20 Best Day Trips from Brussels by tours & train
Brussels is the beautiful capital city of Belgium, located in western Europe. In our recent trip to Belgium, we stayed in Brussels and made it our base city to explore the rest of the country and beyond. Our central location and budget-friendly accommodation in Belgium, allowed us to take many day trips from Brussels to a variety of places via tours and trains (we are city people and love trains in Europe).
In some cities, we took both (train one day and tour on another). As always if you like to drive, that is an option as well. Each destination or each day trip from Brussels is highlighted with one way travel time information. We have compiled all the train and tour options available, with recommendations on the best things to do in each city.
20 Best Day trips from Brussels for your Belgium Itinerary: Brussels Day Trips
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Quick Tip for Day Trip from Brussels
The countries that you can visit on a day trip from Brussels are Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and France. If you are using a Schengen Visa to explore Belgium, you can easily explore the other cities/countries highlighted in this post on the same visa. More on Schengen Visa here.
READ: Get our Brussels Trip Itinerary
Day trip to Bruges from Brussels (1.25 hr)
Bruges is a stunning medieval town located in Belgium. Located only an hour away from the capital city of Brussels, Bruges makes for a perfect day trip destination. It is also one of my favorite places in Belgium. We explored Bruges in a day trip from Brussels and completely fell in love with the stunning Flemish architecture and romantic vibes; and the FOOD at the marketplace is to die for.
Top Things to see in Bruges
- Explore the Market Square – Eat some local food, try unique waffles, admire the Flemish architecture
- Belfry Tower – Located in Market Square, the Belfry Tower stands tall and inviting. You can add a guided tour to explore the interiors of the Belfry Tower.
- Head to the Burg Fort – You can opt for a visit to the Burg Fort grounds for free, but to access the tower there is an entry fee of 10 Euros. It is worth it if you like city-scapes like us.
- Take a canal tour – Opt for a romantic canal ride (for two) or a one hour canal ride (for 14.50 euros for two). You can see quite a few things on this ride, so definitely add that to your 1-day itinerary.
- Brewery Tour – There are only a few operating breweries in Bruges. Taking a brewery tour in the afternoon is a brilliant way to relax and learn. Bonus if the brewery is located by the canal – then you can chill and drink by the canal. Book your brewery tour here
How to visit Bruges from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): SNCB trains are local trains in Belgium and you can buy an open ticket for the day of travel. Train fare is around 20 euros return trip. The fastest train will get you to Bruges in 55 minutes.
Drive: If you are driving to Bruges, it will take you around 1.50 hours
Tours: There are tons of tour options for Bruges. If you decide to take a guided tour, you will be able to cover the majority of the town. Most tourist spots are located very close to each other. So you can explore those in your free time on a guided tour. Cheapest day tours start at $35 + USD
|Bruges Day Tour from Brussels|
|Full Day Tour to Bruges||Book Here|
|Sightseeing Tour in Bruges||Book Here|
|Bruges Food Tour||Book Here|
|Bruges & Ghent in a day||Book Here|
Ghent day trip from Brussels (40 mins)
Ghent is another city in Belgium, which is perfect for a day trip from Brussels. Famous for its medieval history and cultural vibe, Ghent is popular with tourists and students (it is also called the university town). Just like Bruges, Ghent is located at the confluence of 2 rivers – Leie and Scheldt, so definitely a canal ride can be taken in this city as well.
Best Things to do in Ghent
- Gravesteen – Visit the 12th-century medieval castle, which was also the residence of the Count of Flanders.
- Saint Bravo’s Cathedral – The Saint Bravo Cathedral is a tall Gothic cathedral in Ghent. It is also home to the Ghent Altarpiece.
- Citadel park – As the name suggests, it is a citadel park. It is a beautiful natural oasis in the middle of the city, flanked by monuments and museums.
- Sint-Michielsbrug & Canal Tours – Sint-Michielsbrug is a bridge in Ghent – a perfect place to explore in a boat tour or stroll. Book your canal tour in Ghent here (less than $10 USD)
- Graslei – Graslei is a quay located in the heart of the historic city of Ghent. It is a part of the medieval port terminal and a great place to experience the culture of Ghent. Recommended place for dining too.
