Bruges or Copenhagen?!

Nov 13th, 2016, 01:28 AM
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Bruges or Copenhagen?!

I'm planning a surprise trip mid January and just can't decide between Copenhagen and Bruges. I originally just looked at Bruges but as it's only for a long weekend it's a little tricky to get to (we're flying from Leeds/Manchester) we're also big foodies so Copenhagen cropped up as one of the best spots for food. But also heard its very expensive when there? The commute is shorter though. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thinking about things to do, food, drink and prices.
Rose1989 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 02:21 AM
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Depends what you want out of your long weekend. You can fly easily to Brussels, rent a car and drive to Bruges or take the train. It is not tricky to get to. Bruges is a beautiful city and you could visit Ghent too.

I know Copenhagen very well, from a food perspective, you have many excellent choices. It is slightly more expensive than the UK & you do get additional charges sometimes for using your non Danish credit card (restaurants mainly). There are several great restaurants to choose from, for all budgets. Nordic cuisine Traditional Danish food pastisserie
Sankt Peders Bageri (Danish pastries) (Danish open sandwiches)
Street food on Paper Island

Things to do
Rosenborg and Amalianborg Castles
Copenhagen fortifications
Walk along Nyhavn, rent a bike
Round Tower
If you have time, visit Roskilde to see remains of viking ships or Helsingoer for Kronberg Castle orLouisiana Museum of Modern Art, Karen Blixens House
Odin is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 02:32 AM
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In UK terms, Bruges is a small town and unless you're going to day trip from there, there's not really enough to occupy you for a long weekend. Copenhagen is a larger, but still not big town, although it does have more to do and see. In common with other Scandinavian countries it is more expensive than the UK.

Why not spend your long weekend in Brussels with lots of restaurants and tourist sights and day trip to Bruges by train.
Rubicund is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 03:03 AM
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My DIL was given a surprise weekend in Copenhagen for her 30th birthday. She, and my so, stayed in an AirBnB place, though I don't know where.
They found easily enough to do and loved it. They also went in January(this year). They used the Danish equivalent of Velib or Boris Bikes to get around, though they also did a lot of walking.

Brussels would have my vote for a long weekend in Belgium. There are lots of good restaurants, and you can do a day trip to Brugge, Gent or Antwerp from there.
hetismij2 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 03:07 AM
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Spent 6 days in Copenhagen in May and loved it. Weather was perfect, easy to get around and lots to see and do with lots of restaurants. January weather???

Am planning to go to Bruge and Brussels in September. Have done EXTENSIVE research and originally planned to stay in Brussels for 6 days and visit Bruge but with all my reading will spend 2 days in Bruge and 4 in Brussels but mainly using Brussels as a base for traveling to Ghent, Antwerp and other outlying cities.

So although have not been to Bruge yet, my thoughts are that Copenhagen is great to stay there and Bruge can be just as nice with options to go to Ghent, Brussels or Antwerp as well.
jan47ete is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 03:16 AM
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January weather??? It can be anything, from wet & windy, to dry, sunny & very cold, there could be snow, just the same as Belgium can be at that time of the year. The evenings get darker earlier than England or Belgium, as it is further north, which seems to be a concern for North Americans for some reason.
Odin is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 03:28 AM
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Jan, it is either Bruges (french and UK spelling) or Brugge (local Flemish spelling).

I agree that I would base in Bruxelles or Gent. I spent one night in Copenhagen so cannot really comment... My wife loved it - was there in june.
WoinParis is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 05:15 AM
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These are all so great, thank you for all the replies. People have said Copenhagen is fairly expensive but is Bruges a lot cheaper in comparison?
So the consensus seems to be if it's Belgium- stay in Brussels with maybe a day/night in Bruges. I had some concerns with the safety as it as there has obviously been a lot of spotlight on Brussels this year but I guess the same goes for the UK really and I don't want to miss out on these amazing places through media fear!!
Rose1989 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 06:36 AM
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I disagree there isn't enough to do in Bruges. If by a long weekend you mean 3 nights (2.5 days) you won't run out of things in Bruges. It is a lovely small city -- could someone spend that much time in say York and have a lovely weekend - Absolutely.

