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Belgium, Luxembourg, Rhine Valley

Please help! Life got crazy! We are leaving for Belgium in 2 weeks, and we are spinning our wheels on an itinerary for our 6 nights there! I do not know why I am having such a hard time planning this trip! We intend to travel by train, but just are not getting a sense of where to go and how long to spend there, despite having read RS Belgium book. We are not really into art or museums, but do enjoy looking at beautiful buildings and pretty sights and scenery, and just walking! Would we be better off renting a car to see sights that trains cannot get us to? We like to keep on the move and see as much as we can on our trips, and do not generally just sit and soak up the atmosphere, other than when we are enjoying a meal.
We arrive Brussels on Wednesday morning and depart Brussels very early on Tuesday. Upon arrival, we are thinking of taking the train immediately to Bruges for one or 2 nights.
In reading the other posts, it looks like many people prefer to stay in Ghent and day trip to Bruges, but I cannot get a feel if there is enough to do in Ghent, or if a day trip from Ghent is enough time for Bruges.
Our last night will need to be in Brussels.
My husband is interested in going to the Middle Rhine Valley, and/or Luxembourg City, but those seem to be long train rides for our allotted time, unless we skipped Ghent and took the train to Luxembourg and then up to the Rhine. Have any of you been to either, and is it worth the long train ride? Or should we stick to Belgium?
I guess I am asking those of you who have been to Belgium, if you had 6 nights there (arriving and ending in Brussels), how would you plan your itinerary ? Please keep in mind, no museums! I do have some hotels booked, but can cancel them if necessary.
I appreciate any help you can give me! I am open to all suggestions! Thank you!

Posted by
2004 posts

What you can do is taking a high speed train to Aachen in Germany (takes just 2 hours), stay the first night there or in nearby Monschau (touristy but lovely) if you have already a car. Sunday back to Brussels (drop the car off in Aachen?) for doing a daytrip to Bruges and Ghent. Train to Bruges from Brussels takes 1 hour, you can have diner on the way back in Ghent and enjoy the historic part illuminated after sunset. Ghent to Brussels needs a half hour by train.

If your departure on Tuesday is late in the evening you have almost the whole day for visiting Brussels, or a nearby city like Mechelen, Leuven or even if time allows Antwerp.

From Thursday to Sunday you will have almost 4 days for exploring the Rhine, Mosel and Luxembourg.

Just a rough idea for an itinerary.

Posted by
307 posts

Wil has good suggestions for your itinerary.
We went to Ghent and Bruges this past April and spent a day in each city.
We stayed at the Hotel Carlton in Ghent. Highly recommend this hotel. The owners are very helpful; breakfast is included and it is less than 1/4 mile from the train station.
If you stay in Ghent it is a 30 minute train ride to Bruges and trains run every 30 minutes.
You can see just about everything in Bruges and still have time to wander around in a full day.
Would do the same in Ghent, although it is larger, may want to allow a day and a half.
Have fun!