Best Day Trips From Brussels
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14 Best & Easiest Day Trips From Brussels

The Coolest Day Trips From Brussels Recommended by Travel Experts!

Did you know that the city of Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium but also the de facto capital of the entire European Union?

Due to its strategic location in the center of Europe, Brussels offers direct train connections to major cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, or Rotterdam, and many other awesome places of which most can be reached within just two hours!

So if you spend some time in the Belgian capital city, one of the best things to do in Brussels is to plan a visit to one of the surrounding places.

Whether you decide to go abroad to visit France or the Netherlands, or stay in Belgium and plan a day trip to Bruges, Antwerp, or Liège you’re sure to find a cool destination!

To simplify the choice for you, I asked more than 10 travel experts to help me compile this list of the 14 best and easiest day trips to take from Brussels – all recommended from personal experience.

Here we go!

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)

1. Bruges

Recommended by me

Less than an hour’s train ride from Brussels lies Bruges, an enchanting medieval city with cobblestone pathways, idyllic canals, and mesmerizing architecture.

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Bruges

One of the best things to do on a day trip to Bruges is to enjoy perfect views of the cute houses and old bridges reflecting on the water while you take a slow walk along the canals.

No matter where you go, you’ll find nice shops, cozy cafès, and really old buildings on every corner.

Bruges Day Trip

However, the most perfect way to explore the city is by boat. A boat tour along the serene canals of Bruges is a true must-do experience, providing a unique perspective of the city’s architecture and landmarks from the water!

Something else you shouldn’t miss is visiting the lively Market Square, also called “Grote Markt” in Dutch. It’s the city’s historical center, with medieval buildings all around.

Right at the square’s center is the impressive Belfry Tower on which top you can climb to enjoy a panoramic city view.

Alternatively, if you prefer to stay below, you can check out the Wednesday and Saturday markets for fresh produce, crafts, and local treats.

Tours you might find interesting:

2. Liège

Recommended by Lowri of Many Other Roads

Are you looking for one of the best day trips from Brussels? Look no further than Liège! Located just over an hour away by train or car, it’s the perfect place to escape for a few hours and explore somewhere new.

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Liège

Parking can be hard to find and the main roads around the city are confusing to navigate if you are not from there. For a more relaxing journey, take the train.

It is usually 10 minutes quicker than driving and you get to see some of Belgium along the way.

Liège has plenty of sights to see, including the stunning views from the Pont de Fragnée bridge, the cobbled streets around The Stairs of Mount Bueren, and the boutique shops dotted around the city.

Best Day Trips From Brussels

There’s also something for everyone in terms of attractions — from museums to galleries, to live music venues and more. So make sure to pack a good camera!

It’s recommended to spend at least 6-8 hours here to truly experience the city. But if you’re looking for a truly magical experience then visit during winter to explore Liège’s amazing Christmas markets!

Tours you might find interesting:

3. Antwerp

Recommended by Sanne of Spend Life Traveling

A 45-minute train ride takes you from Brussels Central Station to Antwerp, Belgium’s secondlargest city

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Antwerp

Start your one day in Antwerp at Antwerp’s Central Station. Dubbed the ‘Railway Cathedral’, the lavishly decorated train station is one of the main landmarks in the city. 

The historic Great Market Square, in the heart of Antwerp, is another must-visit. The architecture alone makes this area worth checking out but around the square, you’ll also find many cozy restaurants and cafés, perfect for tasting some local food or people watching while enjoying a drink.


The Cathedral of Our Lady is one of the most impressive buildings in Antwerp, and art enthusiasts should visit the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an array of Flemish and Belgian masterpieces, including renowned works by Rubens and Van Dyck. 

But more than anything, Antwerp is just a really nice and very walkable city. Walk around the historic center and stop for a Belgian waffle or some fries.

If you want to fit in some shopping, you’ll find anything from international brands to upmarket boutiques. Stroll along the Scheldt River promenade for panoramic views of the harbor.

In 8 to 10 hours you can explore the key landmarks, enjoy local cuisine, and absorb the city’s culture.

Tours you might find interesting:

4. Leuven

Recommended by Shandos of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel

The historic city of Leuven is one of the easiest day trips from Brussels.