I wouldn't spend a week there - unless I wanted to just kick back and relax. But 2 or 3 full days - certainly.

Not to say Copenhagen wouldn't also be nice. But whatever, I would not base in Brussels over Bruges.
janisj is online now  
Nov 13th, 2016, 07:00 AM
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I agree - Bruges is lovely and we enjoyed the 3 days we spent there. We also love Copenhagen. Don't think you can go wrong!
jamikins is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 07:04 AM
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Interested in these comments as I'm in the midst of planning my May trip to Paris/Belgium. I'll have 15 days altogether, so trying to decide where to base in Belgium for 5 or 6? nights. I definitely want to spend at least 3 nights in Bruges, as I'm interested in Flanders Fields or Belgium Countryside Tours from there.
The rest is a toss up between Ghent and/or Brussels. I'm leaning more toward Ghent, but would like to at least see Brussels Grand Place.

I envy you U.K. people with the short distances for your wonderful European weekends. We Americans have to make more of a production (costly!) out of travel. Keep us posted after your trip, Rose.
Sue4 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 08:10 AM
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Brugge is wonderful for 3 days.

You can get to CRL (Charleroi airport), non-stop, on Ryanair for $82US return, or to BRU, proper, for about $151US, non-stop on Brussels Airlines, both from Manchester.

From BRU you can take a train directly to Brugge, so it is probablt more convenient.

Is that what you found to be tricky? I am just curious as I think it is a great connection to go through BRU and straight on to a train. Perhaps it was the relative time versus a drect flight to CPH that was the concern?
Aramis is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 09:57 AM
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Aramis, yes that was it really. We're based in Leeds so a couple of hours drive max to Manc then flight to brussels then train to Bruges. Just vs a flight straight to Copenhagen from either Leeds or Manc (it's more my boyfriend who is an impatient traveller as he does it every day for his job). I just wish I could be swayed either way! It sounds like I can't go wrong with either though .
Rose1989 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 10:19 AM
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Bruges is one of those places that divides people. Many people posting above love it. We did a day trip there from Brussels (which we loved) and were glad it was just a day trip. We took the train got there early in the morning (things were just opening) and basically ran out of things we wanted to do by mid-afternoon. We found it sterile, but I think that is what some people like about it. We are city people, and found plenty to do and see plus really fabulous food in Brussels, whereas Bruges was too "small town" for us.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 10:26 AM
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Heck - I could have spent half a day in this one little beer pub
janisj is online now  
Nov 13th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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These are all so great, thank you for all the replies. People have said Copenhagen is fairly expensive but is Bruges a lot cheaper in comparison?>

Not really -especially only for a few days. Both will be much dearer than the UK perhaps with the pound down so much.

I agree with janis and others -stay in Bruges and day trip to say Gent or Antwerp or Brussels- a large city that many are non-plussed with. Trains are great in Belgium.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 01:24 PM
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I disagree about Bruxelles. I lived there and stil llive 20 kms from there and it is a beeautiful city with lots of things to do/see and easy access to wherever in Belgium.

As for safety, well Trump said it is a hellhole (in the hands of djihadists or something like that), so ...
I'm there 2-3 days a week but of course I wear a beard.
WoinParis is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 02:59 PM
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I loved both cities, and my opinion is that the time you have is perfect for Bruges and too short for Copenhagen.

You might want to consult some good guidebooks to see what, exactly, you would want to see and do. That's really the only want to figure out what will work for YOU.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 05:21 PM
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IMHO Copenhagen is too large for a weekend.

Brugges is a better size and you can explore pretty fully in a day, then you can hop a train to Ghent in 30 minutes, for a second full day.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 13th, 2016, 05:37 PM
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There's lots of lovely food places in Bruges . We booked online at den gouden Harynck - beautiful food, superb service, beautiful location.
Poles Moules is a recommended mussel restaurant as well.
Arthie's is a fun place with a variety of dishes .
northie is offline  

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