Things to do and see in Ghent/Bruges?

Old Dec 24th, 2016, 02:48 PM
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Prostitution is illegal.

Maybe, but in Antwerp I walked through the street with picture windows, each of them having one or two scantily clad females sitting behind them, and with red lights to indicate the district.
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Old Dec 25th, 2016, 01:35 AM
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... I think I explained below that the laws are not enforced.
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Old Dec 25th, 2016, 02:46 AM
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If you have any interest in outsider art (or the history of medicine) Dr. Guislain's Museum is a short tram ride from the Gent train station.

It's the oldest psychiatric hospital in Belgium, and still functioning. Also home to three small museums-- a history of the treatment of mental illness, a history of the hospital itself, and a museum of "art brut", much of it made by current and former patients.

A haunting but beautiful site, and the art (some full room installations) is gorgeous.
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Old Dec 25th, 2016, 09:06 AM
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it is defactolly legal - like pot in coffeeshops in Holland. Enforcement turns a blind eye. Thus not technically legal but in practice it is.
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 10:50 PM
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Since I had posted some recommendations that had been given to me, but which I hadn't been able to make use of yet, I thought I'd come back and give my two cents for anyone else who might happen upon this thread in their own searches for Brugge and/or Gent.

I have to say, Belgium was the absolute highlight of my most recent trip (Vienna, Prague, Bruxelles, Bastogne, Leuven, and a day trip each to Gent and Brugge). In an ideal world, I would have loved to spend more time in Gent and Brugge (as well as many other destinations in the country) so Belgium is certainly a place I will visit again in the future.

So going back to my previous post, in Brugge, I visited De Garre twice (once by myself and I took friends back there in the evening). The beer list was great but an important tip is that they're a cash only operation so plan accordingly. It's a small place and the kind of old vibe that makes you feel like you're part of a long line of hundreds of years' worth of beer lovers, stopping in for a strong Belgian ale and shooting the breeze.

We ate dinner at Cambrinus which was packed and required quite a wait. In retrospect, it didn't wow me and I would have been fine going somewhere that didn't have such a wait, but the beer list was extensive, which I appreciated and the stoofvlees was solid.

In Gent, the Adoration of the Lamb was 100% worthwhile - it is utterly magnificent in real life! The very friendly man who worked in the gift shop told me (around 11:30am) that it was currently being worked on (so only partially visible) but that the whole altarpiece would be visible at 1pm. Not sure if this is a regular daily sort of restoration work, but in case someone is going in the next couple of weeks, I'd recommend going in, asking if it's fully on display and buy tickets if it is. Because it wasn't, I took the opportunity to go eat lunch and then came back afterward.

And speaking of lunch - oh my goodness, was the recommendation given to me a home run. I walked over to Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant and had the most incredible waterzooi (chicken) of my life. It was a massive serving and when I first saw the tureen I thought 'there's no way I can finish that'. But as soon as I had the first spoonful, I knew I'd be ordering a 2nd beer because there was no way I was leaving that butter and cream-filled goodness anytime soon (the bread was also great and I ordered more to soak up some of that alcohol from those deliciously strong beers). It was a perfect day temperature-wise and sitting by the canal, drinking beer(s) and eating that waterzooi trumped any other plan I had.

Again, if I had had more time I would have loved to check out his other recommendations in Brugge and Gent mentioned in my post above. But spending time with friends in Leuven took precedence this time around.

And speaking of Leuven, I really loved my time there - such an enjoyable city to come 'home' to after daytrips. Eminently walkable, the chocolates at Tartufo are beautiful and delicious, and the beer is plentiful and wonderful (including the forbidden fruit that is Westy 12). If you want a good rental flat, Short Stay Leuven was comfortable and about 60 euros a night for a decent amount of space (bed, table, desk, couch, kitchenette, bathroom).

And Bastogne - well, what an honor to do a private tour throughout many parts affected by the battle on the U.S.'s Memorial Day (and as the granddaughter of a soldier who fought there). Two nights there was a great amount of time and walking to and from my hotel made the enjoyment of several more Belgian beers possible (in case this wasn't obvious, enjoying Belgian beer - my general favorite - was a high priority).

See you next time, Belgium my love!
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 11:33 PM
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Correction: I realized I had written the wrong place in Leuven - I stayed at the Getaway Studios Leuven
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