Brugge, Ghent and Brussels

Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:18 PM
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Brugge, Ghent and Brussels

I'm going to Belgium in August for 7 days (6 nights), and I'm planning to divide my time among Brugge, ghent and Brussels. My idea is to head for Brugge, then Ghent and to finish in Brussels, spending two nights in each place. Do you think that is doable? Or should I spend more-or less- time in any town? Can you recommend any hotels?
Thanks a lot.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 03:31 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it. It begins in Ghent, which is between Brussels and Bruges. The distances are so small that it might be best to use one base to visit all three cities. We stayed at a B&B and that in the middle of the old town.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:28 PM
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Hi Agosto,
We did a similar trip in 2009. Had 5 nights in Belgium. This is what we did.
Arrived in the evening of the first night on a Saturday and stayed 2 nights in Brussels.
Since it was a WEEKEND we got a spectacular rate of 145 euros for BOTH nights including breakfast at the NH Grand Place Arenberg, a beautiful 4 star hotel in the most PERFECT location.
It was only 2 blocks from the train station, 1 block from St. Stephens Cathedral for Mass on Sunday, and 1 block from the entrance to the Galeries Royales St. Hubert which leads to the Grand Place in the Lower Town. We booked this on Booking .com.
Monday morning we took the train (1 hour) to Brugge where we spent 2 nights. In Brugge we stayed at a B&B. Check Rick Steves for recommendations or on Trip Advisor. We wanted to stay B&B Absolute Verhulst but it was full. Maybe you could have better luck.
On Wednesday we left Brugge in the morning and only stopped in Ghent for a few hours. We continued to Brussels to arrive in the evening to fly out for USA the next day.
Our last night in Brussels we stayed at the NH Brussels City Center hotel. This location was not nearly as good as our first stay. Booked this on priceline for $70.
Could not stay at the NH Grand Place Arenberg where we had stayed the weekend before because the
price was nearly triple because we could not get the weekend rate! That hotel was by far the best!!

So ... bottom line, if you can stay in Brussels on a weekend you will save some money.
This was in May when there were still a lot of business travelers so in August the weekday rates may not
be so steep! You will just have to do some checking.

Hope this helps. You will LOVE Brussels and Brugge!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:39 PM
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2 nights in each is probably your best option. Loved Brugge and Ghent! Brussels was OK, didn't love it.

I did 3 nights in Brugge and could have spent longer, 2 nights each in Ghent and Brussels.
joannyc is online now  
Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 09:53 AM
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I would probably do 2 nights Brugge and 4 in Brussels. Ghent and Brussels are really very close. But 2-2-2 nights could also work. As noted in an earlier post, hotel prices in Brussels are much lower over the weekends.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 02:34 AM
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Thanks for yur replies. After some intensive research, I've booker two nights in any destination. The hotels I've booked are:
-Brugge: Jan Brito hotel ( Maid's room)
-Ghent: ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal
-Brussels: Scandic Grand Place

They all seem pretty central and confortable, and are affordable.

Can you offer any suggestions as what's not to be missed in these destinations? Of course, I'm surfing the net and reasearching hem, but I trust more this forum's opinions. Thanks.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Here's the sites that I had on my Brugge itinerary:

4 remaining windmills outside walls

4 remaining Medieval City Gates: Gentpoort, Kruisport, Ezelpoort, and Smedepoort

Canal Cruise on De Lamme Goedzaak

Cathedral - Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig Bloedbasilick)
Town Hall and Burg Square, Office of the Town Clerks (Oude Griffie), and justice buildings


Some old patrician houses still have window panes of Venetian glass - house #7 on Dijver

The Groeninge Museum

The Gruuthuse Museum

Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk)

Holy Savior's Cathedral (St. Salvatorskathedraal)

Canal Ride/tour

De Halve Maan Brewery

"Hospital Museum - St. John's Hospital (Memlingmuseum housed the 13th C St. Janshospitaal)

Great photo op from bridge to left of canal and hospital


Beginhof ( Prinselijk Begijnhof ten Wijnarde)

Kantcentrum (lace center)

Streets and Alleys north of Markt

Chocolate Museum and Frites Museum

Fish market and craft stalls

Market square and belfry tower

Good photo op - Groenerei canal from far side of bridge looking towards cathedral

Good photo op - view of canal beside St. Janshopsitaal
My absolute favorite part of Brugge was around the river and windmills and the church of St Anne's -- a great, classic early 20th century Belgian residential neighborhood

Just a few blocks to the north and west of the Market Square (if i recollect correctly) you find ancient Flemish facades extent from days when Bruges was one of the world's largest cities and ports - few tourists, beautfiul renovations
Jerusalem church
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:09 AM
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And, here is my Ghent itinerary:



-Cloth Tower

-Stadhuis (Town Hall)

-St. Jorishof

-Castle of Gerhard the Devil

-St Baafskathedraal (St. Bavo's Cathedral) also known as St. Baaf's

-Sikkel Complex

-St. Michelsbrug (St. Michael's Bridge)

-St. Michael's Church

-Korenlei and Graslei


-Klein Turkje (Little Turk)


-Sint Veerlepleim

-Castle of the Counts/ 's Gravenstern Castle

-Ondhoofdingbrug (Bridge of the Beheaded)

-Het Huis van Alijn (Alijn House)

-St. Nicholas Church

-Sunday Flower Market and Orchestra

-Boat tour around canals

-Medieval convents and Beguinages


-Flea Market by St. Jacob's Church

-St. John's Gallery
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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And, here is Brussels:


-La Grand Place

-Ilot Sacre

-Narrow street lined w/ grand mansions over 3 C old, now protected by preservation order

-Eglise Saint Nicolas

-Manequin Pis & museum

-Notre Dame de Bon Secours (our lady of succour)

-Notre Dame aux Riches Claires

-Old Port

-St. Jean Baptiste au Beguinage

-St. Michele et Gudule Cathedral

-Magrite Museum

-Art Nouveau areas - Ixells and south of Avenue Louise

-Hoegaarden brewery

-Cantillon brewery

-National Basilica of Sacred Heart of Koekelberg

-Good photo op - 15th c Hotel Ravenstein

-Good photo op of cathedral spire and city from Mont des Arts
Lower City (Ville Basse) and Upper City (Ville Haute)
Upper City (Ville Haute)
joannyc is online now  
Old Mar 4th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Last fall, my husband and I went to Belgium/the Netherlands for 11 days, based in Brussels. My trip report describes what we did in Brussels (the days we spent in the city vs. day trips are marked within the TR)

We did not go to Ghent or Brugge on this trip.

I would say the highlights for a few days in Brussels would be the Grand Place and surrounding Lower Town area, the fine arts museum and the Art Nouveau neighborhood/Horta museum.

At the end of my report I linked to a discussion of good beers, a highlight of any trip to Belgium
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Joannyc and Vttraveller, thanks a lot! That's a lot of information, I'll be searching into all that!
Agosto is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2012, 06:30 AM
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There are a couple of unique museums in Brussels - the Coudenberg palace ruins (underground) and the Musical Instrument Museum. You can see more here on both -

Other not to miss locations are of course the Grand Place, Sablon (great for chocolates and antiques), Horta museum (art nouveau). There are also tons of great restaurants in Brussels. See here for some of my top picks -
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Old Mar 7th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Thanks, I keep taking noteas of all your suggestions!
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Old Mar 9th, 2012, 02:30 PM
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Thanks for that great list of photo spots in Ghent and Bruges. I'll be there in Sept and will try to get shots from most on the lists.
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Old Nov 29th, 2016, 07:51 AM
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