Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BELGIUM: BRUSSELS, GHENT AND BRUGES

In late October we spent four days in Belgium visiting Brussels, Ghent and Bruges. When I was 17 years old I did a trip to Paris - Bruges - Amsterdam with the High School and I remember Bruges with special affection, though vaguely. This is why I wanted to come back to this town and visit Ghent too, of which I had heard very well, and Brussels.

We tried to visit Antwerp too, but we realized that we had not enough time. In late October the days are quite short. So we decided to visit quietly only these three cities, enjoying their charm. Even at the end we wished we could have one more day to see Brussels more quietly.

We spent the first and last days in Brussels for convenience and logistics. We spent the two complete days in Ghent and Bruges. Fortunately, the weather forecast for both days was very good. Otherwise we had visited Bruges the day with better weather forecast.





Bruges in Belgium
Bruges in Belgium


There is a 50% discount on train tickets on weekends, so we went on Friday to Ghent and on saturday to Bruges because Bruges is furthest away and the train ticket is more expensive. By visiting only two cities the Rail Pass was more expensive than taking advantage of the discount weekend.


Below you can see the planning we followed in this trip:




  • Day 1 - Brussels
  • Day 2 - Ghent
  • Day 3 - Bruges
  • Day 4 - Brussels



  • Day 1 - Brussels




    • Manneken Pis
    • Grand Place
    • Jeanneken Pis
    • Royal Palace

    Day 2 - Ghent


    • Korenmarkt
    • St. Niklaaskerk
    • Belfort
    • Mammeloker
    • St. Baafskathedraal
    • Duivelsteen
    • Stad Huis (city hall)
    • Gravensteen
    • Korenlei and Graslei
    • Appelbrugparkje Bridge
    • St. Michielskerk and St. Michielsplein


    Day 3 - Bruges


    • Canals of Bruges
    • Minnewater Park and Swan Lake
    • Hospital of Saint John
    • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady)
    • The most beautiful place in Bruges
    • RozenHoedKaai in Bruges
    • The most photographied place in Bruges
    • Burg Square
    • Markt Square
    • Belfort Tower



    Day 4 - Brussels


    • Atomium
    • Laeken Park: Japanese Tower and Chinese Pavilion
    • Parc du Cinquantenaire
    • European Parliament
    • Grand Place



    Brussels (Bruxelles, Brussel)




    Manneken Pis in Brussels
    Manneken Pis in Brussels



    City Hall of Brussels
    City Hall of Brussels


    Maison du Roi and Grand Place in Brussels
    Maison du Roi and Grand Place in Brussels


    Grand Place in Brussels
    Colourful flowers on the Grand Place in Brussels


    Brussels in Belgium
    One of the streets around the Grand Place in Brussels


    Jeanneken Pis in Brussels
    Jeanneken Pis in Brussels


    Royal Palace in Brussels
    Royal Palace in Brussels 





    Ghent (Gand, Genk)



    Korenmarkt in Ghent
    Korenmarkt in Ghent


    St Niklaaskerk in Ghent
    Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent


    St Niklaaskerk in Ghent
    Apse of the gothic church of Sint Niklaaskerk



    Belfort Tower in Ghent
    Belfort Tower in Ghent


    Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent
    Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent


    Geeraard de Duivelsteen in Ghent
    Geeraard de Duivelsteen in Ghent


    Gravensteen in Ghent
    Gravensteen in Ghent


    Kraanlei in Ghent
    Kraanlei in Ghent


    Graslei in Ghent
    Graslei in Ghent


    The three towers of Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge
    The three towers of Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge


    Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge
    Church of Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge



    Bruges (Bruges, Brugge)




    Canal in Bruges
    Our first image of the canals of Bruges shortly after leaving the train station


    Bruges in Belgium
    Beside this canal we walked along a promenade among trees. A beautiful place between the train station and the town of Bruges


    Minnewater park in Bruges
    Swans in Minnewater park in Bruges


    Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Bruges
    Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady) in Bruges


    Canal in Bruges
    Beautiful place beside the apse of the church of our lady in Bruges



    RozenHoedKaai in Bruges
    RozenHoedKaai in Bruges




    Belfort tower in Bruges
    The most photographied place in Bruges


    Burg square in Bruges
    City Hall of Bruges in Burg square


    Markt square in Bruges
    Colourful houses in Markt square in Bruges


    Markt square in Bruges
    Markt square in Bruges


    Belfort tower from Markt in Bruges
    Belfort tower from Markt in Bruges



    Brussels


    Atomium in Brussels
    Atomium in Brussels


    Japanese Tower in Brussels
    Japanese Tower in Brussels


    Chinese Pavilion in Brussels
    Chinese Pavilion in Laeken Park in Brussels


    Chinese Pavilion in Brussels
    Detail of the chinese pavilion in Laeken Park in Brussels



    Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels
    Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels


    European Parliament in Brussels
    European Parliament beside Leopold Park in Brussels


    Grand Place in Brussels
    We went to the Grand Place because we wanted to finish our trip there enjoying a delicious waffle


    Grand Place in Brussels
    Maison du Roi beside the Grand Place in Brussels



    - Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to visit the following places in Brussels:


    • Comic route
    • Zinneke Pis
    • Les Marolles
    • Bar À la mort subite 


    - Typical dishes we tried in Belgium:


    • Waffles: with strawberries, or with banana or with white sugar
    • Cone of fries with andalousian sauce
    • Prawn croquettes
    • Marinated mussels
    • Soups (Potages du jour): All the soups I tried were delicious


    - Train and metro:


    • 50% discount on train tickets on weekends.
    • Bruges 14€ Ghent 8,5€, so: 8,5x4 + 0,5x14x4= 62€ for two people.
    • Rail Pass: 76€.
    • Metro :

      • 10 tickets card:14€
      • 24h card (one person): 7€


    • Airport: Train ticket 8,5€. 15-20 minutes from Gare Centrale to Zaventem Airport.
    • Ghent: Train from Brussels + tramway from train station to the old town.
    • Bruges: Train from Brussels + 15 minutes walk.


    - Hotel


    • Adagio Access Bruxelles Europe Aparthotel:


      • Address: Rue de l'Industrie, 12 (metro Trône or Arts Loi).
      • Quite well but 15 minutes far from the old town.
      • Metro: Trône or Arts-Loi (5 minutes walk).


    - Restaurants and bars:
    • Restaurant Chez Leon (near Jeanneke Pis)
    • Bar Delirium Tremens (near Jeanneke Pis)
    • Waffles: Near  Manneken pis


    - Websites for planning our trip:
    • Hotel: www.booking.com
    • Trains: www.sncb.com

    - Places to visit and restaurants:
    • lamaletadeglo.blogspot.com.es
    • www.ungatoenmimaleta.com


    Finally, other countries and cities I have already visited are:

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