It’s less than a 30-minute train trip from either Brussel-Centraal or Brussel-Noord stations to Leuven station, which is just a short walk from the city’s historic center.

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Leuven

One of the largest European cities during the 14th century and home to a major university since the early 15th century, many of its major landmarks date to this period.

On the town square, gaze up at the gothic town hall with its tall spires, decorated with hundreds of statues. Opposite is the World Heritage Listed Saint Peter’s Church, home to a magnificent Last Supper.

Best Day Trips From Brussels

One of the most charming spots to visit in Leuven is the Beguinage, a complex that once housed lay religious women.

One of the best examples of a beguinage anywhere in Europe, the site dates back to the 13th century and is also one of the many European World Heritage Sites. It’s a delight to wander through its cobblestone streets, squares, and parks. 

Still a major university town, there are plenty of cafés and bars to choose from, including many affordable, international options, particularly around the Oude Markt.

5. Paris

Recommended by Lisa of Waves and Cobblestones

Paris, France is the perfect choice if you’re looking for easy day trips from Brussels! Simply take the Thalys high-speed train from the Brussels-Zuid/Midi station, and you’ll arrive at the Paris Gare du Nord station in less than an hour and a half.

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Paris

There are so many incredible things to do in Paris that you’ll want to make a long day trip of it.  Start your day with a sightseeing tour on the river Seine.

It’s the best way to orient yourself to the city and to see many iconic French landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.

Paris Eiffel Tower

Have lunch at one of the many vegan restaurants in Paris or visit a market and pick up ingredients for a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of the beautiful gardens of Paris. You can’t go wrong with the Luxembourg Gardens or the Tuileries.

Spend the afternoon visiting one of Paris’ world-class museums. The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are the most famous. Or visit a smaller museum such as the Musée Rodin or see Monet’s Water Lilies paintings at the Orangerie.

No matter how you spend your day in Paris, you will have a fantastic time on your day trip from Brussels!

Tours you might find interesting:

6. Utrecht

Recommended by Chloe of Chloe’s Travelogue

If you want to venture out of Brussels across the border, consider spending one day in Utrecht

Not far away from Brussels, Utrecht is a historic college town in the central Netherlands. Thanks to the well-connected train system, it takes about 2.5 hours to get to Utrecht from Brussels.

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Utrecht

The medieval city has a 2,000-year history and is dotted with many landmarks and heritage sites. Two of the most famous landmarks crown Dom Square in the heart of the city, making it easy to see the city in a day.

Best Day Trips From Brussels

The first landmark you cannot miss is Dom Tower designed by John of Hainaut. The 112-meter-tall structure is the highest church tower in the Netherlands, and it took 60 years to build. 

From its top, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city but before you have to climb 465 steps with a guided tour. It is also wheelchair accessible by an elevator.

Next to Dom Tower is St. Martin’s Cathedral. It is a majestic Gothic architecture with beautiful stained-glass windows. The secluded courtyard is also an excellent place to enjoy a peaceful stroll. 

Utrecht was also named Europe’s most beautiful canal city. So, before you head back to Brussels, don’t forget to grab a tasty Belgian beer at a bar along the canal!

Tours you might find interesting:

7. Ostend

Recommended by Annelies of Travelers & Dreamers

If you are in need of some vitamin sea, then Ostend is the perfect place to visit on a day trip from Brussels. Its easy accessibility by train makes it a breeze to visit and it only takes one hour and 24 minutes to get there.

Moreover, the train stops near the center of Ostend and it only takes 10 minutes to walk to where the action is!

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Ostend

The main thing that draws visitors to Ostend is its seaside location. It’s one of the best places in Belgium to hit the beach!

Aside from that, you can also find great museums in Ostend like Mu.ZEE, a great selection of shops and restaurants and historic sites like Fort Napoleon. 


During the summer months, 11 beach bars pop up along the beach, with Buddha Mar and Polé Polé Beach Bar being the most popular ones.

Ostend also hosts many festivals. Ostend Beach Festival is a great dance festival held in July and lovers of culture can indulge in great theater shows during the annual Theater Aan Zee Festival at the beginning of August. 

If festivals aren’t your thing, head to the terraces of Bavet or Jilles on the beach promenade for sunset drinks!

