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Antwerp or Brussels

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Antwerp or Brussels

I am a 26yo male travelling alone (or maybe one other male) around Europe for 5 weeks in October. Planning on parts of Germany, holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria etc. I'm planning to get eurail pass and travel by train. I'm in early planning stages and just wondering what people recommend re Belgium - Antwerp or Brussels or both or neither? (Could only have 2 or 3 days in each city max to fit it into 5 weeks!)

I like history and beautiful buildings/sceneries but also like a good night life at night.

Thanks in advance!

Destination Expert
for London
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21,669 posts
45 reviews
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1. Re: Antwerp or Brussels

Eurail passes are rarely worth the money, and are next to useless in France and Italy as you still have to pay for reservations and supplements on most long-distance trains.

Read 'The man in Seat 61' website for more information, including his page on passes.



Brussels, Belgium
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34,539 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Antwerp or Brussels

To which I would add Benelux, especially as it doesn't look as though there would be any extensive train travel WITHIN the countries concerned, merely into and out of.

Also note that the only train available between Brussels and Paris is the expensive, high-speed Thalys, where the "passholders" fare on top of Eurail Pass is more expensive than an individual ticket purchased up to 3 months in advance of the date of travel. There again, non-high-speed options between Amsterdam, Antwerp and Brussels involve at least 1 change (in Rotterdam) and Thalys can be better value between Amsterdam and Paris than between Brussels and Paris. You can research prices (using a fictitious date in mid-June, as October is too far ahead) using www.thalys.com and/or, for trips to/from Belgium, www.b-europe.com/Travel

You can also research timetables for all European trains using http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en and if you have any further queries concerning the result, use the TA train travel forum, tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12483-Train_Tr…

It is simply impossible to guess whether you would prefer Brussels or Antwerp, or to shoot non-stop through Belgium without stopping at either. I can only suggest you research both cities yourself and see what appeals to you, or doesn't. There are loads of resources for this on the internet and even on TA itself, e.g.

- tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g188644-Activiti… and

- tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g188636-Activiti…

Guelph, Canada
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38 posts
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3. Re: Antwerp or Brussels

I havent been to antwerp so I cant speak towards how long you should spend there, But I spent 8 days between Bruges Ghent, and Brussels. For my friend and I (both 21 male) loved each city but found that brussels was the worst of the three. The majority of the centre of Ghent and Bruges is old cobblestone streets with beautiful buildings, where as, we found that Brussels is more modern with only a few streets with an old feeling.

I would suggest you spend some time in either Ghent or Bruges (my suggestion is Bruges, my friends is Ghent) as they are both amazing cities.

As for nightlife both of the cities were active at night. we found an amazing small bar in Ghent with a great owner which was a lot of fun.

Glen Rock, New...
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88 posts
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4. Re: Antwerp or Brussels

Go to Ghent!!!

University town, lots of music, cool bars, very photogenic, amazing architecture, canals and overall good energy, and much less touristy than Bruges!

8 posts
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5. Re: Antwerp or Brussels

Thanks everyone for your help! This is why I like TA!

6. Re: Antwerp or Brussels

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