Four destinations close to home for the Ascension long weekend

Four destinations close to home for the Ascension long weekend
Four destinations close to home for the Ascension long weekend

Lille (France)

Accessible by train in just 35 minutes from Brussels, Lille is an ideal destination to enjoy this long Ascension weekend. Take advantage of your visit to visit Old Lille with its small cobbled streets. You will also discover pretty clothing and accessories stores. For a short stroll, head to the Citadel Park side. The place has the particularity of being shaped like a star. Several courses are offered on various themes: heritage, nature and biodiversity, well-being…

Art lovers can go to the Museum of Fine Arts not far from Place de la République or to the Tipostal, which as its name suggests, is a building housing a former postal sorting facility. Today, the Tripostal has become one of the beating hearts of the Lille cultural scene. You will see numerous works of contemporary art exhibited on three levels. Want a sweet break? We without hesitation recommend the L’Impertinente tea room. The desserts are delicious, with a favorite being the lemon meringue tart and the caramel/chocolate cupcake.

How to get there ? Allow 35 minutes by train from Brussels and less than two hours by car.

Speaking of pastry, Pierre Marcolini, one of the best pastry chefs in Belgium, shares his daily habits with us:

Zaandam (Netherlands)

When we think of the Netherlands, we immediately think of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. But do you know Zaandam, located around fifteen minutes by train from the Dutch capital? When we arrive in the city, we have the impression of finding ourselves in a city built… from LEGO thanks to a building: the Inntel Hotels. Its architectural design is impressive and gives the impression of being faced with a structure made entirely of LEGO. The Inntel Hotels is made up of a stack of nearly 70 individual houses whose facades are green, black, but also blue. No need to look for the hotel for too long, it is located opposite the station.

In addition to admiring the facades of the Inntel Hotels, you can also admire numerous works of street art. The Zaandam town park is a good place to relax in the grass with a picnic or simply take a stroll.

How to get there ? Allow 3 hours by car and around 2.5 hours by train from Brussels.

Cologne (Germany)

Cologne is often cited as one of the best destinations in the run-up to Christmas thanks to its magnificent Christmas market. But the German city is also worth a visit during spring. The visit not to be missed is the Cathedral, the emblem of Cologne. The Germans nickname it “Kölner Dom”. The Gothic style building measures exactly 157 meters high. It is distinguished by its black stones. The reason for this coloring? The coal heating, the factory chimneys and the locomotives Steam has caused the exterior stone walls to discolor black over the centuries.

You won’t be out of place in Cologne since the city is home to a Belgian district. Along the streets, you discover Brüsseler Straße and Brüsseler Platz (Rue de Bruxelles and Place de Bruxelles), but also Antwerpener Strass (Rue d’Anvers). The Belgian quarter is worth visiting for its festive atmosphere with its bars and nightclubs. Other points of interest to discover include the Hohenzollern Bridge. Both trains and pedestrians cross it. If you come as a couple, you can attach a padlock to one of the gates before throwing the key into the Rhine. Who said Cologne couldn’t be romantic?

How to get there ? Allow 1 hour 50 minutes by train from Brussels, one hour from Liège and 2 hours 45 minutes from Arlon.

Trier (Germany)

We stay in Germany to explore the charming town of Trier, the oldest city in the country. The city is historically rich since it was shaped by Roman emperors, bishops, but also bourgeoisie. The monument not to be missed during your visit is the Porta Nigra. It was one of the four gates of Trier during the Roman period. You can climb to the top and have a breathtaking view of Trier.

Also not to be missed is the Hauptmarkt, the main market of Trier, with its colorful facades and its baroque-style fountain. You will discover restaurants and shops nearby. If the Hauptmarkt won your heart during this long Ascension weekend, you can return there in June for the Old Town Festival. Every year, nearly 100,000 people gather between the Porta Nigra and the Viehmarkt to listen to live music and enjoy the numerous stands. The 2024 edition will take place this year from June 28 to 30.

How to get there ? Allow three hours by car from Brussels, two hours from Liège and just under an hour from Arlon.

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