Separated from Brussels by around an hour by road and rail, the achingly charming cities of Bruges and Ghent make for perfect day trips for visitors to the Belgian capital.
Bruges may be better established on the tourist trail, but the truth is that Ghent is more than a match for its neighbour when it comes to character and charm. If you’re in Brussels and like the idea of visiting one or both of these captivating cities, with their fairy tale-like canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings, there are a wide number of tours available that include pick-up and drop-off in the capital. We’ve compared three of them below.
From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip
This full-day excursion is operated every Sunday by Brussels-based agency Bravo Discovery and includes round-trip rail travel from Brussels. Meeting in the capital’s Grand Place central square at 9.30am, you’ll arrive in Bruges by mid-morning and straight away embark on a 2.5-hour walking tour of the city. At its conclusion, you’ll then have two hours of free time for eating, souvenir-hunting, or even a boat trip if you wish. Next, you’ll continue on to Ghent by bus, for a tour of the historic city, a stop to sample the national dish of Moules Frites and beer, as well as some famous Belgian chocolates, and entrance (included in the tour price) to see the incredible 15th-century Ghent Altarpiece. The tour ends back in Brussels. From €70 per person.
From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour
Slightly longer than the previous trip, this 10.5-hour tour is run by Brussels City Tours and offers the chance to visit both Ghent and Bruges and some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral of Ghent, Bruges’ Old Town, and the Lake of Love. With transportation from Brussels, between Bruges and Ghent, and then back to Brussels included in the tour price, you don’t need to worry about a thing, other than whether to add on a boat cruise or leisurely lunch to your time in Bruges. In both Bruges and Ghent, you’ll enjoy a 2-hour walking tour in the company of your expert local guide who will be on hand to answer any questions and regale you with stories and facts about these magical cities. The tour ends back in Brussels. From €48 per person.
Private Tour: Ghent and Bruges From Brussels Full Day
For a more exclusive and intimate experience, this private tour to Ghent and Bruges by air-conditioned minivan could be just the ticket. During the 8-hour tour, you’ll have the chance to craft a custom itinerary based on the specific interest of your select group of family or friends, working with a local guide to plan it all out to your liking. Your experienced guide will help by recommending place to visit and things to do in both cities during your time there. The tour price includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, your driver and professional guide, all transportation, and bottled water. From €435 per person.