My husband and I will be traveling to Europe in August and plan to be in Belgium for three days. We would like to see a little of both Brussels and Bruges but can't decide whether to stay in one place and day trip to the other or do two nights in one and one in the other. Any suggestions? Also we need hotel or B&B recommendations, preferably around 100 euros a night.
We enjoyed both but most posters didn't like Brussels. We stayed at Absoluut Verhulst in Bruges-it's top notch. We also took the Pink Bear bicycle tour to Damme and really enjoyed that excursion. Our hotel in Brussels was away from downtown-good price and nice, but not a B&B. Buses around Brussels were easy to get us around, walking is the way to tour Bruges, although we took a bus from train station to our B&B. We didn't enjoy our canal tour there-our guide "phoned in" his dialogue-others have enjoyed their tours. We also enjoyed the beer tour at their brewery.
Yes when in Brgues definitely take the De Halve Maan Brewery tour in the city center. It's a full working brewery, and they take you into the heart of the operation. All their beer is made their before being sent to their bottling plant outside of the city. This hotel in Bruges should fit you budget: http://www.hotelterreien.be
We loved Bruges, I'd recommend staying there the whole time. I do not recommend Absolut Verhulst. Very bad experience with the owners.
My favorite place in Belgium was Antwerp, but Bruges was number two. I'm definitely in the anti-Brussels camp. The two are only an hour apart and trains run every half-hour, so there's no need to split your stay. B&B's in Bruges are definitely a better value than most Brussels hotels (particularly on a weekday, when Brussels gets business travelers and rates can be very high). I really enjoyed my Bruges stay at the Dieltiens B&B: http://www.bedandbreakfastbruges.be/. If you can manage some steep stairs, it's a great place. For Brussels, my one genuine highlight was the ARAU tour of Art Nouveau: http://www.arau.org/en/tours. If I go back to Brussels, I'd time my visit to coincide with one of their tours.
Ditto everything Harold said on the B&B in Bruges, the hotels in Brussels, and the architecture tour in Brussels (thank you again Harold for that info). The only difference is that we like Brussels more than others do with its Grande Place and museums.
Brussels was worth half a day to me, but Brugges is amazing!! I would definitely stay at least one night because it is so nice to stroll in the evening after the day trippers go home!
Bruge is amazing. Especially at night when the daytrippers go.
Go to www.flickr.com and put Bruge night in the search feature.
Thanks, everyone! We will be taking the train to Brussels from Paris and plan to store our luggage and look around Brussels for part of the day and then go on to Bruges to stay for several days. Does that sound doable?
Yes, there are many train stations in Brussels. Central station is near Grand Place, this is where you will probably be walking around. The neat thing is that you buy a ticket for Bruges and can take any train during the day. We loved Brussels, I think in part because everyone hated it, so we had low expectations and got really impressed! Bruges is a must see, but we did not fall in love with it.