September. One day with an overnight in Brussels. Where should we stay (2 adults) and what should we see? Hotel or AirBnB doesn't have to be fancy, but wifi would be nice! :)
What drew you to wanting to stay overnight in Brussels?
To me 1 night doesn’t give a full day for touring - kind of depends on how far you have to come on arrival day and how far you have to go on departure day. Knowing that might help with suggestions.
Are you interested in the old Belgium painters?
Coming from Amsterdam and heading to Frankfurt. Must stop in Liege to visit American Military Cemetery (allowing 2 hours). Seemed easiest to visit Brussels for a day, rent a car to Liege, and train it to Frankfurt, rather than train it from Amsterdam. Trying to save time and money, but definitely open to suggestions.....
Other than the Grand Place, that takes less than an hour to see, I don’t find Brussels interesting at all. We stayed at Hotel La Legende. Near the Grand Place and train station, it’s in a good location. The hotel itself is average, but was fine for a night. The Manneken Pis statue is a block away.
Stay at the Ibis off Grand Place. See the Grand Place. Take the train to Liege. There are buses that go to Ardennes cemetery. Liege is major transportation hub with lockers.
You could take the Metro a little bit north of Brussels and see the Atomium and Little Europe (although the Atomium is much more interesting). You could see Parc du Cinquantenaire or the Parc de Bruxelles (that one is next to the Royal Palace of Brussels). Near the Grand Place is the sort-of famous church called St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral which has bells.
We are using Brussels as a two-day/three-nights stop after Amsterdam but before our flight home from Frankfurt. We will use one day to see Brussels and eat chocolate and Belgian frites and waffles, and the other day to take the train to Bruges and shop and experience that location. I know that Brussels doesn't get a lot of love, but it looks nice to me and it makes sense for the time I had left over on this trip in relation to where we were previously (Amsterdam), and where we needed to be (Frankfurt).
Edit: We are staying at the Sandton Brussels Center, which is next to that church I mentioned.
I agree with previous posters that you should try to stay near Grand Place. The Brussels Central train station is within walking distance. The Royal Museums of Fine Art have a fantastic collection, and unlike many other art museums, you won't have to deal with hordes of tourists. If you like Belgian beer, there are many places to try some that are legendary among beer lovers. Same with chocolate. Others have mentioned sights such as the Atomium or Parc du Cinquantenaire. If you're interested in politics, you could visit the EU headquarters and visitor center. So there's enough to do there to keep you busy. As far a renting a car, driving in the center of Brussels is a huge challenge. I'd rent the car at Gare du Midi and drive straight out of town. The easiest route is to take N266, rue des Deux Gares, to the motorway.
Depending what you are looking for Brussels has certainly something to offer. Besides the Museum of Fine Arts you can visit the Magritte Museum, Music Instrument Museum, Royal Military Museum, Autoworld etc. Further several nice Art-Nouveau houses like La Maison Cauchie (opening times are limited) and Hortamuseum. For beer the Cantillon Brewery.
South of Brussels the battlefield of Waterloo, a visit to the Mémorial 1815 includes a panoramic view from the Lion’s Mound. And on the way to Liège historic Leuven is worth a detour.
I will be in Brussels for a night (on my way from Amsterdam to Paris) in a week or so. I will probably just put up in the Hotel Madeleine, very basic, but OK for me. I benefit that I have stayed in Brussels before, through there with some time a couple times more.
My plan this time is drinking beer, eating some decent food, plus visiting the Military museum, very well respected, might be something that interests you.
Thanks everyone, for your input. We decided to get into Brussels, and stay the night near the Grand Palace. We're going to spend the day walking around town and taking in the sights.
While I agree with most regular posters on here that Brussels should take a back seat to Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp, I still find the city enjoyable. I have never overnighted there, but have taken a dozen or so day trips or quick stop overs there. You will have fun. In addition to the other ideas prior posters noted, hitting the Cantillon Brewery, just a ten minute walk from Brussels-South rail station, is a worthwhile stop. On the other hand, I urge you to skip the Mannequin Pis as I personally cannot fathom why that little statue continues to stay on the top sights to see in Brussels lists. As there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy.