Looking to escape the bustling streets of Paris for a day and explore another vibrant European city? A Paris to Brussels day trip might just be the perfect getaway for you!
Wondering how to take a Paris to Brussels day trip? I’ve got you covered!
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie looking to indulge in delicious Belgian chocolates and waffles, or simply seeking some adventure beyond Paris, this guide is here to help you make the most of your journey.
Even though I did this trip in reverse – a day trip from Brussels to Paris – I spent two weeks in Brussels and got to know this city along with other Belgium cities worth visiting. Brussels is the kind of city that you can easily enjoy in one day.
In this article, I will cover everything you will need to know to make your day trip from Paris to Brussels one amazing day! From train options and travel tips to must-see attractions and hidden gems, get ready for an exciting day filled with picturesque architecture, mouthwatering cuisine, and unforgettable experiences in this Belgium capital.
So hop on board, and let’s embark on this delightful day trip to Brussels from Paris!
Table of Contents
How to Get from Paris to Brussels
When it comes to travelling from Paris to Brussels, you have several options at your disposal, each with its own set of pros and cons. Unfortunately, there are no tours from Paris to Brussels.
Here’s a snapshot and then you can get more detailed information below.
1. From Paris to Brussels Train
I recommend day trips from Paris to Brussels by train, it’s not only the most popular choice but the most convenient and efficient.
Everything You Need to Know:
- All trains depart from Paris Gare du Nord (10th arrondissement) and arrive at Brussels Midi/Zuid Station
- The average train ride from Paris to Brussels is between 1:22 and 1:29 hours (depending on the type of train you choose)
- The first train from Paris to Brussels leaves at 6:13 AM Monday through Friday, at 7:43 AM on Saturday, and at 8:07 AM on Sunday
- The last train from Brussels to Paris leaves at 8:16 PM Monday through Saturday and at 9:13 PM on Sunday
- Arrive at the train station at least 15 minutes before departure so you have time to find your platform and board with ease
- To save money, purchase your tickets in advance to get the lowest price and the time you want (cost ranges from €30 to €100)
- From the Brussels Midi/Zuid Station, take Tram line 3 to the Beurs stop or take the Metro IC 3433 Binche and get off at Brussels Central – both options are 10 minutes to the city centre
2. By Car
Although you don’t need a car to enjoy Paris or Brussels, you can rent for your Paris to Brussels road trip.
Everything You Need to Know:
- The fastest route from Paris to Brussels is via A1 and E19
- Driving time is approximately 3.5 hours, with a distance of 311 km (193 miles)
- Renting a car for the day will be approximately €50 to €100 for the day, plus parking near the city centre will be approximately €6 to €10 for the day
3. By Plane
Fly with Brussels Airlines, the only carrier to fly direct from Paris to Brussels and Brussels to Paris.
Everything You Need to Know:
- The flight duration is 55-60 minutes – but keep in mind the time to board/disembark
- Brussels Airlines flies from Paris to Brussels twice in the morning only – at 8:30 AM and 10:15 AM and from Brussels to Paris twice in the morning only – at 6:40 AM and 8:15 AM. This means it’s not possible to fly there and back in a day (unless you mix the modes of transportation)
- The cost of flights is depending on the time of year and snagging a flight deal
- The planes land at Brussels Zaventem Airport and take the metro from the airport to the city centre is 25 minutes
4. By Bus
Taking a bus from Paris to Brussels is direct, but can take almost four hours.
Everything You Need to Know:
- The earliest bus leaves Paris at 7:00 AM, the next one is at 8:05 AM and the latest bus to leave Brussels is at 8:05 PM
- The cost of a round-trip bus ticket will €40
Is Brussels Worth a Day Trip from Paris?
Yes, a day trip from Paris to Brussels is worth it!
Embarking on a day trip from Paris to Brussels by train is not only convenient but also relatively quick. With frequent departures of high-speed trains between the two cities throughout the day, it’s easy to plan your itinerary without feeling rushed.
Brussels boasts an abundance of cultural gems that are definitely worth exploring during your day trip. The impressive Grand Place (Grote Markt), is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning architecture and lively atmosphere.
Belgium is renowned for its culinary delights, and Brussels serves as an ideal destination for foodies. Be sure to indulge in mouthwatering Belgian specialties like chocolate, waffles, frites and beer.
Art and architecture lovers will enjoy exploring famous museums like Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (Royal Museums of Fine Arts) or Art Nouveau Horta Museum.
And, Brussels is home to some of the most unique and iconic landmarks – Atomium, Manneken Pis, and others that we will now dive into.
Paris to Brussels Day Trip: What to See & Do
This 1-day itinerary takes into consideration the locations of these things to do in Brussels on a map. Follow the order and you won’t be crisscrossing the city making the best use of your time.
1. Belgian Breakfast
Indulge in a delightful Belgian breakfast at a local café. Treat yourself to a warm croissant, freshly brewed coffee, and perhaps a traditional Belgian waffle topped with berries and whipped cream.
