We have a 3 night stay in Belgium coming up. We're staying in Brussels and planned to spend a day each in Bruges, Gent and Brussels. We're arriving Sat in the early afternoon and will leave very early on a Tuesday. How early do things shut down in Bruges or Gent on a Sunday? We kind of wanted to relax and sleep in a bit these days but of course it depends on when things shut down in these towns. Our trip is at then end of April. Also, is Antwerp worth a quick visit?
I've only been in Gent on a Sunday, but I imagine Bruges is similar. Shops are all pretty much closed, with the exception of souvenir shops. Museums are open, albeit with shorter hours. Bars and restaurants are unaffected.
Antwerp is (opinion) a superior exerience to the other three cities. Many museums close on Monday. Luckily, the Gent Altarpiece can be seen seven days. Most tourist attractions, worldwide, are open business hours only. Antwerp and Gent have some nightlife, but you don't say what you want, after you sleep in past noon.
These towns are no exception to Tim's rule. Average opening times for tourist admission sites listed in Rick's guidebook are 9:30-17:00 in Bruges, 10:00-17:00 in Antwerp, and 10:00 - 18:00 in Ghent. Shops are typically open later than that Monday-Friday but not on weekends.
In Belgium shopkeepers are free about opening hours, so shops of the same chain can be closed in Antwerp but open in Bruges.
On Sundays: Most shops like fashion shops are closed, but some book shops are open in Bruges, but not in Ghent or Antwerp. The smaller supermarkets of Carrefour are open in the centre of Bruges. Bakeries anyway in the morning, some in the early afternoon too in cities and villages in general. Tourist related shops like for souvenirs, beer and chocolate are open in Bruges too, think not or maybe a few in Antwerp and Ghent.
We're thinking sleeping in till 9ish not past noon, Tim! We're not party animals lol. I do have the RS book for Belgium but just wanted to hear eveyone' thoughts. Thanks so much!