- Other things to do – Korenmarkt (market square), Werregarenstraat (street art), Ghent City Hall
How to visit Ghent from Brussels?
Trains (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Ghent from Brussels is to take the SNCB train from city center. You will arrive in Ghent in 40 minutes or less. The train fare is 10 euros, one way.
Drive: 50-minute drive to Ghent.
Tours: With tons of tour options in Ghent, including a combined Ghent and Bruges trip (for those on a time crunch), tours are definitely a way to go. Tours are great value if you compare that to a train ride or gas/renting and a sightseeing guide. Some options for small group and private tour are highlighted below
|Ghent Day Tours from Brussels|
|Ghent Full Day Tour||Book Here|
|Private Tour to Ghent (for 2)||Book Here|
Antwerp Day trip from Brussels (45 mins)
Antwerp or Antwerpen is the second-largest city in Belgium. A stunning port city, with its history tracing back to the Middle Ages.
The city is located on the river Scheldt, and its port has been of commercial importance since time immemorial. It had been flourishing due to the diamond merchants, commerce, and trade guilds in the past, and today, it is a popular tourist spot.
Top Things to do in Antwerp
- Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp – Cathedral of Our Lady is a 16th century Roman Catholic church, built in Gothic style.
- Grand Market – Grote Markt of Antwerp is a town square situated in the heart of the old town. The square is lined with ornamented buildings all around it.
- Antwerp City Hall – The Stadhuis of Antwerp is a beautiful Renaissance building, town hall, located in the Grokt Markt.
- Plantin-Moretus Museum – This is a museum housed in a 16th-century mansion – stunningly beautiful.
- Other noteworthy museums – MoMu (Mode Museum – a fashion museum), Museum of Contemporary Art, Middelheim Open Air Sculpture Museum (open-air, sculpture park/garden)
How to visit Antwerp from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Antwerp is by train. The train takes 45 minutes to reach Antwerp from Brussels. (Fare ranges from 4 – 11 euros, one way)
Drive: Driving to Antwerp takes 1.25 hours.
Tours (Recommend): There are tons of day tour options from Brussels full day to Antwerp. It covers the major tourist sites with a local tour guide, provides you with free time to explore and relax, with a return trip.
|Antwerp Day Tours|
|Antwerp Private Tour from Brussels||Book Here|
|Antwerp Day Tour||Book Here|
Waterloo Brussels day trip (25 mins)
Remember the battle of Waterloo of 1815? It was fought here in Waterloo, located only about 25 minutes away from Brussels. Battle of Waterloo was the defeated battle of Napoleon Bonaparte against the combined British and Prussian armies. It is a treat for history buffs, you can explore the battlefield and the Napoleon museums.
Top Things to do in Waterloo
- Waterloo Battlefield – Explore the battleground, where history was created.
- Lions (Mound) Hamlet – This site also has a visitor center. From the Brocante du Lion – you can view the entire battlefront below.
- Musée (Museum) Wellington – Although a small museum, it has a wealth of information about the 1815 battle.
- Napoleon’s Last Headquarters – Napoleon’s Last Headquarters is a 5 room museum, containing items of Napoleon. It is located around 4 km to the south of the Lion’s Mound.
- Pass 1815 – The Pass 1815 is the best value for visitors planning on seeing all of the above sites.
- Hougoumont – It is believed that this little shed played an important role in the battle of Waterloo – this is where the finale of the battle took place.
How to visit Waterloo from Brussels?
Train: The fastest train will take you to Waterloo in 25 minutes. (Fare ranges from 4 – 6 euros, one way)
Drive: Driving to Waterloo takes the same time – 25-30 minutes
Tours (Recommend): Tours are available from Brussels to Waterloo on a day trip itinerary. Highly recommend taking a guided tour if you like to learn and explore the historical site. Book your day tour from Brussels to Waterloo here
Brussels to Ypres Day Trip (1.25 hr)
Ypres is another spot of historical importance. Ypres is known for the three Battles of Ypres that took place in the First World War from 1914-1919. In those years, the entire city was completely destroyed. Almost half a million people died. Restoration work began in 1921, once residents moved back to Ypres in 1919, right after the war ended. Many residents lived in thatched or wooden houses for a while.
