Brussels Stopover - Top 5 Things to do in 5 hours! (BRU)
Do you have a long stopover between flights in Brussels? Consider yourself lucky! Passengers with five plus hours to spare can shoot into the city to see spectacular sites!
And you can pack a LOT into five hours. Here's a list of the top places to visit – that are easy to get to from the airport.
Getting into the Brussels
The home base for your micro-visit is going to be Central Station. Everything is steps away from this transportation hub.
Getting there from the airport is a breeze. Trains depart from the terminal four times an hour and the journey is over in about 20 minutes. I have a sister blog post on traintotheairport.com dedicated to the Brussels Airport Train if you want to learn more. Make sure you buy a round trip ticket so you don't waste any time on the return.
Brussels top 5 in 5!
Number 5: Saunter Through Montes des Arts
Postcard perfect views await you in the Montes des Arts: a mini park directly behind Central Station. It has the grandest vistas in the city so don't miss it.
I especially love the colorful designs of the gardens. It's fun for kids (old and young alike) to dart between the geometric shrubs and greenery.
Number 4: Visit a Museum
After you pass through the Montes des Arts you'll be in museum heaven. Many of Belgium's most revered institutions are located within minutes of the park. This includes:
- Royal Museum of Fine Arts - Features Flemish Masters and 20,000 paintings!
- Musical Instrument Museum - Displays over 7000 instruments
- The Magritte Museum - Showcases Belgium's most famous artist
- BELvue Museum - Highlights the history of Belgium
- Modern Art Museum - Exhibits modern and contemporary works
Pick a venue that appeals to your tastes - and dive in for an hour.
On my last visit to the city, I zeroed in on the Magritte Museum and was blown away. The collection of this hometown favorite was extensive and I learned a lot about his life, approach, and style. I highly reccommend this museum if you are a Magritte groupie.
Number 3: Window Shop for Gastronomic Delights
After the museum - head down to the Grand Place which is right below Central Station.
As you walk around you will be blasted with shop after shop tempting you with luxurious Belgium treats! Navigating the cornucopia of epicurean delights is one of the highlights of any visit to Brussels.
As part of your window shopping adventures - make sure you pop into the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert which are situated beside the Grand Place. The Galeries are a set of stunning cast iron shopping arcades that are a must see!
If you have time, grab a coffee at one of the many cafés to soak up the ambiance!
Number 2: Spot All The Tintins
Tintin is everywhere - you just have to look!
Brussels is infatuated with this fictional hero and he's all over the city. It's a blast to see how many representations of him you can spot.
There are also several stores dedicated to this character - and if you are a fan you will have an opportunity to pick-up tons of Tintin swag.
Number 1: Savor the Grand Place
If you have time for nothing else - the top spot in Brussels is the Grand Place: hands-down.
Your jawwill drop as you enter the square. The Grand Place is an UNESCO World Heritage site that houses some of the most outstanding gothic and baroque architecture in the world. Pure opulence!
Building after building is decorated in ornate statues and gilded gold. You feel like you are on the set of a 17th century movie or in an actual fairy tale -- its totally unreal.
For me, this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world!
Brussels has a treasure trove of sites to see minutes from the airport. If you have an extended layover, don't sit in the terminal. Venture out and explore!
Gilded Buildings - World Class Museums - Decadent Treats - and Local Comic Book Heroes - - There is something for everyone on extended stopovers! So much so that you should actually plan to have an extra long connection in this European hub!