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Long weekend - need suggestions

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London/Brisbane
posts: 150
reviews: 7
Long weekend - need suggestions

I have never been to Bruessels and don't know anyone that has. I am yet to do any research, but have no idea where to start. I'm there for the August long weekend (for london - 27th to the 29th), and would really appreciate any advise or pointers.

Thanks for you help!

Belle Mead, New...
posts: 183
reviews: 46
1. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

Brussels can easily be done in a weekend; I had a weekend to see it myself, and even got a day in at Brugge. Where are you staying? If you are in the city centre, then everything is basically within walking distance.

Grand Place will be the first place you should visit. The absolute centre of the city, this square has tons of restaurants, shops, and museums like the Museum of the City of Brussels (not recommended) and the Museum of Chocolate (much recommended!) At night there is a light and music show, and the atmosphere in this part of the city is wonderful.

A little south from Grand Place is the Mannekin Pis, the little cherubic statue that is the "mascot" of Belgium. Originally casted to criticize the poor drinking water in Brussels, this statue of a little boy peeing is internationally known, and every day wears an outfit tailor-made for him. The Museum of the city of Brussels has all his costumes on display, from King of Mardi Gras to full samurai armor.

East of Grand Place there are more museums, such as the Musee des Beaux Arts and the Museum of Brussels, which houses some very famous paintings by Bruegel and Reubens. An interesting museum I visited was the Museum of Musical Instruments, which has some of the rarest and most valuable instruments in the world.

Right near these museums is the Royal Palace of Brussels and the Royal Gardens. If you walk through the gardens north from the Palace, you come to the old Belgian Parliament Building.

If any of those days are weekdays, I would suggest visiting the EU on that day. Brussels, as you probably know, is the capital of the EU, and its Parliament building, I believe, is in the city. They give tours on a limited basis on weekdays; unfortunately, I didn't get to go, because my group didn't know this until Saturday!

I'm sure there are some native Belgians that can help you with some other ideas, but these are the places I went to on my weekend to Brussels. If you need any help with itinerary, just ask!

brussels
Destination Expert
for Brussels
posts: 1,047
reviews: 26
2. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

i would stay in town near the grand place if you can.

as well as previous suggestions

try to go to the market at midi on sunday

The museums up in cinquintenaire are pretty nice especially the military one. This is quite near the berlaymont building(commission) and the eu parliament. I wouldnt bother with either other than to look at the buildings they are not particularly impressive.

Walk from porte de halle to sablon down rue blaes. see the antique,bric a brac shops.

eat at the skieven arkitekt.

Au stekkerplate

int' Spinnekopke.

Go down rue des bouchers to see the seafood restaurants but dont eat anywhere but aux armes de bruxelles or vincents.

go see some of the art deco buldings including the musical instrument museum

dont bother with the Bande Dessinee museum.

have a beer upstairs in the Chaloupe D'or in the Grand place.

Try beers in La Becasse in rue Agora and go to La Morte Subite throgh the arcade.

if you still have time after that try going to leuven for a few hours

London, UK
posts: 13
3. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

If you have chance, take the train to Heysel (i think it's about 20 mins from the city centre). Here you will see the Atomium - a huge sculpture based on the structure of an atom. Each pod has various exhibitions and there is a fantastic view over the city from the top.

If you continue strolling through the park you will find the Chinese Pavillion and Japanese Tower - both fascinating buildings rather oddly placed in a Belgian Park. Entrance to both is less than 5 Euros i think and is well worth a look around. This is an ideal trip for a Sunday morning and it fits easily into a weekend break.

brussels
Destination Expert
for Brussels
posts: 1,047
reviews: 26
4. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

atomium is closed for renovation. it has a big fence round it and you cant even get close. There is mini europe i suppose

Brussels
posts: 12
5. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

ok, all these suggestions seems to be nice, with yes and no's.

Re. the Midi market, I don't think this is a place you want to spend some time during a weekend at Brussels.

Resume:

1) big Market Place (by the way, the "Sound and Music") show is actually at 22h30 this year.

2) Manneken Pis (near marketplace)

3) Chocolate Museum (near marketplace)

4) Sablon (not far from marketplace), go watch the chocolate shops (Wittamer, Marcolini, e.a., they are looking like jewelshops). Also beautiful church at the Sablon.

5) Royal House in Brussels (open for visit until end September), Royal Park and Parliament (all same area)

6) Atomium: indeed closed for renovation but you can see it from outside. Japanese pavillon in the same area (Laeken).

7) Art Deco houses and decoration in different areas in the city

8) Musea: you have the choice (see suggestions also in previous messages)

Brussels
posts: 12
6. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

ok, all these suggestions seems to be nice, with yes and no's.

Re. the Midi market, I don't think this is a place you want to spend some time during a weekend at Brussels.

Resume:

1) big Market Place (by the way, the "Sound and Music") show is actually at 22h30 this year.

2) Manneken Pis (near marketplace)

3) Chocolate Museum (near marketplace)

4) Sablon (not far from marketplace), go watch the chocolate shops (Wittamer, Marcolini, e.a., they are looking like jewelshops). Also beautiful church at the Sablon.

5) Royal House in Brussels (open for visit until end September), Royal Park and Parliament (all same area)

6) Atomium: indeed closed for renovation but you can see it from outside. Japanese pavillon in the same area (Laeken).

7) Art Deco houses and decoration in different areas in the city

8) Musea: you have the choice (see suggestions also in previous messages)

London/Brisbane
posts: 150
reviews: 7
7. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

Thanks all for you suggestions. Can't wait till the end of the month!!!

London/Brisbane
posts: 150
reviews: 7
8. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

Hi all! Not long now till my trip! Any more suggestions?

Was thinking of doing a day trip somewhere but now I don't think I'm going to have enough time there because I only have one full day. Is it worth maybe going on an afternoon trip?

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Nicky

.be
posts: 77
reviews: 10
9. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

pinky,

you can always spend an afternoon in gent. gent is a university town of about 200,000 inhabitants and has a long history going back to the roman rule. it is now the venue of 'the tree towers' (church-belfry-cathedral) all nicely lined up, a medieval castle, abbeys, canals, ... and some great architecture too.

you can go on a boattrip on the canals and two main rivers, scheldt and leie. gent was built at the confluence of those two rivers.

take a train from one of brussels' major stations (noord, central, midi). check for time tables on www.b-rail.be

get off a gent sint pieters station. take stairs down to the tram platform. hop on the tram (line 1, fare 1 eur). ask the driver to notify you when you get to the 'korenmarkt' (+/- 15 min.). the stop is right at the foot of the sint-nicolaas church being one of the 'three towers'. you couldn't be more downtown.

whil facing the church you will see behind you the former postoffice (now a mini shoppingmall) and behind that you have gent's old harbor where you can take a boattrip.

check www.vistgent.be and click on 'en'

have fun

Cleethorpes, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 41
10. Re: Long weekend - need suggestions

Brugge is wonderful 55mins by train and well worth the visit. We were there last weekend and went on boat trip, fantastic buildings and chocolates and beer!!