Author Topic: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?  (Read 987 times)

Offline guido

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Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« on: May 22, 2014, 01:07:48 PM »
My wife and I are planning a trip to Belgium this fall.  We've only gone to one travel agent so far,  and she was clueless.  Anyone have any recommendations for traveling to Brussels and Bruges, or know where we can find some pertinent info?
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 01:38:45 PM »
"Around Brussels/Brugge in 80 Beers" - I bought the Brussels version before our trip and its perfect for traveling without a tour group.

My personal fav's:

 - Cantillon: spend a whole afternoon in the cafe, drinking bottles you can't buy and eating Gueuze sausage.
 - Delirium Cafe upstairs: FRESH Dupont on tap is an eye-opening experience.

 - Moeder Lambic: Belgian craft beer bar. Ridiculous stuff on draft (4 Cantillon casks when I was there)

 - A La Becasse: clay pitchers of slightly-sweetened lambic from cask

 - A la Mort Subite: we stumbled across this one on a walk. Beautiful building. Mort Subite brands are mostly the faux/sweetened lambic, but their Gueuze is legit.

 - Bia Mara: Fantastic fish n' chips, De La Senne beers

There's also a bottle shop near Grand Place (Beer Temple?) so you can stuff your suitcase if you have room after all the Loons.

There were some lambic breweries on the outskirts of town (3F, Boon), but we didn't venture outside the city. Most Belgian breweries aren't set up for walk-up business: tours are for large groups, scheduled way in advance. Cantillon is an exception, and its in the heart of Brussels.
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Offline guido

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 02:39:14 PM »
"Around Brussels/Brugge in 80 Beers" - I bought the Brussels version before our trip and its perfect for traveling without a tour group.

My personal fav's:

 - Cantillon: spend a whole afternoon in the cafe, drinking bottles you can't buy and eating Gueuze sausage.
 - Delirium Cafe upstairs: FRESH Dupont on tap is an eye-opening experience.

 - Moeder Lambic: Belgian craft beer bar. Ridiculous stuff on draft (4 Cantillon casks when I was there)

 - A La Becasse: clay pitchers of slightly-sweetened lambic from cask

 - A la Mort Subite: we stumbled across this one on a walk. Beautiful building. Mort Subite brands are mostly the faux/sweetened lambic, but their Gueuze is legit.

 - Bia Mara: Fantastic fish n' chips, De La Senne beers

There's also a bottle shop near Grand Place (Beer Temple?) so you can stuff your suitcase if you have room after all the Loons.

There were some lambic breweries on the outskirts of town (3F, Boon), but we didn't venture outside the city. Most Belgian breweries aren't set up for walk-up business: tours are for large groups, scheduled way in advance. Cantillon is an exception, and its in the heart of Brussels.

This is exactly what I was looking for!
Well...I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer

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Offline pdietert

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 02:49:14 PM »
Sorry, I have been to Bruges but do not remember anything, The beer is way too good. ;D

What kind of recommendation are you looking for? Breweries? Bars? restaurants? hotels?

It is an adult Disney Land, you will not have any problems finding something to do even if you have no predetermined plans. No shortage of beer or bars or food.

Watch the movie "In Bruges" with Colin Farrell.  It is a dark movie but it really shows you the scenery.

Here is a good resource for breweries:

http://www.belgium-mapped-out.com/breweries.html

I went with the family so did not get to visit any breweries, but will next time.

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 02:59:42 PM »
Sorry to derail, but if the color 'green with envy' came through the forum, I'd look like a field of shamrocks. Hopefully, I'll be reviving this thread in a couple years. Just saying I like Belgian beer pretty well.
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Offline guido

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 03:02:24 PM »
Sorry, I have been to Bruges but do not remember anything, The beer is way too good. ;D

What kind of recommendation are you looking for? Breweries? Bars? restaurants? hotels?

It is an adult Disney Land, you will not have any problems finding something to do even if you have no predetermined plans. No shortage of beer or bars or food.

Watch the movie "In Bruges" with Colin Farrell.  It is a dark movie but it really shows you the scenery.

Here is a good resource for breweries:

http://www.belgium-mapped-out.com/breweries.html

I went with the family so did not get to visit any breweries, but will next time.

