An easy trip to consider for the next three-day weekend is a drive to Brussels and Bruges, Belgium. Almost three hours from Kaiserslautern, Brussels' huge metropolitan atmosphere will be felt as you drive into the city, but its historic, Gothic and medieval roots will be enjoyed as soon as you step onto the old center's cobblestone streets.
Brussels exhibits a split-personality among people whom shared their experiences with me. Some people love it. Others hate it. This trip, I enjoyed our overnight visit to the city, but I don't think you need more than one-and-a-half days to enjoy. We reserved a room in the Alma Grand Place Hotel. The location sits only one block from the city's famous square.
The Grand Place Square is the primary tour spot. The massive rectangle walking place is surrounded by towering Gothic buildings that make great photo opportunities. Fantastic shopping jets from every street exiting this center. Gourmet boutiques display scrumptious chocolate fountains. Some shops will let you sample.
The Museum of Ancient and Modern Art is interesting if you like paintings. A walk through the old city can lead to fascinating finds like the Mannequin Pis (the famous statue of the little boy peeing). A sister fountain of a little girl peeing is located in a residential area. The challenge is to find it.
Bruges is only 45 minutes from Brussels, and very beautiful. I consider it the world's capitol of chocolate shops and lace. It's a great place to buy gifts. This small city is perfect for walking with lots of sights to see. Climb the Bell Tower and listen at 11 a.m. for the bell tolls. Walk to the Church of Our Lady. The canal behind the church is a great photo opportunity.
For lunch, consider stopping caddy-corner from the Church of Our Lady at the Gruuthuse Hof. They have very good tea if you like the warm drink.
Don't forget to feed the swans. In the Spring, you get a chance to enjoy all of the baby ducks following their parents along the canals.