It is definitely worth exploring this town in Belgium. A must-visit for all history enthusiasts – a site that is an eye-opener: a site that speaks volumes why wars should be shunned.
Top Things to see in Ypres
- Menin Gate – War memorial with inscribed names of fallen heroes of the war.
- In Flanders Field Museum – A museum dedicated to the study of World War 1. Located in the city centre.
- Cloth Hall – Medieval commercial cloth market. Located in the same location as the In Flanders Field Museum.
- Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 – Museum dedicated to the 100 days battle of Passchendaele in 1917, where over 500,000 soldiers lost their lives.
How to visit Ypres from Brussels?
Train: A train ride to Ypres from Brussels is 2 hours. (Fare ranges from 18 – 20 euros, one way)
Drive (Fastest): Driving to Ypres? It takes 1.25 hours to arrive, one way.
Tours (Recommend): Tours include a return trip to Brussels and a historical guided tour. Tours are highly recommended to Ypres for a great experience. Book your Ypres guided tour here
Leuven – Brussels day trips (13 mins)
Leuven is only a 13-minute train ride away from Brussels. The town of Leuven was founded sometime in the 9th century. It is a true University town, with a bustling historical centre. Leuven is a small town, with only about 95,00 residents and can be easily explored on foot.
Top Things to see in Leuven
- Groot Begijnhof (Grand Beguinage) – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- The belfry on St Peter’s Church – Also a UNESCO Heritage Site and part of the Belfries of Belgium and France.
- University Buildings – Leuven has the world’s oldest Catholic University, so definitely worth visiting their buildings especially the University Library (Universiteitsbibliotheek) on the Ladeuzeplein.
- Summer Events – As Leuven is a university town, the summers here are a real treat and the best time to visit. Beleuvenissen (musical and cultural festival), Hapje Tapje (food fest), Leuven Kermis (Leuven Carnival – takes place in September).
How to visit Leuven from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Leuven from Brussels or Brussels Airport, by catching a train. The fastest train will take you there in 13 minutes. (Fare ranges from 3 – 8 euros, one way)
Drive: Driving to Leuven? It will take you 40 minutes, one way.
Tours: Tours include a return trip to Brussels and sightseeing in Leuven. Book your sightseeing tour to Leuven from Brussels here.
Brussels to Tournai Day Trip (1.15 hr)
Tournai is an important city in Belgium. Its significance lies in the fact that it has witnessed many wars and was occupied by almost all the major allied powers of Europe. This city is culturally rich and has some of the stunning cathedrals in the whole of Belgium.
Best Things to see in Tournai
- Notre Dame Cathedral– One of the stunning landmarks of Tournai is the Notre Dame Cathedral. The cathedral has dominated the skyline of the city for centuries
- Grand Place – Market place square surrounded by beautiful restaurants
- Beffroi – Beffroi is Belgium’s oldest belfry tower at 72 metres high. It contains a narrow 257-step spiral staircase leading to amazing views.
- Eglise St-Quentin – A stunning red-roofed Roman church built in Gothic style.
How to visit Tournai from Brussels?
Train: Train will take you to Tournai in 1.15 hours. (Fare ranges from 13 – 18 euros, one way)
Drive: Driving to Tournai? It takes the same time as the train – 1.15 hour
Tours: Local sightseeing tours are available on the Tournai tourism website
Maastricht to Brussels Day Trip (2 hr)
Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Maastricht is filled with medieval churches, historical walls, and lanes, stunning castles, and old town squares.
Best Things to see in Maastricht
- Basilica of Our Lady – This Roman Catholic church is located at the center of the old town square in Maastricht.
- Basilica of Saint Servatius – This is another beautiful Roman Catholic church, which is also located at the town’s main square.
- Maastricht National History Museum
- Sint Servaasbrug or the Saint Servatius Bridge is a footbridge. Great spot for photography.
- Wyck – Beautiful neighborhood in Maastricht, by the river, and close to the old historic center.
How to visit Maastricht from Brussels?
Train: The fastest train will take you to Maastricht in 1.75 – 2 hour (fare ranges from 13 – 18 euros, one way)
Drive: It is a 2-hour drive to reach Maastricht.
