Brussels is a quintessential Europe stop if you ever have the opportunity. It’s a two-hour train ride from Amsterdam and less than two hours by train from Paris, so it’s easily accessible if you’re wanting a cross-country Europe trip.

One of the most iconic stops is La Grand-Place, which is a square that has buildings surrounding the square with a 17th-century, pleasing aesthetic that include government buildings, private buildings, restaurants and shops. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Many of the main sites are fairly accessible, making for a great day trip if you don’t have more time to spend there.

Here are four of the best stops for a day trip to the city. And if you have a little more time, I recommend making a stop in a charming nearby city.

La Grand-Place in Brussels, Belgium, is a UNESCO World Heritage site protected for its iconic Belgian architecture. This was on a sunny day on Sept. 20, 2019. | Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

1. La Grand-Place

Obviously, this is a main stop. You can do tours in some of the buildings, eat at the restaurants nearby or get an iconic Belgian waffle and sit in the square to get photos and wonder upon the majesty of the old-time architecture. Nearby you can also check out the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral — a Brabantine Gothic style cathedral where parts of the current structure “dates back to the 11th century and took some 300 years to build,” U.S. News reported.

Address: Grote Markt, 1000 Brussel, Belgium

Belgium is obviously known for Belgian waffles, and some of the best can be found at little shops along your path. This is a Nutella Belgian waffle from La Gaufrerie in Brussels, Belgium, on Sept. 20, 2019. | Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

2. Do a Belgian waffle, chocolate and frites tasting

Try out and compare multiple Belgian waffles and Belgian frites that the country is best known for. While you’re looking at food tastings, you may as well add Belgian chocolates to the mix as well.

Time Out recommends Marcolini and Mary for chocolates and looking into basically any outdoor kiosk for frites.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Nutella Belgian waffle from La Gaufrerie.

Address: Rue des Bouchers 23, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

3. Stop by the Mannekin Pis

This is a somewhat ridiculous but very memorable stop to make in the city. Manneken Pis is a 400-year-old bronze statue of a boy depicted to be urinating into a fountain, per Culture Trip.

Most of the time when I visit new places and see famous landmarks, they seem much bigger in person. This was one of the exceptions to those experiences — the statue is small and always has a crowd, but it’s a funny, quirky little stop for your day. If you go in the winter, you can even see him dressed up as Santa Claus.

Address: 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Mini-Europe is located at a park north of central Brussels and showcases miniature models of 350 of Europe’s most iconic landmarks. This was on Sept. 19, 2019. | Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

4. Mini-Europe and the Atomium

Just north of central Brussels is Mini-Europe and the Atomium. Mini-Europe showcases miniature scaled models of 350 of the most iconic landmarks in Europe, including the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and classic European buildings, per U.S. News. The charming stop can run close to $50 for entrance, but it’s a fun and charming stop, especially if you have children or need something fun to do outside on a nice day.

You can take an elevator up to catch the view of the city from the unique and quirky chrome structure that represents the atom.

Address: Avenue du Football 1, Brussels, Belgium

Antwerp, Belgium, is a charming stop to make on a trip through Europe. This was on Sept. 19, 2019. | Sarah Gambles, Deseret News

5. Grand Place (Grote Markt), Antwerp

Antwerp is a 45-minute train ride from Brussels, and it is another stunning example of guild house architecture. “Among the best facades are the Cooper’s House and Grocers’ House but all of them are well-preserved examples of this Belgian-style of architecture,” Planetware reported.

Another option would be to visit the canals of Ghent. I didn’t make it there, but I kind of regret missing it because the city looks absolutely beautiful. Ghent is also a 45-minute train ride from Brussels, and there are multiple companies that offer kayak rentals and canal tours to get views of the medieval towns, monasteries and classic Belgian architecture from the water, per Planetware.

Address: Grand Place (Grote Markt), Antwerp