A Journey to Brussels & Flanders
2 nights in Brussels, 2 nights in Antwerp, 3 nights in Bruges
“Unraveling the Belgian Way of Life: A Journey Through Brussels and Flanders’ Enchanting Art Cities”
Walking around in the capital city, Brussels, or in Flanders’ pocket size art cities such as Antwerp, Ghent, or Bruges, … you’ll discover the secrets of the Belgian way of life, which is about so much more than enjoying mussels, beer, and chocolates. Attractive restaurants, fascinating food, trendsetting fashion shops, contemporary and historical architecture, world-class museums, monuments, and artworks all vie each other for attention.
Day 1 Brussels, guided walking tour of Brussels’ historic city centre
Upon arrival, reach your hotel on your own.
In the afternoon, head to the Grand-Place in front of the City Hall and join a small group walking tour. This visit will focus on the picturesque historic city centre. This walk leads you along the famous Grand Place, the most beautiful square in the world, listed as world heritage by Unesco. Let us also explore the neighborhoods, the medieval streets where authentic estaminets are nestled, as well as chocolate shops and waffle stalls …. and do not forget to say hello to Manneken-Pis. During your walk in the heart of Brussels, admire the magnificent Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries among the oldest in Europe as well as the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula with its stained glass windows, the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament …
A little further, you are in the royal area with the Royal Park and Palace (only open to the public during the summer holidays) and the Palace of Coudenberg, the former residence of Charles V. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 2 Brussels, city of Arts
Meet your guide at hotel and embark in a day dedicated to some of the most beautiful among the 49 museums available in the city: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and The Magritte Museum. Marvel at a rich tapestry of artistic brilliance as you explore masterpieces by renowned artists spanning various periods. Delve into the world of Magritte, the surrealist genius, and be enchanted by his thought-provoking works. Discover a cultural trove that showcases Belgium’s artistic heritage, from classical art to modern marvels. With expert insights from your guide, gain a deeper appreciation for the captivating stories behind the brushstrokes. Immerse in a journey of artistry that will leave you inspired and spellbound. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 3 Move to Antwerp via Mechelen
Move to Antwer passing along Mechelen where you will enjoy a guided visit.
Mechelen boasts a rich history and an abundance of cultural treasures. Your expert guide will lead you through the cobbled streets and historic landmarks, unveiling the secrets of Mechelen’s past. Explore majestic cathedrals, such as St. Rumbold’s Cathedral, and learn about the city’s significance during the Burgundian period. Visit picturesque squares like Grote Markt, adorned with stunning architecture and lively cafes. Discover hidden gems, such as the Beguinage, and hear fascinating stories of the city’s unique heritage. Immerse in the vibrant atmosphere and discover Mechelen’s blend of tradition and modernity, making it a captivating destination to explore.
Arrive in Antwerp in the afternoon. Overnight in Antwerp.
Day 4 Antwerp
Meet your guide at your hotel and explore the heart of the town.
Explore the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady, an architectural masterpiece housing stunning artworks by famous painters like Peter Paul Rubens. Wander through the historic heart of the city, Grote Markt, where beautifully preserved guild houses and the Town Hall create a picturesque setting.
Discover the diamond district, where Antwerp’s long-standing diamond trade thrives, and learn about the city’s association with this precious gem. Marvel at the modern architecture of the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) and delve into Antwerp’s maritime history.
Visit the vibrant fashion district, where trendsetting boutiques and designer shops showcase the city’s fashion-forward reputation. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Antwerp’s diverse neighborhoods, each offering unique charms and cultural experiences. Overnight in Antwerp.
Day 5 Move to Bruges via Ghent
Meet your driver and transfer to Bruges passing along Ghent.
In Ghent, your expert guide will lead you through the picturesque streets and historic landmarks, providing fascinating insights into Ghent’s past and present.
Explore the iconic Gravensteen Castle, a medieval fortress that offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Wander through the atmospheric Graslei and Korenlei, picturesque quaysides lined with historic buildings and lively cafes.
Discover the magnificent St. Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Ghent Altarpiece, a masterpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. Marvel at the unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture that adorns the city’s skyline.
Stroll along the enchanting Patershol neighborhood, with its cobblestone streets and charming houses, and hear captivating stories of Ghent’s medieval past.
Enjoy a typical Belgian lunch in town. Indulge in the city’s culinary delights, from traditional Belgian cuisine to trendy eateries and gourmet treats.
Overnight in Bruges.
Day 6 Bruges
Experience the enchanting city of Bruges on a full-day guided tour that unveils the timeless charm and cultural wonders of this Belgian gem. Your expert guide will lead you through the cobbled streets and historical landmarks, offering fascinating insights into Bruges’ rich heritage.
Begin your day at the picturesque Markt square, surrounded by stunning medieval architecture and bustling cafes. Visit the iconic Belfry Tower, where you can admire panoramic views of the city from its top.
Explore the stunning canals of Bruges during a delightful boat cruise, discovering the city’s scenic beauty from a different perspective. Stroll through the tranquil Minnewater Park, known as the “Lake of Love,” and hear romantic legends that surround this idyllic spot.
Visit the awe-inspiring Basilica of the Holy Blood, housing a venerated relic of the Holy Blood of Christ. Discover the artistic treasures of the Groeningemuseum, showcasing masterpieces from the Flemish Primitives to renowned Renaissance artists.
Savor a delectable Belgian lunch at a charming local restaurant, immersing in the city’s gastronomic delights.
After lunch, continue your journey to the peaceful Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its serene courtyards and historical significance.
Explore the charming streets of the Lace Centre, where you can witness the intricate craft of Belgian lace-making.
Conclude your day with a visit to the bustling Markt square, where you can savor Belgian chocolates and browse for souvenirs. Overnight in Bruges.
Day 7 Ostende and its elegant beaches by train
Embark on a delightful day trip from Bruges to the beautiful beaches of Oostende, Belgium’s vibrant coastal city. Just a short journey away, Oostende offers a perfect escape to the sea, sand, and sun. Start your day with a scenic train ride from Bruges to Oostende, passing through picturesque landscapes and charming Belgian countryside. Upon arrival, head straight to the beachfront to feel the soft sand between your toes and the refreshing sea breeze on your face.
Stroll along the lively promenade, dotted with vibrant beach bars, restaurants, and shops. Enjoy a leisurely beachfront brunch, savoring fresh seafood dishes and local delicacies.
For a touch of culture, visit the Mu.ZEE museum, where you can admire a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art, reflecting the city’s artistic spirit.
Take a relaxing dip in the North Sea or unwind on a beach lounger, soaking in the coastal vibes. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some water sports like windsurfing or paddleboarding, offered by various beach clubs. In the afternoon, wander into the heart of Oostende’s city center. Discover the historic James Ensor House, the former residence of the famous Belgian painter, and immerse yourself in the city’s maritime heritage at the Mercator Ship Museum.
Indulge in a delectable ice cream cone from one of Oostende’s renowned gelato parlors as you continue to explore the charming streets and squares.
Before heading back to Bruges, take a relaxing sunset stroll along the beach, admiring the golden hues reflecting on the sea. Overnight in Bruges.
Day 8 Departure
Independent departure transfer