One week in Belgium – An Exciting Itinerary for Bruges, Ghent and Brussels

one week in Belgium Atomium Mini Europe

So, you have one week in Belgium and you’re wondering how to spend it? You have come to the right place! I’ve just returned from a week in Brussels, Ghent and Bruges and had a fantastic time. Let’s not talk about how much weight I put on eating all the amazing Belgian stew, waffles and Belgian chocolates though! The good news is that a week is the perfect amount of time to see the highlights of Belgium. You will enjoy a more relaxed pace and have more local experiences than those who rush in to see Bruges in one day from the cruise ships. I’m happy to share my Belgium itinerary with you, and I have no doubt that you’re gonna love it….

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Introduction to Belgium

Belgium was established following the 1830 Belgian Revolution. It used to be part of The Netherlands and France, and then Belgium officially became a country when the Netherlands signed the Treaty of London (April 19,1839). There are a few interesting things to note about the country if you intend to travel there.

There are two main regions of Belgium – Flanders and Wallonia. Flanders is mainly the Dutch speaking part in the North and Wallonia is mainly the French speaking part in the South. However, you will find variation in languages and dialects in Belgium. It’s important to note which cities are predominantly French speaking (Brussels) and which are predominantly Dutch (Bruges and Ghent). In some parts, you may even experience some German being used. But, overall, you will be pleased to know that English is widely used and understood.

solo travel Belgium Grand Place Brussels
Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium

Photography copyright: All the images in this blog are original photography by Amy Green and are property of @templeseeker (unless otherwise stated). Please do not use these without permission or without giving credit. If you would like to use any of these images please email: for permission. 

What is the best time to visit Belgium

Belgium is best enjoyed in the spring, when the weather is mild, crowds are less and the spring flowers are in bloom. May is a lovely time to visit. Another nice time to visit is October. I travelled to Belgium in October 2023 and had a lovely experience – pleasant weather (still around 20°C) and there were hardly any queues for attractions like the museums and the Belfry.

August can be very hot and crowded, and so I would avoid Belgium at this time. There are school holidays across UK, Belgium and France which result in Bruges and Brussels being extremely busy. I would also avoid visiting in the winter when it can be a bit too cold to enjoy (just 2°-3°C).

Also, remember to check the calendar for public holidays and local Belgian festivals in Bruges and Ghent which you may (or may not!) want to avoid!

A few words of advice about visiting Belgium

  • Some of the tourist cities such as Bruges and Ghent can be seen in just one day, but I wouldn’t recommend this – enjoy at least a week in Belgium.
  • Learn some French and some Dutch, and be aware of when to use them! I brushed up on my French and learnt some basic Dutch phrases on Duolingo.
  • The currency is EUROS and you will want bank cards as well as cash (some tourist places in Bruges don’t actually accept cash since 2020).
  • Always carry your passport or ID card with you – it is the law to have ID on you in Belgium.
  • Pack depending on the time of year as the different weather conditions in the summer and winter vary considerably.
  • You don’t need to book trains and buses in advance – it is ok to turn up and book them at the machine on the day. You may want to book your airport transfer bus (Flibco) online and in advance.
  • Take advantage of the free walking tours in Bruges, Ghent and Brussels (but remember to tip your guide what you can afford).
  • The line for medical emergencies in Belgium is 112 (ask for an ambulance). Hopefully, you will not need to use this!
Things to do in Ghent stepped gable houses
Historical houses with stepped gable fronts in Ghent, Belgium

What to pack for Belgium

What to pack for Belgium will depend on what time of year you travel. If you are going in the summer then take plenty of leggings, cycling shorts and T-shirts with a light fleece and rain Mac. If you are going in the winter then add a few jeans and jumpers with a heavier wind and rainproof overcoat.

For a week in Belgium in the autumn, I managed to travel hand luggage only – I was proud of myself for fitting everything I needed for 7 days into just one bag! It would have been more of a challenge if I was doing this in the winter months though, but it can be done! If you are travelling with a cheap airline (I flew Ryanair from Manchester to Charleroi) and going with just one bag of hang luggage, remember to keep your toiletries small (no more than 100ml) and make sure that they fit in the airline recommended clear plastic wallet (one per traveller).

what to pack for one week in Belgium

Lonely Planet Belgium

Getting to Belgium

You will probably fly into Brussels. There are two main airports in Brussels – the main Brussels Airport (informally called Brussels-National Airport or Brussels-Zaventem Airport) serviced by the main international flights and Brussels Charleroi which is predominantly served by the European cheap airlines. If you fly Easyjet or Ryanair you will probably fly into Charleroi.

