Please sign in to post.

Day trip paris to Brussels

I want to take my 17 yo son for a day trip to Brussels (we are staying in Paris. I'm looking at Thaylis as the way to get there. Also, Im looking at a tour and chocolate workshop. Mainly his goals are: frites, a waffle, some chocolate, and see the square. It's been years since I've been to Brussels so any advice is much appreciated!'

Posted by
100 posts

Brussels is a good choice in my opinion as it's just interesting enough for a day trip without being so interesting that you need to spend multiple days (unless you love Belgian beers). All of the best chocolate shops are right near the Grand Place. My favourites were Mary and Neuhaus, but you can't go wrong, really. I'd also recommend taking a stroll through the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert, and your 17 year old may enjoy a visit to the museum of comics art (Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinee). The frites and waffles are everywhere, and are....well, just fries and waffles in my opinion, but still part of the experience. The place I had waffles was called The Waffle Factory. There's also a popular place closer to the Grand Place called Dandoy.

Posted by
14285 posts

Your Thalys train will end at Brussels Midi station. Your ticket will be good for onward travel to Centraal Station. That’s what I’d do on a day trip. Buy your tickets ahead as the prices go up closer to the date of travel.

There are some really good chocolatiers in the Galerie Saint-Hubert which is on the very short walk from the Centraal Station to Grand Place. I’ve not done any kind of chocolate tour in Brussels so not sure if any of them are doing that.

Posted by
7571 posts

You will notice in Paris that a number of famous chocolate makers have retail stores, including names known in Belgium and Switzerland. So if you have time, it might be nice to research some single-store, artisanal makers. No personal experience, since I used to go to Antwerp, and settled on Burie, a local maker.

Posted by
2017 posts

Brussels is a great day trip. Go and look at the old church in the center of town, definitely get some waffles from a stand and go to the Museum of Musical Instruments-my favorite museum. And of course, try the steams mussels for lunch.

Posted by
29 posts

Thank you everybody for the great advice. This all sounds great! I really appreciate all of your answers - thanks again!

Posted by
29 posts

YOu have all been so nice, but one more question. Let me first say, I know, I should have bought tickets earlier. But, I did not. Sooo, I'm looking at July 8 or 9 and the tickets on Thalys is pretty high. Just over 400 euros. I looked at prices for tickets tomorrow and they're quite a bit less. So, I assumed the July dates I was looking at are high because it's only in a couple of weeks. But the prices for a ticket tomorrow have me wondering - are last minute tickets cheaper??? Thanks!

Posted by
7571 posts

Normally, last minute tickets on a business day would be the most expensive. But a ticket is a "wasting assset". They don't want empty seats to go unsold. It's important to understand that premium train tickets are sold very much like air tickets. Discounts are usually better farther out, and often require non-changeable, non-refundable purchase. You have to read the rules for the ticket you are about to pay for. Also like a plane, there is a small risk you won't get assigned seats together.

Of course conventional trains make the same trip, but generally slowly. You can look at the French government rail site for comparison. All train tickets to Brussels are "good" for a single, contiguous local train to any of the other two downtown stations. The slowest trains stop in all three of these stations, Nord, Centraal, Zuid/Midi.

Have you looked for waffles in Paris? (Can't say that I have. But I love the hot chocolate at Angelina (multiple branches.)

Posted by
1102 posts

So, don’t hate me, but there is no way I would pay $400 for a day trip to Brussels. I’ve been to a lot of European cities and it is quite possibly my least favorite. It’s like the Atlanta of Europe. (Yes, I’m from Atlanta.) Of course if your son is really set on going there that’s a different story, but there are definitely better Belgian cities IMHO.

Posted by
91 posts

Dandoy is an excellent place for waffles.
We went there multiple times when we stayed in Brussels as our home base from which we did day trips to Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges.
We did not like the Waffle Factory at all. It’s like a fast food place