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May 2019 itinerary help

Hello all! I am in the beginning stages of planning my 10th anniversary trip to Belgium. We are interested in wandering around, eating, drinking, and relaxing. I'm planning on about 8 nights. I want to do 3 in Ghent and 3 in Bruges. Where do we spend the other 2? Initially I thought Brussels, but research here shows not many are into that. One of our primary reasons for going to Belgium is the beer. We are definitely going to Cantillon and maybe other bars or bottle shops in the area. Or do we go to Leuven which seems to get good reviews? Somewhere in the south? Add more days to Ghent and Brugge? Take a day from Bruges and spend 3 in Amsterdam? I'm going crazy! Any advice and opinion is welcome! TIA

Posted by
7078 posts

If you're not planning on visiting Antwerp as a day trip from Gent or Bruges, then I would suggest that. If you are already planning on a day in Antwerp, then my suggestion would be 2 days in Brussels. I'm not sure why so many people are down on Brussels. I wasn't 'in love' with Brussels but I enjoyed my time there, it was only 3 nights but since I did day trips to Bruges, Gent, and Antwerp, I only had 1/2 day and 3 evenings in Brussels.

Where are go going from Belgium, or where are you flying out of if heading home from there? If you're going to be flying or training out of Brussels to go somewhere else, then why not spend the last days there? It's really not as horrible as it seems when listening to some people here.

Posted by
6813 posts

My wife and I are soon heading over there and we have 3 nights Bruges (with a day trip to Ypres), 2 nights Ghent, 2 nights Antwerp, and the last night in Brussels (we’ve been there on other occasions) simply because it’s closer to the airport. In the event of bad weather or a train strike we can always take a bus or cab to the airport.

Posted by
16100 posts

Voting for Antwerp here as well but it may depend on where you are flying out of. If Brussels, you may want to be closer to the airport.

Posted by
11294 posts

Definitely spend time in Antwerp, which was my favorite of the "Belgian Big Four."

I'm one who's down on Brussels (my least favorite of the four), but there are definitely a day or two's worth of sights, so it makes sense to spend 1-2 nights there before your flight out.

Posted by
2026 posts

If you like a smaller place Leuven is a good one, from there you can make daytrips to Brussels and nearby Mechelen is not to miss too. With all the students there is plenty of beer in Leuven and it is also home to the worlds largest brewing company.

Posted by
1019 posts

We took the Holland Belgium tour in April 2014. We were scheduled to fly into Brussels and out of Amsterdam. Then the bombing occurred and had to change our flights to in and out of Amsterdam. Took the Thalys train to Brussels. We had three nights at a hotel already paid for. I liked Brussels... several sights to see. Took a local city tour, beer tour, went to some museums and cathedrals on our own.

If you look at his Holland Belgium tour for Ghent and Bruges, it will give you some options.

Ypres is worth the trip. Would of like to have time to go to Antwerp. Amsterdam, Delft and Hague are good options.

Happy Travels.