Brussels, Belgium is not on my list of favorite destinations in Europe…not even close. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to see around Brussels. On the contrary, we have found four beautiful places to visit within one to two hours drive from the Belgian capital. Whether you decide to make it a day trip or spend more days, every one of these four places will delight your eyes and senses. Read on about four beautiful day trips from Brussels, Belgium.
1. Bruges, Belgium
First on the list of favorite day trips from Brussels is Bruges. If you only have time to see one town in Belgium it should be Bruges. Bruges is a historical gem. No wonder it is the most visited town in Belgium. Yes it is touristy and crowded, especially in the summer, but for good reason.
Man dressed in business attire, riding an old bicycle through Grotte Markt square in Brugge
See my photos from Bruges
Brugge (or Bruges) is one of our favorite European destinations and we highly recommend it for anyone visiting Belgium. Read about my walking tour of Bruges, Belgium.
2. Veurne, Belgium
Veurne is a small town located about half way between Calais, France and Bruges, Belgium. It takes about 10 minutes from the E40 motorway to get to the old town center of Veurne. While it is very small, Veurne is very pleasant and not crowded at all. We only spend about five hours in Veurne on our way to London, but we wish we would have had more time to enjoy the towns and relax at one of the many cafes in Grotte Markt.
Grote Markt in Veurne is considered the best preserved central square in Europe.
See my photos from Veurne
We stopped in Veurne when coming from Bruxelles, on our way to London. Verne is conveniently located close to the freeway and it is beautiful to visit. It definitely deserves a top spot on any list containing day trips from Brussels. From the freeway, we saw the tall towers of the churches in Grote Markt and decided to stop for a few hours. Read more about our walking tour of Veurne, Belgium.
3. Waterloo, Belgium
Located only about 30 minutes from Bruxelles, Waterloo is a historical place by definition. Waterloo is the place of the most famous battle in the history of modern Europe. This little village on the outskirts of Brussels is well preserved and it is a great place to visit for a history junkie. Waterloo should definitely be on your list of day trips from Brussels.
Waterloo, Belgium – Panorama of battlefield with army positions map. This is the field where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by Duke of Wellington.
See my photos from Waterloo
We actually visited Waterloo twice. However, the first time we came to Waterloo, there was a very thick fog that determined us to go back to Bruxelles. After a few year, our second visit was on a sunny day. Read more about our experience visiting Waterloo, Belgium.
4. Huizingen Domain
Located about 30 minutes south of Bruxelles and right next to the city of Beersel, Huizingen Domain is a laid-back family amusement park. It has beautiful gardens and lots of stuff to do for kids. You need to plan spending the entire day at Huizingen because there is lots to do here and lots of places to walk to.
Huizingen Domain boasts many beautifully arranged gardens.
See my photos from Huizingen
Huizingen was a great visit for our family, especially because our children were small at that time. Read more about our experience visiting the Huizingen Domain near Beersel, Belgium
My best resources for planning your trip to Belgium
Over the years I have found a few reliable partners I use for my travels to Europe. Below you will find my best resources for planning your trip to Belgium.
- Find budget hotels in Belgium. Search over 8000 properties in Belgium and choose the best for your travel style and budget.
- Find the best rental car deals for Belgium. Save up to 30% when comparing major rental car companies, so you can choose the best deal.
- Find tours and discounted museum tickets in Belgium. Save money and frustration by getting your museum tickets beforehand.