Where to stay in Brussels
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Aug 7, 2013 2:29 AM Last Post By: Pedro_S
Jul 29, 2013 4:02 AM
Where to stay in BrusselsHi
Next month we (3 persons) booked a plane to Charleroi airport.
We are staying 9 days.
We want to visit Brussels (again) and Gent, Brugge, Mechelen, Leuven and Antwerpen (for the first time).
We are going to rent a car for 2/3 days
1 - Best (value and practice) is using the Brussels City Shuttle bus ?
2 - I suppose that Brussels is the best city to stay and from there it would be easy to go around
3 - Is so, it would be better an hotel with parking and near the metro/bus and in a easy location to take the road without loosing myself. Suggested areas ?
4 - Best value for public transport ?
5 - When in Brugge, where is the most beautiful place to see the ocean ?
6 - When in Gent would it be nice to visit Middelburg in the Netherlands ?
Thanks in advance
Regards from Porto/Portugal
Jul 29, 2013 4:55 AM
Jul 29, 2013 4:57 AM
Jul 29, 2013 5:23 AM
3Bom dia Pedro,
My first thought is that with 9 days i would split my bases over 2 and maybe 3 different places. Belgium is a small country, still i think you would be backtracking too many times and you also might enjoy spending your evenings and nights in a few different places.
My second thought is that for visiting the mentioned places only, i don't see a reason to rent a car. Where do you intend driving to with the car?
1. Yes, i think so. The option bus+train is slightly cheaper but more time consuming since you have to take the bus to Charleroi Sud station first.
2. +We want to visit Brussels (again) +
So you have been to Brussels before? In that case why wouldn't you pick another base such as Antwerpen or Gent? And maybe Bruges as well since you want to go to the coast too.
3. A hotel with a parking in the centre will charge you for that. There are hotels in the outskirts of the cities with free parking space but they might be on dreadful or uninteresting locations.
I would make up my mind about the base(s) and car rental issue first.
4. Will get into that later when i have more time
5. Oostende is the easiest and is reachable by train. Smaller De Haan is imho the most beautiful place with a protected belle epoque district and is reachable by coastal tram out of Oostende or Blankenberge.
Try to avoid saturdays or sundays when you go to the coast as it can become extremely crowded there on weekend days.
See http://www.belgianrail.be for the train schedules and connections.
Jul 29, 2013 8:00 AM
4Another vote for De Haan here.
If you want to stay in Brussels, check out this place:
it's brand new and seems to get very good reviews.
If your visit to Belgium is still in August, there are rail ticket specials for 7.50 € one way for any distance within Belgium.
have fun !
Jul 29, 2013 4:07 PM
5Hi all (Bon soir Artemis)
Bjd: As I intend to rent a car, I think that 15,1 Km from Brugge to Zeebrugge is not far ...
Lucapal: I haven´t been in Gent, but it's a possibility because it's more or less in the centre of the cities we want to visit. However, although the train tickets are cheaper in August, maybe it's cheaper with a car because we are 3 ...
Artemis: Your thoughts make, of course, much sense. However, what we like when going from A to B is also the journey itself - that's how we "found" the lovely Gouda in the Netherlands two years ago.
You might be right in choosing 2 bases.
One idea would be on arriving take the bus to Charleroi and from there a train to Brugge (should be 5,00 + 7,50). Renting a car in Brugge or Gent and doing the "tour". On the last days (2/3 ?) going to Brussels (train/bus) and in the last day back to the airport using the Shuttle. So, no need to park in Brussels ;-)
De Haan looks nice.
Lilyramone: nice tips concerning hotel and trains.
Thank you all for the suggestions
Jul 29, 2013 5:03 PM
6IMO three people makes car rental financially viable. I did this in 2010 with my elderly mobility-impeded father and brother. However, in addition to Brussels and Bruges, we visited places away from public transport such as Dunkirk, Waterloo, Ieper & the Flanders battlefields/war memorials. Car parking wasn't a major issue even though we stayed near the Brussels Flea Markets and in central Bruges.
However, this year just my wife and I are visitng and this time we are flying into Brussels then catching the train from Brussels-Bruges-Brussels-Paris.
Your itinerary seems to be focussed on the accessible destination by train. However, I agree that the car will give you more flexibility and, with 3 people sharing the costs, be reasonably economical. Your choice.
Jul 30, 2013 3:28 AM
74. The Summer Deal train tickets at €7,50 Lilyramone referred to are only valid from monday to friday.
During the weekends you can buy a Weekend Ticket at 50% of the price for a return trip.
For using trams and buses in cities such as Antwerpen, Gent, Brussels (partially) but also for using the coastal tram, it is cheaper to buy a Lijnkaart at €9. You can use one Lijnkaart all the 3 of you.
If you would stay in Antwerpen for a couple of days while having your rental car, there is a big free parking zone in the South district which is a nice area in its own with a lot of bars and restaurants and on walking distance from the historical centre on Gedempte Zuiderdokken (the big square between Vlaamse Kaai and Waalse Kaai). It is also conveniently located for getting on/from the ring road.
Aug 3, 2013 1:08 PM
I've booked today hotels and car, so here is the itinerary:
- On airport arrival, pick-up the car (good price for 4 days) and visit Leuven and Mechelen. Check-in (4 nights) in an hotel not far from Sint-Niklaas area (Gent is "full" or overpriced).
- The next days, we will visit Antwerpen, Gent, Brugge and De Haan.
- On the fifth day, will go to Brussels and return the car.
- In Brussels we'll stay 4 nights.
- Last day, to the airport using the shuttle bus.
- Chris: we are 3 but the "others" are wife and daughter so, it's all from the same pocket ;-)
- Artemis: I'll check the best cards for transports, as I intend to use a "Brussels card" (suppose it's better for museums and transport for 3 days), but I'll need just transport card as well (for the other days). I'll check Day card and Lijnkaart in here. Nice tip for Antwerpen, thanks.
Aug 6, 2013 3:25 AM
I was in Brussels last month (only Brussels so I can't comment on trip to other cities, but still...) and here's what I did (and find great) :
I bought a 72 h "Brussels Card" in a STIB (public transport) store. It costs 40 euros and with it you can use any public transport for 72 h + you have access to 30 museums.
I went to a hotel called the FunKey Hotel and it was a great experience. It's very different from usual hotel, but in a good way. I paid only 60 euros / night for the room (which was a 2 persons room - 3 persons room is something like 90 euros I think), and not only was the breakfast included in the price but also "snacking" all day : at any moment you can take a drink or food from hotel fridges. They even gave me a mobile phone to be used at will. And it has a free parking! So I just left my car there while touring the city by public transport. The hotel is located between 3 differents bus stops, so it was quite easy to reach city center from there.
Like I said, can't recommand anything for Brugge and Ghent
Aug 7, 2013 2:29 AM
I need to choose between "Brussels Card" and "Lijnkaart" (9,00) and "1/3/5 days card" (5,00/10,00/15,00).
So, I need do know which museums we are going to visit and decide how many days for the "Brussels Card".
The hotel seems interesting, however, I've already booked ...
Thanks for your comments.
Best regards from Porto
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