Another amazing city for you to explore with little kids, this time, the capital of Europe, Brussels! Amanda is our guest blogger today, she has shared her experiences in other cities, like Vienna and Budapest. Let’s go to Brussels!


Explore more cities with kids


“Amanda here from Coaching Evie (! My family and I
(husband, Tommy and now 7 year old daughter, Evelyn) are from the Southeastern
United States. Prior to welcoming Evelyn to our little family, my husband and I were avid travelers. When she arrived we were determined to continue our travels and
simultaneously mold the next generation of a responsible global citizen. Over the years, we have discovered there is no greater gift than seeing all the amazing places the world has to offer than through our child’s eyes.

In April of 2022, our family had the opportunity to spend a week in Brussels.
Belgium has a convenient and affordable rail system, which allowed us to base
ourselves in Brussels for a week while exploring both the city and other parts of the
country. Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the home of the European Union, is a
gorgeous and lively city rich in history, cultural diversity, fantastic gastronomy, and
architecture. With its pedestrian-friendly streets; foods focused on chocolate, waffles,
and fries; and its primary attraction inducing giggles, Brussels is a perfect city for family travel!



Must See in Brussels with Kids

When visiting Brussels, sampling the local delicacy is a must! Fortunately, this
won’t be too hard for kids since the highlights include chocolate, waffles, and fries! “How much better could the chocolate, waffles, and fries be”; I wondered before traveling to Brussels. I’m at a loss for words to express it, but they just are! Belgian fries can be purchased as part of a meal at any restaurant or from an abundance of street vendors.
Waffles can also be bought from street vendors or cafes. There are several delightful
chocolate shops located on Rue de la Colline and in the Royal Galley. If you are looking for a more informative tasting experience, you can also join a tour at the Belgian Chocolate Workshop or the Brussels Waffle Workshop.

A stroll across Grand Place (or Grote Markt), one of the world's most beautiful
squares, is another must-do while touring Brussels. The beautiful buildings that
surround the plaza, some of which are even accented in gold, will awe everyone in the
family. Several festivals, cultural events, and street performances take place at Grand
Place. It’s worth going back to the square multiple times during your trip to see how the ambiance changes throughout the day!

Underwhelming and overrated, yet a must-see, is a visit to the Manneken Pis
statue. The popularity of this monument is difficult to explain, but it will certainly make everyone in the family laugh. Occasionally, the statue will be dressed up. So it may be worth walking by over several days if you have the chance. If your family enjoys Manneken Pis, go on a hunt for Brussels' other peeing statues; Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke Pis.

The Park de Bruxelles is a great place for kids to burn off some energy while
taking in the sights of the Palais Royal and the Palais de la Nation. This park offers a
beautiful touch of nature right in the city center, with tree-lined walking paths, wide-open green spaces, and a central fountain.

Even if your family isn’t particularly fond of museums, there’s bound to be one in
Brussels that everyone will enjoy! Train World, Autoworld, the Musical Instrument
Museum, and the Comic Arts Museum are just a few of the many museums that have
excellent reviews! For any dinosaur lovers, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural
Science houses one of the largest dinosaur galleries in Europe.

The Atomium and Mini-Europe are two adjacent attractions located just outside
the city center. The Atomium, Brussels; version of the Eiffel Tower, was built for the
World’s Fair but continues to attract thousands of tourists each year. Take the elevator to the top for spectacular views over the city! Mini-Europe, a park full of miniature replicas of historic European structures, is located at the base of Atomium. Kids will love the interactive exhibits and feeling like giants!

I’d be doing Evelyn a disservice if I didn't mention two of her favorite things to do in Brussels: The Lego Store (on Nieuwstraat) and the large trampoline in front of the Church of Our Lady of Finistère. You may be able to find these attractions elsewhere, but it is what made Brussels memorable for Evelyn.




Day Trips from Brussels

In Brussels, train travel is both efficient and convenient. It is simple to catch a
train from wherever you are staying because the city has six major rail stops. A few
simple day trips from Brussels are listed below.

(1) Dinant: This lovely, little riverside town is home to the saxophone, Leffe beer, and
a fascinating museum in a citadel overlooking the city.

(2) Bruges: One of the more popular day trips from Brussels, Bruges, is just an hour
via direct train. Nicknamed “the Venice of the North” in this beautifully preserved
town, you can take a boat ride around the canals, view Michelangelo’s Madonna,
and visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

(3) Ghent: About 40 minutes via direct train. In Ghent, you can view the Ghent
Altarpiece (or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb), considered one of the World’s
artistic treasures.

(4) Antwerp: A lively city which is the center of the world’s diamond trade. Here you
can tour the old town and shop for diamonds.

(5) Mechelen: About a 20-minute train ride outside of the city. Here you can climb
the Saint Rumbold’s Tower, learn about the village that tried to "extinguish the
moon", and visit Brewery Het Anker.

Paris, France; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Cologne, Germany; and London, England are all worth more than a day trip, but connect easily to Brussels.




Family Friendly Restaurants

In a city that touts its iconic foods as chocolate, waffles, fries, and beer; it won’t
be hard to find something for everyone in the family to enjoy! In the city center, there are several small cafes or food stands available to grab something cheap and quick.
Although Brasserie Ommegang and Cafe Leffe are likely to be quite touristy, we had
wonderful experiences at both restaurants. À La Mort Subite attracts a larger number of locals and is very casual. They serve light, quick meals as well as excellent beer. Wolf Food Market has 19 eateries to choose from, so everyone in the family is likely to find something they like. We were advised to stay away from Rue des Bouchers since it is known for restaurant hawkers and terrible offers.




Family Friendly Stays

When traveling with kids over an extended period of time we prefer to stay in
rental apartments (i.e. through Airbnb/ VRBO) where we have access to a washer,
kitchen, and refrigerator. During our trip to Brussels, we could not find apartment rentals that would accommodate our family comfortably and that also made financial sense in comparison to some hotel offerings. We ended up having an amazing stay at
DoubleTree by Hilton Brussels City. Here we were able to stay in a large two-room two-bathroom suite. Our room was clean and newly remodeled. Only slightly outside of the historic core (but still walkable) the area was quieter than some accommodations located in the center of the late-night action. There was a metro station directly outside the hotel and a major train station less than a 10-minute walk away.”



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