Spend a Long Weekend Trip in Brussels


Brussels is a real capital, but that does not prevent it from offering an almost provincial face, and this is not its only paradox: it combines historic monuments with modern facilities, an obvious cultural mix with an avowed attachment to its past, and it oscillates between its two statuses of French-speaking city and capital of the Flemish region. Ditto for its architecture, which offers classical style constructions and others in the purest “Art Nouveau” style.


Whether you are interested in history, contemporary art, architecture, or comics, whether you are a fan of gardens or shopping, you will find what you are looking for in Brussels. You can start at the Grand-Place, after stopping in front of the famous Manneken Pis. The facades of the buildings surrounding the Grand-Place are adorned with Baroque decorations and gilding. The town hall, in Gothic style, houses tapestries made in the 17th and 18th Century.

You can also visit the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, where you will discover works that span from the Middle Ages to the present day, within particular magnificent paintings by Bruegel or Rubens, but also, for more recent periods, Flemish expressionists. Also worth seeing, for painting enthusiasts, the nearby Magritte museum. As far as architecture is concerned, the Horta Museum is a must-see, emblem of Art Nouveau, with especially the astonishing stairwell, covered with its golden glass roof. You will also get a glimpse of contemporary art with the Gare du Nord district.

More popular, the flea market which is held every morning at dawn on the Place du Jeu-de-Balle will give you the opportunity to discover various objects in an incomparable atmosphere. If you need to recharge your batteries in peace and in the greenery, several parks are open to you: the Brussels park, for example, or the Ixelles ponds. It is also impossible to miss the comic strip house or the MOOF Museum, a 3D comic book museum. Do not miss either some unusual monuments like the Atomium with its 9 spheres which represent the atoms which constitute the iron crystal, or the Japanese Tower and its collection of porcelain and ceramics from the 17th century.


In addition to visits to monuments and museums, you can vary the pleasures, which are not lacking in Brussels:

– Stroll through the flea market which is open every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Place du Jeu de Balle, where you will find all kinds of trinkets at really affordable prices, and bistros all around, all guaranteeing an atmosphere very picturesque.
– Taste beers on the terrace, and do not hesitate to vary the colors and the origins: a good address, at Moeder Lambic
– Visit the Belgian Comic Strip Center, but also admire all the comic strip frescoes that adorn the walls of the city
– Take a walk in the park of Brussels, very close to the Royal Palace
– Take a bike ride to explore the city at your own pace: there are also guided tours that will take you on a thematic route, discovering the history or architecture of the city, or its folkloric characteristics or natural.
– Buy Belgian chocolate at Pierre Marcolini
– Take a walk on the Grand Place day and night and taste a hot chocolate
– Eat a waffle bought at Dandoy
– Taste snails bought at a street stand


Getting there: very well served by road, rail, and air, it will take you barely 3 hours to reach Brussels from Paris by the motorway. The train is also very convenient from Paris since the Thalys takes you to Brussels in 1 hour 30 minutes and costs you €50 for a return trip. You can obviously take the plane, which can be interesting from Lyon, Nantes, or Marseille.

Getting around Brussels: walking in the city is inevitable if you want to explore it in-depth, but you can also get around easily by bike, or take the metro.


You will find many accommodation options in Brussels, and weekends are particularly favorable since hotels offer very competitive rates to occupy their rooms taken up in weeks by businessmen coming to conferences or other professional occupations. You will also have the possibility of renting apartments from individuals (with Airbnb for example), and small budgets will turn to youth hostels, which are very numerous, while the most eager for new relationships will choose guest rooms, which allow a more intimate approach to the inhabitants of the city.

steak-frites-food in Brussels


Nothing could be easier in Brussels: very generous dish of the day, friendly and very affordable bistros, cuisines of the world (Spanish, Asian, Indo-Pakistani), street vendors, in particular for whelks or snails cooked in broth, shacks in fries, of course, snacks where you can find pitas (bread filled with meat and vegetables), and even fishmongers that serve fish soups or shellfish plates, such as the North Sea on Sainte-Catherine Street, where you can taste these products with a glass of white wine. Also, go and taste the famous mussels and fries at Léon rue des Bouchers, an institution that deserves its reputation. Other specialties to savor: Waterzooïs, green eels, black pudding, among others… The beers are of course to be absolutely tested:


Outings in Brussels mostly revolve around the drinks that are drunk in different establishments, cafes, or dancing bars, but the friendliness of its inhabitants makes the nightlife there lively and friendly, even if it sometimes lacks variety. The unconditional clubbers will go to Fuse, the techno place par excellence. For lovers of the seventies, the Nostalgia Club will be more than perfect. In a more psychedelic genre, the Cactus and its neon lights will intoxicate those who love deafening music. In a completely different style, the Royal Theater of Toone offers its traditional puppet shows from Thursday to Saturday at 8:30 p.m. And for even more family outings, We recommend the Mini-Europe park (a fun trip to a miniaturized Europe that will delight children) or the Océade water park, with its unique slides in a Caribbean-themed setting: quirky but very entertaining in good weather. Finally, for an original and timeless shopping outing, go shopping along the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, with its arcaded glazing and its architecture dating from the mid-19th century.


When it comes to shopping, Brussels can be the city of good deals: for chocolate, of course, apart from known addresses, you can get your supplies at Mary’s in the Galerie de la Reine, or at Pierre Marcolini rue des Minimes. At Biscuiterie Dandoy, taste the chocolate speculoos. Comic book fans will go to the Tintin store, of course. For beer, you have to go to Beertempel, both for the choice and for the quality. Also try to buy crockery and glassware at La crockery by the kilo, or objects for the kitchen at Dille et Kamille. Finally, as far as fashion is concerned, you will be delighted to find vintage pieces in tidy shops at bargain prices, but also Belgian designer brands.


The Thalys is undoubtedly the cheapest way to get from Paris to Brussels, with its 50 € round trip. Accommodation with apartment rental between private individuals will cost you less than € 200 for 3 nights as a couple, and it will cost you between € 15 and € 20 for a hearty meal at the restaurant. Add to that the prices of the tours, the transport, and the souvenirs that you will bring back for you and your friends, and you get a total of around 800 € for a long weekend in Brussels without depriving yourself. A close and friendly capital, which will not ruin you.


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