Day trips to Bruges take just an hour from Brussels. Bruges is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Belgium, if not Europe.
Like Venice, Bruges has many canals, so to get an overview of the city take canal boat tour(s). Bruges (or Brugge called in Flemish), with its quaint cobblestone streets, was once at the forefront of Western trade and art and Bruges retains much evidence of this wealthy past.
The Grote Markt and The Belfry are impressive, while galleries displaying the works of Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling must be visited. The first stock exchange in Europe can be found at The Bourse.
Ghent is another perfect option for day trips and tours from Brussels. Ghent is a pleasing combination of medieval streets and modern art galleries.
Stroll along the Greselei and Korenlei banks of the river before exploring the center of Ghent, St. Nicholas Church, the Belfry and the Cloth Hall. As you walk look out for the iron cannon, nicknamed the Evil Woman.
Then get a taste of the city and the history of Belgium with a visit to the Museum of Folklore, housed in the old almshouses of Ghent.
Amsterdam is an easy journey from Brussels, crossing the border from Belgium at Antwerp and is a great choice for day trips.
The first thing to do on arrival in Amsterdam is to explore the city’s canals and its 1,500 or more bridges. Hop-on, hop-off boats are a great way of visiting world-class museums and galleries in Amsterdam, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank’s house.
As you walk along the canal banks, look out for the glorious flower markets dotted around, including the famous floating market. The modern waterfront area of Amsterdam with its Maritime Museum makes a pleasing contrast to the old city center, with its cafés and iconic red-light district.
The landlocked Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has plenty for you to see and do. First stop should be a visit to the Palace of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, followed by a tour of the Kirchberg quarter, where many buildings of the European Union, such as the European Court of Justice and Commission are housed.
Stroll around the old town streets of Luxembourg, admiring the fascinating mix of architecture and find a pleasant café or restaurant for your lunch. After lunch, take a tour of the late Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral and explore the old fortifications of Luxembourg City.