How To Visit Brussels, Bruges and Gent In 3 Days
The Western European country of Belgium is fairly small compared to its neighbour countries. So, it is possible to visit the main cities and cultural spots in just a weekend.
I recently travelled to Brussels for a 3-day trip. However, we quickly realised that you don’t need more than a day to see the Capital of Belgium, which allowed us to spend the other two days visiting other locations.
In this suggested 3 day itinerary, I share with you how we visited Brussels, Bruges and Gent in only 2 days; Followed by a visit to the iconic Belgian Atomium on the third day. Alternatively, if you would like to spend more time visiting the other towns instead of visiting the Atomium, you could also allocate a day per city instead.
We arrived to Brussels on a Thursday late night, and stayed in the city until Sunday afternoon, which meant we had 2 full days and half a day to explore Belgium. Here’s how we did it:
Day 1: The centre of Brussels
We woke up fairly early in the morning so we could maximise our day in Brussels. We marked the spots on Google Maps as a round trip and in just the first day, we had seen all the main spots in the city:
The Grand Place
The Old England Building
Mont des Arts
Brussels Meeting Centre
Musical Instruments Museum
Royal Palace of Brussels
St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral
We even had time to relax at a sunny terrace, eat waffles and window shop around the city.
Day 2: Bruges and Gent
Our travel itinerary was ambitious: We wanted to see both Bruges and Gent in just one day. Being totally honest, this was an exhausting day and if you would rather take it easy, I would suggest giving these two cities a day each so you don’t feel rushed. However, if you want to do as much as possible in a short period of time, I would 100% recommend following this itinerary.
We were initially planning to travel to these cities by train until we learnt that the train tickets in Belgium are fairly pricey. Instead, we found a travel agency that was offering a guided tour to the 2 cities in one day, with transport included, for the same price that the train tickets would have cost us.
Even though I usually prefer to travel independently, I have to admit that going on a tour allowed us to learn more about the history of each town; quickly visiting the main monuments without having to worry about when and where to go next. In addition, we later learned that the train stations in Bruges and Gent are not located walking distance from the historical city centre (the old town); so, we were definitely glad we took the tour guide instead! In the end, this decision saved us money and ultimately a huge amount of time, which you will need if you want to visit both of the cities in the same day.
Day 3: Brussels Atomium
On our last day, we took the underground to Heizel to visit the iconic building of the Atomium. The Atomium is a landmark that was originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World Expo. Since then, it has become a museum and an architectural icon itself. It was pretty cool wandering through the inside of this insane building!
Between getting the tube to the location and queuing to buy tickets and get in, it was already lunch time when we finished our visit to the Atomium. After that, we returned back to the centre to have lunch before heading off to the airport to catch our flights later that afternoon.
I would only recommend visiting the Atomium if you have extra time in the city, as it takes quite a while to get to the location and visit the moment – Hence why visiting it on our last day in Brussels was the perfect plan for us. We had already seen everything else, so we used our spare time for this.
Thanks for reading! If you are visiting Belgium soon, let me know in the comments what else would you like to know? If you have already been, tell me – which was your favourite city? Ours was Gent!
If you are touring more countries in Europe, don’t forget to check out our other European Itineraries.