Brussels is a beautiful place to visit, but you may want to explore further. No matter if you have several days to spare or only want to make a quick trip, you’ll find a few beautiful locations just a handful of miles away.
In this list, you’ll discover different types of locations. They are all very popular with tourists and locals alike. One of them is most interesting in late February, and a couple is best kept for Spring and Summer.
Still, there’s plenty to choose from. You’ll find a perfect place no matter if you’re in the mood for some history or having fun with your kids.
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- La Hulpe Castle
- Gaasbeek Castle
- Borrekens Castle
- Walzin Castle
- Vêves Castle
- Kalmthoutse Heide
- Furfooz National Park
- De Haan
- Hoge Venen National Park
- Waterloo Battlefield Memorial
- The Japanese Garden in Hasselt
- Orval Abbey
- De Schorre Troll Hunting
- Villers Abbey
Where: 19mi (30km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxekkes-Nord. Bus from Sint-Joost-ten-Node Madou.
Must-see: M Leuven Museum, Historical Town Hall, Kruidtuin Botanical Garde, Park Abbey, Groot Begijnhof.
Leuven is a university city that is brimming with youth. A lot of establishments are tailored to cater to the tastes of Millenials and Gen-Zs. But even if you don’t belong to these generations, it’s still worth a visit.
The University of Leuven was founded in the 15th century and is the oldest Catholic University in the world. The city itself was founded in the 9th century and has a very colorful history. Today, though there are a lot of historical buildings and sites remaining, the town has a very vibrant and lively atmosphere.
You should check out the University and the University Library. Though you can access the Library year-round, the University is easier to explore when the students are on a break.
The castle of Arenberg is right on the outskirts and worth the visit, especially if you don’t have time to check out the other castles on this list.
You can have a rest at the Botanical Garden and the Old Market. The latter is surrounded by phenomenal shops, cafes, and eateries. Since this is a college town, the prices are affordable, even at this premium location.
But the spots you should not miss are Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein and Herbert Hooverplein. They are two adjustment squares that house a mixture of old and modern buildings. It sounds like it should look chaotic, but it’s truly a piece of beautiful architecture.
Throughout the year, the town is home to various events. No matter when you visit, you’ll encounter something fun.
Need to know: as a university city and home to the largest brewery group, September can get very fun. First-year students pour into the city and they’ll find many opportunities to socialize. Great time for other young adults to visit, but maybe not be suitable for small children.
The city’s numerous students help set the tone in the pedestrian areas and large public spaces; the shops, cafés, and restaurants guarantee sociability and culinary delights; the beer flows; and the ideas sparkle. Leuven’s year-round appeal stems from the city’s extensive calendar of cultural events.
Where: 23mi (45km) from Brussels
How: Train and bus from Bruxelles-Nord.
Must-see: Plantin-Moretus Museum, Museum aan de Stroom, The Rubens House, Grote Markt, ZOO Antwerpen.
Antwerp is the second most famous city in Belgium, besides Brussels. And you can visit it in a single day. Though one day won’t be enough to unlock all its secrets, you can still get a good taste of it.
This is a trendy city that’s home to musicians, artists, authors, etc. You’ll find a lot of private small galleries, art houses, hole-in-the-wall cafes, and everything else that you would expect from a town that is open to creative minds.
As an artist, you can just wander around and discover these spots one by one. You’re very likely to meet other like-minded people and often a few local celebrities.
If you are looking for a more traditional approach, start with the Grote Markt. It’s the old city square with the City Hall. You can fulfill your quota of historical buildings in this section alone. But if you want a real challenge, look for the hidden street Vlaeykensgang. It connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt, and Pelgrimsstraat, and it’s difficult to access. The effort is truly worth it.
You can also visit the Diamond district and enjoy window shopping. You’ll be surrounded by jewelry shops. Ironically, close by is the Jewish district, where you can find 2 beautiful synagogues. If you have some extra time, you can also explore Antwerp Ruien, aka Antwerp underground.
