Help with Belgium planning

Sep 19th, 2010, 01:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 401
Help with Belgium planning

We have our flight to Belgium booked, for 11 nights in late October/early November. We fly in and out of Brussels. We have been to Bruges only (1 night) a couple years ago and loved the culture so much we decided to go back to concentrate on Belgium only.

We would like to see Brussels, Bruges again, Antwerp and Ghent. We will more than likely stay at B&Bs but no accommodations booked. And we probably won't book train tickets either, just wait right before travel.

If we land in Brussels at 8:35 am, and have 11 nights ahead of us, with only some shopping, lots of eating, and a bit of sightseeing planned in each city, what/where would you head first?

I have seen the map and know train travel is fairly easy, so would 2-3 nights/city be advisable, or would you rather set base in one or 2 places and do day trips to the other cities?

A day or 2 in Paris would be awesome, but I just went for a week in May and my travel partner isn't crazy about returning there.

Thanks so much for the advice!! would like to book accommodations asap so we get nice places
Ruby99 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
After you arrive on that flight that requires you to stay awake for the rest of the day (you know the feeling...) I suggest you walk around Brux. as much as possible, in the area around the Grand' Place (where I also suggest you stay).

Book two nights, the arrival day is a haze until you go to bed, day two is conscious, day three also, and at the end of day three you move to Antwerpen.

Check in, stay four or five nights, spend a day in Antwerpen, make quick trips to Bruges (1:21 h), to Ghent (53 minutes), to somewhere else or spend another day in Antwerpen.

Now rent a car and take off, almost aimlessly - because by now you will have read or heard about a myriad of little places that have come up in conversations, places you want to check out and stay for a bit - or if they don't hold your interest all that much you want to be able to move on.

I've gallivanted around Belgium like that, staying away from the expressways, on secondary roads, and I made discoveries I still treasure, and that probably wouldn't even have been mentioned in major guide books. Belgium is great that way, and you can't really get lost, just a little...

So after you do the big "mandatory" targets, head on out and relax for the remaining roaming days.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 11:41 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,052
Hi Ruby99

I too would suggest just roaming around the countryside - there is such variety in Belgium.

The Atlantic coast has wonderful history (as seen in the Atlantic Wall Museum and Prince Charles residence at Raversijde) , as does Ieper / Ypres (for WW11), and the countryside in the Walloon Region (particularly La Roche en Ardenne) is so picturesque.

Perhaps you could work to a circular route, and just stop where the impulse takes you. Di
di2315 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 20
Since you love their culture, I think you get more out of each city if you stay at least a couple of days instead of making a day visit even though they are not far from each other. I share your preference for the Flemish cities over the walloonian towns which are more in the countryside.
Coincidenza is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 368
Last time we were there, we visited the town of Mechelen, which I would do again, with its gorgeous cathedral and main square. It's a perfect town for a day trip from Brussels, as its only about 20 minutes away. If you're into art, there are a couple of important Rubens paintings to see there.

Also, I love Dalaillama's idea of renting a car and just driving; although we've never done that, I've always wanted to.

In Brussels, my favourite chocolatier is Frederic Blondeel in the St Catherine area.

Have a wonderful time! We have a trip booked for New Year's weekend, and I can't wait. We go every winter to enjoy real winter weather (unlike that here in central Italy--we want snow!).
Jackie_in_Italy is offline  

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