Brussels & Bruges Christmas 2005?

Feb 2nd, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 94
Brussels & Bruges Christmas 2005?

My husband and I are stopping in Brussels for 4 nights on our way to Kenya in December 2005. This will be our first trip to Belgium. We arrive Friday afternoon and depart Tuesday morning (Sunday being Christmas). We'd like to stay in Brussels and day trip to Bruges because we figure there will be more going on in Brussels this time of year (We are interested in architecture, food, people watching, wandering, etc. but not much museum time). I'm wondering what will be open due to the holiday season and if the train schedule will be affected.

Anyone travelled to Brussels or Bruges over Christmas? Will we be able to day trip to Bruges? Will any restaurants be open in Brussels on Christmas? Any thoughts are much appreciated.
Steph_SEA is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 162
I wouldn't day trip to Bruges. It's definitely worth at least one night, two if you can do it. We stayed at Absoluut Verhulst with Freida and Benno who serve a great breakfast. Chocolates at Dumon are AMAZING. NEAT city. Take a canal boat ride, horse and carriage ride around the main square - whatever. I haven't been to Brussels yet but I LOVED Bruges.
srice_53098 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 02:21 PM
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OK, so maybe we do 2 nights in Brussels and 2 nights in Bruges or 3 and 1. I'm open to that idea. I'd still like to hear from folks regarding what I can expect on and around Christmas. Will trains be operating on the normal schedules? Will some restaurants and shops be open?
Steph_SEA is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Trains will run on weekend schedule.
Saturday 24th the shops will be open until 4/5 pm or so. Shops will definitely be closed on Christmas Day (and mostly on Dec. 26 although Brugge may be an exception here).
Many restaurants will be open and if you want a table at a specific restaurant, you should make reservations ahead.
MyriamC is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 03:55 AM
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We'll be in Brugge from Dec 24-31. I highly recommend Brugge around the holidays. There is a Christmas market in the Markt as well as an outdoors ice skating rink...lots going on, and lots of people.

When it gets closer to Dec, check out for restaurants in Brugge and Belgium. There will be a special section for Christmas and New Years restaurants, and many will allow you to book online.

We were in Brugge for New Years 2003, and we didn't have a problem (in fact we had an amazing New Years Eve celebration at Den fave restaurant in the world!). Still places open on the 1st thanks to all of the tourists in Brugge for the Christmas Market.
beanweb24 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:40 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Thank you so much for the excellent info!! I was under the impression that Brussels had the outdoor ice skating rink - I must have confused the two cities! We'll be there Dec 23-27 and it seems like Brussels deserves more than one night, but if I do 2 nights in Brussels/2 nights Brugges, that puts us travelling on the train on Christmas day. It sounds like there may be more going on in Brugges on the 25th & 26th, so I'm thinking Brussels on the 23rd & 24th, then train to Brugges on the 25th for 2 nights. Hopefully I won't miss out on too much by being there these days, but as I mentioned, we're not big museum people, so as long as there are some good sites to see while walking around and some good food, we'll be happy. (A big thank you to beanweb24 for the restaurant ideas!!)
Steph_SEA is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,034
Steph_SEA, you're right: Brussels has an outdoor ice skating rink in December, as well as Brugge, Antwerpen and a number of other cities.
MyriamC is online now  
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