Brussels, Belgium :
Brussels, Belgium: The Ultimate Guide with Kids
There are many things to do in Brussels with the whole family. Check out our guide below:
Getting to Brussels:
Brussels is a mere 2-hour train ride on the Eurostar from London. If you take the train, make sure to allot enough time to go through immigration and security. You are after all, changing countries.You can also fly into the airport directly from many cities in Europe and a few major cities in the US and Asia. The airport is about 30 minutes from the city center.
Getting Around Brussels:
It’s best to walk to and around the city center. Taxis can also be hailed on the street or called from your hotel or restaurant. Please note that taxis will only take 4 people, even if the fifth is a baby. You can also take the metro around Brussels. It’s easy to use and runs frequently. Kids under 6 go free.
Things to do in Brussels with Kids:
Manneken Pis: One of the top attractions in Brussels is the Manneken Pis, which will appeal to little kids not because of its history but because of its subject matter – a little boy taking a wee!
The Comic Strip Museum: Brussels is home to two famous comic characters: The Smurfs and TinTin, and this museum has plenty to offer to fans of both, in addition to others. Older kids will enjoy the beautiful layout and information on the history and the art of the comic strip. Younger ones will go ape in the Smurfs section. The bookstore is great too!
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral: This beautiful structure took about 300 years to build and dates back to the 13th century. It is free to enter and worth a visit.
The Atomium: One of the most well-known sights in Brussels, the Atomium offers uninterrupted views of the city, as well as a chance to witness a great engineering feat. It’s easiest to get there by metro. Arrive early in the am to avoid the long queues to get to the top. (Full disclosure: we were turned off by the crowds on a Sunday afternoon, took a selfie and left!).
The Grand Place: The Grand Place includes two of the most important buildings in Brussels: the Town Hall and the Museum of the City of Brussels. It is the central square of Brussels and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A chocolate tour: No trip to Brussels is complete without a chocolate factory tour. We visited the Museum of Chocolate and Cocoa just off the Grand Place and saw a brief demonstration there, but some of the boutique chocolatiers also offer tours. You must book before hand.
Things to Buy in Brussels:
- Chocolate: Belgium chocolates are amongst the best in the world and just the windows in Sablon will make you drool. Some of our favorites are Pierre Marcolini, Elizabeth and of course, Neuhaus.
- Belgian Waffles: Pick them up from any of the street cars, and lay on the syrup and whipped cream. Quite a treat!
- Belgian Fries: Another local specialty, enjoy perfectly crispy fries with a variety of sauces.
- Brussels Lace: I didn’t actually know that this was a specialty, but apparently it is! Look for stores around the city for beautiful table runners and stoles.
Where to eat in Brussels with Kids:
Walk around the quaint Grand Sablon. We enjoyed eating at L’Entrée des Artistes with its friendly staff, kids’ menu and family and dog-friendly atmosphere.
Where to Stay in Brussels with Kids:
We enjoyed our stay at the Stanhope Hotel. Two connected rooms opened up as one free-flowing apartment which was perfect for our family of four. The off-season rate included breakfast which made it a very good deal indeed. The hotel is about a 10-minute drive from the Brussels Midi train station.
All in all, Brussels is a pleasant city and an easy place to visit with the kids!
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