When it comes to indulging in mouthwatering waffles near the Grand Place in Brussels, one place stands out: Maison Dandoy. Just a short walk away from the square, Maison Dandoy is a legendary establishment from 1829. Step inside this charming waffle haven, and you’ll be greeted by the irresistible aroma of freshly baked waffles.
📍Rue au Buerre, 31 🕒10AM to 7PM Monday to Sunday
2. Guided Walking Tour
Take a day tour with a local guide will bring you to medieval and Baroque marvels to modern wonders to experience the essence of Brussels. Of all the tours, this is the most popular.
The tour is divided into the Lower City, showcasing the Grand Palace and charming streets like Grands Carmes, and the Upper City, where you’ll admire the Grand Place, Galeries Royales St Hubert, and more.
Marvel at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, stroll through the Royal Park, and discover the regal Royal Palace and Square.
⭐️ RATING: 4.4/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours LOCATION: Grand Place
3. Grand Place (Grote Markt)
Ah, the Grand Place in Brussels! It’s an impressive sight, and hands down one of my favourite market squares in Europe.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the heart of Brussels. It is famous for its stunning blend of Gothic, Baroque, and Louis XIV-style buildings. You’ll find yourself marvelling at the ornate details of the Town Hall, which dates back to the 15th century. And the guildhalls with their elegant facades that transport you back in time.
You’ll want to have your camera ready to capture the beauty of this place. This is a must-see highlight of Brussels.
📍Grote Markt 🕒24/7
4. Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert (Galeries Royales Sainte-Hubert)
The Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert is an elegant arcade, similar to the covered passages you find in Paris.
The gallery, constructed in 1847, is renowned for its stunning glass roof, which bathes the interior in natural light, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. As you stroll along its cobblestone walkways, you’ll be captivated by the beautiful window displays of luxury shops, boutiques, and chocolatiers lining the sides.
📍Galerie du Roi, 5 🕒24/7
5. St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral
The magnificent St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels are stunning Gothic masterpieces that must be seen while in Brussels. With its soaring spires and intricate architectural details, it’s hard not to be in awe.
The cathedral’s construction began way back in the 13th century, and it took several centuries to complete. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the grandeur of the interior, with its impressive stained glass windows casting colourful hues across the nave.
📍Pt. St Gudula 🕒Monday to Friday 7:30AM to 6PM, Saturday 7:30AM to 3:30PM, Sunday 2PM to 6PM
6. Brussels Park (Parc de Bruxelles)
Instead of walking on the busy street to the next place on your itinerary, take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Parc de Bruxelles. The once hunting grounds for the royals are now a public park with beautiful statues, fountains and theatres.
📍Rue de la Loi 🕒24/7
7. Royal Palace of Brussels
This grand palace is the official residence of the Belgian king and is sure to leave you impressed. The neoclassical facade exudes elegance and reality.
While the Royal Palace is the monarch’s official residence, they actually reside in the Royal Palace of Laeken, just outside the city.
📍Rue Brederode, 16 🕒Closed and not open for visitors
8. Belgian Lunch
Choose any of these restaurants that are near the Royal Palace and the next stop on our itinerary, the Horta Museum.
- Au Vieux Saint Martin– long-standing restaurant serving the Belgian classics at Pl. du Grand Sablon, 38
- Orphyse Chaussette– a French bistro in menu and atmosphere at Rue Charles Hanssens, 5
- Café Des Minimes– a modern restaurant serving small plates perfect for sharing at Rue du Minimes, 60
9. Hill of the Arts (Monts des Arts)
This area of lush gardens, grand staircases, and perfectly manicured lawns was designed for the 1910 World Exposition held in Brussels.
As you ascend the steps, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city skyline, including the iconic Brussels Town Hall and the spires of the Grand Place. It’s the perfect spot to snap some Insta-worthy photos or simply take a moment to soak in the beauty of Brussels.
📍Pl de Albertine 🕒24/7
Choose Your Own Adventure
For the afternoon I will leave you with itinerary options that best suit your interests.
10. Horta Museum + Art Nouveau Walking Tour
The Horta Museum is a must for Art Nouveau architecture enthusiasts. This museum is dedicated to the works of Victor Horta, one of the pioneers of Art Nouveau architecture. Housed in Horta’s former residence and studio, the museum showcases his innovative designs and showcases the beauty of Art Nouveau’s design.
If you want to see more, I’ve created a self-guided Art Nouveau walking tour, bringing you to more amazing places. Spend the afternoon walking to each one and enjoy the spontaneous nature of seeing what might catch your eye.
📍Rue Americaine, 27 🕒Tuesday to Saturday 2PM to 5:30PM, Saturday to Sunday 11AM to 5:30PM
11. Manneken Pis + Exploring Upper and Lower City
Visit the charming little statue that has captured the hearts of many in Brussels: Manneken Pis. This iconic bronze sculpture of a boy urinating is a quirky symbol of the city. You can’t help but chuckle when you see it, but it’s actually been a part of Brussels’ folklore since the early 17th century and has a wardrobe of over 1,000 outfits, which are rotated throughout the year for various occasions and celebrations.
