A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bern vs. Brussels for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Bern or Brussels?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Bern or Brussels? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

Bern is a beautiful, cultural, and historic city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Brussels

Brussels is a multicultural, historic, and cosmopolitan city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

How is Bern different from Brussels?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Bern or Brussels better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Bern and Brussels have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.


Is Bern or Brussels better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine in both Bern and Brussels.

Bern offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Brussels makes for a great culinary experience. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Is Bern or Brussels better for Nightlife?

Both Bern and Brussels are comparable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Brussels has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Is Bern or Brussels better for its Old Town?

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Bern and Brussels.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Brussels. The old town in the city center is where you'll find the greatest concentration of historic sights. The area is surrounded by tree-lined boulevards and is easy to explore.

Is Bern or Brussels better for Shopping?

Both Bern and Brussels are good shopping destinations.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.


Is Bern or Brussels better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Bern or Brussels.

Bern is a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Brussels is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Is Bern or Brussels better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Bern and Brussels make for a good place to visit.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Couples visit Brussels frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

Is Bern or Brussels better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Bern and Brussels are popular destinations for backpackers.

Bern is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Many backpackers visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Is Bern or Brussels better for Public Transit?

Both Bern and Brussels offer public transit options.

Visitors to Bern can move around easily with public transportation. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.


Is Bern or Brussels a more walkable city?

Bern and Brussels both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

Bern and Brussels: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


Should I spend more time in Brussels or Bern?

How long in Bern or Brussels?

In either Bern or Brussels, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Brussels than Bern because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Bern or Brussels? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bern 1-3 
    Brussels 1-5

One day in Bern or Brussels?

The beautiful city of Bern offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Brussels is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Bern or Brussels?

Bern is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bern, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Brussels is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Five days in Bern or Brussels?

Bern is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire area has lots to do.

Brussels is a cosmopolitan big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Five days is often enough time to spend here.


A week in Bern or Brussels?

Bern is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

The multicultural city of Brussels offers nightlife and food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Brussels or Bern?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $185, while the average daily cost in Brussels is $115. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Brussels in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $119
    Brussels $61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $238
    Brussels $122

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $25
    Brussels $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416

Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    $4.73
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    $8.41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $25
  • Private Departure Transfer from Brussels City Center to Brussels Airport (BRU): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer to the City: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: Brussels Hotel to Brussels Railway Station: $46
  • Private Business Transfer from Brussels Hotel to Brussels Airport (BRU): $49
  • Private Transfer to/from Brussels Airport (BRU): $50
  • Airport (BRU) Private Transfer: $53
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Charleroi Airport (CRL): $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $56
  • Departure Private Transfer from Brussels to Brussels Airport in Business Car: $57
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $60
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Brussels?

Prices for flights to both Brussels and Bern change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bern $44
    Brussels $32

Typical Food prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    $4.84
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    $5.00
  • Cheese
    $5.89
  • Olives and Snacks
    $7.34
  • Waffle
    $3.16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Brussels.

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $25
    Brussels $19

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Tour with iPod Audio Guide: $20
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Tirano to St. Moritz: Bernina Red Train Return Day-Ticket: $79
  • Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide: $83
  • Instagram Highlights Tour: $83
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Bern: $179
  • GAILY TOUR in BERN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Pick Up from your Hotel in Brussels to Departure point Brussels City Tours: $22
  • Beer Tour: $27
  • Brussels 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience: $29
  • Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Bike Tour: $34
  • Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Kanal and Molenbeek Runnning Tour: $44
  • Running Tour of the Historical Center: $44
  • The Best Of Brussels Walking Tour: $54
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour: $62
  • Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems: $66
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $20
    Brussels $11

Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11
  • Beer
    $6.31

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bern and Brussels, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Brussels much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Brussels would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Brussels and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Brussels.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Bern vs. Brussels Travel Comparison

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