Hi. We want to visit Belgium for approx. 2 weeks (possibly longer). It will be sometime in 2024. We would like to have 2 (or 3) home bases - that we take day trips from. Currently, our tentative plans are: (a) Ghent/Bruges. (b) Wallonia. (c) Luxembourg.
We are not sure of the number of nights in each location. Currently, thinking of 4-5 nights in each location. We are very willing to modify, more time, less time, depending upon how much there is to see, travel time on day trips, etc.
We are thinking that we would FIRST stay in Ghent (or Bruges). We would take a day trip to the city that we are not staying in. For discussion sake, we'll say that we will stay in Ghent. One day to to Bruges. One day trip to Antwerp. Or, possibly out to the coast. Brussels dose not interest us that much. (so many people, and all that comes with large cities). We have heard and read of the many pros and cons of Ghent vs Bruges. Both have River Cruises. Both have famous art work that we recovered during WW2 (Monument Men). Ghent might be more affordable, college town, and possibly more suited for younger crowd, etc. Bruges, not college town, more focuses on Tourists (not sure if that is good or bad). Actually, both seem very attractive to us.
SECOND stay would be in the Wallonia area. Similar to Ghent, we are hoping that we could stay in ONE small city and venture out (day trips) to a couple of other small towns). I've read and researched, and it seems like Namur and Liege are larger, somewhat more Industrial, and not as small and quaint. I am currently leaning towards Dinant as a base to stay. Day Trips might include La Roche-en-Ardennes, maybe Durbuy. The problem is that we would prefer not to rent a car. I've read on other threads that you cannot see Wallonia unless you rent a car. However, I have read, and found that there are some regional public transportation (buses and trains). Is is possible to get from Dinant to La Roche-en-Ardenne, or Durbuy, on local bus or trains?
When we were in the Czech Republic (earlier in 2023), we took the Tram in Prague - all over Prague. #22 is your best friend in Prague. Also, we took a public bus from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. Then, we took a private Shuttle Bus from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna. We had a private driver from Salzburg to Hallstatt and then to Vienna. We have taken the Underground in the UK, and the underground in Vienna. We are comfortable with taking most LOCAL Public Transportation. It seems like there must be buses, trains, shuttle vans, or even private drivers - that can take us from one Wallonia city (Dinant) to other Wallonia Cities. Some initial research shows: #15, and B, and L/IC, and E80 that run in areas of Wallonia. We are hoping that someone has taken the time to research and evaluate local transportation in Wallonia.
Our THIRD area that we want o visit is Luxembourg. For discussion sake, assume that we stay in Luxembourg City. Then take Day Trips to Vianden, Boarscheid, Clervaux, E Sch-sur-sure, etc. We would surely not make it to all of those smaller towns, but if we could visit 2 or 3, that would be great. The same situation for Transportation. We would prefer not to rent a car. (Above, I gave examples of public transportation in Czechia, the same efforts would be used in Luxembourg - if possible.
Lastly, i recently discovered Trier (the oldest city in Germany). It has Roman era ruins. And, there are trains from Luxembourg to Trier. Possibly a Day Trip from Luxembourg?
We are open to feedback and recommendations.