Tervuren is a municipality in the Flemish-speaking region just outside Brussels. It is one of the wealthiest communes in Belgium and hosts an attractive array of activities to be enjoyed against the backdrop of one of Belgium’s most beautiful parks. It is a perfect location for a day trip for anyone hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life in Brussels.
The Avenue de Tervuren will take you all the way from the triumphal arch of the Parc du Cinquantenaire to the entrance of the town. Though driving is an option I would recommend taking the 44 tram from Montgomery. This will give you time to enjoy the picturesque journey through parts of the Sonian forest. This old tram line will take you past some oddly named tram stops such as Tir aux pigeons (pigeon shooting) and Chien vert (green dog). If you leave early enough you might want to hop off the tram early and make a stop at the tram museum or go for a ride around the adjacent lake in a paddleboat before continuing your journey to Tervuren. When you can spot the Bandundu water jazz band artwork in the distance you have almost reached Tervuren.
The Africa Museum and park is just a few minutes’ walk from the Tervuren Terminus Tram Station. The magnificent museum was built by King Leopold to showcase the natural and cultural discoveries made in Congo for the world expo of 1897. The exhibits are constantly changing, and you can get lost in the museum for hours. The Museum and its surrounding park draws its inspiration from Versailles, with scenes like this not difficult to believe.
Exploring the entire park might be too much to attempt in one day. However, I would recommend seeking out the Spanish house. This old vesture of the park has recently been renovated and functions as a bar/café that provides the perfect pit stop for weary day-trippers looking for a break. For those that require activities other than just a stroll around, the park is also a popular destination for horse riding and mountain biking, with the right permits you can even cast your fishing rod in one of the many lakes.
Tervuren town has a cosy city centre with several restaurants that cater to everyone's taste ranging from pizza to sushi to pub food, the terraces are particularly popular during Belgium’s summer months. On a sunny day you can of course always bring your own food and have a picnic in the park! Right in the centre of town there is the old Sint-Jan Evangelist church dating back to the 13th century. If you are a fan of the combined Roman and gothic architecture, plenty of options available in Tervuren.
Previously known as Spoorloos station, this old railway building has gone through many iterations the past decade. It used to be the end of the trainline from Brussels but has not been used for that purpose in many decades. Now it serves as a local watering hole, the walls inside are adorned with eclectic relics of its former glory. Definitely worth a stop for thirsty travellers. The great thing about all these locations in Tervuren is that they are all within walking distance from each other and can all easily be fit into a perfect day trip to Tervuren!
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