Top 5 Places To Visit Brussels in Less Than 8 Hours


It was my first time to Europe. On my way to the Eastern Europe, I had 8 hours to spare in Brussels. My Travel buddy and I decided to make the best of it by exploring the most we can in a short amount of time. You might say 8 hours does not do justice to visiting a place. But to me, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not every day do I get to switch countries or just travel a few hours and be in another country. You see, Europe has one of the most efficient transportation networks that it makes it easy for a traveler to get to all major destinations.

Out of all the places I visited while in Brussels in this short time. These are the places the top 5 places I would recommend you visit.

EU Parliament and Parlamentarium

If you are into politics or minutely engaged with current events, these location is a place that you should not want to miss. These proceedings of the parliament do not meet during the summer months but the tours are well worth it. Early bookings are not necessary but you will be required to show some form of government ID usually your passport would do just fine. The Parliament tour will last around 30 to 45 mins.

The Parlamentarium is another free location to explore. It showcases the road towards an integrated Europe. It has a very euro-centric design in architecture. This was something that I enjoyed. This tour can take about 90 minutes. Since the wait time to get through security took longer than expected my travel buddy and I rushed through it. This is one of the locations that is well worth a good visit, but would probably not go back there again. (unless you are into politics and history. You might spend hours in their various multi-media exhibitions)

Grand Place
One of the most important tourist places in Brussels. You MUST go to Grand Place. Surrounded by guildhalls, the city's town hall and the bread house it's a location that showcases Baroque, Gothic, and Louis XIV architecture. Walking to this location we saw many small Greek and Turkish style restaurants.
Photo Credit: ctj71081

Brussels Royal Palace
This is another free tour for you to take where you can get a sneak peek into history. Try out some of the chocolate shops close by and enjoy some of the variety of Belgian waffles while you are at it. Do keep in mind that the ques might be long to enter the Palais Royal de Bruxelles.

Photo Credit: Isen Majennt

Parc de Bruxelles Waranderpark
Thinking back to this, there was really nothing really spectacular about this park. But walking through after a busy day it was well worth the break. There is a nice fountain on one end. Situated between the Royal Palace, Palace of nations and Belgian parliament. It is well kept and manicured.

Brussels Central Station
On a 8 hour window to visit Brussels this is the station that you will most likely come to from the airport. Despite not seeming to have adequate capacity to handle the flow of foot traffic it still fascinated me to see some post-war architecture stuck in the 1950s. This was also my first introduction to European transportation systems. It one of the things I love about Europe. Train stations that take you right to the heart of the city. Then everything else can be accessed via foot.

Bonus: Free Walking Tour
I personally didn’t have time to do this on the Brussels leg of my Europe trip. But I would highly recommend taking a free walking tour. You will get to see through the eyes of the locals also learn from fellow what are some of the other places to visit, hangout and explore based on mutual interests that you might have. I took a free walking tour on my Slovakia leg of the trip when I had a few hours to kill between appointments. It was well worth it. 

About the author:
Philip is in pursuit of exploring the world while taking steps towards minimalism and healthy lifestyle. Since 2015 he has set a goal of traveling to at least 3 new countries a year. He has now touched 9 countries. You can follow his journey on Instagram @pmexplore where he is most active. 
@pmexplore : instagram,  twitter,  Facebook,  Pinterest 

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