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Ghent or Bruges for 1 day?

Hello all, I am traveling from Antwerp, Belgium to Brussels, Belgium, and I have an extra day in between to visit either Bruges or Ghent for one full day. I guess I could visit both cities in the same day, but I generally don't like to overload a trip. I'm looking for suggestions from those who have been to both Bruges and Ghent. (Note: We are a group of 4 Adults, 1 pre-teen, 1 child and 1 infant making this voyage this October traveling by train)

Thank you in advance,

Posted by
8009 posts

Both but pick Bruges. Ghent is closer to Antwerp though, and Bruges is more or less 30 minutes by train from Ghent.
Or just do Brussels as the day trip. That could be enough.

Posted by
1817 posts

I think if you ask people who have been to both Bruges and Ghent which they prefer, you'll get about a 50/50 split. Bruges is prettier, I suppose, but I found Ghent more interesting. My sense was that Bruges is a museum, all decked out for visitors, whereas Ghent is a real place where people live and work. It's also very beautiful, in my opinion, and if you can stay after dark, it's especially lovely when lit up at night. In October, you won't have to stay too late for that.

Other opinions will definitely vary. There's no right answer. Good luck deciding!

Posted by
1494 posts

I've been to both - like both, but strongly prefer Bruges. It's a no brainer for me!

Posted by
16000 posts

There's no right answer.

That's the challenge! I will admit to being puzzled by the "Belgium Disney" label too often attached to Bruges. We spent 4 nights there, found plenty of fascinating history/architecture/art to explore, and plenty of lovely corners where we weren't overrun by other tourists. Had a GREAT time!

But then, we spent a day in Ghent and liked it plenty enough to plan a longer stay next time. Ghent may appeal more to visitors who enjoy nightlife as Bruges quiets down earlier in the evening? As you will have a couple of small persons along, I doubt nightlife is a plus for you anyway so I'd go for Bruges. The old center is compact enough to get around relatively easily on foot with kids but with a lot packed into the core.

LOL, our "nightlife" in Bruges was just wandering around streets and canals the day-trippers had deserted: wonderful. :O)

Posted by
2 posts

I appreciate all your suggestions and information. I'm looking forward to traveling to Belgium.
Best regards,