Ghent, Antwerp, or Bruges?

May 6th, 2010, 02:36 PM
  #1  
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Ghent, Antwerp, or Bruges?

If you had one 24 hour period to spend in one of those cities, which would it be? I mostly like the small towns, scenery, architecture, and water - would I find one more interesting than the others? I think I'll be seeing cathedrals and castles elsewhere, so those are not high on my agenda; same for museums. Mostly I just like to walk around and photograph things. We'll be near there in August.

I was reading some reviews about Ghent in which several people wrote last spring that a lot of the city seemed to be under construction. Is that still the case?
ruthruthruth is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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This is just my opinion and others may differ but after having visited all three, I found Brugges to be most compelling and especially so in light of your listed preferences. Antwerp was fascinating as well but it is a port city, very large and in our case we had personal friends to guide us. This wasn't as necessary for Brugges which has an all too lively tourist trade--I'm not familiar with the August situation but imagine it could be intense in any of your three. Don't miss the chance to try a few Belgian brews and there is an interesting brewery tour in town as well.

BTW- if headed to Brugges, check out the movie, "In Brugges"--its about 1 1/2 or 2 yrs. old with lots of the city's sights and history--clever but violent, so be aware.
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May 6th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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Bruges
RainyDay09 is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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I have been to Brugge and think it is the most amazing place I have ever been. Beautiful! I would highly suggest going there!
Kat79 is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 12:30 AM
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GBC
 
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For me it would be Bruges number one followed by Antwerp.
GBC is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 01:11 AM
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I'd go to Antwerp, but that's because I don't like Brugge, which I find to be twee and overcrowded.

But to meet your needs probably you should go to Brugge, but be prepared for crowds.
hetismij is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 03:12 PM
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I like Brugge and Antwerp, but each for different reasons. If you're more interested in smaller places, Brugge fits your criteria. However, like others have said, it will be quite crowded (it's very touristy, especially for day-trippers). We've been there in spring and it was very busy, so I would imagine it's packed in August. If you're willing to overlook that, Brugge is wonderful.
globetrotterxyz is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Hhm...I was thinking Ghent was the smallest, but it's not. Brugge sounds very pretty but touristy (and luckily we're going the last week in August - might be a tiny bit less crazy then - maybe!!)but Ghent looks pretty, too, and a bit closer. Does anyone know if they're still doing construction in the old part of Ghent? That might be a consideration to me; also, if there's a wonderful place to stay either place, that would, too.
ruthruthruth is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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I'd live in Antwerp if I could! And I enjoyed Brugges for a day or 2 but other than that it is a bit twee
avalon is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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The construction in the old part of Gent will last about four more weeks, so I read.
MyriamC is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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tld
 
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MyriamC, do you remember where you read that info? I may be going to Ghent in a couple of weeks and I'd like to hear from someone who's been there recently if possible. Thanks.
tld is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Bruges fits your description. I've been to all three, and liked all three for different reasons, but if you want to walk around and snap off some adorable shots, it can really only be Bruges.
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May 29th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Thanks to everyone who responded. Now I'm torn between Bruges or Ghent or Strasbourg. Decisions, decisions!
ruthruthruth is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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I love Ghent, a bit gritty, but a real city, much, much bigger than Bruges. It has a river and lots of cafes. I find it an interesting place.

Bruges is so charming, pretty and clean, it is like a sweet, postcard perfect, Hollywood stage set. It is so small, you can walk the whole length of the city in a morning. You can bike, take a boat on the canal, and hike around the windmills.

You have to know what appeals most to you, but based on what you have said, I think you would like Bruges.

Now you have thrown in Strasbourg, which is also lovely. Between Strasbourg and one of the other two, I would choose whichever fits best with your other destinations, time wise.
Sassafrass is online now  
May 29th, 2010, 09:49 PM
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Personally I prefer Ghent. The centre is lovely - provided it's not full of construction works of course. It's really very pictuesque, and the shops, bars and restaurants are all far more interesting than in Bruges, IMO.
Actually I'm not a fan of Bruges anyway - it's just so touristy and I couldn't see what all the fuss was about when I went there!
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