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Belgium December visit

Hi fellow travelers - I am looking for some advice for our first time Belgium visit this coming December around Christmas roughly Dec 21 - Dec 26 , 5 nights How cold is Belgium then ?

We enjoy walking tours, history, photography, good food and exploring. Any suggestions?

Day 1- Dec 21- Land into Brussels ( 8am) – check out Brussel half day ( night in Brussels)
Day 2 – Dec 22 - Day trip to Luxembourg – night in Luxembourg
Day 3 – Dec 23 – Ghent ( night in Ghent)
Day 4 – Dec 24 – Day trip to Bruges ( night in Ghent)
Day 5 – Dec 25 – Check out Ghent/Brussels – ( night in Brussels)
Day 6 – Dec 26 fly out Brussels ( 9 am)

Posted by
2487 posts

Gent is only half an hour from both Bruges and Brussels with several trains per hour. There is no real need to change hotels between them. Make it as your base and save yourself all the hassle of changing hotels. With your early flight you might feel more comfortable with staying your last night in Brussels though, and perhaps take a taxi to the airport instead of a train.
Luxembourg doesn't count as a major tourist attraction, to put it mildly. Invest that day in further enjoying Brugge, Gent and Brussels, or in a day trip to Antwerpen, about 1 hr from Gent.
Weatherwise it is not the best part of the year. Be prepared for cold and rain.

Posted by
65 posts

Thanks I like you suggestion of dropping Luxembourg.

Day 1- Dec 21- Land into Brussels ( 8am) – Ghent sigh see ( night in Ghent)
Day 2 – Dec 22 - Ghent sight see – ( night in Ghent)
Day 3 – Dec 23 – Bruges day trip ( night in Ghent)
Day 4 – Dec 24 – Antwerp day trip ( night in Ghent)
Day 5 – Dec 25 – Brussels sigh see ( night in Brussels)
Day 6 – Dec 26 fly out Brussels ( 9 am)

Posted by
8777 posts

Your new plan is definitely better. I'm not sure much will be open on the 25th.

Posted by
2487 posts

Don't forget to make reservations for your Christmas dinner in time. Possibly best to look for a hotel which offers it in combination with accommodation.

Posted by
65 posts

I finalized my travel , would love suggestions on which city to make the base - Ghent or Bruges or Antwerp?
I am travelling during Christmas period.

Day 1 - Dec 22- Land into Brussels ( 8am) – Ghent sigh see ( night in Ghent/Bruges)
Day 2 – Dec 23 - Bruges sight see – ( night in Ghent/Bruges)
Day 3 – Dec 24 – Bruges sight see - ( night in Ghent/Bruges)
Day 4 – Dec 25 – Antwerp sight see ( night in Brussels)
Day 5 – Dec 26 – ( fly out Brussels (10 am)

Also are there direct train option from Brussels airport to Ghent or Bruges?

Posted by
103 posts

You should expect that you will get rained on, and the temps will probably run mid-forties in the day, to mid-30's at night. Although, I did get snowed on just a bit at the end of November last year. If you've ever been to Seattle in the wintertime, it's very much like that.

As for the trains, you should definitely check out this website: http://www.belgianrail.be/en/ I have the phone app, and used it all the time on my visits. You'll have to change trains to get to Bruges and Ghent, I believe, but they are plentiful, so you won't be waiting for a connection very long.

So many Christmas Markets to see, and the light show in the Grand Place in Brussels is terrific. Look down the Belgium list here to see many suggestions for food and sightseeing.

Posted by
84 posts

Hi ST,
There is a direct train from the airport to Bruges, but you can also change in Brussels. If the timing is better. Consult the belgian rail site posted above. I think these trains stop in Ghent before Bruges.
Ghent had a weird vibe to me. Bruges is overrun with day tourists, I prefer it later in the evening and early morning. Easier to experience if you stay there. My 2 cents, YMMV

Posted by
65 posts

Thanks for the tips - I am leaning towards making Ghent my base

Day 1 - Dec 22- Land into Brussels ( 8am) – Ghent sigh see ( night in Ghent)
Day 2 – Dec 23 - Bruges sight see – ( night in Ghent)
Day 3 – Dec 24 – Antwerp sight see - ( night in Ghent)
Day 4 – Dec 25 – Travel to Brussels in afternoon see ( night in Brussels)
Day 5 – Dec 26 – fly out Brussels (10 am)