When traveling on a budget, you often want to see the most for less money. Day trips seem to be ideal since you don’t have to pay for accommodation. Belgium is a great country to explore for relatively low transport costs. If you are staying here for a couple days or weeks it would be a huge mistake not to travel. Here are some tips on one day trips in Belgium and its border cities.
.. is the largest city on the Belgian coast. It can be reached by train from Brussels, Gent, Bruges or Liège. Upon arrival you will land right at the harbor, while walking to the beach, you will pass the fish market and canals leaving to the North Sea. During summer months you can swim and sunbath on the fabulous beach of Ostend. It’s quite a refreshment since the water is freaking cold even in the summer months. What’s also nice to experience is the ebb and flow. Within a couple minutes the water level moves up to 50 meter towards the city. So you better leave your stuff in a distance from the sea. If you get tired of swimming or walking, get yourself a bike and ride along the promenade. Ostend has also a nice park to chill out and enjoy the time with friends.
.. is the most beautiful city of Belgium. It’s small and cozy and not so overcrowded with tourist if you travel in autumn. It’s full of canals, small romantic streets, old buildings and pubs. I highly recommend to take a boat tour. It’s amazing to see the architecture of Bruges and all the bridges and canals. If you listen carefully, the boat captain will even tell you some interesting facts about the city. You might see the smallest gothic windows or the famous dog which is checking out tourists all the day. There is also the Delirium pub where you can taste all kinds of Belgium beers, if you haven’t yet, a must do in Belgium. Also a nice thing to check out is the chocolate museum “Choco-Story” and the windmills (30 min walk from the center).
… is another beautiful city of Belgium. I have visited it during Christmas time so I had the chance to check out their Christmas markets and it was fabulous. When arriving, be sure to follow the signs to get to the city center, the best way is to take the tram. It’s quite a distance if you decide to walk. Downtown looks great, similar to Bruges. I bet you will also fall in love with Gent’s architecture. During winter you can get some pancakes with Nutella or some sausages with onions and bread at their Christmas markets. If you bring your ice skates, you can even do some ice-skating here.
.. the capital of Belgium is a little different from the West but still nice to visit. Main attraction here are Mini-Europe, Atomium, Grand Place and the EU District. You can get more information about the city in my recent post 8 Cool Things To Do In Brussels.
… is located in the Netherlands, right at the border to Belgium and couple minutes ride from Liège. If you are sportive, you can even reach it by bike. If you are a little lazy take the train from Gare Guillemins in Liège. The city is not big, but has a famous bridge and pretty city center. If you get hungry while enjoying the city, right in the downtown in front of HEMA in the V&D center at the very top, there is a great restaurant with fresh food and not even that expensive. You can also taste some waffles right at the corner of the same street. The people in Maastricht are very nice, friendly and have a good knowledge of English in case you need some help for directions.
… is the first city in Germany right after you cross the Belgium border. They have one of the best Christmas markets I have ever visited. When exploring the city, don’t forget to taste some “Printen”, it’s their local sweet product, similar to gingerbread, and locals are very proud of it. I suggest you check it out and drink some traditional German Christmas Punch. You will not regret it.
When traveling through Belgium you might notice a big difference between the East (Wallonia) and the West (Flanders). This is because of the economic situation back in the history of Belgium. The West was always the rich part of Belgium while the East the part with the most labor workers. For me it was like traveling to different countries. I bet you will also notice the differences. What you should take advantage of is the GO PASS a ticket that allows you to travel to all Belgian railway stations for 5 EUR. Be aware that to visit Aachen or Maastricht you will need separate ticket.
I wish you to make great experiences while traveling across Belgium and the surrounded cities. If you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends and like my FB page, Kuba’s Journeys, to get the latest updates on travel tips on a budget.