Win a train trip to Royal Brussels with NS International


Just a two-hour train journey from Amsterdam, you are in the middle of the Brussels of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. They know better than anyone the addresses for the most beautiful clothes, good food and sweet snacks. In short, the Belgian Burgundian life with a nice French twist. With these tips you can make a weekend in Brussels a success.

1. You have to go green

An infinite number of rare plants protected by a special glass structure: it is the merit of King Leopold II that the Belgian royal couple have the impressive Royal Greenhouses in their backyard. It is the place where queens Mathilde and Máxima drink coffee after a state banquet, but ordinary people can also enjoy the green bath. Every spring, Filip opens the doors of his impressive greenhouses at his castle in Laeken for a few weeks. Tickets are selling out quickly, so keep an eye on for ticket sales that start in early April.

2. Just as colorful

Mathilde can walk in whenever she wants and Máxima also drives there a few times a year: Natan’s shop at Naamsestraat 78. It is not without reason that designer Douard Vermeulen receives them there with all due respect, both ladies shop there for a significant part of their annual wardrobe. For the slightly more modest wallet, it remains window shopping, but the Essentiel Antwerp brand is just as colorful and different than usual. Shops are at Jean Stasstraat 18 and Antoine Dansaertstraat 76.

3. Belgian and Burgundian

The ultra-chic star restaurant Comme chez Soi serves works of art for gourmets; a lunch starts at 75 euros. It is not without reason that the royal family takes high-ranking guests here for a private dinner. For a quicker and more budget-friendly snack, Voisin Bistrobar and Chez Frans (Hoge-Bruggelaan 30) are recommended. When the sun is shining, a moules frites and a white wine on the terrace is the ultimate in delicious living in Brussels style.

Inside Comme Chez Soi

4. Many guises

Of course, a walk through the center of Brussels is only complete with a look at Manneken Pis, but a visit to Garderobe Manneken Pis completes the experience. More than a thousand costumes of the iconic man are collected here. Recently added to the collection is the orange suit that Edouard Vermeulen specially designed for the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to Belgium. Check for opening hours.

5. Fine arts

The art center Bozar (phonetically for Beaux Arts), Mathilde could find it blind if she had to. The former Palace of Fine Arts is regularly the setting for royal events, such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Prelude, the classical concert on the eve of the National Holiday. Art and culture lovers of all ages can indulge themselves with an extensive program in many disciplines. View for the current program and the various exhibitions.

6. Belgian chocolate

In Brussels people eat chocolate! Our Belgian royal family reporter Wim Dehandschieter recommends Pierre Marcolini and Neuhaus, among others, for tasty chocolate and pralines. The real purveyor to the court is Patisserie Wittamer, where the royal family orders their cakes and which also made Filip and Mathilde’s wedding cake. No time for a trip to Brussels? You can also easily order online from Marcolini and Neuhaus so that the chocolate is delivered to you.

7. For the girls

Brussels also offers every opportunity for the young princesses to shop for a new wardrobe. Not only Elisabeth and sister Eléonore, but also princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane like to fill their basket with clothes and accessories at Maje, Sandro and Ba&sh. They undoubtedly do this a lot online from the couch, but taking their mother to Brussels is of course no punishment either.

Alexia likes shopping at Maje

8. Across the Palace Floor

Filip and Mathilde live in Laeken, which is like the Royal Palace in Brussels
Noordeinde of Belgium. In the summer after the National Holiday, the doors open to the public, so that they can see with their own eyes what normally high-ranking guests of the king witness when they are received at the palace for meetings, receptions or audiences. The palace is currently being thoroughly renovated (particularly on the outside) to, among other things, properly insulate the palace, which is why there was no opening in 2023. You can stay informed about a possible opening in 2024 via

9. By rail

Boarding in Amsterdam and disembarking in the heart of Brussels within two hours is possible with NS International. No traffic jams, no parking stress and good for the environment. It is also extremely royal: Willem-Alexander and Máxima went on a state visit to their southern neighbors by train last summer!

WIN two return tickets to Brussels

Win 2 return tickets to Brussels with NS International! Do you know what made the royal couple’s train journey to Brussels in June 2023 extra historic? Go before May 1, 2024, fill in the answer and have a chance to win this prize.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Win train trip Royal Brussels International


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