Though there are numerous museums to choose from, if your time is limited, you can’t leave without visiting the Reubens House. This is the historical home of the legendary artist, where you can get a glimpse into his life and even see some of his works.
If you want you plan on visiting bars, cafes, and restaurants, the prices are very similar to those in Brussels. The artsy cafes can go either way, though the more interesting they are, the cheaper they get.
Need to know: Antwerp is more budget-friendly than Brussels, but it’s still not cheap. A lot of shops don’t open before 11 am. And the local language is flemish, not french.
Previous visitors spent about €31 ($31) on food and about €9.71 ($9.45) on public transportation during the day. The average cost of a hotel room for a couple in Antwerp is €114 ($111). So, a weeklong vacation in Antwerp for two would set you back an average of $1,339.
Where: 33.5mi (54km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Central. Bus from Bruxelles-South.
Must-see: Gravensteen Castle, Saint Bravo’s Cathedral, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Saint Nicholas’ Church, Design Museum Gent.
Ghent was one of the most powerful and richest cities in Europe during the Middle Ages. Now it’s a vivacious university town, though not as youthful as Leuven.
The sad truth is that you will miss out a lot if you choose to make only a day trip to Ghent. The city has many museums, as well as religious and political establishments that are worth the visit. But if you have to narrow it down, don’t miss Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. It’s home to The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, a stunning 24-pannel altar masterpiece from the 15th century.
Another thing that must be on your list is the Het Gravensteen, aka the Castle of the Counts. It’s an imposing fortress built by Count Philip of Alsace, count of Flanders, soon after he returned from the Crusades in 1180. Then continue to Graslei, a medieval harbor with amazing historical buildings.
Vooruit is a building that honors Ghent’s political legacy. The citizens are very politically active and proud of their social-democratic beliefs. You will see that in this location and many others. If you are in the mood to learn more, you can also make a trip to the City Hall.
Stop by Groentenmarkt, Korenmarkt & Vrijdagmarkt., the open market that will have all local goodies on display. There you will find quite a few amazing food stalls. If you still prefer to sit down to eat, you’ll find a lot of great restaurants in that area. The prices are moderate, and you can have a very good lunch for under €20.
Depending o when you are traveling, you could also enjoy several festivals Film Fest Gent will allow you to enjoy over 1000 movies in 4 cinemas in a couple of days. Both domestic and foreign flicks are in the repertoire.
If you visit in July, you can enjoy the Ghent Festival. The city is overtaken by stages where you can see great theater, listen to good music, and even enjoy street performers like mimes and buskers.
Need to know: if you plan on staying more than a single day, get the Ghent city card. It will cover all your museum, event, public transportation, and boat tickets. As of writing this piece, a 48-hour pass costs €38, and you will pay €44 for 72 hours.
You should visit Ghent on your next trip to Belgium. It has convenient transportation, interesting landmarks, and beautiful scenery. Ghent’s blend of tourist traps and local flavor makes it feel like a town you might easily live in.
Where: 53mi (85km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg.
Must-see: Dinant Citadel, Vêves Castle, Castle of Frer, Walzin Castle, Park Furfooz.
Throughout history, Dinant was one of those “a house build in the middle of the road” cities. It has passed hands so many times, conquered and conquered again. Today, the city benefits from all those different cultures that have become part of its core.
Dinant should be a place where you stay for longer than a day. After all, it’s a perfect docking base if you plan on visiting castles and also enjoying Belgian nature reserves.
But if you plan on spending a few hours only in this city, here’s what not to miss. Start with the citadel. Or end your tour with it. In any case, it will provide you with a panoramic view of the city and allow you to take amazing photos.
Collégiale Notre Dame de Dinant doesn’t look anything like its namesake in Paris, but it’s equally stunning. There’s also Abbaye Notre-Dame de Leffe that offers both salvation and good beer. Some more holy beer comes from the Capucin monks, and you can have a taste at the Maison Leffe.
If you have some time, check out the unique rock formations and try to visit Grotte la Merveilleuse.
You won’t find a lot of fine dining, but there will be a lot of good local food. Prices are affordable to moderate, at least when compared to Brussels.
