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Day trip recommendations from brussels in November

I would appreciate recommendations for what to do with an extra free day in/from Brussels in mid November. I have been to brugges, ghent, mons, and antwerp - is there a must see place that should be next on my list? I enjoy old architecture and history. If i stay in Brussels is there an off the beaten path place or activity to recommend?

Thanks much for your thoughts!

Posted by
663 posts

We really enjoyed Leuven. Ypres and a WWI tour is also good; much of Ypres is rebuilt from the war but it was done very well.

Posted by
229 posts

Definitely Ypres/Ieper. There's a great WW1 museum and you can arrange battlefield tours. I don't know of a particular recommendation for a tour operator as I have always been there with a car, but with just 1 day I would use a tour operator for efficiency.

Posted by
13820 posts

How about Waterloo? Much more (exhibitions, etc) was added for the bicentennial in 2015. Good that you've seen Mons as a WW1 site.

Posted by
1831 posts

In case you are able to travel the 11th of November you can attend the yearly commemoration of the WW1 Armistice in Ypres. The military ceremony with the Last Post will be under the Menin Gate around 11h AM, but being earlier there will give you a better place to see it.

As already said Leuven is nice and Mechelen too, both an easy ride from Brussels with the train. Lier is lovely with it’s “famous” Zimmer tower and museum about clocks and astronomy. Also easy to get with a change in Leuven or Antwerp-Berchem.

Aachen with it’s Dom and Domschatzkammer (both on the UNESCO world heritage list) is certainly interesting from a cultural and historical point of view. Easy to reach with highspeed train from Brussels.

Lille just across the French border is a true shopping paradise and offers enough indoor activities if the weather won’t cooperate, not unusual this month. It has a good museum of fine arts and the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle is a museum too. Easy to get with high speed train and worth considering to my opinion. Back in Belgium nearby Tournai or Doornik in Flemish is a real of the beaten path destination, not big but famous for it’s cathedral and the little fine art museum is not outstanding but nevertheless nice. Likely you will be the only English speaking tourist there. Easy to reach from Lille.

I agree with Waterloo with it's modern informative museum and from the top of the Lion's Mound you can oversee the former battle field.

Posted by
6383 posts

For train line reasons, Turnhout can be done with a trip to Lier. Fine Beguinhof with museum (not open every day) important playing card (!) museum, lovely cathedral with wood carvings, town history museum.

It is unlikely that you exhausted Antwerp in one day.

Transportation is a problem, but the Nazi prison of Breendonk is an under the radar, if depressing, site. National monument, with English button the free audioguides. I agree that Mechelen is worthwhile. TI near the town hall.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks to all who took the time to share their insights. Some very good ideas that I hadn’t considered!