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How to Take a Day Trip to Brussels from Paris Made Easy

Looking to explore another European capital city while in Paris? Why not take a day trip to Brussels from Paris?

It’s easy and who can resist the temptation of Belgian chocolates, waffles, fries, Belgian beer and simply enjoying a new adventure in a different city?

I know I can’t, so a Paris to Belgium day trip might do the trick!

While my experience was in reverse (I took a day trip from Brussels to Paris), I spent two weeks in Brussels and explored other Belgian cities extensively, I can assure you that Brussels is a one-day delight.

In this article, I will cover:
🗸train from Paris to Brussels
🗸is Brussels worth visiting
🗸a recommended 1-day itinerary

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Is a Day Trip to Brussels from Paris Worth It?

buildings on square on a day trip to brussels from paris

Taking a day trip to Brussels from Paris is an adventure I can’t recommend enough!

Stepping off the train, the city greets you with its stunning Grand Place, a Belgium UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of all the grand squares in Europe, Brussels is my absolute favourite!

Beyond the impressive architecture sitting on the square, indulging in Belgian waffles and fries is a must – trust me, they live up to the hype.

I spent hours exploring the must-visit museums like the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, where the masterpieces left me in awe.

But what makes this city worth visiting is some of its unique monuments and wandering through the lesser-known comic strip murals scattered across the city – a playful, artistic surprise at every turn.

How to Get from Paris to Brussels

You have several options, each with its own pros and cons.

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1. From Paris to Brussels Train

Taking 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.

That’s why I recommend taking the train like I did.

Helpful travel tips:

  • All trains depart from Paris Gare du Nord (10th arrondissement) and arrive at Brussels Midi/Zuid Station
  • The Paris to Brussels train time is between 1:22 and 1:29 hours
  • The first train from Paris to Brussels leaves at 6:13 AM Monday through Friday, at 7:43 AM on Saturday, and 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
  • The Paris to Brussels train cost ranges from €30 to 100 (the earlier you book, the more you save)
  • 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.

Helpful travel tips:

  • 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 directly from Paris to Brussels and Brussels to Paris.

Helpful travel tips:

  • The flight duration is 55-60 minutes – but keep in mind the time to needed 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.

Helpful travel tips:

  • 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

1-Day Brussels Itinerary

tall building with gold details on paris to brussels day trip

This 1-day itinerary is designed with the locations of Brussels’ attractions in mind. By following the suggested order, you can avoid crisscrossing the city and make the best use of your time.

Consider this your own self-paced walking tour, with many of the sites being a matter of minutes to walk by and admire.

1. Traditional Belgian Breakfast

Start your day with a delightful Belgian breakfast at a local café, enjoying a traditional Belgian waffle topped with berries and whipped cream.

For the best waffles near the Grand Place, I highly recommend Maison Dandoy. Just a short walk from the square, this legendary establishment, dating back to 1829, greets you with the irresistible aroma of freshly baked waffles as soon as you step inside.

📍Rue au Buerre, 31 🕒 10 AM to 7 PM Monday to Sunday

2. Grand Place (Grote Markt)

tall building with tower and flag on paris to brussels day trip by train

Ah, the Grand Place in Brussels! It’s an impressive sight and one of my favourite market squares in Europe.

This UNESCO Site is the heart of Brussels, surrounded by stunning Gothic, Baroque, and Louis XIV-style buildings. Have your camera ready to capture the beauty of this must-see highlight of Brussels.

📍Grote Markt

long glass ceiling with shops in brussels from paris day trip

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.

I simply adored the beautiful window displays of luxury shops, boutiques, and chocolatiers lining the sides.

📍Galerie du Roi, 5

4. St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

old church with brown wood door on a paris to brussels day trip

The stunning Gothic St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedrals are a must-see. With its soaring spires and intricate details, it’s hard not to be in awe.

Construction began in the 13th century and took several centuries to complete. Pop in to see the interior quickly.

📍Pt. St Gudula 🕒Monday to Friday 7:30 AM to 6 PM, Saturday 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Sunday 2 PM to 6 PM

5. Brussels Park (Parc de Bruxelles)

Instead of walking on the busy street to the next stop on this itinerary, take a slight detour and walk the pretty Parc de Bruxelles.

📍Rue de la Loi

6. Royal Palace of Brussels

large royal palce with gardens on a paris to brussels day trip

This grand palace is the official residence of the Belgian king and is sure to impress with its elegant neoclassical facade.

Though the Royal Palace is the monarch’s official residence, they live in the Royal Palace of Laeken just outside the city. While the Royal Palace isn’t open to the public, it’s worth walking along to admire its grounds.

📍Rue Brederode, 16

7. Breat for Lunch

Choose any of these restaurants I recommend 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

8. Hill of the Arts (Monts des Arts)

town with tall steeple and gardens in front on a day trip to brussels from paris

Ascend the steps of the perfectly manicured lawns designed for the 1910 World Exposition and you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the city skyline, including the iconic Brussels Town Hall and the spires of the Grand Place.

📍Pl de Albertine

Next, Choose Your Adventure

For the afternoon I will leave you with four itinerary options. Choose the one that interests you the most.

1. Horta Museum + Art Nouveau Walking Tour

The Horta Museum is a must for Art Nouveau enthusiasts, dedicated to Victor Horta’s pioneering works. Housed in his former residence and studio, the museum showcases the beauty of Art Nouveau design.

For more, try my self-guided Art Nouveau walking tour. Spend the afternoon exploring amazing sites and enjoying the spontaneous discoveries along the way.

📍Rue Americaine, 27 🕒Tuesday to Saturday 2 PM to 5:30 PM, Saturday to Sunday 11 AM to 5:30 PM

2. Manneken Pis + Exploring Upper and Lower City

Visit Manneken Pis, the charming little statue that has captured the hearts of many in Brussels. This iconic bronze sculpture of a boy urinating is a quirky city symbol.

It’s hard not to chuckle when you see it. Part of Brussels’ folklore since the early 17th century, it has a wardrobe of over 1,000 outfits rotated throughout the year for various occasions and celebrations.

I visited this statue almost daily, always surprised by the mischievous little fellow’s attire. One thing is for sure: he always draws a crowd!

Spend your afternoon getting lost in the streets of Upper and Lower City.

Be sure to stop for some fries and a beer and do some people-watching.

3. Atomium + Mini-Europe

large silver structure on paris to brussels day trip

The Atomium, a futuristic marvel built for the 1958 World Expo, stands tall with interconnected spheres that magnify the structure of an iron crystal 165 billion times.

📍Pl de l’Atomium, 1 🕒Open daily 10 AM to 6 PM 🎟️Entrance Tickets

Nearby, Mini-Europe offers a fun park experience where you can explore miniature replicas of famous European landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum and the Acropolis. It’s like taking a whirlwind tour of Europe in just a few steps!

📍Av. du Football, 1 🕒Open daily 9:30 AM to 6 PM 🎟️Entrance Tickets

4. Park du Cinquatenaire + Museums

flowers with grand arch on paris to brussels day trip

Parc du Cinquantenaire, also known as Jubelpark, is a spacious park with beautiful pathways and fountains reminiscent of Parisian parks.

Built in 1880 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence, you’ll find three Brussels museums that cater to different interests: Art & History Museum, Autoworld, and Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History.

As a Holidaymaker

I hope you have fun exploring this Belgian city just as much as I did. Next, I’ll leave you with a few more resources that might interest you

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