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Besides beer and chocolate, what to do in Belgium?

Besides beer and chocolate, what to do in Belgium?

Old Jun 27th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Besides beer and chocolate, what to do in Belgium?

We are planning our trip to Europe for Easter 2007. This year we are taking another 14 year old niece.

We have spent many hours in the Amsterdam airport and I have finally decided that I would like to see Amsterdam. My husband also wants to go to Paris.

So in between is Belgium. We have never been to Belgium so my question, shoud we stop for a day or two or just skip it?

Before everyone tells me that Paris takes weeks please know that we have been many times. We are only going to show our niece the hightlights of Paris.

Your input, as always is most valuable to me.
sylviam is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:02 PM
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We had put off going to Belgium for years ... even though we were 'in the neighborhod' - Amsterdam, Paris ..

When we finally went, we absolutely loved it and will definitely spend more time there. We spent a week in Brugges and never lacked for things to do, see, or eat.

Once the tour buses leave in the late after, the city is practically yours'. Not that it is ever empty, people as do live and stay there!

We've since spent time in Brussels, which was very interesting, but our hearts are in Brugges. Next time we will also go to Antwerp, which we have heard wonderful things about.

Do some research here and check out some tour books. The canal trip in Brugges is fabulous and not to be missed.

Nina66 is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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It's an easy train trip from Amsterdam-Brussels-Brugges and then Brugges-Brussels-Paris.

The segments are relatively short, two hours plus each, except Brussels to Brugges, maybe an hour or so.

If you do go from Brussels to Brugges (or any place else) try to go before or after the commute hours, as the trains fill up with people returning home from work, as it is such a short commute. Late morning or early after afternoon should be fine.

Doing train trips, we always pay extra for reservations - on top of our train pass or individual tickets. Ask me how I know ;-)

By you will also see Brugges spelled several different ways, I forget at the moment which is the correct spelling.


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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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Well, there's gin, mussels, frites and those heavenly waffles to consider too.

Check out going to Antwerpen, a fascinating, sophisticated art and design center (to rival Milan), with a first rate stunner of a cathedral filled with Rubens' masterpieces -- and there is a very fine art museum in Antwerpen too. Belgians are very hospitable to visitors and Antwerp is a compact, easily walked place.

Depending on your niece, she might fall in love with Brugge, with its fairytale architecture and Disneyland-like tourist offerings. Or she might enjoy the hip atmosphere of Antwerpen, with its diamond industry and fashion sense.

Or she might like both.
nessundorma is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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Get wheels and gallivant away from the expressways. You'll make lots of discoveries if you just follow signs on a whim, the older the sign the better.

You'll see any or all of these and more: castle ruins, glassblower shop, snail farm, artisans of all kinds like glassblower, ceramics, woodworking, stainglass art, country pubs with twelve sandwich types in mid-afternoon and thirty beers, each with its brewery-issued custom glass...

Just go with the flow, it's all flat and nothing is very far from anywhere else in case you need to get back to somewhere by nightfall, but what a nice way to spend a day or two!

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Old Jun 28th, 2006, 04:59 AM
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Wouldn't skip it. Have always enjoyed Brussels, but we spent a long weekend in Brugge 2 years ago and loved it. Would liked to have spent more than 3 days. Excellent restaurants, good shops, interesting buildings and history, etc. It's also easy to venture to places like Ghent and the coast. As others have said, middle of the day can (but not always) get crowded, but early mornings, late afternoons and evenings the city is yours and it's thoroughly enjoyable. We thought it was a wonderful, relaxing change of pace. We went via Eurostar from London and changed in Brussels - very, very easy.
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