Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide / driver in the hotel lobby in Brussels, from where you will be taken for an hour drive by luxurious private vehicle to historic Ghent, where upon arrival you will be taken for an interesting walking tour of the historical city center.
Ghent is an unassuming, un-touristy city filled with university students, linger-as-long-as-you-like cafes, well-priced restaurants and exudes vibrant energy. It is the fourth largest city of Belgium with about 250,000 inhabitants. It is half as big as Antwerp and twice as big as Bruges. It is also less well-known by tourists than the often-praised Bruges.
Ghent combines stellar medieval and other historic sites with touches of gritty urban reality and the bustling character of a genuine, living city. You’ll get to view some of the best of all these worlds on a stroll through the Old Center. Under the watchful eye of Gravensteen Castle or Castle of the Counts, the city boasts an Opera House, 18 museums, 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings.
One of the highlights is a guided tour of the famous St-Bavo Cathedral and its beautiful altarpiece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert van Eyck in 1432.
During your guided walk, you discover all the most famous sites and monuments of the city, including the Belfry and Cloth Hall, a superb gothic monument with a soaring bell tower that dates from 1425 and the Town Hall, a complex mix of architectural styles. At the Graslei and Korenlei, elegant facades along the waterways reflect different periods in history through a series of elegant gables and styles.
After this exciting tour, there is leisure time for lunch.
Fully refreshed, we continue with a 45-minute drive to, and guided walking tour of Bruges, a splendid medieval city and one of Belgium’s crown jewels and world heritage site.
Known as the Venice of the North, because of its peaceful canals, Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It was a justified motive that prompted UNESCO in 2000 to include the entire historical city center on the World Heritage list. The current city boundaries still coincide exactly with those of the medieval city center, and the spaces and structures that were so typical of Bruges in the past have been preserved. Walking along the maze of winding cobbled alleys and romantic canals, you imagine yourself to be in medieval times. The wealth of museums is a striking image of this city’s stirring history.
In no other European city are the feel and the look of medieval times so present! Here, the town authorities have done their utmost to preserve the medieval-looking image of the city and a stroll through the tiny medieval streets is always an enchanting experience.
Bruges is always beautiful, in the summertime as well as in the wintertime. Your guide will show you the major highlights of this beautiful city: the church of Our Lady with the Statue by Michelangelo; the Market Square with the Belfry, the Town Hall Square (Burg) with the Chapel of the Holy Blood.
We shall stroll by the Lake of Love (Minnewater) and the peaceful Beguines cloister.
Moreover, Bruges maintains the very highest culinary standards. The city boasts dozens of excellent restaurants, trendy lunch addresses, fun coffee bars and a local population famed for its love of the good life and its high levels of expectation! Bruges is famous for chocolate and lace. On every corner in the city center you will find shops relating to this. Did you know that Bruges has the highest density of chocolate stores in the world?
From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Brussels where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back around 6.45pm.