Weekend destination within 2-3 hours of BRU by train.Back to Forum
I am looking for somewhere to spend a weekend later this month, which should be within two, max three, hours by train from BRU.
We have been to Ghent, Brugge, and Amsterdam, they are the obvious ones. Thinking of Luxemburg, Maastricht, Koeln, Aachen. Would not be averse to somewhere in northern France but not Lille. I know some nice places in the Taunus but it’s just a bit too far.
Objectives are to enjoy some architecture and decent food, and comfortable quiet accommodation. There is no budget constraint but top end fancy 5* hotels are not our scene. Somewhere ‘gemuetlich’ would be far more appealing.
Any suggestions gratefully considered.17 May 2018
I am reliably informed that France will be on strike and/or that the French will be revolting that weekend!
Actually London’s not a bad idea, I hadn’t considered UK as was thinking of continental Europe but London does fall within the criteria.17 May 2018
Maastricht is definitely a place to visit. Nice hotels, nice culture, great food and Belgium and Germany at your doorstep. A definite plus is that the weather forecast for this weekend in that area is stunning as well. 24 degrees and sunny.
Oh, and one hell of a lot cheaper than London.17 May 2018
I’m tending towards Maastricht. I used to escape there in the early 90s when I had the misfortune to spend a few months working in Brussels, it’s a lovely city and it’s in one of my favourite countries. Found what looks like a nice hotel too : Kruisherenhotel Maastricht
I will also look into Mechelen, and thanks for all the suggestions.18 May 2018
I think with those parameters you are spoilt for choice!
In Belgium, my favourite city is Antwerp, vibrant place, lovely old buildings, some gorgeous new architecture (e.g. the impressive MAS museum). The Francophone cities often gets overlooked, Liège is full of life, again great mix of old and new. Namur is worth a mention too, smaller but with historic citadel overlooking the city. Of course Belgian cities have some amazing food options too.
In Netherlands, the Randstad has some incredibly charming cities – Utrecht is great as a typically Dutch centre, Rotterdam charming because it isn’t. Leiden is smaller but for me the archetypal Dutch city, lovely university town, Delft is very nice as well and where all but one of the Dutch monarchs are buried.
Of course, the geography is such that it is very easy to visit more than one of these cities in a weekend if you wanted some variety.
Happy to elaborate if any strike a particular chord.18 May 2018
Maybe this should go in the Rail forum but a strange anomaly :
I looked up train from BRU to Maastricht on the NS.NL website and get this result :
2 x changes, 3’37” journey time
Boek bij NS International
Reisduur 3 uur 37 minuten
21 minuten overstaptijd
If I click on the NS International link it then shows the connection below, 1 change and 1’48”.
09:56 Brussel Zuid Spoor 12 IC – 508
11:02/11:09 Luik Guillemins Spoor 5
Regional – 5361
Maastricht Spoor 5a
and shows the fare as €18 (II class). The NS Intenrational app shows the same.
Loco2, which I normally use for rail bookings, shows the same connection but for £42, which is quite a hefty difference.
Just a warning, even for a simple journey like this one needs to compare.18 May 2018
If you have not been to Düsseldorf or Cologne, any of these places will be fantastic for a shot vacation and shall be within 2 hours (may be slightly longer) from Brussels19 May 2018
For me I would head east to Spa. 2 hours on the train, one change and a truly stunning place to visit. I may be slightly biased, as there is also a racing circuit there, but my wife loves the place and when there’s no racing it is a relaxing and tranquil place.
I would recommend Manoir de Lébioles, outside the town, but a stunning place to stay in the middle of the Ardennes19 May 2018
Thanks for all the suggestions.
After a change of mind, I decided that we would go to Gdansk to see an Andre Rieu concert on 26th, but my o/h and son were appalled at the thought, so we have found a hybrid solution that suits our dysfunctional family perfectly.
I’m going on my own to see Andre Rieu in Krakow on 24th, then flying to BRU or AMS where we will meet and go to Maastricht for the weekend. They don’t have to sit through Andre Rieu, it saves me a shedload of money, I get a few days in Poland on my own, and we get to go to Maastricht as well.20 May 2018
Personally, for rail fares in that part of the world, I avoid the NS website and go straight to the Belgian railways website.
The Belgian railways site is quoting €20,20 from Brussels Zuid/Midi which on the NS international site is coming up as €22,80.
If your travel to/from Maastricht is wholly over the weekend (Friday after 7pm, Saturday, Sunday, Monday if a bank holiday), then there is also a great value weekend internet fare available of €23 return on the Belgian railways site.21 May 2018