Need to know: Dinant is not usually on the radar of foreign tourists. Don’t expect all the same experiences you’d find in Bruges or Brussels. And if you plan on seeing all the castles as well in one day, you will need to travel by car. Also, Dinant is the birthplace of the inventor of the saxophone, the Adolphe Sax.
There’s plenty to see in a day or two from Brussels. Dinant deserves a visit.
Where: 65mi (195km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Central. Bus from Bruxelles-Nord.
Must-see: Grote Markt, Belfry of Bruges, Saint John’s Hospital, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Groeninge Museum.
Also known as a “dead city”, Bruge is a place stuck in the past. It’s street after street of beautiful architecture. One may say that it’s like stepping into a fairytale.
You can explore Bruges with a canal boat, in a hot-air balloon, and on foot. If you’re staying only for one day, start with the Grote Markt, aka the big square. From there you can wander on your own or join one of the organized tours. Or hire a horse carriage for a 30-minute ride.
In case you want to stay overnight, you can find accommodations for any budget., This includes a camping ground just under 2 miles away from the square. Because the city has a consistent influx of visitors year-round, make reservations in advance.
Even if you don’t move too far away from the Grote Markt, you’ll find amazing cafes and restaurants. And, of course, a lot of good chocolate and beer.
You can combine the trip to Bruges with a visit to Sluis. It’s a small city in the Netherlands that’s a very popular shopping destination for Belgians. Or you can also visit Antwerp, Ghent, and Ypres. If you are in the mood for a beach, you can also go to Ostend or De Haan.
Need to know: Bruges is the most beautiful in mid and late spring. It’s great to visit year-round, but you may find it a bit bleak right after the winter holidays.
Bruges should be on your list of places to visit in Belgium for many reasons. Bruges is a great place to stop because it is beautiful and has a lot of history. You can watch people, drink beer, and go to museums.
La Hulpe Castle
Where: Outskirts of Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg. Bus line 366.
Must-see: The castle, parks, and lakes.
This castle on the outskirts of Brussels is perfect when you want to visit one but have a very tight schedule. You can get there easily with public transportation. Bus line 366 runs fairly often, so this can be an impromptu visit as well.
The castle is the youngest on this list. It was built in the late 19th century. It’s in private ownership and you can’t visit the castle itself. However, the gardens and the surroundings are open to the public.
It should take you 2-3 hours to explore everything. The same should go for other castles on this list with added time for the ones where you can go inside.
Need to know: La Hulpe is open for booking for private events.
Where: 9mi (15km) from Brussels
How: Subway line 5. Bus line 142.
Must-see: The castle, 3 lakes, and gardens.
Gaseebeek was built in the 13th century and the last big restoration dates to the 19th century. It changed hands many times over the years, but now it’s in the hands of the state. It’s fully open to visitors. The layout is like a museum, with guided tours available to those who want them.
Once you’re done with the castle you can take a walk in the gardens or the park. You can also have a picnic at the shores of one of the 3 lakes.
Need to know: there are a couple of other smaller buildings in the complex that you can visit. However, you may not get to see them during peak tourist season since the number of people allowed inside is limited.
Where: 35mi (57km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Nord. Bus line 427.
Must-see: The castle and surroundings.
Borrekens is also known as Vorselaar Castle or Kasteel de Borrekens.It was built in the 13th century, but a lot of what we see hails from the 17th century. Most of it is surrounded by water it appears like the castle is sitting on the lake itself.
The castle is in private ownership and you can’t visit and explore inside. This trip is only for true castle enthusiasts who just want to see this marvel in person.
Need to know: Borrekens is close to Antwerp so it combines best with your visit there.
Where: 56.5mi (81km) from Brussels (Dinant)
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg. Bus line 433.
Must-see: The entire castle surroundings.
Walzin is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Belgium. On one side, it opens to a manicured lawn, on the other, it stands proudly on the edge of a cliff.
It was built in the 13th century and has accumulated a lot of history over time. The castle is private property but is open to the public most of the year. Summer is the best time to visit since you can also enjoy a hike in the area.