It’s just 20 minutes by train from Brussels airport to the city centre.

Charleroi is a bit further out so expect it to take around an hour by bus (Flibco). You can also take a bus to Charleroi Gare centrale and then a train from there to Brussels. If you are planning on doing this itinerary, then I recommend that you plan to arrive at Charleroi at a reasonable time (no later than around 7pm) and then take the Flibco bus direct from Charleroi to Bruges where the itinerary begins.

Some people may arrive by boat to Zeebrugge (Port of Bruges and Antwerp). There is a train that runs directly to Bruges station from Zeebrugge Port – it takes just under 40 minutes and costs 2,50€.

solo travel Belgium
One week in Belgium – Beautiful views of Bruges Canals

Getting around Belgium

Belgium has excellent transport systems and I found it very easy to get around. The ticket machines have an option to change to English, Dutch, French and German. There were often English speaking staff on hand to help me at the main train stations and bus stations. Here are the main modes of transport that you will want to use…

  • Buses – Most take card and some have ticket machines at the station. For the local buses from Charleroi airport, take the A1 from Charleroi to Charleroi Central Gare for onward travel by train.
  • Flibco Airport Transfers – you can use and book your bus transfers online. Flibco buses run from Charleroi to the main cities including Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. Book specific buses at specific times other than for Charleroi to Brussels, which is date only (they come every 20 minutes).
  • Trains – The trains in Belgium are fast, comfortable and easy! Change in Brussels-Midi for Bruges and Ghent. You can also buy train tickets for Belgium in advance on the official website here (English, French, Dutch and German).
  • Electric scooters and bikes – If you want a more efficient way of covering ground than on foot, consider cycling or even renting one of the electric scooters. Download Lime, Bolt and Dott Apps. Most cities in Belgium are reasonably flat and have good bike lanes.
  • On Foot – Most Belgian cities have good walking tours and I highly recommend them. Many operate on a tip based system which is branded as a ‘Free walking tour’ and the guide runs on tips so you pay what you can afford.
  • By Boat – The most relaxing way to see many Belgian cities (particularly Bruges and Ghent) is by boat. Seeing the city from the water will give you a different perspective.
Solo Travel Brussels
Mont des Arts, Brussels, with the Town Hall Spire in the background

What to avoid in Belgium

Overall, Belgium is a very easy and safe country to travel. There are a few tips that can keep you safe from pickpockets and any unwanted attention, as well as general travel tips for Belgium…

  • Avoid dark alleys in Brussels at Night.
  • Don’t get your purse, phone or passport out in public view in busy train and bus stations where there are likely to be pickpockets (particularly at Brussels Gare du Midi/Zuidstation (Eurostar terminal) and Brussels Gare du Nord.
  • Avoid leaving your luggage unattended in racks where you cannot see it.
  • Don’t bother taking your car – public transport is good enough that you don’t need it.
  • Don’t ride on the electric scooters with a passenger or go over 25kph on them!
  • Avoid areas of protest or large political/religious gatherings as although rare, terrorism unfortunately remains a problem in Belgium.
  • Don’t go too heavy too fast on the Belgium beer – it is strong (one Belgian beer I tried on my second night in Bruges was 12.9%!)
  • Avoid illegal drug use – you can end up with a prison sentence or at least a fine.
  • Avoid trying to used small coins as 1 and 2 Euro cents are not appreciated in Belgium!
  • Avoid touching, vandalising (or even worse, stealing!) the statues – Mannekin Pis has been vandalised and stolen several times, and now the one you see in the city is a copy (the real Mannekin Pis is in the Brussels Museum!)
  • And finally, avoid trying to pack too much into your one week Belgium itinerary – 3 cities is more than enough.
Mannekin Pis
Mannekin Pis – The symbol of Brussels! You will find him dressed up, here he is on graduation day!

Your Belgium Itinerary – At a Glance

  • Day 1-2 Bruges – Belfry, Chapel of the Holy Blood, Saint Salvador Cathedral, Canal boat trip, Church of our Lady, Belgian beer experience.
  • Day 3-4 Ghent – St Michaels Bridge, Bavo Cathedral, Ghent Belfry, Canal Boat Trip, Graffiti Alley, Kraanlei, Friday Market, Ghent by night walking tour.
  • Day 5-7 Brussels – Grand Place, Royal Palace, St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral, Mannekin Pis, Comic Book street art, Parc du Cinquantenaire, Mini Europe and Atomium.
one day in Ghent Belgium canal boats
A canal boat ride in Ghent, Belgium

Detailed One week Belgium itinerary

Take the bus straight to Bruges where your Belgium itinerary will begin with the Bruges Belfry and a walking tour of the city. You will also get the chance to indulge in Belgian fries and chocolate!

