Mechlen or Leuven as a base city?

Old May 2nd, 2016, 06:22 AM
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Mechlen or Leuven as a base city?

We'll be traveling in Belgium for 3 weeks in September. Two of my base cities to explore from are Brugge and Namur. I'm trying to decide if the third should be Mechlen or Leuven.

I'd like to hear the experts opinions on which to stay. We will be traveling around by train and/or bus and will not be renting a car. We will also be going to the Brussels airport from Mechlen or Leuven.

As always, I get great advice from the forum and thank you in advance for your thoughts.
Floridacouple is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 09:10 AM
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I love Mechelen (Wallon: Malines). A few years ago I used it as a base for Flanders. Perfect train connections to Brussel and Antwerpen (some 30 mins). Unprententious city with an impressive history which still shows. Good market square with everything you need food- and drinkwise. You won't be disappointed.
And why Brugge as a base? Gent is a normal, living and working city.
tonfromleiden is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 01:16 PM
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I agre that Gent is a living city.
Mechelen is for me less nice than Leuven. Besides, Leuven being a city of universities, you're sure to see a lot of people and activities in Leuven.

Tom : Mechelen in indeed translated into Malines in French. In Walloon, I don't even know. Walloons speak french, Wallon as a language has disappeared 2 generations ago.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 01:29 PM
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Between Mechelen and Leuven, Leuven would also be my first choice. Both are very close to Brussels Airport (Mechelen is 11 min. by train, Leuven is 14 min.).
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 08:38 AM
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And my research continues!!!!!!!!! So far Leuven 2 - mechelen 1 and Gent 2 - Brugge 1.

Deciding factor could be which have the best sports bars to watch American football on Sundays.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 09:07 AM
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»Wallon as a language has disappeared 2 generations ago«
In my total ignorance I meant the French spoken in Belgium.
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