 2000, 12:34 PM
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For a good tour of the city, catch the big red doubledecker bus near the entrance to the central railway station. Commentary in several languages. Takes you out to the Atomium and royal palaces as well as covering the central part of the city. An hour's train ride will take you to Brugge, or Ghent, or to Antwerp--each well worth a day.

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