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-   -   Brussels, Antwerp or Bruges? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/brussels-antwerp-or-bruges-228176/)

pat Jun 5th, 2002 02:00 AM

Brussels, Antwerp or Bruges?
 
Which is the the nicest? Spending time in Brussels, Antwerp and Namur. Is Bruges worth a visit?<BR>Staying in Hotel Beau Site in Brussels, Crown Plaza in Antwerp and can't remember where in Namur. Nobody seems to know anything about these hotels from what i can see from my companions. Give details please of perhaps personal experience in these hotels or the cities. Please! I am desperate!<BR>

Daniel Jun 5th, 2002 02:01 AM

Why are you desperate?

Annmarie Jun 5th, 2002 06:08 AM

I've been to Brussels and Brugges, but not Antwerp. Brussels is a big city. Brugges,on the other hand, is the most fascinating place I've been in Europe--absolutely the most charming--a medieval city that time forgot--thank goodness. It truly is worth the experience. There are lovely, charming small hotels in Brugges. When I go back to Belgium that's going to be my destination.

cal Jun 5th, 2002 07:06 AM

This is only my opinion, but Brussels is only interesting for the Grand Place. Other than that the city is busy and not attractive.<BR><BR>We did not make it to Bruges or Antwerp, but from the favorable comments and pictures I've seen of Bruges, Bruges looks alot nicer than Brussels. Antwerp looks nicer than Brussels.

mauld Jun 5th, 2002 07:11 AM

They are all relatively close to Brussels, so why not try doing day trips? I'm going to Brussels at the end of July and plan on taking the train up to Brugge via Gent for a day, and then the next day taking the train west to Antwerp (all three cities are under an hours train ride from Brussels.)

BTilke Jun 5th, 2002 07:33 AM

While I would recommend Brugge as a base, I do have to defend Brussels, where I've lived for 3 years. There IS more to it than the Grand'Place, but you have to be willing to look a little harder to find the good bits. The Sablon, the Woluwe park, the Van Buren museum, the Chateau de La Hulpe (or rather its park and Folon Museum [foundation]), and so on, all make this city better than the casual tourist impression. Although it probably wouldn't make my top 10 list of places to stay on a European vacation, either, it's not the drab, dowdy city described by some posters who've only skimmed the surface.

bg Jun 5th, 2002 09:07 AM

Brugge is definitely worth a visit. I have been to all 4 and like Brugge best. Suggest that you visit them all. Any specific interests or you just like to tour the place?

Joe Jun 5th, 2002 09:17 AM

pat: Just returned last Monday. We enjoyed Brussels very much and it is certainly worth a day or two. After the Grand Place and environs, get out into the neighborhoods. But, Bruges was the best. Absolutely charming. Much to see and do. We enjoyed Ghent very much and I think it gets overlooked in the shadow of Bruges. Antwerp is a very vibrant newer city, but with much that is old as well. Namur was ok. The citidal is very interesting, but the city is a bit hectic. Preferred Dinant (resort village with great river views, lots of hotels and restaurants and a casino) and Tongren (great Roman Museum, a spectacular Catedral and, a short distance out of town, one of the most beautiful castles I have ever seen). Everything is so close you can stay in one place (i would choose Bruges) and day trip, but we like to do the overnights in places we like for the nightime ambience. Belgium is a wonderful vacation area.

Phoebe Jun 12th, 2002 09:47 AM

I lived in Antwerp and i think it is the best. Re the hotel there: nie food,bad location

martine Jun 12th, 2002 10:27 AM

I agree with Joe. Brugge is preferable above Antwerp(sorry BTilke). And Dinant is mor cosy than Namur. And there is also a citadel. But why not going to Bouillon(under Dinant near the french border)? There they have a very real authenticaly medievel castle on the very top of the hill. I can assure you, you won't regret.<BR>Put it on your list when you visit our country.

cherie Jun 19th, 2002 12:14 PM

We just returned from a week in Belgium - following a week in Italy. We had planned to stay in Brussels the entire week and just do daytrips but after reading on this board we decided to spent 2 nights in Brugge. I am so glad we did. 2 days in Brussels was more than enough. I agree that after the Grand Place there is not much to see or do. We took one of the sightseeing buses around the whole city . It is very big and industrialized - lacking the charm that most European cities have.<BR> Brussels is a good city to use as a base to daytrip to other places but Bruge was our favorite Belgium city - hands down. We stayed at the Romantik Pandhotel and it was wonderful. The staff was so accomodating - in every way possible. If I could only go one place in Belgium it would be Bruge. We went to Antwerp for a day and it was nice also but nothing like Bruge. We didn't visit Namur but didn't see that much in Ghent. <BR>

marie Jul 4th, 2002 05:23 AM

I love Brussels. Try the Novotel Tour Noire. It is a lovely hotel.

patrick Jul 4th, 2002 08:37 AM

Hi, I am Belgian and born in Antwerp.<BR>Each city you mention is different.<BR>Brussels is a bussiness city with a lot of trafic and not so friendly people. Brugge is called the Venice from Belgium because of its many water channels and is a very romantic city also very close to the North sea.<BR>Antwerp is THE city for the nightlife, art and fashion. Namur is in the French part from Belgium and when you are interested in war museums Bastonge is not so far from Namur. My top 4: 1)Brugge 2)Antwerp 3)brussels 4)Namur.<BR>have a nice time in my country and do not forget to buy some Belgium pralines and taste the Belgian beer :-)

pat Jul 4th, 2002 09:59 AM

Bruges! Quaint little town. We mainly walked around. Wish I had done the day trip to Waterloo. However, if you want diamonds, go to Brussels. I have a friend who bought her engagement ring there (Yes, her boyfriend paid for it). She had it appraised when she got home at 3 times the price. Just a thought!

pat Jul 4th, 2002 10:01 AM

Whoops! It`s antwerp that had all the diamonds, not Brussels.

Mike Jul 4th, 2002 10:08 AM

Pat,<BR>I was stationed in Belgium for two tours of duty -- 2 years at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, and 3 years at SHAPE Headquarters in Mons. If you are planning on spending 1 day in Belgium, Brugge is the place to go.<BR><BR>I would rank them as 1)Brugge, 2)Antwerp, 3)Gent, 4) Brussels (Grand Place, with side trip to Waterloo), 5) Namur.


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