We will be taking a Baltic cruise next summer that starts in Stockholm and ends in Amsterdam. We have two days in Amsterdam on the ship and plan to stay a few more days. We would also like to visit Brugge/Ghent. Looking for suggestions on how many days to stay in Brugge/Ghent.
It would seem easier to me to fly into Stockholm, take the cruise to Amsterdam, take the train to Bruges and Ghent, and then fly out of say Brussels. One fewer plane to deal with.
Bruges and Ghent are both wonderful. Bruges is more touristy than Ghent. Three nights for both is probably enough to get a good quick taste of them. An extra night or two would make it less rushed of course - personal preference. If you have six days (five nights?) you could perhaps add an extra night or maybe a stop in Brussels, Antwerp (on the way by train from Amsterdam), etc.
I love Brugge so min 3 days allow 1 day for Ghent.
Two to three days at most in Belgium. Stockholm deserves a minimum of four days. We stayed there a week and barely had enough time to see everything we desired.
Short answer, I agree with Suki.
Longer answer, you'll probably see some other medieval town centers, so one night in Bruges would be enough. But Brussels, Antwerp, Gent, and Bruges are close enough to each other (like the many nice Netherlands day trips near Amsterdam) that you don't need more than one hotel. However,allow time to get to BRU three hours before your departure. Gent and Antwerp are slighly more central for daytripping.
The train trip from Amsterdam to Bruges (or even just to Brussels) is substantial, and would be faster and cheaper with a non- changeable advance Thalys ticket. (In any case, you have to change to a local train to get from Brussels or Antwerp to Ghent or Bruges. Thalys offers an "Any Belgian Station" ticket option, but you can also buy a same-day LOCAL ticket without any extra cost - that's the way Belgian Rail tickets are. And that's how you'll day-trip from whichever city you stay in.) Like Stockholm, Brussels and Antwerp are large cities which can be worth more than one day, depending on your interests.
Many posters on this board seem to figure that Bruges is next to Amsterdam. That's not correct.
We did the same last spring after a river cruise.
We actually spent only a 1/2 day in Bruges which was a little pressing.
Bruges is very romantic and you can spend hours in the square just people watching.
Ghent is similar only larger.
We spent one day in Ghent and
stayed at the Hotel Carlton in Ghent; highly recommend this establishment.
If we were do do it over again, I would still visit Bruges in a day and spend a little more time in Ghent.
BTW we took the Thalys from Amsterdam to Antwerp and then Belgian Rail to Ghent and Bruges.
Worked very well.
To me, 1 full day in Ghent and 2 full days in Bruges, is enough is see the main sights.