Looking for a nice weekend away, but within a maximum of 3 hours driving from Luxembourg? Rute has just the trip for you. She’s done all the leg work of where to eat, sleep and what to see so all you need to do is hop in your car and read on…
Day 1, Leg 1: Luxembourg to Bastogne (approx. 80km / 1h)
Plan to arrive in Bastogne by 10am so that you have plenty of time to visit the Bastogne War Museum. The museums high standards are a pleasant surprise, and make it a worthwhile stop. You can see plenty of real war equipment, and also experience the full effect through 4D movies, complete with feeling the cold air from the mist in the forests! Incredible…).
- Insider Tip: The audio-guides are included, so take advantage. The kids audio-guide follows the experiences of a little boy throughout the scenarios.
Address: Colline du Mardasson 5-6600, Bastogne
Opening Times: 9.30am to 6pm
Make sure you call ahead and book a table in the “wagon room” of the local restaurant Wagon Leo – part of the restaurant is set in a real antique wagon! Little boys and girls will just love it! And the big ones … right?
Address: Rue du Vivier 6, Bastogne
Tel. +32 61 21 14 41
Day 1, Leg 2: Bastogne to Bruges (approx. 250km / 2h30)
Full of post-lunch satisfaction, it’s time for the next step in the road trip – to Bruges.
There are plenty of nice and affordable accommodation options with airbnb, but I’ve chosen Novotel Brugge Centrum for the location, parking facilities, family rooms and play area in the lobby. Book through booking.com as they often have great deals, especially if you book in advance.
- Insider Tip: Join the Club Accor Hotels, you’ll save money every time you book your stay with them as you’ll get access to private deals. Breakfast is an expensive option, even though the kids go free, but there are plenty of nice cafes right outside the hotel.
Once you’ve checked in and freshened up it’s time to head to the restaurant The Olive Tree (it’s a Greek restaurant with comfort food and fresh fish, super friendly staff (especially with kids); plus, the deco is so cute!
- Insider Tip: To avoid disappointment reserve a table some days in advance as due to its small size, the good service and excellent food, the restaurant gets easily fully booked quickly.
Address: Wollestraat 3, 8000 Bruges
Day 2: A lovely day in Bruges
- Boat tour through the city canals: This is the perfect way to start the day. There are several piers in the city, but if you’re staying at the Novotel, there’s one just by the first bridge, on your way to the centre.
- Church Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk: Here you can spot the “Madonna and Child” statue from Michelangelo, the tombs of Charles the Bold and Mary of Burgundy. (website)
- Choco Story: The chocolate museum is a nice one to visit and the kids are given a “treasure map” to hunt for some special figures. At the end they are “rewarded” with a little chocolate gift. (website)
- Chocolate shops, chocolate shops, chocolate shops everywhere: Indeed, whatever your age you will have fun exploring the chocolate creations and taste that call out to you from every corner of the city…. dangerous.
- Chip Museum: the Frietmuseum in Bruges is the first and only museum dedicated to potato fries. It’s a fun, interactive museum and a must if you’re a Belgian frites lover! (website)
- Christmas all year around: That’s the feeling you get once you arrive at Käthe Wohlfahrt store (there are two stores, one of them is right next to the main square and the other is located near the Novotel). Address: (near the main square) Breidelstraat 4, 8000 Brugges / (near the Novotel) Walplein 12, 8000 Brugges. Open Monday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm.
- Horse ride: Starting from the main square, takes about 30 minutes and is a very pleasant way to see the city. It is definitely not cheap (about €50 for the whole family) but it’s bound to please the whole family.
- Experience eternal love: for the romantic souls make sure you visit the small rectangular lake Minnewater, or Lake of Love, which can be found in the south part of Bruges. Turning this lake into a remarkably romantic spot is the tale of a tragic romance between Minna and her warrior Stromberg. Local legend has it that you will experience eternal love if you walk over the lake bridge with your beloved.
Day 3, Leg 1: From Brugges to Antwerp (approx. 100km / 1 h)
Leave early to make the most of Antwerp on your 3rd day. Set your GPS for the fortress of Antwerp, also know as “Het Steen” at Steenplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen. There is an outdoor parking area just in front of the fortress. From there you can easily stroll around the city. Take your time to visit the fortress and then follow the signs to the Cathedral, located nearby in the main square. There are plenty of nice restaurants for you to pick from so enjoy a spontaneous and pleasant lunch before heading back to Luxembourg!
Photo: Krzysztof Belczyński/flickr Creative Commons (file)
Day 3, Leg 2: From Antwerp to Luxembourg (approx. 250km, 2.5 hrs)
And … you’re home!
Featured photo: Vinicius Pereira/flickr Creative Commons (file)