Day 1 in Bruges

9am Bruges Belfry – On your first day in Bruges, head straight to the belfry to climb the 366 steps to the top for a stunning view of the city. Get there early (around 9am) to miss the crowds and remember to take your credit or debit card as they don’t take cash. Halfway up, you will see the drum room with the ‘gigantic music box’ structure that plays several tunes (which change every two years). From the top you will get a 360 degree view of the city with ariel views of Markt, the town hall and the Churches.

Markt Bruges Belgium
One week in Belgium – View of Markt from the Belfry, Bruges

11am Bruges Walking tour – Next it’s time to join a walking tour to get a feel of the city with a guide who can give you a local insight to the history of this medieval city. Most walking tours (such as the Ambassador walking tour) are ‘free walking tours’ but take some cash to tip your guide. There is also a great Bruges walking tour on Get Your Guide that includes a canal ride. Most walking tours in Bruges include Markt, Bonifaciusbrug (Boniface Bridge), Burg Square, Church of Our Lady and Old St. John’s Hospital.

1.30pm Lunch at Fritbar – It’s time too get your fill of Belgium fries! I’d recommend the Belgian stew with fries at Fritbar.

Flemish Stew Fritbar Bruges

2.30pm Chocolate shops – It’s time to walk down Katelijnestraat to find some of the best chocolate shops in Bruges. My favourites are Dumon and Pur (on Walstraat). Other good ones include the Chocolate Line and the Chocolate story. Most chocolate shops in Bruges allow you to try a truffle. Believe me, once you try, you will buy!

Halloween Chocolate Display Pur Chocolate Bruges Belgium
Halloween Chocolate display at Pur Chocolate, Bruges, Belgium

3.30pm The Beer Experience – Now it’s time to sample some local Belgian beer at the beer experience. You will get an audio guide tour telling you about the different beers and how they are made, followed by a beer tasting. Remember to book your beer experience online in advance here.

Wall of Beer Bruges Belgium
Wall of beer at ‘The Beer Experience’ in Bruges

5pm Bruges Windmills – If you still have some energy after all that, take a walk to the North East of the city (around 20 minutes) to find the Bruges windmills. Head to Kruispoort gate and walk North from there. Make sure that you get there before dark for some good photography.

6.30pm Poules Moules – After such a busy day of sight seeing, it’s time to sit down for a classic traditional Belgian meal – Moules Frites at Poules Moules. They cook the mussels in a white wine sauce with garlic and serve with crispy Belgian fries.

Day 2 in Bruges

I hope that you are not too hungover after your first day in Bruges – that Belgian beer is so tempting! On your second day in Bruges, aim to head to the station at around 6pm for your train to Ghent. Today you will be spending a morning exploring Churches and architecture and a relaxing afternoon boat ride, followed by a Beguinage monastery. Check out of your accommodation at around 9am and ask them to look after your luggage until 4pm. Pick it up after your boat ride and before you head to Begijnhof monastery, which is on the way to the train station.

Churches in Bruges Basilica of the Holy Blood
Basilica of the Holy Blood, Bruges, Belgium

9am Exploring the Churches of Bruges – There are three must-see Churches in Bruges – Saint Salvador Cathedral, The Church of Our Lady and the Chapel of the Holy Blood. It is recommended that you see them in that order and end up at the Chapel of the Holy blood for noon, when you have the best chance of seeing the relic (a vile containing cloth that they say is stained with the blood of Jesus Christ himself).

It is important that you dress appropriately for this day if you want to go inside the Churches (wear a long sleeved top that does not show cleavage) and long pants and you will be fine. The Churches are free to enter, but you may choose to pay more to see the Museum in the Church of Our Lady and the treasury in the Chapel of the Holy Blood.

Churches in Bruges Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk The Church of Our Lady
Church of Our Lady, Bruges, Belgium

1pm Lunch including Belgium Waffles – It’s time for your lunch stop, and I highly recommend some Belgium Waffles. My favourite is the Otto Waffle Atelier Katelijnestraat.