Tours: No day tour is available from Brussels to Maastricht. Once you arrive in Maastricht, you can take a sightseeing TRAIN – a new way to explore a city. Learn more about this tour here
Brussels to Cologne Day Trip (2 hr)
Cologne is a stunning city, located in Germany over the Rhine River. A 2000-year-old medieval town, with a gorgeous old town center marked by a twin cathedral, arts and CHOCOLATE museums, and of sweeping Rhine River.
Best Things to do in Cologne
- Cologne Cathedral – Cologne Cathedral is a 13th-century catholic cathedral. It is the seat of the archbishop of Cologne. The cathedral is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
- Chocolate museum – Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum or the chocolate Museum opened its doors in 1993 and has been a popular tourist spot. The entry fee is 11.50 euros. It is located at the town square
- Museum Ludwig – Museum Ludwig is one of the popular fine arts museums in Cologne. It houses of the largest Picasso collections in Europe
- Take the River Rhine cruise
- Visit Cologne Zoological Gardens and Schildergasse shopping lanes
How to visit Cologne from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Cologne is via train. Brussels to Cologne train ride is less than 2 hours, one way. Fare starts at 19 euros. You can travel via SNCB trains.
Drive: Drive to Cologne will take you around 2.75 hours, one way.
Tours: Here is an awesome day tour to Cologne (with Monschau) from Brussels. Includes a return trip and sightseeing for less than $100 USD. Book your tour here.
Utrecht to Brussels Day Trip (2 hr)
Utrecht is located in the Netherlands, Belgium’s closest neighbor. Utrecht has been an iconic religious center for centuries. This city is characterized by the Dom – a 14th-century bell tower, cathedrals, canals, and medieval castles.
Best Things to do in Utrecht
- Dom Tower of Utrecht – Dom Tower of Utrecht is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. You can take 465 steps of the Gothic bell tower to access panoramic views of Utrecht. It is located opposite the Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin in the central square.
- Visit Utrecht Botanical Gardens and Utrecht canals.
- Castle De Haar – Castle De Haar is a medieval castle, built in gothic style. There are stunning gardens located around the castle.
- Centraal Museum (prime museum of Utrecht) and Railway Museum (railway Museum, housed in a 19th railway station).
How to visit Utrecht from Brussels?
Train: A train ride to Utrecht from Brussels is 2.50 minutes, one way. Fares are around 30 Euros.
Drive (Fastest): Driving is the fastest way to reach Utrecht from Brussels – around 2 hours. (Buses are available to Utrecht, fares start at 10 Euros, but not ideal for a day trip – as it takes 4 hours to arrive)
Tours: No day tour is available which includes a return trip from Brussels to Utrecht. The Tourism Board of Utrecht offers sightseeing tours in Utrecht.
Brussels to Charleroi Day trip (50 mins)
Charleroi is the third-largest municipality of Belgium. Although not very popular with Belgians, this city is marked with a lot of industrial history.
Built as a mining town in the late 1900s, Charleroi saw a growth of coke metallurgy, mining, and other industrial units set up in the city. So much for trading and mining, the city was nicknamed as the “black country”. Charleroi has also witnessed many industrial and general strikes here. So why visit Charleroi?
Top Things to see in Charleroi
- River Sambre – Start with a walkover river Sambre. The bridge and the views of the river are beautiful. Yes, Charleroi is located on the River Sambre. The banks of the river are lined with stunning boulevards Quai de Brabant and Quai de Flandre.
- Ville Basse – The town is split into two – upper town (located on a hill) and lower town (ville basse). Ville Basee is perfect for a leisurely stroll and for admiring this industrial town
- Town Hall of Charleroi
- Centre – The city centre is marked by the Place Charles II, which features the Saint-Christophe church, with a beautiful belfry tower.
- Museums – There are many industrial museums that you can visit – Museum of Glass, Industry Museum, Museum of Photography
How to visit Charleroi from Brussels?
Train: A train ride to Charleroi from Brussels is 50 minutes, one way. Fares are around 5-10 Euros
Drive: Driving takes the same amount to time to reach Charleroi from Brussels – 50 minutes.
Tours: There are not a lot of tours available for Charleroi. You will have to plan ahead and then reach the museums or drive or take a local bus to reach the tourist spots. The city centre is not that big, can be easily explored on foot.
