Bruges or Ghent? That is the question!
Which of these cities is the most beautiful, more attractive or more important? There is a lot of questions and a multitude of answers.
In the end, it all comes down to personal taste, and as we know personal taste is never to be discussed. Let’s take a look at what is each city offering. What are the pluses and minuses of each city?
Ghent is a bigger city. It is the second largest city in Belgium, so besides the impressive old town centre, there is another part of the city defined by modern buildings and industry that tourists usually do not get to see or simply are not interested in. The old centre is memorable. Ghent has always been an important centre of Flanders.
The beautiful buildings in the city centre are a product of tax collection and transport industry. Obviously, while in power, the rich people built the palaces and castles. Due to the size of the city centre and the canals it seems that there are more tourists in Ghent, there is more of everything and the city looks as a city should look like. Not just as a tourist destination, which is best demonstrated in the evenings when many people still walk around the old centre. The canals are the streams of two rivers – Lys and Scheide river – that meet in the very centre of the city.
Ghent seems like a city one can stay in for a couple of days and even go on a day trip to the nearby Bruges. It’s not very far, twenty or so kilometres away. Even so, Ghent is ultimately a city with 250,000 inhabitants that has a strong industrial centre, so it does not depend on tourism. It creates the golden triangle of the Belgian economy alongside Antwerp and Brussels.
Bruges or Brugge is as sweet as a chocolate praline. It has a whole street dedicated to chocolate manufacturers where phenomenal chocolates of various shapes and flavours are made. Unlike Ghent, Bruges is a small town dedicated to tourism. The newly built part is further out towards the port of Zeebrugge and most people skip seeing it on their visits. There are also many tourists, but most of them seem to come off cruise ships since not many remain in the city in the evenings.
There are not many restaurants or bars, but they are mostly full for dinner, even though the atmosphere is much quieter. Young people say Bruges is boring and they go to Ghent for fun. Bruges has beautiful canals though much smaller and shorter. Around twenty thousand people live in the old part of the city, which is added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Bruges is better landscaped, which is normal because the city lives from tourism. There are about 120,000 inhabitants in total.
The rise of Bruges was a long time ago. It is well-known that the first stock exchange was opened there in 1309 and it was perhaps the first place where trading stock was available. In the 16th century, the wealth and glory of the city slowly began to disappear.
Both cities are a great choice for travel. Belgium is a very beautiful and landscaped land, a surprise to all who come as tourists. Maybe for bureaucrats who are just visiting the capital Belgium leaves different impression, but that’s their concern. Belgium is worth traveling to.
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