Belgium To Bruges or not to Bruges

Discussion in 'Europe' started by awinkro, Sep 12, 2012.

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  1. awinkro

    awinkro Aspirant (201) Oct 15, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    My wife and I are headed to Belgium for our honeymoon. Since she planned the wedding, I'm in charge of the honeymoon. I'm fortunate to have married a woman in love with beer, lucky since I am a brewer. The question is, as you can see from the post, is do we go to Bruges? We're staying a night in Antwerp and then four nights in Brussels. I have tours scheduled for Cantillon, 3F, and Westy. Should we head to Bruges for a day trip?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Do you only have the 5 days? I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Bruges, but it wasn't really for beer reasons and I was in Belgium for over a week.
  3. awinkro

    awinkro Aspirant (201) Oct 15, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    We'll be in Antwerp for two days and Brussels for four.
  4. awinkro

    awinkro Aspirant (201) Oct 15, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Then on or way to Munich for five days of Oktoberfest.
  5. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    Yes, Bruges is a unique and very beautiful city. Go there if you can.
  6. digita7693

    digita7693 Disciple (394) Jan 19, 2010 Germany
    Beer Trader

    I agree with Erik, the sour hater; even though it's far from my favorite in Belgium, I prefer Ghent, it's worth a visit. Personally I'd spend a day or two less at Oktoberfest and more in Belgium or a day in bamberg or visiting some of the amazing breweries in Bavaria.

    LambicKing likes this.
  7. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (615) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    My previous employers, an older gay couple, really enjoyed their day in Bruges, in between Paris and Amsterdam, if that helps at all.
  8. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    I agree Don, the sour lover; for great beer Oktoberfest is NOT the place to be. Many, many other places would be worth a visit as well.
  9. ventura78

    ventura78 Aspirant (267) Nov 22, 2003 Massachusetts

    I would do 2 days of oktoberfest and 3 days brugge.
  10. MarcM

    MarcM Initiate (130) Aug 19, 2011 California

    Without a doubt.
  11. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (4,170) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I say go to Bruge, for at least a day-trip. As for the Oktoberfest, when are you there? As others have noted, it's a big-ass festival that happens to have bier, not a bier-festival per se.

  12. Cmack15

    Cmack15 Disciple (360) Sep 7, 2008 Massachusetts

    make sure you go to the Kulminator in Antwerp
    digita7693 likes this.
  13. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    Bruges/Brugge (aka Venice of the north) is a very romantic city and most appropriate for a honeymoon, IMO. Full of beer spots and sure to be a hit with your lady on both fronts. I recommend at least a full day (preferably two) in Bruges. I would also put the kaibosh on 1-2 of those days at Oktoberfest...unless you decided to use some of those days traveling around Germany and not camping out in Munich. Happy to provide further recommendations via BM.
  14. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    From which city would you go to Brugge from? Are you doing rail or automobile? What time of year?

    Since you're just getting hitched I'll assume that you're two young pups. How about two cities? I like Kortrijk and Gains bar. A nice non-tourist bar. Then you can go to Brugge.

    Another non-tourist city, close to Brussels is Mechelen / Malines. Part way between Brussels and Antwerp. A very beautiful city.

    ps, I <3 sours.
  15. JimDH

    JimDH Initiate (60) Feb 7, 2011 Kentucky

    Brugge is great for a day-trip; it would be particularly nice during a honeymoon. Unless you have a full itinerary during your time in Brussels, maybe consider some time in Gent. (The historic center of Gent has some of the features of Brugge, with much more than tourism--and it's close to Brussels).

    If you haven't booked your hotel in Antwerp yet, this boutique hotel was my only splurge when I went this winter and I loved the place.
  16. BelgianBeerPope

    BelgianBeerPope Initiate (99) Aug 10, 2012 Belgium

    If it's your honeymoon DEFINITELY go to Bruges ! ! ! (If you don't mind sharing the place with busloads of other (Japanese) tourists). And as already mentioned, if you really like BEER, don't waste so much time @ the Octoberfest ! Don't get me wrong, it's a once in a lifetime must see but ... It's quantity that rules there (and I don't only mean the beer) instead of quality ! Enjoy your trip and if you need some more information about Belgium, shoot !
  17. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Two days at Oktoberfest is fine unless you have ins with a brewery... IMO.
  18. dalon1

    dalon1 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2007 United Kingdom (England)

    And don't forget that there's more to Munich than Oktoberfest, If you get tired of the crowds try a trip out to the Andechs Kloster Monastery/ Brewery/ Restaurant out at Hershing on the S Bahn railway. There's a lovely wooded walk to Andechs Kloster from the railway station (or a bus if you're feeling lazy) and when you get back to Hershing for the journey back to Munich there's some nice lakeside walks.
    I can also recommend a trip to Freising to visit the Wehenstephan (sp?) brewing school and brewery/ restaurant.
  19. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Don't bother with only a day trip to Bruges ... way too much to see and night time is the best as almost all of the tourists have left. Two nights and three days is ideal for this beautiful city.

    Early afternoon at Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik, I always try to get to 't Brugs Beertje right when they open & dinner at Brasserie Erasmus is a lot of fun. Cafe Rose Red & Cambrinus Restaurant were also great on my last visit (Oct 2011). Every time I go to Bruges ... I don't want to leave.
    JimDH likes this.
  20. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Two days in Brussels is more than enough for me, unless you have a bigger sightseeing agenda I'd venture out to Gent for a night.
  21. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Also, Bamberg is about a two hour drive away ... :slight_smile:
  22. awinkro

    awinkro Aspirant (201) Oct 15, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. You all have been very helpful.
  23. TurdFurgison

    TurdFurgison Poo-Bah (3,058) May 29, 2005 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I agree with Jason that Bruges is most comfortable at night, just less people milling around. It's a very beautiful town square, ideal for a brewer and his bride on their honeymoon. Also, choose a day that 't Brugs Beertje is open if possible, as that's a very good stop for dinner and beers.
  24. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (381) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Ghent is cooler than Bruges. From a beer point of view, Bruges is better. do both. they're 1 hr away from each other via train, methinks.
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