When making a trip to Dinant, it’s easy to visit the Walzin on the same day. And if you have set out early enough, you could also visit Veves Castle right after.
Need to know: the castle is difficult to find on google maps. If you’re on a tight schedule, either travel with a guide or use public transportation.
Since Walzin Castle is private property, you can’t even go close to it, let alone go inside. It can be viewed by anyone taking a trek in the region or paddling down the Lesse River.
Where: 62mi (100km) from Brussels (Dinant)
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg. Bus line 433.
Must-see: Special events like carnivals and treasure hunts.
Also known as the Château de Celles, Vêves Castle was built in the 15th century as a military fortification. It stands on the foundation of an even older structure that dates to the 7th century.
It’s located on a rocky platform just outside the village of Celles, surrounded by other 4 hills. It still features many original elements, even after many renovations throughout the centuries.
The castle offers regular walkthrough tours, but if you are lucky enough and/or plan your trip right, you may stumble upon one of the many events.
The town is quaint and a nice place to stop for lunch after the tour. You can easily visit this spot after seeing Walzin Castle.
Need to know: all tickets need to be booked in advance. You can rent the entire castle for weddings and receptions.
Where: 12mi (18km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Midi. Bus lines 114 and 170.
Must-see: Bluebell blooming season.
The closest place to go when you want to have a hike is Hallerbos. You can simply get there by using public transportation.
This is a must-see if you are visiting Brussels in mid-April. When bluebells bloom, they turn into a dense purple carpet on the forest floor. It’s one of the most enchanting things you will ever see in your life.
If you’re not much of a hiker or have a disability, don’t worry. You can enjoy the sight by riding in a horse-drawn carriage.
Need to know: learn when the blooming season starts, as well as everything you need for your visit.
There is no cost to visit Hallerbos and no specific hours of operation. You are welcome to drop by whenever you like.
Where: 47mi (75km) from Brussels.
How: Trains from Bruxelles-Nord and Bruxelles-Central.
Must-see: Unique landscape, 3-Star Silence Area.
Kalmthoutse Heide park has one of the most unique landscapes in Europe. A single park offers heathlands, fens, forests, and land dunes, with some of the most colorful vegetation. The park sits on the Belgium-Dutch border, and you can technically find yourself in the Netherlands when you wander around.
The park is officially a “silent area” which means it’s one of the rare places in the region that has noise levels lower than 35dB. If this appeals to you, you could stay for longer than a day. The park offers full accommodations for those who want to stay overnight or longer.
Need to know: you can take your dog, but they have to be leashed at all times. The park is accessible from sunrise to sunset.
Furfooz National Park
Where: 60 mi (96km) from Brussels (Dinant).
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg. Bus line 433.
Must-see: Nature reserve, caves, Roman thermal baths.
If you’re already on a castle tour in Dinant, consider extending your trip to Furfooz. It’s a beautiful slice of (almost) untouched nature. The “almost” part is there because the staff has put up railings and other safety features. You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy walking through the wilderness.
Romans messed with the area by building thermal baths in the 3rd century. They were remodeled in the 1950s, and are fully operational. However, they are not open to the public outside of specific events.
Need to know: booking is mandatory. No dogs allowed. The park is closed during winter.
Where: 78mi (125km) from Brussels
How: Trains from Bruxelles-Central. Bus line 31.
Must-see: Nature reserve, beaches, Sierk Family Park.
De Haan is a beach resort and quite a bit more than that. On its own, it makes for a nice place to take a vacation, especially in Summer. It’s ideal for those who want to enjoy sunny weather but can’t stand tropical heat.
And if you get tired of spending time on the beach, you can turn to the nature reserve, You can go on a hike, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the environment.
If you are traveling with kids, Sierk family park is close by. It’s essentially a large playground that will tire out the most energetic of children.
Need to know: as mentioned above, De Haan combines well with Bruges. If you plan on making this trip one day in each location, spend the night in Bruges and the next day in De Haan. It will save you money and hassle you with accommodations.