Hotel suggestions would be great.  Love the movie "In Bruges," BTW.
Well...I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer

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Online mabrungard

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 03:26:44 PM »
"F'in Brugge!"  Great movie.
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 03:45:16 PM »
Oh timely, wife and I will be there in July.


Hotel recommendations welcome!


I probably owe Martin something or other smuggled over... hope it is just a beer.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 05:41:27 PM »
Spend some time in de Garre if you can find it. The house at Tripple is fantastic.

An iconic place
http://www.brugsbeertje.be/index_en.htm

This is a hidden gem off the radar of most
www.cafevlissinghe.be

So many places in Brugge, so little time! Been there about 7 times!
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Offline theoman

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2014, 12:11:08 AM »
"Around Brussels/Brugge in 80 Beers" - I bought the Brussels version before our trip and its perfect for traveling without a tour group.
Yep, great book. There should be a new edition (of the Brussels version) coming out this fall. There are some fantastic bars that have opened since the last one, not to mention a few new noteworthy beers.

Also just released is this: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Beer-Guide-Belgium-Webb/dp/1852493119/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400828407&sr=8-1&keywords=good+beer+guide+belgium

My copy has yet to be broken in, but I also have the previous edition which is well used.

I don't get to Brugge often, but I always end up at http://www.cambrinus.eu/default.htm

For specifics on Brussels, all of kylekohlmorgen's suggestions are excellent. He mentioned Bia Mara. Good place, but the parent company has recently opened a bar at Place Flagey called The Black Sheep (https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackSheepBrussels). Also great fish-n-chips, better beer selection. The beer list keeps getting stronger. I celebrated my 40th there last week :-)

I'll stop myself now, 'cause I could just keep going. Feel free to PM me at anytime.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 04:40:37 AM »
In Brugge we stayed at the Hotel Cordoeanier and it was nicely affordable. Smallest bathroom in the world.
http://www.cordoeanier.be/en/index.php

Word to the wise if you do stay there the streets are cobblestone. Bring earplugs unless you like the sound of tires on cobblestone. ;)

You might find some places to visit out of our trip from several years ago. I don't think Vlissinghe is on the map, but it was a great place.
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Offline guido

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 09:04:12 PM »
Can't thank everyone enough for all the info! :)
Well...I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer

     -"Roadhouse Blues,"  Jim Morrison

Offline chumley

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2014, 11:52:06 AM »
All great suggestions.  The only thing I would add is the Half Moon Brewery in Brugge.  Awesome beer cheese soup for lunch.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g188671-d655200-Reviews-De_Halve_Maan_Straffe_Hendrik_Brewery-Bruges_West_Flanders_Province.html

Offline FlipMasterFlash

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 01:35:37 PM »
Only had a few days in Brussels/Bruges but I really liked:
  • Cantillon
  • Moeder Lambic
  • Bierbrasserie Cambrinus in Bruges
  • Herberg Vlissinghe in Bruges - Not a million beers but had a good selection, very good food and was just a cool atmosphere.
Easy to get between Brussels and Bruges, just a 1 hr train ride.  We stayed in Brussels at the Ibis right by Grand Place, close to the Centraal train station and close to pretty much everything.  Nothing fancy about the place but was a great location, well run and newer.  Felt like the Ikea of hotels.

To do over I'd have stayed in Bruges and visited Brussels or with more time done a few days in Bruges and a day in Brussels.  I just liked the feel of Bruges a bit more, easy to get off the beaten path and find some cool stuff.  Sure it can be like that in Brussels too but it was a lot more 'big city' with most places packed with people.

If you happen to be in photography one of my favorite things on the trip was a photo tour in Bruges.  http://www.phototourbrugge.com/  Only 1 guy does the tour and Andy was terrific.  Was very fun seeing the 'off the main path' stuff with him.  He also had tons of great recommendations, like Herberg Vlissinghe, that I'd have certainly have missed.  I was there in March which is certainly off peak and on a Monday so it was just me, my wife and him walking around the town.

Offline nateo

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Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2014, 05:03:19 AM »
Depending on your itinerary, you might want to get one of these while you're here:
http://www.belgianrail.be/en/travel-tickets/passes-cards/rail-pass.aspx

There are lots of cool towns within a few hours of Brussels. Antwerpen, Ghent, Bruges (of course) and Ostend are all worth a visit, time permitting. I think you can skip Liege, the train station is kind of a amazing, but other than that, meh.
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