From the medieval Bruges to the charming Ghent, then back to the capital, Brussels, in time for a quick visit to the administrative centre of the European Union: discover Belgium in three days with our suggested itinerary.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway it’s time to check out the low-cost flights with destination Brussels! Yes, flights are usually pretty cheap, but they aren’t the only good reason to visit the country! Think about waffles, canals, breweries and moules-frites, typical Belgian meal based on mussels and fries, delish.
DAY 1: Bruges
Tip: Early booking bus ticket costs only €5. If you buy it upon arrival remember to connect to the (pretty good) airport wifi and get the ticket on the official website for €17 one way. Otherwise Flibco’s office -outside the airport- sells them for €20-21 (ticket + commission).
With its canals and tasty waffles, Bruges is not to be missed. Public transport costs 3€ per trip and you can buy the ticket on the bus. However, the best way to explore the town is walking. Get lost in its cobblestone streets while tasting the chocolate of one of the many boutiques. Admire the UNESCO medieval centre, the Grote Markt and its colourful architecture. On Christmas time the square becomes a Christmas market, complete with its very own ice-skating rink. At sunset, climb the 366 steps of the Belfry Tower and enjoy some spectacular views of the city from the top – entry €10.
DAY 2: Ghent
We caught the train from Bruges to Ghent. Time: 30 minutes. Cost: €6.60
The lively university town of Ghent is famous for it historical centre dominated by the Saint Bavo Cathedral and the Belfry. Don’t miss the view of the beautiful Gravensteen castle from the canal and don’t forget to take a walk at night time. It is the best way to enjoy the town, with its architecture and canals. It is magic!
DAY 3: Brussels
With a short train ride, we went from Ghent to Brussels. Time: 35 minutes. Cost: €9
Brussels, the capital of Belgium and of the European Union’s government, has few highlights not to miss, even in a short few hours stay. Start from Marolles, the art district. Here you will find galleries, hipster cafes, vintage shops and traditional little restaurants. Continue on Rue de l’Etuve and get teased by chocolate pralines and tempting €1 waffles. Quick tip: after trying Nutella, strawberries, cream, bananas and caramel, we realised the BEST waffle has no toppings. Here you will also find the famous (why?) statue Manneken Pis. Keep on walking and you will reach the Grand Place. Majestic buildings surround this beautiful plaza, declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998.
- Lunch at Poissonnerie ABC is a must. It’s a small u-shaped bar in front of a little fish market! No seats, only a few tables with a view on Saint Catherine’s church. The perfect place for a glass of vino and super duper fresh seafood, cooked on a stove/grill right in front of you. It is a typical seafood tapas bar, a hidden gem in a city like Bruxelles. Poissonnerie ABC is 10 minutes walk from the Grand-Place.
Address: Place Sainte-Catherine 46, 1000 Bruxelles
- Looking for a beer we stumbled upon Cafè Bizon, another hidden gem! Blues music, cool atmosphere and barmen that still know how a good Belgian beer should be poured. Tell them what is your favourite beer – red or blonde – and they will pour the best selection of local beers, all night long. Blues jam sessions are on every Monday night and on Wednesdays you can enjoy great acoustic concerts!
Address: Rue du Pont de la Carpe 7, 1000 Bruxelles
Where to sleep in Belgium
Belgium is pretty expensive so, for this trip, we chose Airbnb rooms (double room from €30/night).