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Bruges or Ghent, that is the question!

Bruges or Ghent, that is the question!

Which city is more beautiful, more attractive, more important? Many questions and many answers. In the end, it all boils down to one’s taste, and we know that in matters of taste, there can be no disputes.

But let’s see what each of them has to offer, what their pros and cons are.

Ghent is the bigger city, second largest in Belgium, so beside the impressive old downtown there is also the other part, of new buildings and industry that tourists do not see or do not want to see. What is memorable is the downtown. The city has always been an important center of Flanders, which owes all those lovely edifices to the trade and transport taxes levied. Obviously, the wealthy folks had quite a bit left over to be able to build palaces and castles, depending on the century when they were in power. Due to the size of the downtown and the canals, it seems that there are more tourists in Ghent, more of everything, and the city actually looks like a city and not merely as a tourist destination, which is evident at night when the city is still packed.

The canals are the courses of two rivers, Lys and Scheide, crossing each other’s paths in the very center. In Ghent, it feels like you can stay a few days, even take a day trip to the nearby Bruges, as it is only some twenty-odd kilometers away. Ghent is, after all, a city with a population of about 250 thousand and a strong industrial center not dependent on tourism. With Antwerpen and Brussels, it forms the golden triangle of Belgian economy.

Bruges or Brugge is as sweet as a chocolate praline.

There is an entire street with only chocolateries offering phenomenal chocolates of various shapes and tastes. Unlike Ghent, Bruges is a small town committed to tourism. The newest part further on towards the Zeebrugge port is not visible. There are also plenty of tourists, however, the majority of them seem to be coming from cruisers, because you won’t see many people left in the town in the evening. There aren’t many restaurants and even though they are mostly full for dinner, the atmosphere is much quieter. Young people say Bruges is boring and go to Ghent for fun.

Bruges also has lovely canals, although much smaller and shorter. About 20 thousand people live in the old part of town included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Bruges is also better spruced up which is logical, since it lives on tourism. There are 120 thousand inhabitants in total. The rise of Bruges took place a long time ago. The first bourse was open in 1309, and was perhaps the first place of stock trading. In the 16th century, the town’s fame and fortune started to wane.

Bruges or Ghent, that is the question!

Both cities are an excellent choice for a visit. Belgium is a beautiful and organized country, actually quite a surprise for everyone coming as a tourist. Perhaps the bureaucrats who only go to the capital feel differently, but that’s their problem. Belgium is definitely worth a trip and a tour.

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