1.5 hours in Brussels, what to do near the station?

We are taking the train from Amsterdam to London, and it looks like the nshispeed website where I am buying tickets is giving me nearly a 2 hour difference between the train from Amsterdam to Brussels, and the train from Brussels to London. So we will have some time to kill and I don't think sitting in a chair in the station is the best use of our time! Can we check our bags and go out walking near the station and is there anything interesting to see? I think we need to check in to our Eurostar train 30 minutes before it leaves, right? Are there any additional delays for customs in Brussels?

Posted by john
cleveland, usa
16 posts

Sorry Dave, I don't recall the name of the station, but I walked quite awhile from the station before I found anything. Your are missing a great city though. If your plans change think of spending time there. Underated. Great food.

Posted by Dave
Newcastle, WA, USA
621 posts

It's Brussels-Zuid (south?) station. Looks like Grand Place isn't too far away, I wonder if there is an easy metro train we could take there?

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Brussels Zuid is a little far of a walk for only 1.5 hours. The Metro connection to Brussel Centraal, which is much closer to the Grand Place, is surprisingly complicated. An easier option, although not exactly 100% ethical, is to grab a Belgian rail train headed in the direction of the airport, Hasselt, Leuven or Liege. All of these trains will stop at Brussel Centraal and they never check tickets until the trains leave the city.

Posted by Dave
Newcastle, WA, USA
621 posts

Thanks Tom, I think we may just stay on foot near the station and see what we can see. I'm sure there will be something of mild interest to occupy our time.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1349 posts

Unfortunately, the area around Brussels-Zuid is pretty seedy and not a pleasant place to walk around. If you can get a quick train or cab to Grand Place, do it, even if you only have half an hour to spend there. It's one of my favorite sites in Europe. It just blew me away.

Posted by Dave
Newcastle, WA, USA
621 posts

Thanks Carol, how would I ask for Grand Place? We don't speak the language (French?) there. I think a cab would be much easier than trying to take the train.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6839 posts

Grand Place is just outside of Centraal Station. Fastest way to get there will be by train. There are departures every five minutes out of Midi station. Your ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels can be used for a RT journey between Midi and Centraal.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1349 posts

I think Michael is right. The traffic is horrendous in Brussels, so the train should be faster. By the way, you will have no language problems in Brussels. Almost everyone speaks English.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8757 posts

In order to ask for Grand Place, say, "Grand Place".

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
471 posts

Well, what Nigel said but in American Grand Place rhymes with pond moss (sort of). Also don't be surprised if they answer you in English!