Brussels to Liege Day Trip (1 hr)
Liege is a stunning city of Belgium, located on the Meuse river. This place is jam-packed with medieval history, culture, and beautiful river views. And it is only an hour away from Brussels.
There are monuments, museums, operas to choose from here. And the FOOD here is “finger-licking good”. Here are some of the top things to see in Liege
Top Things to see in Liege
- Montagne de Bueren – Montagne de Bueren is a 374-step staircase in Liege. It was built in 1881 to commemorate the soldiers who died while defending the town of Liege against the attack of Duke of Burgandy.
- Grand Curtius Museum – The Grand Curtius Museum is located within a 17th-century mansion and has archaeological treasures and art displays.
- Palace of the Prince-Bishops – Historical building with stunning architecture
- St. Paul’s Cathedral in Liege – Part of Liege heritage and cultural landmark
- Museum of Walloon Life – Museum with exhibits of Walloon life. Liege is located in the Walloon region.
How to visit Liege from Brussels?
Train: A train ride to Liege from Brussels is 1-1.50 hours, one way. Fares start at 5-10 Euros
Drive: Drive to Liege takes about the same time 1-1.50 hours.
Tours: There are no available full-day tours from Brussels to Liege. Visit Liege tourism for more exploration ideas
Namur – Brussels Day Trips (45 mins)
Namur is the gorgeous capital city of the Wallonia region of Belgium. This city is characterized by medieval castles, citadels, and canals, and is considered as an important political and cultural seat in Belgium. The city gets its unique characteristics from the confluence of the two rivers – Meuse and Sambre, which makes this city, very stunning. Namur is also the ninth populous city in Belgium.
Top Things to see in Namur
- Citadel of Namur – Built in the 10th century, the Citadel of Namur, is built at the confluence of the rivers of Meuse and Sambre and offers great panoramic views of the city.
- Maredsous Abbey – A Benedictine abbey, built in Gothic style
- St Aubin’s Cathedral – The stunning cathedral, the only church built in Late Baroque style
- Scladina or Sclayn Cave – An archaeological cave
How to visit Namur from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): A train ride to Namur from Brussels is 45 minutes, one way. Fares start at 10 Euros
Drive: Driving takes you to Namur in about an hour. Having a vehicle can help in exploring more of the tourists’ areas, located outside of the city centre.
Tours: There are no day tours available for Namur from Brussels. Here are some options for Namur city guided tours
Day Trip to Dinant from Brussels (1.25 hr)
Dinant is another stunning town located in Belgium’s Walloon region. It is located very close to the French border, yet it is completely different in landscape and architecture from both France and Belgium.
The Meuse river runs through this little town, making it as picturesque and romantic as ever. Dinant is a perfect small-town getaway that comes with a quiet, laidback, yet serene vibe.
Dinant’s history traces back to many centuries, but it was the First World War that brought this small town into the limelight. The Battle of Dinant fought as part of the First World War saw mass destruction of this small town (Charles de Gaulle was wounded in this battle). After the end of the war, many of the town’s heritage buildings were completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt in later years.
Top Things to see in Dinant
- Dinant Citadel – The Dinant fortress was built in the early 19th century. It is a medieval museum, with access to some amazing panoramic views.
- Notre Dame de Dinant – The Notre Dame de Dinant is a 13th-century Gothic cathedral dedicated to the Church of our lady. The cathedral welcomes you, as soon as you arrive Dinant.
- Birthplace of Adolphe Sax – Dinant is famous, as the birthplace of the founder of Saxophone, Adolphe Sax
- Meuse River – Dinant is perfect for romantic strolls across the bridge, overlooking the river Meuse. You can also take a cruise over the river.
- Maison Leffe – A beer museum, and hotel.
How to visit Dinant from Brussels?
Train: You can easily take the SNBC trains to reach Dinant from Brussels. It takes 1.50 hours. The fare costs 14 euros, one way.
Drive (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Dinant is to drive there and then spend the whole day, at your leisure. 1.25 hours to reach Dinant from Brussels.
Tours: Multi-country tours are available. Dinant is on the way to Luxembourg city, so definitely deserves a stop. There is a full-day tour that covers both Dinant and Luxembourg city. Book your tour here
Brussels to Luxembourg Day Trip (2.50 hr)
Luxembourg is a small European nation, located very close to the Belgium and German border. It is very convenient to take a day tour to Luxembourg city from Brussels to explore. Luxembourg is small but mighty in terms of financial institutions. Their architecture is not Flemish, unlike their Belgium neighbor. It is simple, yet full of impact.
Top Things to see in Luxembourg City
- Grand Ducal Palace – The Grand Ducal Palace is a palace in Luxembourg City. It is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. All administrative decisions are taken here. He is also the head of state of the Grand Duchy.
- Notre-Dame Cathedral – Notre-Dame Cathedral is the only Cathedral of Luxembourg City. Located at the centre, this Roman Catholic cathedral was built in 1613.
- Adolphe Bridge – Adolphe Bridge is an arch bridge in Luxembourg City. The bridge looks stunning from the centre
- Gelle Fra – Gelle Fra or the Monument of Remembrance is a war memorial, located in Luxembourg City. It is dedicated to the thousands of Luxembourgers who volunteered for service in the armed forces of the Allied Powers during both World Wars and the Korean War.
- Pétrusse Casemates – Medieval ruins
- Other notable landmarks – Luxembourg City History Museum, Place D’ Arms
How to visit Luxembourg city from Brussels?
Train: Trains are available to reach Luxembourg city from Brussels. It takes 3.50 hours. The fare costs 25-45 euros, one way.
Drive (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Luxembourg city is to drive there and then spend the whole day. It takes 2.50 hours to reach Luxembourg from Brussels. You can take a sightseeing tour to explore Luxembourg city. Book your tour here
Tours (Recommend): Take the multi-country tour to Luxembourg for less than $100 USD – great value. It covers a return trip and sightseeing in Luxembourg. Also covers a few hours in Dinant. There is a full tour day that covers both Dinant and Luxembourg city. Book your tour here
Brussels to Rotterdam Day Trip (1.50 hr)
Rotterdam is a port city located in the Netherlands. It is located in the southern part of the Netherlands and it characterized by iconic yellow cube houses, food markets, museums, and of course ships and port terminals. There are quite a few things to see in Rotterdam day trip from Brussels.
Top Things to see in Rotterdam
- Yellow Cube Houses – These unique yellow houses were built on the concept of “living with an urban roof”. These houses make for an amazing photography prop. They are located near the Blaak metro station.
- Erasmusburg – Beautiful white bridge, second largest in the Netherlands
- Visit Euromast (TV tower) and Rotterdam Zoo
- The Destroyed City – Second World War memorial sculpture
- Maritime Museum – A museum displaying vintage maritime ships and Harbor
How to visit Rotterdam from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Rotterdam is via train. It takes 1.50 hours, one way and fares start at 19 euros.
Drive: Drive to Rotterdam will take you about 2 hours.
Tours: Here is a 2-3 hour “little bit of everything in Rotterdam” tour. It is not a day tour from Brussels, but it can be taken in Rotterdam to explore the city’s highlights. Book your tour here
Day trip to Amsterdam from Brussels (2 hr)
Amsterdam is the stunning capital city of the Netherlands. A stylish canal city lined with narrow tall houses and a cycling kingdom, Amsterdam is a delightful place to be in. It is possible to visit Amsterdam on a day trip from Brussels.
We took a Thalys train (high-speed train) in the morning – 07:00 am from Brussels Midi and arrived at Amsterdam Centraal Station (at 09:00 am). A majority of the tourist sightseeing spots in Amsterdam are located very close to the station, which makes it easy to explore. Many tours also start at the central train station in Amsterdam. Find how to spend one day in Amsterdam
Best Things to do in Amsterdam
- Dam Square – Located very close to the Amsterdam Centraal station is the Dam Square. It is the heart of Amsterdam and is important since the 17th century. The square is surrounded by the Royal Palace and the Madame Tussauds museum.
- Take a canal cruise or simply stroll down the banks and admire the stunning houses. Book your canal cruise here
- Anne Frank’s House – Anne Frank’s House is located near the central station as well. To explore the house from inside, you will have to allot 2-3 hours of your day’s visit and also book tickets online/in advance.
