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stations for day trip

1) Belgianrail.be website, from Gent-Sint-Pieters to Antwerp ( one day round trip) there is more than one option to choose destination. Antwerpen-Berchem/Centraal/Dam/Haven, etc (I am guesing it would be Centraal, correct ?)

Since we only have one day, perhaps some highlights not to be missed, Old Town, Grote Markt, so far per RS’s recommendation. Can expert share some thoughts ?

Also, interested in looking/shopping at diamonds, watches, and fashions. Please suggest where to go.

Where to shop for good local chocolate

2) Another day from Gent-S-P to Bruges, Is “Brugge” our destination on Belgianrail.be site ?

Which Stop/Station to choose under “Brugge station Prerron”

Visit: The Markt, Burg Square, so far, again, any places not to miss.

Also, interested in looking in watches, and fashions. Please suggest where to go.

shop for good local chocolate ?

3) Last day, we might stay in Gent or one day in Brussels ? Stop staion at Brussels Centrals ?

4) When departing from Gent- Brussels airport, which station we should catch.

Last, is https://www.belgiantrain.be different usage than belgianrail website ? Schedule looks the same
Thanks

Posted by
165 posts

1) Antwerpen Centraal is the one you want

2) Brugge = Bruges, Perron = Platform. De Lijn is the bus company in Flandres. If you choose a destination with "Perron" the timetable will also show you how long the walk is from the railway platform to that specific bus platform. You can just choose "Brugge".

4) The one closest to your hotel? From Gent-Sint-Pieters direct trains run to Zaventem (Brussels Airport). There are also connections with one change at Brussel-Zuid / Bruxelles-Midi.

Last) Apperently belgiantrain.be is the new domain name for the NMBS/SNCB website. The old domains sncb.be, nmbs.be and belgianrail.be redirect to this new domain (so website is the same). For international travel they still use b-europe.com

Posted by
1504 posts

To get to Antwerp from Gent, you need to use the Gent-damport station. Use the S-P station to go to Bruges central. In Antwerp, other than the Grot Markt and Old town, is the cathedral. There’s a cute sculpture outside the church (Nello & Prastche). Between the train station and Grot Markt are a bunch of stores.

In Ghent, there’s Gravensteen castle, squares, (e..g., St. Veersplein, Korenmarkt, Vrijdagmarkt,) graffiti alley, St Bavos, the red light district (if you wanted to get a feel of what Amsterdam’s district is like), St. Michael’s bridge area, belfry, Rabot sluice, old butchers hall.

Mary, Neuhaus, and Galler are good brands of Chocolate, but there are chocolate shops everywhere.

Posted by
107 posts

Thank you everyone.

I like COS brand, its style. There are lots of local designers, perhaps you know what are the areas I can shop and look around.

Posted by
471 posts

Just returned from 10 days in Brussels.
Right outside Antwerp station is All the diamond shops one could wish for. We were not in the market, so I can not give any reviews for one over the other. From Gent to Antwerp, just go to the agent and buy the ticket. I would suggest trying a "free" tour in Antwerp. We did the Viva (orange umbrella) starting at 11 in market. Bart was excellent, we ended by 1, had a great lunch, visited the cathedral with the Rubin's work. Then we went to see the printing museum. There are many things to fill your day depending on your interest. Bart also gave us any and all info on best places to shop. I do not believe he gets any kick back, He seems genuine and loves Antwerp.
Traveling by rail is almost stupidly easy. All the agents speak english and will help you. Go directly to the agents, as the machines which are easy, but do not compensate a need for a signature on a credit card. If you are only using your debit with a pin then you can use the machines. Signage is excellent. Also realize there are first and second passenger tickets. Don't opt for the first, there is not much difference.
Realize that Belgium is bilingual. Mostly Dutch in Flanders (Bruges, Gent, Antwerp, ) both French and Dutch in Brussels.
Brussels is costly to stay. We visited 2 days, we stayed in Leuven (the major university city next to Brussels). We could go anywhere from Leuven. However, I think you may find more reasonable places to stay in Gent than Brussels
Whether it is Gent or Antwerp or Leuven or Bruges, the train stations are somewhat a hike from center of town or the Markt.
Go to the Lijn bus/tram system all works on the same card. You can purchase a 10 ride ticket for 16 Euro (best part they can be shared) The system is very well done and runs mostly on schedule. (not in Brussels, they have there own system. Use the metro if you want to go a distance. We made the mistake and spent $25 on a taxi, when we could have used the metro for $4.00)
I recommend having a phone so you can put ask google maps what stops and walking distance.
Brussels Central will bring you walking distance to the market.
You can purchase a ticket to the airport from almost any station. Again just ask at the agent.

Posted by
4192 posts

If you like early-twentieth-century architecture, the walk or tram ride from Berchem station to the city centre takes you through one of Belgium's finest art-nouveau districts.

Posted by
668 posts

Those are the three cities in Belgium I visit and absolutely adore. I no longer go to Brussels.

Yes, Antwerp Central is close to the diamond district. The Rubens museum in Antwerp is not to be missed. Be sure to visit the gorgeous cathedral and the traditional "square" in front. Statue of Brabo too. A great city that has endured through the ages.

You want to see Brugge centre ville both by day and by night. A magnificent city. Like Albi in France it is a magical place I can never visit too many times, and I have been there with the great loves of my life.

Gent is done in three hours - imposing chateau, guild houses lining the river and the polyptic by van Eyck. Study the history of the first two. Important site historically.

Bon voyage.

Posted by
13126 posts

I think the OP has returned from her trip to Europe. Had a pretty good time too as I recall.

Posted by
107 posts

Indeed, Sam.

Since back from vacation, I have been busy with applying to graduate school. I probably will have the time to write up my trip report during Christmas holiday.

FYI, my favour destination are Amsterdam and Lake Como, but I enjoyed every city we visited. stay turned for my overdue report.

Feel like Christmas is just around the corner, only 2 months left in 2018.