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10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

Virginia
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34 posts
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10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

Hi all,

I will be in Brussels for 10 days in September. I am considering renting a car- not sure if it would be a hassle or a convenience. I don't mind getting around on the train but am thinking having a car might offer some flexibility which might be nice. Not sure about day trips except Brugges for sure.

Any thoughts? How is parking on the streets of the city? The hotel where I am staying has parking available.

Thank you.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

If you are only travelling between cities, such as Brussels and Brugge, I can't see the point of a car, unless perhaps there are 4 or 5 of you and/or you have a lot of luggage.

As there are at least 2 trains an hour on that route, you would never have to wait longer than 30 minutes for a train, and the cheapest place in Brugge to park (€3.50 a day) is right next to the station! You cannot park in the city centre in Brugge - and it is difficult/expensive in central Brussels: €27.50/day at the Marriott, about €15 in a parking garage.

Champlon, Belgium
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2. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

A car is going to be a liability going to any city or large town destination, even Gent where the station is far enough from the centre to need a tram ride.

If you do decide you want to go out into the countryside, the Ardenne for example, hire a car for the shortest sensible period (usually reckoned as three days, I believe) and make best use of it during that time.

Virginia
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3. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

Thank you. Appreciate your thoughts

Montreal, Canada
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for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
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4. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

I have lived in Belgium but not in the past few years.

I just happened on this page and decided that my experience when I had my mother and cousin visitingme is still very good.

So the SNCB (Belgian national train company) offers many one day or more trips around the country. There are trains going everywhere at least once per hour and often more. These trouristic offers usually include one or more attraction in the place that you visit, For example the little boats in Bruges.

So beside Brussels you could plan on visiting Bruges for sure. The train station is very close to the historical part. Ghent,, you must take a tramway to get to the center of town it is very easy and it is worthwhile and if you are into arts then the Van Eycks brothers Polyptich in the cathedral is one of the masterpieces of all Occidental art, Antwerp, the famous zoo is just on the stide of the train station and, again, the historical area is just a short tram ride away.

For something totally different you can go to Han-sur-Lesse for one of the most beautiful caves in the world. My relatives really liked it as it was a respite from all the castles and cathedrals.

And use the métro and trams in Brussles proper, good way to sightsee as there are so many things that you will miss if you drive.

Don't forget to see the numerous Art Nouveau places around town, the requisite being the Horta home and office but there are also guided tours on some week-ends.

Have a great time as I did with my visitors. And as I had as a temporary résidents, the locals are just so hospitable!

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5. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

I don't know if you are aware of the fact that there are a lot of traffic jams in Belgium and especially in and around Brussels. Driving in the city center of Brussels might be challenging (depending on what you are used to). I wouldn't park my car on the street in Brussels and parking with security is (very) expensive.

As mentioned in the previous replies, it depends on what you are planning to do: it is best to go by train if you want to visit cities. But trains can also be quite crowded in the morning and in the evening. You can plan your trip using the NMBS website (NMBS ( = Dutch) is the same as SNCB (= French)):

http://www.belgianrail.be/en

If you need some ideas about possible day trips: Leuven is also nice to visit and it is relatively close to Brussel. You can go there by train and walk to the city center. (Make sure you take the train to Leuven ( = Dutch)/ Louvain (=French) and not to Louvain-La-Neuve!). Another possibility is Antwerp ( = Antwerpen = Anvers). In both cities you have the possibility to visit museums, to go shopping, to enjoy a good lunch/dinner,... . I recently visited the MAS (museum aan de stroom) in Antwerp. Till midnight you can go to the roof of the museum, which is free, and you'll have a nice view over the city.

Final remark: Taking the train in Belgium is not very difficult, but cities often have a different name in French and Dutch, which might be confusing for foreigners.

Virginia
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34 posts
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6. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

Thank you!

Waterloo, Belgium
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7. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

Hello

Traffci jams in Brussels are horrendous, especially rush hours and in september - we are all back from holidays, and our kids join school and not all of them have a place to stay or got their train commuting habbits - so Mum or Dad drive them considerably more than in April/ma. So avoid Brussels between 7 30 and 9 and from 16 to 17 30 or later.

However if you want to go outside cities, a car helps.

Pay attention if you park during WE - I was once in Brugge and parked in a parking that closed during Week-ends ! It was written but I hadn't paid attention.

have a nice stay

8. Re: 10 days in Brussels- should I rent a car?

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