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traveling from Leiden to Brussels one day trip

Recommendations of what to see in a day trip to Brussels. We will be traveling from Leiden to Brussels.

Posted by
7398 posts

It is impossible to answer without knowing your personal interests. For example, Brussels has three really significant art museums. But lots of posters on this board don't like a whole day looking at walls.

I personally prefer Antwerp for a daytrip. Have you already covered the Leiden area of the Netherlands with daytrips?

Posted by
2 posts

We are traveling to Leiden on April 17 and staying in Leiden for 10 days. Our daughter is studying at the University for the semester. We have a rough outline of our trip: planning to go to The Hague, Amsterdam, and of course seeing the Tulips. We are interested in the off beaten path and unique experiences that Brussels has to offer. Brussels is not in set in stone just looking to go outside of the Netherlands to experience another country for a day trip. Why Antwerp?

What recommendations do you have of other day trips for the Netherlands?

Posted by
7590 posts

Most in Brussels are there to see the Grand Place, wander the surrounding streets, and head out of town. If you are into Beer, then there is much more, some great beer bars and a couple breweries. There are also a number of museums, though I would class them as more special interest, if you have an interest in the topic, they are world class, if not, then not so interesting. Museums focus on Trains, Cars, Musical Instruments, Belgian Military history, Comics, the artist Magritte, art by Dutch Masters, and more. You would really need to dig into them to see if they have interest.

Ghent and Antwerp are also great cities. Brussels can get a bit modern and gritty, overtly touristy, Antwerp is more an old world city, less touristy, still holds it's charm. Ghent is almost quaint for being a decent sized city, it has a wonderful old city center, a great cathedral with a noted altarpiece. I would look into both those cities as well. Also, do not overlook Rotterdam, well worth a day wandering.

Posted by
7398 posts

I usually am in Amsterdam for daytrips, but among the easy day trips are Amersfoort, Utrecht, Leiden, Delft, Alkmaar, Den Haag, Rotterdam/Kinderdijk, Haarlem, and of course Keukenhof. We liked the early morning flower auction at Aalsmeer, but local posters here point out that physical attendance by vendors has fallen off with The Internet and the Pandemic. The question is whether you still get to see the "action" on the floor of the really vast warehouse?

I find Brussels much less interesting than Antwerp, which reveals a different city in every direction you walk. Antwerp can't be seen in one day, so you would do well to make a list of what you want to see the most. No one at home will ask you about Antwerp or Brussels, they will only ask you if you went to Bruges. But from the Netherlands, Bruges is annoyingly far, even though the train change is pretty easy.

Is Bruges "nicer" than Antwerp? Well, I've had to admit that Antwerp has some of Amsterdam's ills, like abandoned bicycles. And many posters here think Bruges is the most beautiful and romantic place they've ever been. I think it's fine, if you're willing to go that far. But Antwerp has many things just as good as Bruges, except maybe a UNESCO WHS Beguinage. Not counting the Michelangelo, Antwerp has just as good art as Bruges, and much more of it.

Many of Bruges fans say you must spend the night so you can see it without the daily crush of ... ... ... day trippers! (Ironica typeface)