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If this is must be Belgium

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To all, first, I would like to thank anyone who responds!!

We will be traveling to Brussels mid-May and are currently trying to nail down what we will do for the next seven days (Thursday-Thursday)...based in Brussels.

We plan to take side-trips to Brugges, Ghent and possibly Antwerp...are these worth doing?

Should we do it on our own or use the package tours to these locations?

Our plan would be to do the comprehensive Brussels guided trip on our first full day and then choose the venues/areas we would like to return to for additional touring.

Also, is Antwerp worth going to and and do they have a diamond center worth visiting...particularly on the retails side. Not to make any large diamond purchase but, rather, a small ring, etc.?

We are in our mid/late sixties and enjoy shopping, museums, operas/symphonies, and good restaurants, etc. so any must-see's/do's which should be included in our planning?

I know this is a lot and can be wearisome for some respondents and I do have some guide books but would like real world experience/opinions as well from people who have a passion to help provide suggestions for a memorable trip!

Thank you again!


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