Brugge or Antwerp: Where to stay??

Old Aug 11th, 2001, 09:05 AM
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Brugge or Antwerp: Where to stay??

I need some advice on where to stay in Belgium. WIll be arriving into Brussels via Air. This is our 1st stop on a 5 week trip in Europe. Have 3 nights in Belgium...then on to Amsterdam via Eurorail. Where should we base ourselves out of: Brugge or Antwerp?? Currently have reservations in Brugge per suggestions of many...but have a friend in Antwerp who suggests stay there. Thanks for any advise. Judi
Old Aug 11th, 2001, 12:26 PM
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I second your friend: Antwerp [I live at 20km north ]
Antwerp is far underrated and has everything what Brugge has plus some extra. OK, in Antwerp we don't have a canal BUT we have a river instead. Antwerp has as much picturesque corners and cobble-stoned streets and squares as Brugge, a magnificent cathedral and various other churches, museums, the Zoo and other parks, fancy boutiques, many many restaurants and cafés, etc.
And it is within easy reach from Brussels National Airport.
I suggest you take a look at my Antwerp page & travelogue on Virtual Tourist (
Old Aug 11th, 2001, 03:20 PM
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3 cheers for the Antwerp resident promoting his hometown, but Brugge is the place! There is no question about it! Keep those reservations..
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 01:31 AM
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It is ... HER hometown ...
And yes, if you like to be between hordes of tourists you definitely have to go to Brugge.
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 03:02 AM
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I have been to both towns, and I would also vote for Brugges (although my father is from Antwerp). Brugges is much more picturesque and somehow more historic. Be sure to visit Ghent while you are there. Antwerp is much more of a business town, really a suburb of Brussels. Also you will be able to see the town before the tourists arrive, and after they leave. I stayed and ate at the Duc de Bourgogne and loved it.
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 03:40 AM
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I would suggest you to stay in Brugge intstead of Antwerp. Having been a couple of times there, the main reason would be to experience the quietness of such a romantic city as Old Brugge is. It is especially atmospheric at dusk and this could not be experienced as a day trip from Antwerp. On the other hand, Brugge´s appeal is related in my opinion with strolling around its small alleys, squares, crossing small bridges and listening the water flow through its canals. I think this could be done better if staying there. Remarkable is the area around Our Lady Church, really romantic and a bit off-the-beaten track since the most part of tourists concentrate in Markt Square area. Antwerp is a great day trip, I love it and consider it is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in the area. The cathedral and the town hall are magnificent and there are lots of small cafes where you can taste the most popular local dish, mussels and fries. Do not miss Ghent as well, since it has superb churches and palaces. So if I were you I would keep my reservations in Brugge. Have a great trip!!
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 06:12 AM
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Afraid I must disagree with the poster above to cites "Antwerp...a suburb of Brussels." Antwerp is much, much larger in population than Brussels, is one of the major ports of Europe, and has a character and "flavor" all its own. We loved it! The main art museum should rank among the world's finest. Its old quarter -- though damaged during the war -- is a treasure. Its cathedral spire is among the tallest in Europe and its Rubens paintings are unmatched. And talk about food! Antwerp is a wonderful place.

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