Hoge Venen National Park
Where: 94,5mi (152km) from Brussels
How: Train and bus from Bruxelles-Nord.
Must-see: Nature reserve.
Hoge Venen is untouched by natural beauty at its best. If you’ve had enough of cities and endless tours, you can go for a hike here to recharge your batteries and get in touch with nature.
You can go on your own and see where the paths take you or join a guided tour. The trek is not too demanding, so even inexperienced hikers will enjoy it.
The park is beautiful year-round and shows the magnificence of any season. It’s usually shut down in certain weather conditions, though. Your best bet is to visit in Spring or Summer.
Need to know: as with any other hike, if venturing without a guide, make sure to check in with the offices. The land is vast and it’s easy to get lost.
Waterloo Battlefield Memorial
Where: 12,5mi (20km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Midi. Bus from SAINT-GILLES Porte de Hal Metro.
Must-see: Historic Waterloo battlefield.
The Battle of Waterloo is now of the most renowned event in European history. Napoleon, the man who was almost about to conquer the continent, suffered a final defeat here.
Whether you are a history buff, a Wellington fan, or simply love ABBA’s winning entry in Eurovision, this is the place to visit. It’s not only a field. You’ll find the museum, the reproduction of the battle, as well as an artificial hill with a statue of a roaring lion.
Need to know: prepare money for tickets and fees. Adults pay €16, students €8, and children can visit for free. Concessions are €15, and activities are €2 extra per person.
The Battle of Waterloo is not particularly interesting if you aren’t interested in history. A trip to Waterloo Battlefield Memorial, Belgium, however, would be worthwhile if you’re interested in viewing the site of one of the most pivotal battles in European history.
Where: 39mi (63km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Central. Bus line 22.
Must-see: Carnival de Binche in March.
There’s nothing special in Binche. At least nothing that would make tourists flock to it year-round. That changes in March.
Three days before Lent, the town is in a carnival mood. People dress up in costumes, some similar to those you would see in Venice in February. More contemporary fancy dress is acceptable as well. In any case, participants are known for going all out and investing quite a bit into their costumes.
The event hasn’t changed over the centuries. The roots go way before the written records and all we know is that it’s supposed to celebrate people’s uniqueness and feeling of pride.
All visitors are welcome to both watch and participate.
Need to know: Binche doesn’t have many choices of accommodations. This either has to be a day visit, or you have to make reservations well in advance if you’re staying overnight.
The Japanese Garden in Hasselt
Where: 52mi (84km) from Brussels
How: Train and bus from Bruxelles-Nord.
Must-see: The Ceremonial House.
You would not think of going to a Japanese garden during a trip to Belgium, but here we are. It’s a great change of pace and a moment of zen after chaotic day trips.
The Japanese garden in Hasselt is the largest of its kind in Europe. It was built to provide a peaceful environment for visitors, as well as to promote Japanese culture.
Here, you can simply take some time to meditate and enjoy nature. Or you can participate in one of the many events organized all year round.
Ticket prices are reasonable with adult tickets being the most expensive at €6. Students can visit for only €1, while children, people with disabilities, and seniors can go in for free. Newlyweds in their wedding attire can visit for free as well.
Need to know: you can download an app that allows you to experience the gardens on your phone. It’s useful if you have disabilities. The site is wheelchair-accessible, but you may still need to see what you’re dealing with in advance.
Where: 82mi (132km) from Brussels
How: Trains from Bruxelles-Central.
Must-see: Menin Gate Memorial, City Fortification, Casemates, Hill 60.
Ypres is a mecca for 20th-century history buffs. You can explore everything in a car or a bike, or sign up for one of the guided bus tours.
Start at the Menin Gate Memorial and see the names of 54,896 officers of the British Empire forces who were buried without known graves. You can visit several cemeteries where many other called soldiers rest. There’s also Hill 60, a preserved WW1 battle site, and Casemates, bomb-free shelters.
For history that goes even further, visit the city fortification. The oldest walls day to the 13th century.