I visited this statue almost daily and it was always a surprise to see what attire the mischievous little fellow was sporting. One thing is for sure, he draws a crowd!
Next, simply get lost in the streets of Upper and Lower City. Be sure to stop for some frites and a beer and do some people-watching.
12. Atomium + Mini-Europe
The Atomium is a futuristic marvel that was built for the 1958 World Expo. It stands tall with its interconnected spheres, representing the structure of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.
Just nearby, you’ll find Mini-Europe, a delightful park where you can explore famous European landmarks in miniature form. Take a leisurely stroll through this enchanting world and marvel at the intricate details of iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Acropolis. It’s like embarking on a whirlwind tour of Europe in just a few steps!
13. Park du Cinquatenaire + Museums
Parc du Cinquantenaire, also known as Jubelpark, is a spacious park with beautiful pathways and picturesque fountains just as beautiful as Paris parks. It was built in 1880 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence.
Within the park, you’ll find three museums that cater to different interests.
- Art & History Museum, which houses an extensive collection of art and artifacts spanning various periods and cultures.
- Autoworld is dedicated to vintage and classic cars, showcasing the evolution of automobile design, get your entry ticket here.
- Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, includes equipment through the ages, including 20th-century tanks & medieval armor.
5 Tips for Your Paris to Brussels Train Day Trip
- Plan and book in advance: decide how you will get to Brussels from Paris and book your tickets ahead of time to secure the best prices and ensure availability.
- Learn a few basic phrases: While many people in Brussels speak English, it’s always helpful and appreciated to know a few basic greetings and common courtesy expressions in French or Dutch.
- Choose the top attractions: Use this itinerary for the must-visit attractions and landmarks in Brussels, and customize your afternoon activities to optimize your time and make the most of your day.
- Keep track of time: Pay attention to the train (or other schedules) to ensure you have enough time to explore Brussels and return to Paris. Factor in travel time, queueing, and potential delays.
- Try the local cuisine: Brussels is famous for its culinary delights, so be sure to sample traditional Belgian dishes like moules-frites (mussels and fries) and indulge in delicious Belgian chocolates and waffles, and their delicious beer.
What Festivals in Brussels are Worth Visiting?
If you are able to time your day trips from Paris to Belgium, visiting Brussels around these festivals would be perfect timing.
- Brussels Jazz Festival: Jazz enthusiasts should not miss the Brussels Jazz Festival held every January. This multi-day event presents a diverse lineup of renowned jazz artists, both local and international.
- Brussels Summer Festival: is one of the major music festivals in Brussels held in August and features a multi-genre lineup of local and international artists.
- Flower Carpet: every two years in August in the Grand Place a massive carpet-like design made entirely out of colourful flowers 1,680 m² of begonias and dahlias cover the square.
- Belgian Beer Weekend: the annual festival in early September is a celebration of Belgium’s rich beer culture and heritage showcasing an extensive selection of Belgian beers.
- Winter Wonders: Just like in Paris, the Christmas Markets start in late November to early January and include an ice-skating rink, a Ferris wheel, enchanting light displays and Christmas markets.
FAQ About Brussels Day Trip from Paris
How to get to Brussels from Paris?
There are several ways to get to Brussels from Paris. The most popular option is taking a high-speed train from Paris Nord station to Brussels Midi station.
How far is Brussels from Paris?
The distance from Paris to Brussels by train is approximately 315 kilometres (196 miles). The travel time between the two cities by train is around 1.5 to 2 hours, making it a convenient option for a day trip.
How much time should I allocate for Brussels to Paris day trip?
For a day trip, it’s recommended to allocate a minimum of 8 to 10 hours, considering the travel time between Paris and Brussels. This allows sufficient time to explore the main attractions, enjoy local cuisine, and experience the essence of the city before returning to Paris.
What are the must-see attractions in Brussels for a day trip?
Must-see attractions in Brussels include the Grand Place, Atomium, Manneken Pis, Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral, and the Royal Palace of Brussels. And, enjoy Belgian specialties like waffles, chocolate, and beer.
Can I visit other cities in Belgium during a day trip from Paris to Brussels?
While a day trip from Paris to Brussels primarily focuses on exploring Brussels, it is possible to visit other cities in Belgium, such as Bruges or Ghent, depending on your available time. However, keep in mind that it may limit the time you can spend in each location.
Is a Paris to Brussels day trip worth it?
Yes, a Paris to Brussels day trip is definitely worth it. In just a few hours, you can experience the unique charm of Belgium’s capital city. Explore iconic attractions, indulge in delicious Belgian cuisine, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
Is a day trip to Brussels enough?
While a day trip to Brussels allows you to get a taste of the city’s highlights, it is not enough to fully explore everything it has to offer. With limited time, a well-planned itinerary allows you to visit key attractions and enjoy the Belgian food and drink scene.
As a Holidaymaker
A Paris day trip to Brussels (or a day trip to Paris from Brussels) is an adventure filled with delightful landmarks and delicious cuisine. If you decide to eat and drink your way through Brussels, I don’t blame you!
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