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Looking for advice on my Belgium itinerary

Looking for advice on my Belgium itinerary

Old Aug 23rd, 2022, 07:05 PM
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Looking for advice on my Belgium itinerary

I'll be visiting Belgium on a solo trip for 4 days in late September, before flying to Greece for 8 days. I was intending to stay at an Airbnb in Brussels for 4 days and take day trips to Bruges and Ghent.

I wanted to visit Belgium because I'd like to visit some of the museums there such as the musical instruments, and war museum, in Brussels, Gravensteen castle in Ghent, some of the cathedrals there, and I like the medieval charm of Bruges. I've heard they have really good chocolate, beer, fries, and waffles. And Belgium seems fairly similar to Paris, one of my absolute favorite cities.

I'm also very interested in World War II, medieval, as well as ancient history (Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, etc.), so I'd love to hear any recommendations of cities, sites, or museums in Belgium that include many of those things. I've read about a few of the art and history museums around Belgium, but I'm not sure which of them might have the most ancient art or artifacts, if any. I'm not expecting to find a lot of ancient history stuff in Belgium, but it would just be a pleasant surprise if I do find much anything about it there.

I'm trying to avoid the hassle of having to constantly unpack and repack my bags, which is why I was thinking I'd stay 4 days in Brussels where I could make day trips to Bruges and Ghent from. I would be flying to Greece from Brussels on the 5th day. Part of the reason I want to spend more days in Greece is because the weather will be decently warmer and more sunny there in late September/early October, and I am fascinated by ancient history which Greece has tons of. But I'd consider spending more days in Belgium if anyone highly recommends it.

Would Brussels be the best city to use as my base to take day trips from? Would I be better off splitting my days to stay at least one night in Bruges or Ghent? Any other sites or cities around Belgium I should not miss?

Any advice appreciated!
rcz77 is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2022, 07:44 PM
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We used Ghent as our base & thought it really worked well for doing day trips to the other cities in Belgium.
The only thing tough to do from Ghent would be southern Belgium to visit the WW2 sites there.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2022, 10:51 PM
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WW2 celebrations in September are always held in Southern Holland. It is the anniversary of Market Garden. But you may need to change some plans to get there

VANAARLE is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2022, 01:55 AM
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Tongeren has a Roman wall, and a Gallo-Roman museum. It is the oldest town in Belgium.
For WW2 sites you are better off in southern Belgium.
I expect the Belgian experts will be along soon.
However with only 4 days, presumably including arrival day/jetlag day, you have enough with what you already have planned.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2022, 02:36 AM
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I second Tongeren, and if you are interested in WWII you might try the area around Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge). You could do both areas in one breath if you stay in Tongeren or maybe Spa. For Bastogne and area, you can do it by public transport but it is tough (buses, no trains). A car in the Ardennes is much easier.

There are plenty of history museums in Brussels. You have Coudenberg, which is an archaeological museum of a previous iteration of a royal palace (basically what is underground). I think that is probably early modern history. They dug up a Roman road in front of the Palais de Justice some years back now, but because it is still a public thoroughfare they had to re-lay all the cobblestones after archaeological inspection. There is an art and history museum in the Parc du Cinquantenaire which has some Roman relics but Brussels itself is not as old (10th century). If you visit that museum the best metro station is Mérode.

Tulips might be along, she may have some other tips for you.


Edit: thinking about it, maybe the old road outside the Palais de Justice wasn't Roman. I was told that by someone at the time but if Brussels isn't that old, it stands to reason that the road may not be Roman. I will do some research.

Last edited by lavandula; Aug 24th, 2022 at 02:48 AM.
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Old Aug 24th, 2022, 03:15 AM
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Hm, I wasn't able to find anything about the street (Place Poelaert), but this seems to confirm for me that when you find old roads they are trouble, to be covered up again as quickly as possible .

lavandula is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2022, 04:12 AM
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If you are really into Roman history, a later trip you might contemplate might be the big cities along the Rhine. Cologne, Wiesbaden and Mainz all have a very tangible Roman history. Mainz even has a museum dedicated to Roman ships.

lavandula is offline  
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