I will have an 8 hr layover in Brussels on my way to Cameroon on the 2nd of November. Any suggestions on taking in the sights and sounds? The plane lands at 7AM. My plan was to take the train from the airport to Central or Midi station. On paper, those rides are less than 20 minutes. That sounds great, but would like to hear from my experienced friends. I'm thinking of using the Marriott or the Renaissance as a base. Bring it on!!
Stay at the Marriott Hotel, it is in better location for you to enjoy the city vs the Renaissance hotel. Both are nice, but location, location, location which in your case is critical.
Pained, it's at the bottom of the thread that Kyle suggested, and newhiltonmembr and GemP have you well covered. 8 hours seems like a reasonable (if minimum) amount of time to leave a foreign airport for some quick sightseeing. I've never been that brave and would appreciate hearing how it all works out. Maybe the Marriott would let you store any stuff there, while you do a walkabout. I've done that in Paris before, but I had nothing like a plane to catch to Cameroon.
Someday, I would love to know more about what you foreign business traveler types do in all of these far away places (Cameroon?). It's all a very mysterious business to this office jockey.
The Grand' Place is the most spectacular part of Brussels, including a museum of the city which is very good. On the other end of the city is a truly spectacular art museum. Near St. Catherine's place you'll find IMHO the best restaurants, which is on the other side of the Grand' Place. I used to love the Grand'Place 'restaurant streets,' but lately they've become touristy, and St. Catherine's has a lot of fresh fish restaurants, including the famous mussels and beer.
The Brussels Marriott (not the Renaissance) is one that has consistenty upgraded me to suites.
Hope this helps!ProfChiara