And if you need to lift your mood, you can do that at the Bellewaerde theme park and aquapark.
Need to know: if possible, plan a trip to Ypres in may. On every second Sunday, the city organizes kattenstoet, a parade dedicated to cats. The origins are not as cuddly and are connected with witch burnings. Still, it’s one of those things you need to see at least once in your life.
You should check out Ypres. Beautiful architecture, such as the Menin Gate and the Flanders Fields Museum, dot the cityscape. Furthermore, Ypres serves as a jumping-off point for excursions to the many World War I museums, memorials, and cemeteries in the surrounding area.
Where: 115mi (185km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg. Bus from Brussels-Nord.
Must-see: Orval Abbey, Orval Brewery, Orval Cheese Factory.
Orval Abbey is a Cistercian monastery founded in the 12th century. For most of its history, it was open to guests and visitors. Even now, it’s one of the rare monasteries in the region that offers visitors local accommodations. Even if you are not Catholic, you can visit and experience some spiritual enrichment.
And if you have no sins to confess, stop by the brewery first. It was founded in 1930 to raise funds for the reconstruction of Orval. Now it produces 22 million bottles of unique local beer. You can both see how it’s made and have a sip or two.
Trappist monks should make great Trappist cheese. You can visit the factory and pick up some to take back home
Need to know: there’s a huge emphasis on peace and silence in the monastery. This is not a suitable option for little children. Look below for better ideas.
Where: 14mi (23km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Nord.
Must-see: 16th-century houses, Technopolis, Toy Museum.
What child would not want to see the Toy Museum? The colorful building is home to almost any kind of toy made in the last century and beyond. Their collection of Barbie dolls and Legos alone is impressive.
Then it’s off to Technopolis, a science museum suitable for kids of all ages. They have many exhibitions and fun things to play with, including a VR set that allows you to see what it would be like to fly like a bird or swim like a turtle.
If you are there on a Saturday or a Sunday, enjoy one-hour carillon concerts on the Sint-Rombouts tower. Then go to the Vizmarkt area to see the only 3 surviving 16th-century timber houses. They look like something out of a Disney movie with their colorful facades and elaborate carvings.
Need to know: the 16th-century houses are privately owned. Reportedly, the owners don’t mind people taking pictures in front of them, but they will not allow you to explore inside.
De Schorre Troll Hunting
Where: 20.5mi (33km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Central. Bus line 52.
Must-see: 7 hidden trolls.
A Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, created 7 trolls that now rest in the De Schorre forest. If your kids ever wanted to be the main characters in a fairytale, this is their opportunity.
This activity combines a little bit of magic, a little bit of wonder, and a classic outdoor adventure. Once you’ve completed your mission, you can either check out other activities or sit down for lunch. Go to the New Canton if you still want to keep the magic alive.
Need to know: De Schorre also offers other great outdoor activities, including hiking, mini-golf, and boating. You will have to get passes for these things separately.
Where: 25mi (40km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Luxembourg. Bus line 28.
Must-see: The Villers Abbey
The abbey was founded in 1146, the abbey was abandoned in 1796. It was attacked 9 times, forcing the monks to leave. Since then, most of it has fallen into ruin.
But it’s still one of the most beautiful places to visit in Belgium. And any Harry Potter fan will agree. Most of the architecture will make them feel like they are at Hogwarts. Ask them to pack their house scarf, and keep it a secret where you’re going until the last minute.
The abbey is open year-round from 10 AM to 6 PM from April 1st to October 31st. The other half of the year, it’s open only until 5 PM. The site is closed only for Christmas and New Year holidays.
You will have to pay for entry – adults €9, children ages 6 to 12 €4, and children under 6 can go in for free. There are also group tickets and other discounts available. The site is wheelchair-accessible but you will have to call the I’m advance.
Need to know: while the kids have plenty of space to play, this is still a historical site. Please respect the “Keep away” sign and follow all other instructions.
Where: 43.5mi (70km) from Brussels
How: Train from Bruxelles-Central. Bus line 70.