2pm Canal Boat Ride – Seeing Bruges by canal boat is one of the best ways to see the city. You can book them in advance but it’s also possible to just walk up to the canal boat stands near to Nepomucenus Bridge and book on the next one. They cost between 9-12€ and usually include a local tour guide. Once you have enjoyed your relaxing canal boat ride, collect your luggage from your hotel ready for Ghent and head towards the station, but you have one more place to explore before getting on the train to your next destination!

Is Bruges worth visiting
Taking a canal boat ride in Bruges, Belgium

4pm Begijnhof monastery – Finally, you have chance to go into the grounds of the Begijnhof monastery, which was founded in 1245. It is famous for its white fronted houses and peaceful and tranquil grounds, the monastery is also home to Saint Elizabeth’s Church (you can enter for free). As it is on the way to the city, it makes sense to pop in here on the way to the station, just remember to respect silence in both the Church and the grounds of the monastery. Stop for a quick snack or drink before your short journey to Ghent.

Entrance to Beguinage Monastery Bruges
Entrance to Begijnhof monastery, Bruges, Belgium

6pm Train to Ghent – Next you will need to head to Ghent from Bruges, which is around an hour and a pleasant and easy journey. You don’t need to book your tickets in advance and the ticket machines also have an option for English. Once you arrive in Ghent, grab some dinner and rest up for the next busy day!

Recommended places to stay in Ghent – Hostel Uppelink (budget) or IBIS Ghent Centrum (mid range).

Day 3 in Ghent

On your third day in Belgium, you will be exploring Bavo Cathedral and taking a walking tour of the city of Ghent. The afternoon can be spent on a canal boat ride and enjoy more Belgium Beer! There is an evening tour available as an optional add-on, if you still have the energy.

8am St Michael’s Bridge – The view from St Michael’s Bridge is one of the most stunning views in Ghent – you will get a view down the canal and also looking from the bridge you will get a beautiful view of the three towers of Ghent – St Nicholas’ Church, Ghent Belfry and Bavo Cathedral. It can get very busy with photographers and tourists on this bridge from around 9am, which is why I’m recommending that you go early.

Is Ghent worth visiting?
Beautiful views of Saint Michaels Bridge, Ghent, Belgium.

9am Bavo Cathedral – Head to Bavo Cathedral, which is a masterpiece both inside and out. Pay the 16€ to go inside the the back section, where you will see the Ghent Altarpiece, also called the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (by the Van Eyk brothers).

Bavo Cathedral Ghent

10.30am Legends of Ghent Walking Tour – Meet outside hostel Uppelink just before 10.30am for the Legends of Ghent walking tour. It’s a free walking tour that will include the following….

  • St Michael’s Bridge and Korenlei – Stepped Gable houses along the canal.
  • Gravensteen Castle – One of the most beautiful castles in Ghent, and the pillory post on the main square in front of the castle (used for tortures and hangings!)
  • The Old Fish Market – The gateway to the old fish market decorated with carvings of sea gods.
  • Graslei and Kraanlei – Old houses including an old Orphanage and an old Apothecary house.
Orphanage and Apothecary house Kranlei Ghent
Beautiful historic houses on Kraanlei – The Old Orphanage and Apothecary house.
  • Graffiti Street – A cute alleyway dedicated to supported up and coming street artists as a place for them to practice.
  • Old Meat Market – The Great Butchers hall dating back to the 15th Century and located on the canal side.
  • Friday Market – statue of John (Jacob) of Artevelde, Old Workhouse and numerous bar recommendations!

1.30pm Traditional Belgium Lunch – After all that walking, it’s time to put your feet up and enjoy a traditional Belgian leisurely meal. I recommend trying Eithuis Augutijnje for scampi, lobster and all the Belgian classics. Follow this with a trip to Cafe Galgenhuis (Groentenmarkt) for some beers and Belgian sweets at the gallow house! You can read more about food in Ghent here.

3pm Canal Boat Ride – Next, it’s time to head out for a canal boat ride through this medieval city, which takes around 50 minutes. As you know from visiting Bruges, seeing Belgian cities from the water gives a different perspective. Book your canal boat ride in Ghent here.

4pm Belgium beer – Continue your enjoyment of gorgeous Belgian beer. I’d recommend one of the Trappist beers at The Waterside Beer Bar (Het Waterhuis can de Bierkart).

8pm Evening walking tourGhent by Night (the Dark Side of Ghent) – If you still have energy after all of that, then I recommend this evening tour, which will give you an insight into the gruesome medieval history of the city – including the spots where they would hang and torture people, and dunk ‘witches’. You will learn about the history of the Ghent Norsemen who stood up against the King’s tax system. As well as that, your guide will show you some beautifully lit spots and pretty areas including Pattershol.

