Belgium in 4 days

TRAIN:
Amsterdam to Bruxelles Midi (Brussels)
Travel Time: 2h 51min
Bruxelles Midi (Brussels) to Amsterdam
Travel Time: 2h 50min
Total: €132,95 roundtrip

I took the early morning train from the Amsterdam train station to Brussels. It was an express train with a direct route so it was a pretty easy and relaxing ride! I broke down my trip to explore both the Northern and Southern regions of Belgium outside of Brussels. As you know, Belgium has the Flemish (Dutch) region in the North and the French region in the South. They’re pretty significantly different in terms of landscape and architecture so I wanted to make time to see both areas. One thing to note is that the Belgians in the North speak both Dutch and English but the French region is mainly French only. It is very difficult to converse in English so if you’re not comfortable in learning a few basic French phrases, be prepared to gesticulate a lot and receive a lot of judgmental stares.

Brussels is fairly small so it’s entirely feasible to explore the city in one day. It’s also a walkable city but if you need to take the bus or the metro at all, it’s pretty cheap and convenient to use.

TRANSPORTATION:
One-way ticket: €2,10 (€2,50 onboard)
Return ticket: €4,20 (return ticket must be used within 24 hours)
Five-journey ticket: €8
Ten-journey ticket: €14
One-day travel card: €7,50

While you can see Brussels in a day, I recommend staying in Brussels for a few nights to do some day trips to other parts of Belgium like I did. There were a few cities in the Flemish region that I absolutely adore: Leuven, Mechelen, Ghent, and Bruges. I’ve always wanted to see Bruges ever since I watched the Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell film “In Bruges” so that town has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I also had a great time exploring Dinant and Namur in the south to see the citadels and get exposed to the French side of Belgium. These were all packed into day trips and I pretty much squeezed two cities per day. I also did visit Mons because there was a house there that van Gogh had stayed in to paint but I can’t drive and it was so out of the way that it ended up being a wasted trip. I would break down the day trips in the following manner:

It’s fairly efficient and you get to explore the Northern and Southern regions of a country that have such conflicting histories and cultures. I stayed in Brussels for 3 nights since all the listed cities were 30 minutes to 1 hour away by train. I highly recommend these cities because they’re a bit more characteristic to Belgium than Brussels as Brussels is more of an international hub.

AIRBNB:
3 Nights in Brussels
Address:
Vandenbrandenstraat 31
Brussel, Brussel 1000 Belgium
Total: $164

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