- Other places to visit in your day trip include Fleu market, Heineken Experience, Adam’s Lookout, Rijksmuseum (allot 2-3 hours to explore the museum and reserve your tickets online here)
How to visit Amsterdam from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Amsterdam is via train. It takes 2 hours, one way on a high-speed train and fares start at 29 euros. Book 2-3 months in advance and choose the second class for cheaper fares.
Drive: Drive to Amsterdam will take you about 2- 2.35 hours.
Tours: There is a day tour available to Amsterdam from Brussels. This tour takes you to Dam Square and around. But you will only get 5- 6 hours of sightseeing.
If you plan on returning to Amsterdam again, this is not a bad option to get a quick orientation to the canal city for a great price (less then 100 USD/return sightseeing trip). This tour also explores the Dutch countryside and takes you to a cheese farm. Book your Amsterdam-Brussels tour here.
Pro-Tip: Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood in the Netherlands that can be visited on a day trip from Brussels as well. You can arrive in Amsterdam Central Station and take a day tour to the windmills town of Zaanse Schans.
Book your 3-hour tour here – to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam to explore the windmills
Volendam Day trip from Brussels (2.50 hr)
Okay, do you wish to see cute wooden houses in a pretty village in the Netherlands? Head to Volendam. This Dutch town with its traditional harbor setting with boats and colorful houses will surely melt your heart!
Things to do in Volendam
- Cheese Factory Volendam – Enjoy a cheese tasting tour in Volendam Netherlands, their cheese is delicious!
- Eat Seafood by the harbor
- The Volendam Museum – This museum features paintings, sculptures, and pottery from the 1800s to the present times.
- Other museums: Historical Museum and Photography studio, Palingsound Museum, Halve Maen
- Lighthouse near Marken – Admire the Paard van Marken – a lighthouse – before making your way back to Brussels in the evening! This landmark lighthouse is known to have existed since the 18th century.
How to visit Volendam from Brussels?
Train (fastest): Fastest way to reach Volendam from Brussels is by taking the train. It takes 2.50 hours to reach there, one way
Drive: Drive to Volendam will take about 2.75 to 3 hours by road
Tour: There are no full day tour options from Brussels
Day trip from Brussels to Paris (1.65 hr)
Dreaming of Effiel tower and unsure if you can cover this romantic city on your trip to Brussels, Belgium? Yes, you can. Paris can be explored on a day tour from Brussels.
Paris needs no introduction. It is the capital city of France and an iconic city, a symbol of love, romance, cafes and croissants, and Louis Vuitton and arts and so much more (I can go on and on).
So what all can you cover on a day trip to Paris? Well, you can definitely cover 4-5 prime tourist areas for sure. Take the high-speed train from Brussels Midi train station to Paris Gare du Nord (Earliest train leaves at 06:15 am, with 1.75 hour transit time. Last train leaves after 08:45 pm or so).
Once you arrive at Gare du Nord – head to Trocadero Gardens. You can start your sightseeing from here or take a hop-on and hop off tour to take you around the city’s highlights.
Top Things to see in Paris
- Trocadero Gardens – Trocadero is a public area in Paris. It is located right across the Eiffel Tower and the Seine river. Entry to the gardens is FREE. Here you can get your Insta-worthy Eiffel Tower pictures.
- Eiffel Tower – Few steps away from Trocadero is the Eiffel tower. You can explore the grounds or go up the tower. Keep in mind to go up the tower requires a time investment of 45 minutes – 2 hours. Reserve your Eiffel Tower Summit priority access ticket.
- Take a sightseeing cruise over the Seine river or simply stroll down the banks and admire the stunning houses. Book your sightseeing cruise here
- Champs Elysee and Arc de Triumphe can be explored next
- Notre Dame Cathedral – Finest French Gothic architecture, this medieval Catholic cathedral is a popular Parisian landmark.
- Louvre Museum – Visit the world’s popular art museum is not free nor is it easy. Louvre is crowded at most times of the day. Head there in the early morning or late evening to explore. Entry and visit to the museum require a time investment of 2-4 hours.
- Read our extended itinerary in Paris
How to visit Paris from Brussels?
Train (Fastest): The fastest way to reach Paris is via train. It takes 1.65 hours, one way on a high-speed train and fares start at 29 euros. Book 2-3 months in advance and choose the second class for cheaper fares.
Drive: Drive to Paris will take you about 4 hours.
