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Kortrijk: Back Door in Flanders

I've just come back from two weeks in Flanders. I'll have a more detailed report (or four) to post later, but right now I just want to recommend Kortrijk as a good base for a visit. It's a pretty, compact little town. You won't hear much English there, unless it's directed towards you. While there are tourists, most are Flemish themselves. It has a couple of nice museums, churches worth looking at, and a historic City Hall. It's also a great place just to walk around in, or to sit and have a beer on the market square. While I was staying there, they were in the midst of a town-wide event on the the theme of "play." Among other things, there was a fun fair, a pop-up playground (with a Wild West theme) in the market plaza, and you could jump out a window of one of the medieval towers--landing on large air bags.

Kortrijk has good rail connections. You can use it as a base for day trips to Ypres, Bruges, Ghent, or smaller towns in Flanders. Ostend, Antwerp, and Brussels would be longer rides, but doable.

Posted by
1283 posts

Kortrijk (I visited it a few times) is indeed a nice place for a visit with easy train connections to the places you mention. It’s a good base for making daytrips to Lille and Tournai/Doornik, a lovely historic place that remains for most under the touristic radar. Don’t think Kortrijk as a place for visiting a whole day as it can’t meet expectations like the other well-known places do, but I can imagine you enjoyed your backdoor experience there. If your train stops there, it’s worth taking a later train and having a local experience.

For those liking beguinages, the one in Kortrijk is with it's intimate character really nice.

Thanks for posting and looking forward to your report!

Posted by
20680 posts

yah, I discovered Kortrijk during a difficult stay in Lille a few years ago. Nice folks, nice central square, quite modern mostly. The MediaMarkt in the main mall is very helpful if you need anything electrical or electronic.

Posted by
373 posts

Don’t think Kortrijk as a place for visiting a whole day as it can’t meet expectations like the other well-known places do

Your mileage may vary, of course. We spent a good half-day in both the flax and Golden Spurs museums. With walking around and looking into other sites, we had no trouble at all filling two days.

It's always wise to look at what is there before making your plans.

Posted by
1283 posts

My remark is more in general, based on the idea most are looking for here on the forum, I should made that more clear. You can always stay longer ofcourse, especially if you have a specific interest. Your first post give me already the idea about a deeper interest, living just a few miles from Belgium I am quite familiar with what is going on across the border, so for this reason curious too about your report.