The Two Cities of Flanders: A Day in Ghent and Bruges

A royal trip is in the cards.

As you may notice in a vast majority of the posts here, I am not a fan of big tours. That’s especially true if we are talking about a busload of tourists, all ogling at the sights and chattering among themselves. When I was in Belgium, I was thinking of touring Bruges and Ghent by myself. However, a friend argued that the weather in these parts is unpredictable, hence I should be joining a group tour. It’s better than being alone in inclement weather, plus the price isn’t bad. I thought the latter point was practical. It already costs 25 EUR for a single train trip, and going on a tour meant I could visit both towns for the equivalent of 50 USD, via Viator. Besides, it would be a nice change to be with a group every now and then.

My friend also said that Bruges and Ghent are more fun with company. I believed him since he was a local. The tour gathered at 9AM near the Brussels Grand Plaza, and the sight of the people made me a little uneasy. Most were couples and families, and it seemed I was the only one flying solo.

That was when I noticed a couple of Filipino families (who also immediately recognized my nationality). Since I looked really young, they took me under their wing. That’s the great thing with Filipinos — anywhere in the world they may be, they are a family.

The tour finally launched, and that’s when the fun started.

Ghent

Ghent is both a city and a municipality, and a very small one at that. We managed to walk around town in an hour or so. What’s great about it is that all of the pretty sights are in a straight path, so it’s hard to miss any.

Despite its size, Ghent is actually the second largest municipality in all of Belgium, after Antwerp. Its beauty revolves around its exquisite architecture, which is largely medieval and very well-preserved.