Must-see: Tram Museum, Auine Abbey, House of Printing.
Another option for Harry Potter fans. The Auine Abbey looks like Hogwarts come to life. Another great place to suit any Potterhead.
Also, Thuin can offer more “interesting” types of museums and tours. If you have a kid who likes anything to do with cars, trains, and engineering, they will have a blast at the Tram Museum. This includes a museum tramway with 3 routes. . They all explore the city in historic trams. The trams run only from April to August and only on certain days. Check out the schedule before you plan your trip.
The House of Printing is a great place to learn everything about printing, typesetting, and even how to make paper. And if you need to recharge your batteries after running around, you can do so by visiting the Hanging Gardens (Jardins suspendus).
Need to know: there are not many lodging options in Thuin. If you can’t get one of the 15 rooms from the only hotel in town, you’re out of luck. Keep that in mind when planning how long to stay in this town.
Where: 70mi (113km) from Brussels
How: Trains from Bruxelles-Nord and Bruxelles Central. Bus line 65.
Must-see: Adventure Valley
Durbuy is considered the smallest city in the world. It’s one of those places with each piece of architecture older than some countries. It looks and feels like a setting for a fairytale.
There’s a lot to do and just walking around can make for a pleasant afternoon. But if you’re in the mood for some action, there’s Adventure Valley.
Adventure Valley offers every activity from Dino Shows to kayaking, to escape rooms. It’s perfect for both kids and adults who are tired of historical sights and museums and in the mood for something different.
Need to know: Durbuy has a reputation for being a tourist trap. If you were looking for a magical experience, know that hundreds of tourists share your sentiment at the same time. Get your tickets for the adventure valley well in advance.
From Dinant, Brussels, Liege, or Luxembourg, a day’s journey to Durbuy is simple. In reality, though, Durbuy is a vacation spot in its own right, and a family could spend a week or more here discovering all the area has to offer.
The beautiful Dutch capital of Amsterdam is only 200 kilometers from Brussels, making it a great choice for a day trip.
Amsterdam is a cultural and artistic center, and its beautiful canals and views of the water only add to its appeal.
Visit the Anne Frank House if you’re interested in history, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt House if you like art, and the Heineken Experience if you like beer.
Renting bikes is a good idea for travelers who want to explore Amsterdam’s neighborhoods, attractions, and water holes on their own time.
At the same time, a romantic boat ride in Amsterdam is an experience that couples will never forget.
People who want to get out of the city for the day and see some beautiful countryside should go to Luxembourg, which is right next door.
After a nice 2.5-hour drive, you’ll arrive in the Grand Ducal capital. Start your tour in the Kirchberg neighborhood, where you’ll find the European Court of Justice and the European Commission, two of the most important European institutions.
Anyone who likes architecture should go to Notre Dame Cathedral, which is a symbol of Luxembourg and a great example of late Gothic architecture with Renaissance decorations.
Keep walking through the pretty alleys and take a look at the Palace of the Grand Duke and the city’s defenses.
Tournai, the capital of Belgium, is a beautiful city with a long history. For a short time, it was ruled by the British.
The main things to see in the city are the beautiful cathedral and the area around it, which are great examples of architecture from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Climbing the tower is the best way to see the city from above.
Then, after looking at the city’s beautiful buildings, you can go to the Museum of Fine Arts to see some great art.
Namur is a small town, but its beautiful setting between two rivers and many castles makes it worth a trip.
This place is only an hour from Brussels and offers visitors a quiet place to learn about the area’s fascinating history.
As you walk down the charming side streets, you can see famous places like the Saint Aubain Cathedral and the Felicien Rops Museum.
If the weather is nice, take a boat ride around Namourette.
Maastricht is a great day trip from Brussels if you want to see two countries in one day. It is known for its famous Medieval architecture and lively cultural scene.
Learn about Maastricht’s interesting past as you walk the cobblestone streets of the city’s beautiful old town and stop by the Natural History Museum.
Stop for a drink on one of the terraces after you’ve looked at the beautiful buildings and walked through the charming alleys.