Travel Spotlight

Indagare Itineraries: Best of Belgium in 8 Days

An Indagare itinerary for Belgium can be customized to focus on your passions, from art and history to fashion and cuisine—including day trips off the beaten path. This sample covers the country’s highlights.

Itinerary Overview

WHEN TO GO: The most pleasant times of year to visit Belgium are late spring (April to June) and early fall (August to October), when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. While November and December tend to be grey, rainy and cold, Belgium’s major cities bustle with travelers who come for the Christmas markets, which run from the third week of November through the first week of January. Summers in Belgium are beautiful, but crowded, as many festivals—especially for music—take place in July and August.


ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS: Exploring art, architecture, design and fashion with expert guides in Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp; visiting historic and contemporary breweries and chocolatiers; dining at Michelin-starred restaurants and searching for the best moules-frites; taking day trips to Ghent, Ypres and Leuven—or to significant battlefields like Waterloo and Bastogne (or cross borders to see Lille, Maastricht or Luxembourg).

Note: Belgium is a small country that is easily traveled by train, thanks to many direct routes between top cities. Click here to see schedules.

Day 1-2: Brussels

Arrive in Brussels and check in to a favorite Indagare property like Hotel Amigo or Hotel Juliana. Over two days, enjoy expert-guided tours of La Grand-Place Square (with its Gothic city hall and opulent guild houses), the Place Royale (a Neoclassical square in the Royal Quarter), the Musée Margitte, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Belgium and the Horta Museum. Between museum visits, explore contemporary art galleries, antique shops and upscale boutiques in the Sablon district; sample up-and-coming cocktail bars and breweries; discover the city’s green spaces, and the European Quarter (home to the European Parliament); stroll down the shopping arcades of the Royal Saint-Hubert; and dine at some of Indagare’s favorite restaurants.

Day 3-5: Bruges & Ghent

Drive (60-90 minutes) or take the train (60 minutes, direct) to the more romantic, relaxed city of Bruges. Once an important center for fishing and trade, this city full of cobblestoned streets and canals is, like Amsterdam, sometimes referred to as the Venice of the north thanks to its UNESCO-protected waterways, medieval buildings and Master painters. It’s the kind of city where you can take in its history and architecture and soak up the scene at a canal-side café—or peruse charming boutiques and restaurants on foot, bike or boat. The beer scene is also a big draw, and there’s no shortage of both traditional and innovative cafés and bars in which to sample Belgium’s famous ales—and don’t leave without a taste of the Brugse Zot!

While based in Bruges, take a day trip (30 minutes by direct train or 45 minutes by car) to also experience the charms of Ghent, known as the “Gem of Flanders.”

INDAGARE TIP: Travelers eager to arrive to Antwerp and the Botanic Sanctuary, which is one of the best hotels in Belgium, can also plan to stop in Ghent en route from Bruges to Antwerp, to arrive in Antwerp in the evening on Day 5 (it is approximately 45 minutes by car to Antwerp from Ghent, and 60 minutes by direct train).

Day 6-7: Antwerp

Arrive in Antwerp and check in to the Botanic Sanctuary, which is one of the finest luxury hotels in Belgium. Over the next few days, schedule expert-guided tours to explore Antwerp’s design, art and fashion highlights: the historic center and St. Paul’s Church; Vlaeykensgang, an old, narrow street with preserved medieval and Renaissance houses, where famed designer Axel Vervoordt started his career; the Rubens House; the KMSKA Royal Museum of Fine Arts; the Plantin Moretus museum; and the fashion district. Indagare can also arrange specialty tours, like visiting a diamond workshop, Vervoordt’s design city Kanaal or a deep-dive into the work of The Antwerp Six. Be sure to save time to enjoy the spa at the Botanic Sanctuary and to explore Antwerp’s many innovative restaurants (several of which are at the hotel) and celebrated breweries.

Day 8+

Return to Brussels (less than 60 minutes directly by car or train) in time for your departure flight.

Travelers who wish to extend their trip by a few days to explore World War I and II history in Ypres and Bastogne, or dive deeper into design and culture across borders in Maastricht or Lille, may do so while based in Brussels (all of these sites are within a two-hour drive from the city).

Published onFebruary 7, 2024

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