Tours: There are no direct day tours for Paris. Taking the train and then opting for a sightseeing tour in Paris is your best bet.
Pro- Tip: Palace of Versailles (in France) can be explored in a day trip from Brussels. Take a Thalys train to Paris (Gare du Nord) from Brussels. Take a half-day tour from Paris to Versailles- explore the palace with a guided tour and return to Brussels via train. Book your half tour to Versailles here (4-hour tour).
Maasmechelen Day Trip from Brussels (1.25 hr)
Looking for a shopping paradise with discounts and a great variety? Well, Maasmechelen is your town. Maasmechelen is located in the province of Limburg, on the Meuse river. This municipality has tons of outlet stores, great restaurants – a perfect hang out place. This town also has a functioning windmill and a small carnival museum.
Packing for Brussels Belgium
SHOP TRAVEL GEAR FOR EUROPE
MIRROR-LESS CAMERA // CLEAR POUCH // ANTI THEFT BACKPACK // SUN-GLASS // UNIVERSAL ADAPTER // EYE MASK // PASSPORT HOLDER // WALKING SHOE // HEADPHONES // WATERPROOF JACKET (TRENCH COAT) // CHARGING CABLES // PACKING CUBES // ANTI THEFT PURSE // NECK PILLOW
READ: ULTIMATE PACKING LIST FOR EUROPE
Hope you found this post and reviews helpful and you are on your way to crafting your amazing day trip from Brussels.
Ghent is my favorite city!! But I would love to return to Belgium and do more of these day trips! I think I’d like some of the smaller towns.
Ghent is stunning. We fell in love with Belgium – cant wait to go back!
Wow, this is such an exhaustive list. I will remember these places when I go to Brussels. 🙂
Yay! Thanks so much, Glad you liked it
My city! I love reading articles about the place I live. Well written and good tips.
Thanks so much! Glad you liked the information we shared here 🙂
I had no idea there were so many great day trips from Brussels! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Everything is so close! I’ve been wanting to visit Bruges for a while now, and I’m definitely adding the rest of these places to my list! 🙂
Bruges is one of my favorite cities in Europe. You will love it too!
Wow, I had no idea there were so many day trips from Brussels! This is amazing! I had never heard of Dinant before and your photo of it really makes me want to visit. Wonderful article!
Dinant is stunning. We hope you visit this gem – you won’t be disappointed.
Wow, I had no idea Brussels was such a good base for day trips! Charleroi looks super pretty and crazy to think (as a Kiwi) that you can do day trips to other countries!
That is one of the reasons we LOVE Europe 🙂
This list is amazing! I love getting settled in a city and taking day trips around, it feels more grounded than hauling my pack all over. Thanks for such a solid list. Happy travels!
Thats awesome! Thank you so much
I’m so glad to have stumbled on this site, so may good tips! We had almost crossed Paris off our list but now it’s definitely on:)
Thanks so much for all the great advice and insight, much appreciated. Happy travels!!
We are SOOO glad you found the site helpful! We loved Brussels and Paris too.
Happy Travels to you too <3
We are looking to be in belgium in december and do a lots of day trips by car.
I understand that Brussels is very congested by traffic. Is there any outskirts in belgium that you recommend that we can stay as a hub and leave freely everyday in car without facing the day-to-day traffic?
We really enjoyed our time in Dinant. It is a small town and will be a perfect place as a hub to take day trips. Brussels is only an hour away, both Luxembourg City and the French border are close by as well. Namur is another city to consider.
Have fun in Belgium – we loved it so much! December will be an amazing time to visit Brugge as well. (Brugge to Dinant is about 2 hours one way)
Hi I am going in jan 2020 to Belgium for month and half this is so exting information thanks a lot it will help me thank u so much
That’s awesome! I am glad. Enjoy your time in Belgium.
Hello, we are headed to Brussels with an infant and toddler. We are planning day trips to Bruges, Ghent and zantwerp. Any other kid friendly places or tops you would recommend?
Hi Ajni, those are all great choices and located a short drive away from Brussels. Namur is another good option and you can also explore Dinant – which is very beautiful. We loved it. Namur to Dinant is 30 minutes one way by car or train. Places are kid friendly. Dinant has a funicular if you wish to explore the fort.
Have a great time to Belgium!