Please sign in to post.

Belgium 5 days

My husband and I are traveling with two 17 year old girls. We will have 5 days to spend in Belgium and plan to arrive/depart Brussels. Our priority is Ypres, but beyond that, we are open to suggestions. I've read some wonderful things about Brugges and Ghent. We would prefer to use one city as a base and travel out. Also, we have not purchased tickets, so we are flexible in terms of arrival/departure city if there is a better suggestion here too.

Posted by
15640 posts

I stayed in Ghent, day-tripped to Bruges. I prefer Ghent, it's a bit quieter, not so many kitschy tourist shops, or so many tourists for that matter. Lodgings are considerably cheaper and Ghent is charming at night when the Gothic buildings and bridges are floodlit.

Posted by
4684 posts

Belgium is sufficiently small that you can stay practically anywhere and do day trips anywhere else, unless you are in some truly isolated rural village. For good-value travel, I recommend looking into Belgian railways' 10-journey rail pass, which is available for 76 euros and can be shared between people for cost-efficient travel (so each return journey for four of you would correspond to 8 journeys). The ten journeys can be taken at any time within a year of purchase.

I haven't been to Ypres, but have visited both Brugge/Bruges (not "Brugges") and Ghent. Note that Ghent is the English spelling - if you are looking for train times on the Belgian rail website you need to use the local spelling Gent. Both are very picturesque, but Bruges slightly more so. Bruges is more of a pure tourist centre and can get very crowded in day times in summer (I'm told it's more atmospheric to stay overnight when the day trippers have gone home), while Gent is a larger university city and has more of a nightlife scene (just remember that the legal drinking age in Belgium is 16).

Checking the Belgian rail website, you can get from Gent to Ypres in just over an hour with one change at Brussels. Bruges will be around 20-30 minutes longer on the same train line.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for the input on Ghent and the valuable information on railway tickets and heads up on drinking age.

Posted by
4637 posts

As it was already said: Gent, Brugge, Brussels. I would add often overlooked Antwerp. I personally liked it better than Brusssels. It could also be a good base because of good train connection everywhere. Beautiful part of Belgium is Ardennes famous for the WWII Battle of the Bulge. Best museum with this theme is in Bastogne. I visited the one in La Rochelle, pretty scenic town. Another pretty town is Dinant. In the northern part of Belgium where they speak Dutch - no problem for monolingual English speakers. Not so in the southern part where they speak French. Gent, Brugge, Brussels, Antwerp
- easily done by train. Ardennes - easier with the car.

Posted by
1005 posts

For 17-year-old girls, Ghent may have more attraction because it is a college town and there are lots of college kids. Thursday night in Ghent can be pretty wild, I hear. Also, if your girls are into fashion, Antwerp has a great fashion district and a fun fashion museum--ModeMuseum.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for additional suggestions on towns. We will have the girls weigh in after directing them to investigate options online.

kate

Posted by
1 posts

Belgium is a beautiful country famous for internationally delicious food name hamburgers and spaghetti bolognese. Stay at the FeestzalenHuis De Colvenier feestzaal antwerpen to enjoy the tasty Belgian dishes - leeks, potatoes, grey shrimp, Belgian endives, white asparagus, and local beer.
Life is beautiful and traveling makes this life more beautiful but the final thing is the information that we require while traveling.