A Day Trip to Bruges
Ghent looked a lot different from Brussels and Antwerp. It felt like a sleepy medieval kinda city and had a charm of its own. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Ghent. Our hotel was a bit away from the main attractions, however, a bus stopped pretty close making it easy for us to get around.
Most of the popular attractions in Ghent were concentrated in one area ... including the Christmas markets. We visited the Gravensteen - a picturesque 10th century castle that has some amazing views of Ghent.
We even enjoyed walking along the canal and admiring Ghent's medieval architecture.
Ghent has a number of Gothic churches and we visited two of them. One was St Nicholas Church ... a 13th century church which also happens to be one of the largest and oldest churches in Ghent. The other was St. Bavo's Cathedral.
Ghent's Christmas markets are really beautiful and all pretty close to one another. We spent out free time under the giant ferrous wheel exploring Ghent's Christmas markets.
A Day Trip to Bruges
I have to admit, Bruges was my favourite city in the whole of Belgium. Lucky for us, the bus to Bruges stopped right outside our hotel in Ghent. So this was pretty convenient.
Bruges was totally different from Ghent, even though it was like a 30 minute ride away. Most of the buildings here were red brick buildings and we could see horse carriages roaming around. It felt like as though we stepped back in time.
We checked out the really cool St. John's Hospital at Bruges, which in reality didn't even look like a hospital! I mean, this hospital is about 800 years old and is now converted into a museum. We visited the wards, chapel, pharmacy, etc and got to see artworks and medical instruments from the good ol' days.
And if you visit Bruges during the holiday season, be prepared to take a lotta pictures. Each and every store here was super, duper cute and so beautifully decorated. Just walking around the place and by the canal made it all the more special.
We even checked out the Bruges Beer Museum. This wasn't one of those boring museums, because you could test your knowledge here by answering a quiz. It was more of an interactive museum and we got to learn about the history of beer and of course sample beers too!
The Choco-Story Museum was also located pretty closeby. There's not much we could here other than learn about the history of the humble cocoa bean. Sadly, there were no chocolates to nibble on at the end (unlike the beer museum).
Both the museums were located within walking distance of Bruges Market Place where there had a lovely Christmas market and an ice rink. We spent the rest of our time here nibbling on some goodies before heading back to Ghent.
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