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Need help with itinerary based in Bruges

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May 4th, 2012, 07:28 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Need help with itinerary based in Bruges

We're tentatively planning a 10-day (exclusive of travel days) trip to Belgium at the end of July / early August. We're thinking a week in Bruges and a few days in Brussels; we'll fly in and out of Brussels. Bruges was passionately recommended to us by a friend. I'd love to get suggestions on sights to see, activities to do including day trips as well as hotel and restaurant recommendations. We're also looking at apartments to rent in Bruges since we'll be there for a week, and it would be nice to have a kitchen. We are two adults, a 17yo boy and a 7yo girl. We do not plan to rent a car so all day trips must be by train or bus. Hotels in the city center are preferable for ease of walking and having plenty of places to go. Is Paris a day trip? That would make the 7yo princess' eyes light up! What would approximate fares be by train from Bruges or Brussels to other cities we should see on this quick trip?

Thanks so much!
lsremington is offline  
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May 4th, 2012, 09:28 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 299
I can't help with an apartment

Here is a copy of a trip report from my Dec trip in 2011:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...am-cologne.cfm

I went to Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Cologne, all by train. I got a Bruges City Card and hit all the included sights, the report has a mention of each. The trains were fairly cheap within Belgium and the distances are short. I think Brussels to Bruges was about 12 Euro a piece and booked on the Belgian National Rail Site.

Paris is theoretically a day trip by rail, but you'll have to catch the train to Brussels (or Antwerp) to connect to the Thayls fast service. I'd honestly plan on spending a night if I took a trip to Paris and returning the next evening.

You will have a blast. Good luck and have fun.
agedude is offline  
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May 4th, 2012, 11:44 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Ditto what PP said re. Paris.
Technically even London is a "day trip" from Brugge.

EASY day trips, where you will have enough time to explore the final destination would be Antwerpen, Gent, Courtrai, Ypres, or Lille (the last one if you want a touch of France).

For what you can do and see in the vicinity, you should also consult vistitflanders.com

You could also take the direct bus to nearby Breskens (already in Holland), and do the ferry "cruise" to Vlissingen to visit picture-perfect Middelburg.

Rent bikes and explore the surroundings (might be even more interesting for kids than to sit all day in trains and get an overload of miles on foot on cobblestones).
The terrain is all flat, you will see windmills, canals, all the typical scenery of Flanders.

Have a day on the beach (you could actually cycle there in less than an hour).
One curious item here is the beach tram, a regular streetcar line along almost the whole Belgian coastline, with trains every 10-15mins.
The longest tram line in the world, almost 70 kms, and a day pass that lets you hop-on, hop-off whereever you like it costs just a few euros (€5, I think).

The Flanders battlefields can be visited with guided tours from Brugge.

Or make a boat trip from "downtown" Brugge to the sea (as well as the ubiquitous grachten boat trips)
http://www.bootdamme-brugge.be/

You will be able to do tons of stuff without a car and in the immediate vicinity.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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May 5th, 2012, 10:31 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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My Brugge itinerary:

4 remaining windmills outside walls

4 remaining Medieval City Gates: Gentpoort, Kruisport, Ezelpoort, and Smedepoort

Canal Cruise on De Lamme Goedzaak

Cathedral - Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig Bloedbasilick)

Town Hall and Burg Square, Office of the Town Clerks (Oude Griffie), and justice buildings

Huidenvettersplein

Some old patrician houses still have window panes of Venetian glass - House # 7 on Dijiver is worth noting.

The Groeninge Museum

The Gruuthuse Museum

Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk)

Holy Savior's Cathedral (St. Salvatorskathedraal)

Canal Ride/tour

De Halve Maan Brewery

Hospital Museum - St. John's Hospital (Memlingmuseum housed the 13th C St. Janshospitaal)

Minnewater

Beginhof ( Prinselijk Begijnhof ten Wijnarde)

Kantcentrum (lace center)

Streets and Alleys north of Markt

Chocolate Museum and Frites Museum

Fish market and craft stalls

Market square and belfry tower

Good photo op - Groenerei canal from far side of bridge looking towards cathedral

Good photo op - view of canal beside St. Janshopsitaal
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