Remember that both the Legends walking tour of Ghent and the Dark side of Ghent evening tour are free tours, but they need to be booked online in advance. Also, they are tip based, so take some EURO notes so that you can tip your guide what you think it’s worth or even just what you can afford.

Day 4 in Ghent

On your next day in Ghent, you will enjoy a food tour, as well as the chance to explore some more buildings and eateries. Check out of your accommodation by around 9am or 10am at the latest and ask them to look after your bag while you spend another day in the city. If you are staying at Hostel Uppelink, they have lockers that you can pay for by the hour to lock your belongings securely using an electronic code.

10.30am Ghent food tour – Today you will enjoy the Ghent food tour which will give you a taste of the best fries, waffles and chocolates in Ghent. You will also get the chance to try the ‘Cuberdons’ which are gummy sweets, commonly known as the Ghent ‘noses’. You probably won’t need lunch after your food tour, which includes a lot of ‘tastings!’

Cuberdon Belgian noses Ghent
Cuberdons (gummy sweets) being sold at a store opposite Gravensteen Castle -The Ghent Noses!

Next, take a break before you explore some of the buildings and museums of the city.

2pm Climb Ghent Belfry – Next, head to Ghent Belfry for some fantastic views of the city. The price to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site is 11€ (with discounts for Ghentian residents and students). At 91 metres (299 ft), Ghent Belfry is the tallest belfry in Belgium. It’s guarded by the fiery Ghent dragon – the symbol of Ghent’s prosperity. The flamboyant cloth hall was added on to the Belfry in 1907.

3pm Gravensteen Castle – It’s time to head into the castle and see Gravensteen from the inside. Be warned, there are numerous torture instruments on display! Your tour is accompanied by an audio guide by a Belgian comedian who is rather amusing!

Gravensteen Castle Ghent
Gravensteen Castle, Ghent, Belgium

5pm Belgium Beers at Dulle Grit on Friday Market Square – It’s time to put your feet up and enjoy some more Belgian beer. You’ve done a lot of walking, so you deserve a beer break! Ask for the ‘Super Kwak’, but be prepared to surrender your left shoe as a deposit for the glass! Take another food stop (Fritbar is great for fries and stew).

7pm Take the train to Brussels – Next head to the train station ready to board the next train to Brussels. It’s a quick and easy journey…it is less than an hour (the fastest train is just 36 minutes from Ghent to Brussels Midi). Check into your Brussels hotel or hostel.

Where to stay in Brussels – Latroupe Hostel (budget) which was well resourced and a great location near to Grand Place). Another good option for mid-range is the Hilton Grand Place (again very central).

Have a good rest ready to explore Brussels!

Day 5 in Brussels

Please treat yourself to a little bit of a lie in today….it’s been intense! Also, today there is quite a lot to see, so today could be a good day to take a packed lunch, which you can enjoy on Mont de Artes or in one of the beautiful parks (such as Le Petit Sablon or Parc Du Cinquantenaire). If it’s too much ground to cover for you on foot then consider using Bolt taxis or Dott scooters, especially to get to Parc Du Cinquantenaire and back.

10am Brussels walking tour – Head to Grand Place where the walking tours start at 10am and 10.30am (depending on the company). I went with Ambassadors of the city tours and learnt a lot from our guide. On a walking tour of Brussels, you are likely to cover….

  • Grand Place – With phenomenal buildings including the Town Hall and guild halls.
  • Mannekin Pis – The ‘peeing boy’ who is a symbol of the city (expect to find him dressed up in one of his many outfits!)
  • La Bourse – The Old Stock exchange with a central gallery and beer museum sky bar (free to enter, so return after your tour to go inside. The beer museum costs 17€)
  • Rue da Bouchet – Butchers street (full of restaurants – avoid the ones with pictures of food because they are tourist traps!)
  • The Galleries – Fashionable galleries based on those in Milan with cafes, shops and apartments (the galleries are now free to enter but historically they were ‘pay on entrance’ to keep them for the rich elite!)
  • Mont des Artes – An urban art site with gardens and an excellent view of the city.
  • Royal Palace – the Belgian King’s administrative residence and workplace, where he collaborates with his staff (not his home – he doesn’t live there!)

1pm Parc Du Cinquantenaire – This beautifully landscaped 19th-century park contains floral gardens, fountains and even a military museum. Take a taxi (or scooter!) to save your legs as it’s a bit further out.

