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4-5 nights in Belgium

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Apr 1st, 2014, 01:18 PM
  #1
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4-5 nights in Belgium

So it looks like I might be staying 4 or 5 nights in Ghent. I'd really like to see Brussels and Bruges, possibly Antwerp if I have the time. Is it pretty easy to get around Belgium via public transport? Any suggestions of what to see/do?
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Apr 1st, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Belgium they say or at least used to say has the densest rail system in the world - well it's small country but trains literally go everywhere all the time.

At least hourly between Angtwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Gent, etc.

https://www.b-europe.com/Travel?gcli...FcdaMgodhQMAhQ

You can book tickets if you want on the Belgian Railways site but I would only do so if you can get some nice discount or there is a day pass of some type I do believe - otherwise as domestic trains like those rarely if ever even take reservations you can always board the train - easy to buy tickets at ticket windows. Other sites with great European/Belgian rail info: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com.

For something different besides Brussels and old Flemish towns take a train to the coast to a seaside resort like Oostende or Knokke-Heist or Blakkenberge - nice old towns with acouterments of a seaside resort.

In Gent itself do not miss the torture chamber in the old Counts of Flanders Castle smack in the town center - for a taste of what Amsterdam's red-light district is all about head north of the town center to see bosomy ladies perched in front of red-neon-lit picture windows. This is also an interesting area because it is the Moslem immigrants part of town for a taste of something different.

Antwerp and Brussels have similar Amsterdamesque red-ight districts though their pale in size to Amsterdamned's.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 03:48 PM
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we spent 10 days in Belgium, based in Brussels, in 2011. We took lots of day trips by train and found the system very easy to use.

Brussels has many worthwhile sights beyond the Grand Place. We also enjoyed spending time in Mechelen, Leuven and Antwerp.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 05:19 PM
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I prefer Antwerp the Brussels Nice harbor views and easy getting around.several interesting museums and lots of local color
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 05:17 AM
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Brussels gems are far-flung and hard to put together in a day or so - You have Atonium, extant from the 1958's World Fair that today looks so ancient - museums, the Grand' Place and the city's symbol the Mannequin Pis, a tiny statue of a tiny bou peeing - right near the Grand' Place.

I also if I had to chose would chose Antwerp, Gent and especially Bruges over Brussels but I like Brussels too - out of the center some lovely boulevards, etc.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Gent is the perfect base IMO - central for day tripping to Brussels and Antwerp and a really neat city - not just a tourist town as Bruges is (in the historic core of Bruges) and much smaller than huge Brussels.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 01:08 PM
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and lots of local color>

you talking about the red-light district?
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Apr 4th, 2014, 07:38 AM
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You can't really talk about a 'district' with the red lights restricted to Villa Tinto! And a few adult shops in the adjacent streets.
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Apr 4th, 2014, 08:11 AM
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PalenQ is always promoting the red light district in Antwerp - it's hardly a district as Myriam says, much gentrified in recent years.

If you're in Brussel try to catch the excellent Michael Borremans exhibition in Bozar.
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Apr 4th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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OK - I guess I was basing it on when I saw it about a dozen years ago and will update my mental notebook that it is a shadow of what it was - one travel site bloger says:



so there is a reg-light district but shrinking and not at all now like Amsterdam. Correction noted.
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Apr 4th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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Have a look at the streetview of these streets. Not very interesting.
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Apr 4th, 2014, 10:06 AM
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I agree - not worth a mention as it was before as a novelty for Americans anyway.
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Apr 5th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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Tulips and Myriam - is it the same with Gent's red-light district which was Amsterdam-like several years ago?

And Brussels - spread out along the railway tracks just by Gare du Nord - are red-light districts being done away with all over Belgium (and I do not lament that necessarily - just find then a novelty for American tourists - not necessarily supporting their existence!
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Apr 6th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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I don't know for Gent and Brussels.
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Apr 7th, 2014, 08:52 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGvZQYLi6vI

Looks like Brussels red-light district is still going - always amazed how taking a train north from Brussels on the right side you get an eagle's view of the district as seen in this YouTube video.
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Apr 8th, 2014, 07:52 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=antw...=1600&bih=1075

check out Antwerp's grand Centraal train station - one of the finest in Europe, inside and out!
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