Please sign in to post.

How busy is Bruges in late June?

I checked the cruise-ship docking schedule... I was wondering whether to use Ghent or Bruges as a base for three nights. Ghent is more central, but the most appealing thing about Bruges would be mornings and evenings... so I'm tempted to use Bruges as a base and go out to Antwerp and Ghent during midday. Solo traveller, love medieval art/architecture, not a nightlife person.

Posted by
5168 posts

We were just in Bruges, based there, and loved it! I found it crowded about 12-4pm, on a weekend , then all the day trippers seemed to leave at once, like being sucked out with a giant vacuum. I'd recommend staying in Bruges, find a great place on a canal, maybe two blocks from the market.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
266 posts

It was packed in March earlier this year, so I bet it will be even busier in June.

Before arriving in Belgium, I was most excited to visit Bruges but I liked Ghent better. Not only was Bruges extremely crowded, but it feels less “lived in.” Just my take. Others will have different thoughts.

Posted by
6775 posts

The cruise ships are an absolute pin prick in the visitor numbers at Bruges. Pretty much irrelevant.

Posted by
533 posts

Just returned from Ghent and Bruges....loved Ghent, loved Bruges. Ghent was charming, small and manageable. Bruges was very crowded with tourists, much larger and charming. Not sure what you mean by the most appealing thing about Bruges would be mornings and evenings...I loved Ghent for the same reason. It's definitely a lot smaller than Bruges though. More to explore in Bruges, but I sure did like Ghent. We stayed 2 nights in each.

Posted by
7031 posts

Before arriving in Belgium, I was most excited to visit Bruges but I liked Ghent better.

I loved Ghent! It was one of my favorite places to visit. As others said, it has a very lived in quality but also a wonderful vibe. I really enjoyed my time there (I was there for 3 days). Bruges was nice as well, but I didn't care for the crowds. And the town was nice but just not my cup of tea. YMMV, of course.

Posted by
399 posts

I suspect that if you reviewed past posts or took a poll on this forum, you would probably find about equal numbers arguing for Ghent and Bruges as the better base. The good news is that either will work out well. I stayed in Ghent and did day trips to Bruges and Antwerp in October. That was perfect for me but the day trip crowds were not bad in Bruges at that time. I would have found it difficult or too rushed to see everything I wanted in Ghent as a day trip. In both population statistics and areas size, Ghent is actually much bigger than Bruges, but Bruges attracted about 4 times more tourists in 2023.

I agree with people who say they prefer Ghent because it feels more like a lived in city. However, while I was in Bruges, I unintentionally wandered off the tourist path into a more residential area because my gps was temporarily giving driving rather than walking directions.