Take a long weekend in Brussels

Print Friendly

Unlike its close neighbours Paris and Amsterdam, Brussels has never really been seen as a cool city break destination for weekend breakers from the UK.

But those who dismiss the Belgian capital are missing out: there’s plenty of great activities, sights and sounds in this fantastic city, and it’s well worth a visit over a long weekend.

Planning a long weekend in Brussels? Here’s how to make the most of it.

Getting to Brussels

Brussels is surprisingly close to the UK; not only will you find flights from all major airports around the country (Both Ryanair and Brussels Airlines fly directly to Brussels from Manchester and Edinburgh, while BA flies from Heathrow too) but the Eurostar travels from St Pancras to Brussels Midi in just two hours. That’s around the same amount of time it would take you to get from London to York.

What to see

One of Brussels’ most famous attractions is also its weirdest: the Manneken Pis. This tiny statue was erected in the early 17th century and depicts a little boy peeing into a fountain. It’s so small (only 61cm) that you’ll probably only notice it by the crowd that gathers around it. Usually, the Manneken Pis is unclothed but on special occasions, he gets dressed up in a seasonal or festival-themed costume.

Find out more about the legends behind the Manneken Pis.

In contrast, the appropriately named Grand Place is a magnificent open space in the city. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one look at the beautifully ornate buildings that surround the square tell you why. It’s well worth a lingering visit – the Town Hall is particularly impressive – but avoid the cafes and bars around the Grand Place, as they can be very overpriced.

For something a little quirkier, a visit to the Musical Instruments Museum comes heartily recommended by travellers on Tripadvisor. And if you’re a fan of Tintin – or any comic books – the Herge Museum is an absolute must.

If time is really tight, a classic City Sightseeing Tour is available for an open-top bus tour of the city. And don’t forget to appreciate two of Brussels biggest culinary exports: beer tours and chocolate tours take place all around the city.

Where to stay

Brussels can be a little tricky for newcomers to navigate, but it’s got plenty of accommodation to suit every budget. An excellent mid-range hotel is the design-conscious The Vintage, while The Dominican and Hotel Amigo will suit travellers who want to spend their weekend in luxurious style.

For more ideas on where to stay in Brussels, Lonely Planet offers an excellent survey of the city’s hotels.

Outside the city

If you’re planning to be in Belgium for a little longer, make sure you visit one of the country’s excellent cities away from the capital. Bruges is already very popular with British families on half-term getaways. But for those who want to get away from the tourist melee, Gent is an appealing, scenic getaway destination for couples and friends of any age. Both are easily accessible from Brussels by train too.

Have you ever been to Brussels?

The following two tabs change content below.

Silversurfers Features Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Features Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Silversurfers Features Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Travel

How to choose the best airplane seat Seats And Folding Table.
Where you sit on a long airplane journey has the power to turn your flight into something of...
Discover the UK's best beaches Blue sea and sky Watergate Bay Cornwall England UK Cornish north
Who says you need to stray far from home to enjoy the sand and sea? There are amazing beaches...
What to pack in your hand luggage Hand Luggage
When opting for cabin baggage only, it isn’t always clear what we can and can’t take onto the...
Plan an American Road Trip Route 66 sunset
From driving the Pacific Coast Highway to exploring the iconic Route 66, many travellers dream of...
Travel tips when your mobility is limited silhouette disabled man looks into the distance
Travelling with a disability can be a daunting prospect, but there’s no reason restricted...
Discover Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail Whisky Distillery
Set against the dramatic background of the Scottish Highlands, the Malt Whisky Trail is the only...
TripAdvisor’s Top Rated British Attractions Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park. It is situated in the centre of the city of Edinburgh about a mile to the east of Edinburgh Castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5 m (822 ft) provid
For many travellers, TripAdvisor is an indispensable tool for finding everything from local...
Accessible days out AccessibleAttractions
Our desire to travel and explore doesn’t diminish as we age, but if mobility is limited it can...
Things to do in the Lake District Lake District
Famed for being one of the most scenic destinations in Europe, the Lake District is teeming with...
Plan next year's holiday now Senso-ji Temple At Asakusa Area In Tokyo, Japan
Does the winter weather have you dreaming of your next holiday? You're not alone ...
Tips for nervous travellers Airport Terminal
Flying off to foreign lands and exploring faraway places can be an incredibly enriching experience...
Going abroad? Carry your money more efficiently Euro Bills On Wooden Board With Credit Cards In Background
When you are heading for your place in the sun make sure you have explored the different options...