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Small group traveling Europe first time next year.

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11. Posted by Elle.Tai (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Hye,

you can call me Elle. I just can tell you... i live in Europe. In Belgium excatly and I work in Ghent, went to school in Bruges... and travel a lot.. you know the traveler's blood...:)

I can tell you... take the local transport in the most cities that's the cheapest and you met the local life.
Don't ask for the touristic shops... ask persons over there what are they're favorites... would a local send you to something he doesn't like very much???
I am a hotelreceptionist so I can know it ;)

You have also train tickets that you can combinate several countries...

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me ;)

12. Posted by jen_jca (Budding Member 6 posts) 1y

Hi thank you,
I want to go both Belgium and Bruges and meeting the locals in places is something I will really enjoy. I have been looking into the inter railing and it looks like what I will go for and combine it with local travel.

Can you recommend any good places, maybe hidden gems to visit whilst in Belgium and Bruges?

Thanks Jen :)

13. Posted by MarcoPolo89 (Full Member 159 posts) 1y

Try Durbuy, in the more Southern part of Belgium. It's one of the smallest cities in the World but it's very beautiful and has a lovely castle. Don't pay to go into the botanical gardens as you can walk just above them for free! :)
O.J.

14. Posted by marcusnicholas (Inactive 9 posts) 1y

Hi MarcoPolo you are right about Belgium but Tournai is also a good place to visit in Belgium.

Tournai
One of the main reasons to visit the Walloon city of Tournai is the cathedral, considered one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the world and designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site. The five-towered Romanesque and early Gothic masterpiece was built during the 12th and 13th centuries and today houses the Shrine of Our Lady and work by Rubens

15. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 528 posts) 1y

Don't forget to check out discount rail fares, such as SparScheine offered by Austria's OBB.

16. Posted by Elle.Tai (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

You have to visit Bruges and Ghent.
To cities that are also good city trips...

Bruges you have to discover by the small streets... just walk around the city: try the oldest chocolat house in Bruges... old, cosy and big hot chocolat.
Ghent has such a nice places. An old medieval castle, a student city and places.

I would recommend you also do not only tast the Belgian waffles and chocolat.
Go to a local bakker. Try the 'Gentse Waterzooi', Vol-au-vent' en 'Frieten (french fries, but it's exactly belgian ;) ) en Stoverij'. Go to local bars. In Ghent you can go at thursday to the Overpoort (full of students) ... travelling is not only being a tourist but also try to live like the locals... to feel that experience of there life :)

17. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 183 posts) 1y

For Belgium, I loved Antwerp. It's another smaller city there, although I didn't go to the others that are mentioned. Brugges is lovely, but a bit crowded with tourists. I've friends in Mons that say it's quite nice as well, although I've yet to make it there.

I'll second MarcoPolo on the fact that busses are cheaper than trains. You can also explore rideshares with BlaBla Car. Bus passes are available as well, if that's something you're interested in or buy point-to-point. Megabus does some really cheap bus fares between the UK and mainland Europe. Keep in mind that with the Interrail passes it's different between the UK and mainland Europe - you will need 2 passes if you go this route.

Some of the best hiking / outdoor spots I've been to in/around those areas are:
- hiking along the D-Day beaches in Northern France (near Bayeux) was really interesting with the mix of historical and natural
- cave paintings in central France
- hiking through the vineyards just south of Beaune, France
- The great glen (or west highland) way in Scotland - both are close to Fort William.
- Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland
- Cinque Terre in western Italy (but that was before the first part of it collapsed, not sure what's open now!)
- Vikos Gorge (steepest gorge in the world) in northern Greece.
- took a boat down the Rhone river in western Germany

I quite liked Luxembourg as well, even though my stop there was brief. That may have something to do with the fact that it happened to be their national day, but the city itself was nice, that aside.

For finding hidden gems, I like to ask around as well as check different maps like the "Like a Local" or Use-It Europe ones. They often have tidbits that I'd never find otherwise, and then I can meet people in these places that are willing to show me around to more off-the-beaten track places.

Hope that helps.

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