How To Enjoy ‘Day Trips From Brussels’ With Top 30 Tourist and Foodie Spots

Belgium’s capital, Brussels, is not only the heart of European politics but also a hub for culture, cuisine, and medieval history.

With its central location, Brussels serves as a perfect starting point for several exhilarating day trips, whether you’re coming from Amsterdam or looking to explore the neighboring countries.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to enjoy day trips from Brussels, what destinations are within reach, and how many days you’ll need to truly appreciate this vibrant city.

Day Trips From Brussels

Why Brussels is So Famous

Brussels is famous not just for its role in international politics but for its vibrant cultural scene, historic landmarks, and culinary delights. The city is a tapestry of languages, cultures, and cuisines, reflecting its diverse population and historical influences.

From Art Nouveau architecture to its comic strip heritage, Brussels is a city that celebrates its past while looking firmly towards the future.

Is Brussels a Good Day Trip from Amsterdam?

Absolutely! Brussels is just under two hours from Amsterdam by train, making it an accessible and worthwhile day trip.

You can immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, marvel at the Grand Place’s architecture, or indulge in Belgian chocolates and waffles before heading back.

What Countries are Close to Brussels?

Belgium is nestled at the crossroads of Western Europe, sharing borders with the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. These countries are close enough for day trips, especially with the efficient European rail network.

What Day Trips Can You Take from Brussels?

Bruges

The medieval city of Bruges, with its fairytale-like center and canals, is a popular day trip, just an hour away by train.

Antwerp

Known for its diamond district and vibrant fashion scene, Antwerp is a short 40-minute train ride away.

Ghent

Explore the charming streets and canals of Ghent, home to the famous Van Eyck brothers’ altarpiece, only 30 minutes by train.

Luxembourg City

Dive into the grand duchy of Luxembourg, with its UNESCO-listed Old Town, just a couple of hours away by train.

Lille

Cross the border into France to visit Lille, a city known for its art scene and Flemish influence, reachable within an hour by train.

Can You Do a Day Trip from Brussels to Bruges?

Certainly! Bruges is one of the most enchanting cities in Belgium and is a perfect day trip from Brussels. The train ride offers scenic views and drops you off close to Bruges’ historic center.

Where Can I Go from Brussels by Train?

The Belgian rail network offers seamless connections to various cities. Beyond the aforementioned destinations, you can also visit places like Leuven, Namur, and Liege, each offering their unique charm and history.

Is Brussels Nicer than Amsterdam?

This is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Brussels offers a mix of international flair with local Belgian culture, while Amsterdam boasts iconic canals and a rich artistic heritage. Both have their unique atmospheres and are worth visiting.

How Many Days Do You Need in Brussels?

To fully enjoy Brussels and include a couple of day trips, a stay of at least three to four days is recommended. This will allow you to experience the city’s main attractions, such as the Atomium, Mini-Europe, and the Royal Palace, without rushing.

Top 30 Destinations and Culinary Delights: Day Trips from Brussels

Brussels is not only a feast for the eyes but also a banquet for the discerning palate. Let’s embark on a journey through the top 30 tourist spots and foodie havens accessible from Brussels for day trippers.

1. Grand Place

Start your day with a visit to the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site, adorned with opulent guild houses and the stunning Town Hall.

2. Manneken Pis

No trip to Brussels is complete without seeing the mischievous Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue with a big reputation.

3. Belgian Chocolate Village

Take a short ride to this museum dedicated to Belgian chocolate and indulge in some tastings.

4. Atomium

An architectural wonder and museum, the Atomium provides panoramic views of the city and unique exhibitions.

5. Mini-Europe

Adjacent to the Atomium, explore Mini-Europe, showcasing miniature replicas of famous European landmarks.

6. Cantillon Brewery

Beer enthusiasts can enjoy a tour and taste traditional Lambic beers at this historic brewery.

7. Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Visit in spring to witness the Royal Greenhouses open to the public, a showcase of architectural and botanical splendor.

8. Waterloo

A short drive from Brussels, explore the historic battlefield of Waterloo and relive the epic battle of 1815.

9. Bruges

A day trip to Bruges with its medieval architecture and canals offers a chance to taste the famous Belgian waffles in their hometown.

10. Ghent

Ghent’s historic center, a tapestry of Flemish architecture, is also known for its mustard and local dishes like Waterzooi.

11. Antwerp

Explore the Diamond District, fashion boutiques, and savor Antwerpse Handjes, the local cookies.

12. Mechelen

A hidden gem with its Carillon school, where you can enjoy the music of the bells and try Mechelen’s local Gouden Carolus beer.

13. Leuven

Home to the oldest Catholic university, Leuven is also famous for its breweries, especially the Stella Artois.

14. Liège

Enjoy Liège waffles, a richer, denser version of the Belgian waffle, in their city of origin.

15. Namur

In the Walloon capital, savor local cheeses and visit the citadel for a panoramic view of the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers.

16. Louvain-la-Neuve

A university town with a museum dedicated to Hergé, the creator of Tintin, and vibrant student cafes.

17. Tournai

One of the oldest cities in Belgium, Tournai is known for its five-towered cathedral and the delicious Tournaisian tart.

18. Mons

Mons, a cultural hub, offers the Doudou museum and the chance to try the local dish, “Boulette de Mons”.

19. Dinant

Admire the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame and taste the regional specialty, Flamiche, a savory pie.

20. The Ardennes

For nature and adventure lovers, the Ardennes provides lush forests and the chance to try game meat specialties.

21. Luxembourg City

Take a slightly longer trip to Luxembourg City, offering a mix of modernity and history, and savor the local pastries.

22. Ypres

Ypres, significant for WWI history, also tempts with its Paling in’t groen, a dish of eels in a green herb sauce.

23. Ostend

Visit the seaside town of Ostend for fresh seafood, especially moules-frites (mussels with fries).

24. De Haan

De Haan boasts Belle Époque style architecture and seafront dining options.

25. Lille (France)

A short trip across the border to Lille offers French cuisine and stunning art at the Palais des Beaux-Arts.

26. Aachen (Germany)

Step into Germany with a visit to Aachen, home to the Aachener Printen, a type of gingerbread.

27. Maastricht (Netherlands)

Explore the caves and fortifications of Maastricht and enjoy a Limburgse vlaai, a sweet pie.

28. Bouillon

Discover the feudal castle of Bouillon and sample the region’s game paté.

29. Charleroi

Visit the Photography Museum and enjoy the local specialty, a tarte al djote, a cheesy vegetable tart.

30. Kortrijk

Walk along the river Lys and try roesbeef, a regional roast beef delicacy.

Conclusion

Whether you’re plotting a day trip from Amsterdam or planning to explore the surrounding countries, Brussels’ prime location makes it an ideal base. With an array of destinations just a train ride away, you can easily fill your itinerary with diverse experiences.

From the cobbled streets of Bruges to the grandeur of Luxembourg City, there’s a slice of Europe’s rich tapestry waiting to be discovered, all within reach from Brussels.