It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. I did make a lot of drafts but couldn’t find the time and effort to finish them. But actually, I think it’s a good sign, it shows I was busy being outside of home: Exploring and doing fun things! Also last weekend, when I went away for 4 days with my lovely mom. I went to the beautiful cities Ghent and Bruges (or Gent & Brugge in Dutch) in my neighbour country Belgium. Of course, I cannot wait to share my experience with you and recommend you the best city to visit (if you have to choose!). Because ultimately, I can already give away a spoiler: I would recommend you to visit both!
I’ve heard so many positive stories about Ghent, about it being a young and vibrant city. That I really had to check it out for myself. But I also wanted to visit the city of my bucket list: Bruges, which seemed to me like a wonderful place! When I found out I had a completely free weekend (no badminton league matches) I decided I wanted to go away for that weekend. I asked my mom and she was very happy to join me there! I’ll share with you my experience of both cities and compare them. Pictures can be found at the bottom of the blog!
We spent our first 2 days in Ghent, parked near the city centre, which was really expensive but we didn’t really have a choice ;) My first impression was, OK nice city but nothing special. However, when we came to the ‘Korenmarkt’ square and the ‘Sint-Michiels’ bridge, I was stunned! The sun was coming through and it looked so beautiful! The 3 towers of the churches gave a great view. And the houses at the ‘Graslei & Korenlei’ looked wonderful! From then on, I was sold. We walked around a lot: Saw the ‘Gravenstein’ castle – which looks very cool right in the middle of the city – and the very old meat house. For the rest, Ghent is perfect for shopping! There are quite a few big shopping streets, with plenty of different stores. I personally only bought 2 christmas ornaments, which I will talk about later in another blog about christmas decorating in my house! The next day, We went to visit two museums in the morning: S.M.A.K. (modern art) and the Museum of Fine Arts. I can say both are really worth the visit. Below a collage of the some of the pieces I liked best in both museums! Then, we continued the artsy day with a graffiti tour (which Ghent is pretty known for) and some more exploring, I really liked that!
For a nice coffee break with the most delicious cakes: I can really recommend ‘Julie’s House‘. I had a taste of a Crème brûlée pie and a Red Fruit cheesecake, they were really the best I’ve had in a very long time!
So overall, I really liked Ghent, a great place to go, it has a lot to offer for sightseeing, cultural activities and supposedly it has many great bars to visit and drink some Belgian beers (which we didn’t do, because we were too exhausted ;)). In the summertime the city has its famous party days: De Gentse Feesten. I’ve heard some great things about that as well, so might go there the next time I’ll visit!
Our next stop was Bruges, I expected a similar city as Ghent, so to not be very surprised about this city. But as soon as we arrived I knew it was going to be a new experience: The Christmas spirit was very much alive in Bruges already! Christmas lights were everywhere and there was a cute Christmas market with an Icerink, where Christmas songs were playing! Also, there are shops completely filled with Christmas ornaments and decorations. I personally LOVE Christmas, so I was super happy about all of this. In Ghent, the Christmas market starts only in December, so Bruges was a little bit earlier :) For the rest, we walked around Bruges a lot as well. To my surprise, it was a lot different than Ghent, with more medieval houses and countless churches and cathedrals. It actually feels like you’re walking through an outdoor museum. The market square is similar to Ghent’s ‘Korenmarkt’, but around that, literally every street is old and beautiful! We visited a beguinage, the old ‘Sint-Jan Hospital’ and the ‘Sint Salvator Cathedral’.
I think I personally enjoyed Bruges more, for me, it was a more unique city than Ghent. Bruges is a lot smaller than Ghent, but you can walk around for hours and still not get bored! But the city is very touristy, so you’ll have to be OK with that (and Ghent is quite touristy as well) ;) But I just loved the atmosphere of the city and beautiful ancient buildings! So if I had to choose, I would pick Bruges to visit. But if you can do both: DO BOTH! Both cities are very different and have different things to offer:) Did you ever visit Ghent & Bruges? What did you think of the cities? One thing I know for sure: See you soon again Bruges & Ghent!