We, self and kid, will have one night in Brussels soon. Never been there before, even though I've made several trips through/around Belgium.
We arrive by air on a Sunday morning, have that day to sight-see, spend the night there, and get a noon train for Den Haag the next day.
What would you do? Atomium? Tour? Kid actually likes museums with sculpture and historical artifacts (loves armor), and has studied both WWI and WWII quite a bit, so museums/displays on them would be of interest. Neither of us care for flemish painting or that cartoon dude (Ajax?).
Hotel - would like moderate/*** not too far from where we'd likely be sightseeing, with decent access to public transportation.
Chocolate shops: where do the locals buy their pralines? Not looking for the priciest, but prefer good quality locally made to Godiva.
Last edited by CDTraveler; Sep 24, 11 at 1:28 pm.
I have not been in Brussels in a few years but I assume not much has changed.
There is good food everywhere; mussels and Belgian fries are a staple as are amazing waffles.
There are tons of chocolate stores with names you have never heard of. I don't know of any particular.
Look at this link; it is the field of the battle of Waterloo. You can get there from Brussels by bus. it has an english website; go to access http://www.waterloo1815.be/en/waterloo/
I remember going there with my parents
You would probably want to stay close to the Grand Place and also within walking distance of the main railway station. You will not have any trouble finding historic places and chocolate shops from there. I've stayed at the Scandic Brussels which is definitely three star but quite expensive on Sunday nights because of Scandic members and it's excellent location. A massive breakfast is included though.
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And don't forget to see the Manneken-Pis:
"The famous Manneken-Pis remains the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the City of Brussels. His wardrobe counts more than 800 suits. The Museum of the City of Brussels presents one hundred of these suits. A multimedia database allows the visitors to consult the whole wardrobe of the famous 'ketje'."
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I was there for a similar time about 5 years ago (though got in for the night first, then day before driving out the following evening).
Similar to tsastor I stayed at the Scandic Grand Place (back then it was part of Hilton). Not quite my style in a hotel, but I remember it being a deal compared to my other choices. And the location was excellent. Fine for one night.
That first night I think we had wanted to go to a place called L'Ultime Atome (at least my notes tell me that). But we got there a little later than planned - so but just went to where all the mussels places are next to each other. A picture tells me we ended up at Chez Leon.
Next day we got up early and saw a fair amount of the city before driving out late afternoon. Managed to try the biscuits & cookies at Dandoy and Chocolate at Planete Chocolate.
On a weekend night (this includes Sunday night) you shouldn't have a problem finding a 4 or 5* hotel at 3* prices. One of my favourites now is the new Aloft, close to the museum above, and on the route of airport bus. It is located in the European district, but a short metro ride from the old town.
I just checked (they say memory is the first thing to go), and we stayed at the NH Atlanta Brussels, due to Priceline offering ridiculous prices (~50USD). I am not a hotel snob, and this was perfectly fine, and offered American size rooms and I would have gladly payed twice that amount for it. It was near to transit and about halfway between the north train station and the Grand Place, so it made for a good base for most of the activities that we had planned.