8-Nights Flanders Discovery (by Rail): Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges
Discover the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium with a tour of four of its distinctive cities. What's not to like about a region that boasts chocolate, waffles, frites, mussels, and beer? You'll explore traditional Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, and Antwerp, the world's diamond capital and former home of the artist Paul Rubens. Finish in the lively university town of Ghent with its world famous Altarpiece, and take a walking tour through the fairy tale town of Bruges, a medieval pearl on the coast of the North Sea.
8 nights from $999 per person
Supplier: Avanti Destinations
Antwerp is famous for its art treasures, diamond industry, and culture, relaxation and entertainment. Shop at Grote Markt, at the heart of which stands Brabo Fountain. Antwerp’s main attractions include stunning City Hall, one of the most important buildings of the Northern Renaissance; Our Lady’s Cathedral, one of the finest gothic churches in Belgium; and the daintily restored 16th-century guildhouses. Visit Diamond Land or Provincial Diamond Museum. Other sights include The Steen - a waterfront gatehouse of a medieval fortress built on site of a 9th-century fortification from which the town spread that now houses the National Maritime Museum; Mayer van den Berg Art Museum; Royal Art Gallery - which has 2,500 paintings spanning five centuries; and Plantin-Moretus Museum - a 16th-century patrician mansion that was a famous printing house of the Plantin and Moretus families.
Brussels's Upper and a Lower Town conjure up images of important buildings and long avenues and small, dark streets. Lower Town, the old Flemish quarter, contains the city's most famous sites, including its greatest landmark, Grand Place, and the Manneken Pis. It's also the location of around ten churches relatively close to each other; most of them from the Flemish Renaissance and Baroque periods. In Upper Town, you'll find King's palace, royal squares and various palaces from the eighteenth-century neo-classical Austrian period. The built-up business and residential areas are scrupulously broken up by frequent patches of green parks, which help account for the city's sedate, unfrenzied atmosphere. Around the city center are congregated many small, carefully laid-out parks that provide settings for statues and national monuments.
Because of the export of high-quality cloths, Bruges became prosperous and rich. The remaining buildings still let you feel how rich Bruges was. Museums house a lot of fabulous paintings from this time. At the end of the 15th century Bruges was prosperous because of the silting up of the coastal area in Zwin, now a natural park near Knokke that can be discovered by bike during the summer. Walking in the city you can feel Bruges's history. Bruges became poor and was put back in the spotlight by Georges Rodenbach's novel "Bruges la Morte". Bruges was reborn as an Art City, well preserved, never severely damaged. The city is admired every day by thousands of tourists from all over the world. In 2002 Bruges was been chosen together with Salamanca in Spain as culture cities of Europe.
It is no coincidence Ghent was given several names: historic heart of Flanders, a city of all times, one of the most beautiful historic cities in Europe. The city combines an impressive past with a vivid present. The historic heart of the city offers many places of interest. From St Michael's bridge there is a wonderful view of the skyline of Ghent with the three impressive towers of St Nicholas' Church, the Belfry with its bell tower, and St. Bavo's cathedral. Traces of the Middle Ages are well-preserved in Ghent. The old port with its guild halls on Graslei and Korenlei is merely one example of the beautiful views this town has to offer. Not far from Graslei arises the Castle of the Counts, once the medieval fortress of the Count of Flanders. Ghent also has several museums, abbeys, beguinages, dozens of churches and historical buildings. Everyone can find something here to suit his taste. Ghent offers shops, restaurants and an exciting nightlife. Discover Ghent by boat, carriage, bicycle or on foot.
Valid Travel Dates
- 2 nights Brussels
- 2 nights Antwerp
- 2 nights Ghent
- 2 nights Bruges
- Daily breakfast
- Shared Brussels Grand Tour - 2.5 Hours
- Private Bruges Walking Tour - 2 Hours
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