3pm The Sablon – This cute neighbourhood is well positioned for walking between the Royal District and central Brussels where you find the street art. Don’t miss the Church of Our Lady of Victories at the Sablon and the beautiful Square du Petit Sablon.

Le Petit Sablon Brussels
Le Petit Sablon, Brussels, Belgium

4pm Walking the Comic Book trail – If you are a Tintin fan and love street art then you are going to love this! Brussels is abundant with street art murals, particularly of Tintin! I’ve also found plenty of other cool street art including Mandalorian. There is so much, that you probably won’t manage to see the whole of the Comic Book trail in a couple of hours, it takes around 3-4 hours to see less than half of them! Choose a few that you would really like to find – there is a full list of them here.

7pm Dinner at to Brasserie Surrealiste – This sumptuous yet realistically priced bar was recommended to me by my friend Mark who works for the EU here in Brussels. It has a fantastic selection of burgers and beer, with a divine interior!

Brasserie Surrealiste Brussels
Brasserie Surrealiste, Brussels, Belgium

Day 6 in Brussels

Today is going to be so much fun! Head out on the metro (number 6 in the direction of “Roi Baudouin”, get out at the second to last stop “Heysel”) to find the Mini-Europe and the Atomium. Head out around 9am to get to the Mini-Europe by 10am at the latest.

These activities are quite touristy, so an alternative is to consider exploring more of the comic book trail, the neighbourhoods or the shops of Brussels. There is also the EU quarter waiting to be explored.

10am-12 noon Mini-Europe – Yes, Brussels has recreated a whole Europe in miniature including models of the main European monuments such as Big Ben (London), Montmartre (Paris) and even a little Venice! The models are built to scale (at a scale of 1:25). And, it’s not just the buildings that have been recreated, there are working mini transport networks with trains and canal boats. Entrance is 19€ and it will take around 2 hours to see the park.

one week in Belgium Atomium Mini Europe

1pm Lunch on or around Houba de Strooper – There are plenty of lunch options near the Mini-Europe. Check the menus first as some can be quite expensive. Some good options include Thevy and Brasserie de L’Expo.

1-3pm Atomium – The Atomium is a modernist landmark that was originally constructed as the main attraction of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. It is a model of the crystal structure of iron, magnified billions of times. Inside it is a science centre and a museum, where you will find various exhibits and fantastic views of Brussels from the top.

Head back into the city centre after your day at Mini-Europe and the Atomium where you have enough time to explore one or two more districts of Brussels.

5pm St Catherines District – St Catherines is a lovely district with fountains and street art. I would recommend doing some photography around this area (it’s where I found the mandalorian mural) and then enjoy some famous Moules-frites at Francoise.

9pm Drinks and exploring Marollen – If you have the energy for drinks or even clubbing, then why not explore Morallen? Head to Fuse for some hardcore Techno!

Day 7 – Brussels and preparing for the flight home!

On your last day in Belgium, you have time to explore any last parts of the city that you are interested in. Consider going up to the top of La Bourse for the beer experience, or enjoying a walk around the Natural History museum. You will also have some time to check out St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral (flight time dependant), before getting ready for travelling home.

5 days in Belgium?

If you are on a tighter schedule, it is actually possible to see Bruges, Ghent and Brussels in 5 days, with Bruges and Ghent done as day trips from the capital, so you don’t have to relocate all your stuff. Remember, its only just over an hour by train from Bruges to Brussels and so this is definitely doable!

Alternative Itineraries for a week in Belgium

I would not recommend that you try to cram in more than three destinations for any Belgium itinerary of a week or less. Although it is possible to see Bruges in just one day, you would feel rushed and not fully immersed in the culture. So avoid cramming too much in! Here are some alternative ideas for a week in Belgium…

  • Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent
  • Antwerp, Brussels, Dinant
  • Antwerp, Brussels, Leuven

It’s possible to choose any three Belgian cities for your one week itinerary, and because it’s such a small country with great transport links, it will work!

Oh, and don’t forget your Lonely Planet Guide….

Lonely Planet Belgium

10 days in Belgium?

If you can extend your trip to 10 days in Belgium, then I would do Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp. Antwerp is also doable as a day trip from Brussels if you are pushed for time but really want to fit it in.

Leuven is a lovely little day trip from Brussels that you could consider as an add on. It is just half an hour away and has a beautiful town hall.

Further Reading on Belgium

I hope that you have enjoyed my article on how to spend one week in Belgium. What did you enjoy about Belgium the most? I’d love to hear your comments. If you are interested in further reading, check out these other blogs….