8. Mons

Recommended by Marina Helene & Paul of PaulMarina

The city of Mons is situated close to the French border to the south, about one hour away by train or car from Brussels. This little travel gem is a historical city with a modern, colorful touch. 

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Ostend

Open-air street art coexists seamlessly with the northern European brick facade architecture, which adds to the aesthetics and feel of Mons. 

Some significant landmarks include the Baroque belfry tower, the cobbled grand-place square, and the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru. 

Mons, Belgium

Traditionally, Mons is known for the Ducasse celebrations. This age-old procession has locals dress up in medieval attire and is followed by a bizarre dragon fight on the main town square. 

Yet, its main offerings are the museums. The Mundaneum gives one a peak into the world of Paul Otlet and his universal classification system, while the Maison Losseau helps visitors to immerse into the Art Nouveau style of the 20th century. 

Art lovers will also want to add the house of Van Gogh, the Beaux-Arts, the MUMONS, and all the other numerous attractions in Mons to their must-see list.

Tours you might find interesting:

9. Rotterdam

Recommended by Kenny of Knycx Journeying

Rotterdam is a major port city in the Netherlands and is known for its state-of-the-art infrastructure, bold architecture, and vibrant art and cultural scene.   

The easiest way to get to Rotterdam from Brussels is by train. The train ride is about two hours from the capital city of Belgium and there are multiple direct trains daily.  

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Rotterdam

For a day trip, plan a Rotterdam city walking tour covering a number of Rotterdam’s major attractions and landmarks.

Kick off the tour at the Kunsthal Rotterdam (the Art Hall in Museumpark), the site is a trendy gallery showcasing artworks from a group of international artists.

Day Trips From Brussels

The Old Harbor and maritime museums feature houseboats where the Rotterdam locals live, and the museum has an impressive collection of ships that were constructed centuries ago.  

For food lovers, head to the Market Hall. It is an amazing food hall for diners to sample all kinds of food and fresh produce. If you prefer plant-based food, there are many great vegan restaurants in Rotterdam.

No trip to Rotterdam is complete without dropping by the eccentric Cube Houses in the city center, right next to the Blaak Train Station.

These colorful and striking houses are stacked in cubes at an abnormal angle of 55 degrees, and one of these cubes is opened to the public so that visitors can have a taste of what the interior of these houses is like.  

Tours you might find interesting:

10. Luxembourg City

Recommended by Adrienn of TravelTipZone

For those looking for appealing day trips from Brussels, Luxembourg City is an excellent choice.

The main attractions of Luxembourg City are easy to explore on a day trip. In particular, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, with its cobbled streets, historic buildings, and stunning views, is well worth a visit.

Absolute must-sees for a day trip to Luxembourg City include the Grand Ducal Palace, the Adolphe Bridge, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Place Guillaume II square, all within walking distance of each other.

For culture lovers, the National Museum of Natural History is a great option.

Luxembourg City

In addition, Luxembourg City offers many wonderful views, with the best viewpoints on Chemin de la Corniche and the Pont du Grund bridge.

The journey from Brussels takes about two and a half hours by car, with the opportunity to see the Belgian countryside as well. For those who prefer public transport, there is a regular FlixBus connection between Brussels and Luxembourg City.

TIP: Use Omio to find train & bus connections from Brussels to Luxembourg City

Overall, Luxembourg City is an attractive day trip destination if you travel from Brussels. It offers visitors a blend of history, culture, and modernity, all in a highly developed urban setting, providing a memorable experience.

Tours you might find interesting:

11. Mechelen

Recommended by Emma of Travel on a Time Budget

Only 20 minutes by fast train from Brussels, Mechelen is a great place to visit for a day trip.

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Mechelen

It’s a city steeped in history with many central attractions that you can easily walk between. Its top attraction is the majestic St. Rumbold’s Cathedral with its imposing 15th-century church belfry offering sweeping views from the top.

Mechelen also has two beguinages to explore. The one to focus on is the Large Beguinage. Dating from the late 1500s, this has a real village feel to it and is really pretty, with narrow cobbled streets, period street lights, and attractive houses.

