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Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

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Orange County...
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Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Can't figure out which is better, to stay in Brussels for 3 days, and make day trips to Brugge and Antwerp, or should I just move to each place with 1 night each ? After these, I will proceed to Amsterdam. Any advice ?

Orange County...
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1. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Also, is there something like a 3-day pass for the trains to these places ?

Amersfoort, The...
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2. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Brugge is certainly worth an overnight stay. It is a much more pleasant place once the day trippers have gone home in the evening.

Antwerp is, frankly, a much more interesting city to stay in than Brussels. If it were my choice, I'd base myself there for two days with one night in Brugge.

There are no three day train passes that would suit you. Just buy individual tickets.

Kiev, Ukraine
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3. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Both Brugge and Antwerp are worth overnight stay. So if you have only three days, it will be the best solution to stay one night in each because is worth it as well. If you still have any doubts read more about these cities belgium.net/belgium-guide/…brussels.html

brussels
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4. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

like many countries the ral network works best if you travel from the centre.the rail network is centred round bxl so i would stay there and tyravel out , you can easily get to those other places in a day and if youstart reasonably early oyu can make it before any of the shops attractions are ope so you dont lose time. I wouldnt plan to be on the move eveery day tht aisnt fun unless you have to belgium is so small unles you go to very obscure places a central base with day trips is best.

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Indeed, all depends on what YOU like to do - personally I don't like packing and unpacking that much, so I would NOT stay overnight in each city, but choose one and visit the others from there. As to which one, I disagree that Antwerp is more interesting in Brussels - the people who think that either don't know Brussels or have no interest in anything other than the Grand' Place, or simply don't like French[-speakers] - and the fact that there are many hotels near Gare centrale makes this a very convenient base. On the other hand, Antwerp is the closest of the 3 cities to Amsterdam: you have to travel through it anyway if starting from either Brussels or Brugge, and travelling from Brugge, would have to change trains there.

Eurail do multi-day train passes for Benelux (not Belgium alone) but their own official guide admits that it is hard to travel sufficiently extensively in such a small area to make it worthwhile. In any case, a pass is never going to be justified when someone is making only 1 or 2 (= out and back) relatively short trips a day, on only 2 days!

There is also a Belgian Railways "Rail Pass" for use in Belgium alone, but this is a 10-trip card, costing €76, i.e. each trip costs €7.60 - which is more than the cost of many single trips anyway, e.g. Brussels to Antwerp. Unless you are travelling with 2 other persons (pass can be used between several people) this is not useful for you. You also need to consider whether you would be doing any (RETURN) trips on a Saturday or Sunday. Current prices are:

- Brussels-Brugge: €13.50 single, €27 return, €14.40 weekend return;

- Brussels-Antwerp: €6.90 single, €13.80 return, €7.80 weekend return;

- Brugge-Antwerp: €14.10 single, €28.20 return, €15 weekend return;

- Brussels-Airport-Brussels (Nord, Central or Midi): €5.40 - in case you are arriving at BRU.

There is also a 3-day Brussels city transport (STIB) card, if you would be staying in Brussels and using public transport enough to justify it - if you were staying near Gare centrale and visiting only that area while in Brussels, you wouldn't need it. The new "Discover Brussels" cards include the airport bus and current prices are: 1 day: €6; 2 days: €10; 3 days: €13. If you were only making 1 or 2 trips a day (when each ticket would cost €2 if bought from machine, €2.50 from bus or tram driver ), over a number of days, and/or between a number of persons, it would be better to buy a 10-trip card for €13.

Montreal, Quebec
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6. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Hi Soverdi. What worked well for me was basing myself in Brussels right across the train station with day trips to Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp. It's just a preference of mine to have a home base rather than pack/unpack and so on. I took the train from Amsterdam to Brussels. Also, at the time, it was more cost efficient to buy individual tickets.

Orange County...
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7. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Thanks for all the advice, esp. qaminari's detailed explanation. It does depend if I want to pack and unpack, or spend time going back and forth. But since I'll be there on the weekend, it looks like the weekend return prices make it worth to just go back and forth. Hmmmmmm.... thanks all!

Orange County...
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8. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Following up my questions: I read that Ghent is a nice place too. (better than Antwerp?) Is it possible to use the ticket to Bruge, by stopping in Ghent first before proceeding to Bruge ? reason I ask is, I was told I could stop over in Antwerp, if I was proceeding to Amsterdam.

Brussels, Belgium
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9. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

Ghent is a great place as well. I would compare it a bit with Antwerp, but Ghent has more medieval sites and buildings. You can use your ticket to Bruges to make a stopover in Ghent.

Orange County...
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10. Re: Brussels as home base or move to Brugge & Antwerp ?

There seems to be some misunderstanding about the train tickets. When I purchased my roundtrip ticket to Brugge, the ticket agent said I absolutely can use my ticket to stop over in Ghent. But when I was at the Brugge station, I asked a conductor (actually there were 3 of them talking) about the train to Ghent, they looked at my ticket and said that I have to pay to go to Ghent, because my ticket is only for the trip straight to Brussels.