Bustling Through Brussels
While planning my latest trip to Europe, I visited the Rail Europe website to book a high speed train to zip us from Paris to Amsterdam in a hurry without wasting precious vacation time. Rail Europe offers many direct high speed rail routes from major European cities, often cutting travel time in half. I noticed that there was a direct option or a train that stopped in Brussels, Belgium. Beer, mussels, chocolate and waffles instantly came to mind and I knew it would be worthwhile to stop off and visit a third country on our trip.
Here are a few tips to see the best of Brussels in just a few hours:
- Take the first train out of Paris – you’ll have to wake up early but the fares are often less expensive and you can arrive in Brussels in time to eat authentic waffles for breakfast.
- After breakfast in the main square (aptly named the Grand Place), soak in the history of the medieval buildings -- including one where Karl Marx penned the Communist Manifesto.
- Stroll down the cobblestone streets to catch a glimpse of the famed Manneken-Pis. Crowds of tourists flock to this attraction but are often surprised by his short stature at only 24 inches tall.
- On your way back to the Grand Place, be sure to rub the elbow of the gold reclining Everard 't Serclaes statue – believed by many to bring good luck.
- No trip to Belgium would be complete without sampling the local brew – stop by the beer museum in the main square, where $5 buys a brief beer-making history tour and a pint. Then make a bee-line to the Delirium Café, a Guinness World Record holder for the most beers commercially available (more than 2,000 in one place).
- After working up an appetite at the bar, stop into one of the local restaurants for a pot of famous mussels and finish the gastronomic tour with a dip into a chocolate shop. Several chocolate shops offer samples, so be sure to try before you buy!
- Pick up a souvenir beer stein and then head back to the station for your high speed train outta dodge!