Other parts to explore include Haverwerf, a small area on the south bank of the Inner Dyle River. It’s known for three beautiful historic houses that sit in a row: St. Joseph, the Little Devils, and Little Paradise.


There are several gardens to see, for example, at the Palace of Margaret of Austria, the Palace of Margaret of York, a botanical garden, and a Winter Garden with a stunning multi-colored stained glass cupola.

The city also has several different and fascinating museums, as well as the chance to learn more about its famous beer in the Het Anker Brewery.

For a small city, there’s a remarkably large amount of things to do here – definitely enough for a full day out from Brussels.

12. Amsterdam

Recommended by Lavina of Continent Hop

If you are in Brussels for a vacation, you can head to the artistic city of Amsterdam. The city is not very big so you can do a lot of things in a day.

Amsterdam is a charming city and a mix of the traditional and the modern. The best way to travel there is via train or bus.

TIP: Use Omio to find train or bus connections from Brussels to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its scenic canals which are surrounded by traditional Dutch houses. A leisure walk along these canals is a wonderful thing to do!

However, for a unique experience, book a canal cruise to see the city from a completely different perspective.


Don’t forget to visit the Nine Streets and the Jordan neighborhood for some peaceful views away from the crowds.

Bloemenmarkt or the floating flower market is a colorful place and you can buy all kinds of souvenirs here. Merely taking a walk around this landscape is enchanting. 

If you adore flowers, you can also experience the Holland Tulip Festival which attracts millions of travelers every year. 

The Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank Haus, and Rijksmuseum are the most interesting museums. You can visit any one of these depending on your interest. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to head to Dam Square, the city’s main square and one of the most popular places in the city. You can witness the Royal Palace from here, which is quite fascinating!

Tours you might find interesting:

13. Ghent

Recommended by Babs of Next Stop Belgium

Ghent is a great choice for a day trip from Brussels. While you could definitely spend a weekend without getting bored, a full day in Ghent allows enough time to soak up the city’s atmosphere and discover its hidden gems

It’s a straightforward journey from Brussels to Ghent. By direct intercity train, it takes approximately 35 minutes from Brussels Central Station to Gent-Sint-Pieters, from where you can hop on tram #1 and get to the historic center in about 10 minutes. 

TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Ghent

Once in Ghent, you’ll be immediately captivated by the city’s medieval architecture, particularly the Gravensteen Castle (don’t miss the collection of torture equipment!) and the stunning Three Towers.

The only place to catch them all three in one picture is from the St. Michaels Bridge, so don’t forget to put that on your itinerary. 

Best Day Trips From Brussels

Locals like to sit on the quays along the picturesque Graslei and Korenlei, so don’t miss out on those either. And while you’re there, hop on a boat tour on the Leie River to learn more about the city’s history

For foodies, Ghent has an impressive array of places to choose from. The best neighbourhood is Patershol where you can find cuisines from all around the world.

Tours you might find interesting:

14. Dinant

Recommended by Jeff of Life of Y

Dinant’s blend of natural beauty and historical charm makes it a perfect day trip from Brussels. 

Getting to Dinant is easy with either the train or car being the best option. The train from Brussels takes around 1.5 to 2 hours with stunning views along the way. Alternatively, a drive from Brussels takes 1.5 hours. 

 TIP: Use Omio to find train connections from Brussels to Dinant

The Collegiate Church of Notre Dame is one of the main attractions in Dinant. Another place not to be missed is the citadel, an iconic fort perched on a rocky cliff.


Dinant was also home to Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, and his place of birth is now a museum dedicated to his works. There are also saxophones of various designs placed around the town as a tribute to Mr. Sax.

Other notable things to do in Dinant are the Maison Leffe Museum, strolling the River Meuse (or taking a boat tour), and trying Dinant’s extremely hard cookie, the Couque De Dinant

The little hidden gem of Dinant requires a full day at least and many travelers decide to stay the night to experience more of its charm.

Tours you might find interesting:

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Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:

Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!

Accommodation: is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.

Travel Insurance: There are many reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having one. I use the simple and flexible one from World Nomads to be protected against unforeseen events.

Tours: I love taking tours to explore destinations like a local. My favorite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Camera Gear: I use a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18-105 mm and a 10-20 mm wide-angle lens to take my photos.   

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