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Bruges or Gent overnight

We are trying to decide which of these towns to stay in for an overnight. Any opinions on this?
Thank you!
Leslie

Posted by
8906 posts

Both are stunningly beautiful cities, but I would go with Bruges as there is more to see and do; so you will probably spend more time there anyway. Both they are very close to one another, just one train stop away, so it's not a hardship whichever one you choose.

Here is a taste of Bruges:

http://youtu.be/s-BYMPMhjpU

Posted by
1976 posts

My suggestion is Ghent (purely personal preference). I spent a day in Bruges and was ready to leave at the end. I also spent a day in Ghent and wished I could stay there for the night. For me, there were more interesting things to do and see in Ghent.

Posted by
78 posts

We have been to Bruges before and it is so beautiful and I do wonder what it would be like in the peace and quiet of the night. However, we have never been to Gent and we have our daughter joining us so I am thinking a day in Bruges and then on to Gent for the night. Such tough decisions!
Thank you!

Posted by
12040 posts

How old is your daughter? If she's within about a decade of university age, she may enjoy staying in Gent a little more. Gent has more nightlife (it hosts a large university), whereas Brugge can be sort of dead after dinner hours.

Posted by
14003 posts

Here's another vote for Ghent, for the reasons already mentioned, plus lodgings are considerably cheaper.

Posted by
103 posts

Gent: It is more affordable and less crowded at night.
They are both lovely choices.

Posted by
1464 posts

Bruges is the most picturesque, and most tourist orientated, in the evening surprisingly quiet, it has the more little town feel. Harder to find a sleeping place during high season, hotspots best to enjoy in the morning before the daytrippers arrive.
Ghent is more a bustling city with nice places, you feel more like a visitor among the locals. Many young people, mainly university students giving Ghent a pleasant vibe. Loads of restaurants and pubs, with better value for the money to spend the evening and pleasant atmosphere.
Both cities are stunningly illuminated in the evening, good moment for a walk. Ghent misses that commercial tourist layer, so you can “feel” this city better as it is, I think that’s the main reason why somebody votes for Ghent. Bruges is more cleaned up, but the lack of that gives Ghent character to my opinion.

Posted by
78 posts

Thank you all. My daughter is 30 but am still thinking that Gent would have more night life if she wants to go off. What will she do with her lovely parents in a quiet romantic town (Bruges)! I found a hotel in both places and both prices were great, actually, so I think we're good. Thank you again.

Posted by
388 posts

Since both are so close to each other (about 22 min by train), trains run late in the evening so technically it doesn't really matter which city you stay in. Im partial to Bruges, but Ghent is nice too. You can do day trips between them.

Posted by
388 posts

Since both are so close to each other (about 22 min by train), trains run late in the evening so technically it doesn't really matter which city you stay in. Im partial to Bruges, but Ghent is nice too. You can do day trips between them.

Posted by
58 posts

I just have to laugh today, Signed on to the forum to ask this very question. We are planning on spending 2-3 nights. I love all the responses, there are so many pros and cons for both. Still not sure where we are going to stay. Just might end up being the cheapest of the two. Thanks Wendy

Posted by
1464 posts

The "Bruges or Ghent" questions appears often, it comes down to taste and preference what is as hard to describe as the difference between Burgundy and Bordeaux wine to somebody who has never tasted it before but must make a choice of which of the two he will going to like. My preference doesn’t mean it will be the same of somebody else, so the best I can do is to describe as best as I can the things to expect. So a bit again: Bruges has more the little town feel and appeals more to the romantic idea of a historical place, but is very touristy and you have to deal with the crowds. Ghent is a vibrant place, has the feel of a larger town, feels more realistic and is more ideal for pub crawling in the evening.
I live within an hour drive from both places and visit them at least a few times each month. If time is limited, choosing remains always a challenge, things you have to accept as a traveller, best to find a balance or compromise.

Posted by
78 posts

There have been great responses and I think we have decided to visit Bruges during the day and then go to Gent for the evening, stay there and then spend the day in Gent. Coming from Amsterdam, does it make sense to stop in Rotterdam for a break on the way to Bruges?

Posted by
1464 posts

Depends what you are looking for in Rotterdam, you can also post this question on the Netherlands branche, maybe Andre L or others have some good ideas as well.

Posted by
78 posts

I will do that. I just thought I would throw it in while I was here! Thank you.

Posted by
1464 posts

Hi,

You can certainly have a break in Rotterdam, this city becomes more and more a place of modern architecture. If you like art visit Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, has a very extensive collection of famous artists of all periods and is located a 20min walk or short ride with public transport from Rotterdam Centraal railway station. Happy travels.

Posted by
109 posts

Hi Leslie,

I vote for a night in Bruges. You really don't get an appreciation for the city during the day because of high amount of tourist. In the evening the city pretty much clears out. It feels like you have all of Bruges to yourself. Not to mention the cathedrals and canals are simply gorgeous lit up!

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll enjoy!

Happy Travels!

Posted by
68 posts

Hello Leslie,

I am traveling through Belgium (for the first time) this May. While my choice of lodging is in Brugges (solely based on RS guidebook descriptions), I plan to spend plenty of time (both days and nights) in Ghent. Wherever you decide to stay, both choices should be great!

Peace!

Posted by
516 posts

Bruges is so beautiful at night. Gent is a nice city but Bruges at night is stunning.

Posted by
78 posts

Well we stayed in Ghent however I wish we had stayed in Bruge. Oh well, we loved our trip and it was wonderful either way!

Posted by
1464 posts

Glad you enjoyed your trip anyway!