After three days in Antwerp we hopped on the train again.
If you haven’t seen the first two instalments of our Belgium adventure, take a look at them here.
The last stops on our Belgium trip were Bruges and Ghent. We decided to just stop in Bruges for the day as it’s only small, then head back to Ghent for the night. Unfortunately we chose to visit Bruges on a day when it rained. All day. Luckily Bruges is so super pretty that it still looked fabulous on a dreary day.
Every street was lined with beautiful buildings full of intricate details.
As well as the classic Dutch style buildings, there’s a fabulous cathedral. The inside was lovely and light and had the most wonderful stained glass windows.
The whole town is surrounded by a maze of canals which gives the buildings a stunning backdrop. Even on a gloomy day the canals were looking lovely.
After spending six hours strolling around Bruges, we were completely sodden through but well and truly wowed by the beautiful town.
I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the Belgium trains company. We used several trains and they were all super nice, so reasonably priced and on time! (If you’re reading this outside the UK and you’re wondering why I was excited by that, trains in the UK are pretty rubbish.)
The final stop
Our next and final stop of our Belgium adventure was Ghent. I didn’t know much about the city before visiting but a quick google search before going revealed it was going to be a stunner.
We were really lucky to be staying in a hotel right in the centre by the cathedral so we could walk straight out of the door and start sightseeing. It’s the perfect size for walking around but there’s also a small electric minibus that takes you around the city for free. Similar to Bruges, Ghent has gorgeous canals running through the streets. The weather was much kinder to us here so the reflection of the buildings on the water was stunning.
About every two minutes I had to stop to take a photo because everywhere is so photogenic!
Sorry to keep repeating myself here, but honestly the buildings everywhere were just so beautiful!
A happy place to be
What I loved most about Ghent was the atmosphere. Bruges was lovely but it very much felt like a touristy place, whereas Ghent felt like a real city. It’s got such history to it and has overcome so much in the past and you can somehow feel that in the air.
If you’re interested in medieval history, the castle has lots of stories to tell.
The inside of the buildings are just as stunning. The cathedral interior is designed in the classic Flemish style which can be seen all over Belgium.
They had some lovely old shops in some of the buildings too. This cute building housed a fabulous sweet shop selling traditional Belgian treats. Sadly it was closed when we visited but the window display was great.
As well as all the historic architecture, there’s a contemporary edge to the city. The university city has some brilliant independent artist shops and this famous graffiti alley which will be different every time you visit.
Ghent really is such a wonderful place. If you visit anywhere in Belgium, make it Ghent! It has a slight hidden gem vibe about it so it’s not completely overrun with tourists yet.
After two days in Ghent it was back to the UK for us. If you’re thinking “But wait, what about the food you had when you were away?”, don’t worry! The food was so fabulous in Belgium I’ve decided to dedicate a whole blog post to the subject. Stay tuned for the final Belgium post all about food coming soon…