Best One-Day Sightseeing Plan: Antwerp and Ghent from Brussels


Discover the best of Belgium even on a busy travel schedule, as its compact size lets you uncover multiple cities in just one day. If you’re intrigued by history, architecture, and modern trends, Antwerp and Ghent are your ideal destinations. With universities infusing youthful vibes, these cities offer a unique blend of past and present.

As an insider, we’ve crafted a complete day plan, though remember, timings may vary. Dive into a journey that seamlessly combines old-world charm and contemporary allure, making the most of your Belgian adventure.

Departure: Brussels Central Station – 8:30 AM

Catch a rapid Intercity (IC) train departing from Brussels Central Station. If you’re starting your journey from Brussels North or South Station, there’s no need to fret – all stations are conveniently situated, and every train makes stops at all three stations.

You don’t need a reservation and it take 40 – 50 minutes to Antwerp Central Station.

How to Buy Train Tickets in Belgium
How to Buy Train Tickets in Belgium
In Belgium, trains are a popular choice for city-to-city travel. To buy tickets, you can go online, use station ticket machines, or visit a ticket counter. Each.....

1. Antwerp Central Station (Arrival: 9:15 AM)

Begin your day at the magnificent Antwerp Central Station, an architectural gem. Spend about 30 minutes exploring its intricate details.

Antwerp Central Station
Antwerp Central Station
A Short History Antwerp Central Station, also known as Antwerpen-Centraal, was first opened to the public in 1905. It was designed by the renowned architect Lou.....

2. Cathedral of Our Lady (Arrival: 9:45 AM)

Visit the awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral housing masterpieces by Rubens and other artists. Allocate around 1 hour for your visit.

Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp
Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp
A Short History The Cathedral of Our Lady, locally known as “Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal,” has a rich history dating back to the 14th century. Const.....

3. Grote Markt (Arrival: 11:00 AM)

Head to Grote Markt, the central square, and marvel at the historical buildings. Take a leisurely 30-45 minute walk, include in and outside of the square.

Grote Markt in Antwerp
Grote Markt in Antwerp
A Short History Over the centuries, it has been a center for commerce, social gatherings, and cultural events. The buildings surrounding the square showcase a r.....

4. Lunch at the Groenplaats or Meir (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM)

Indulge in a delightful lunch experience at either Groenplaats square or Meir street, where culinary delights await amidst charming surroundings. Whether you’re seeking a cozy hip restaurant on Groenplaats or a trendy eatery along Meir, these bustling locales offer a variety of dining options to satisfy your palate and provide a perfect midday retreat.

5. Depart Antwerp for Ghent (Train Departure: 2:00 PM, Arrival: 2:45 PM)

6. Gravensteen Castle (Arrival: 3:00 PM)


Explore the medieval castle in the heart of Ghent. Plan for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours for your visit.

7. St. Bavo’s Cathedral (Arrival: 4:30 PM)

St. Bavo's Cathedral

Visit the cathedral to see the renowned Ghent Altarpiece and appreciate the remarkable architecture. Allow about 1 hour for your visit.

8. Graslei and Korenlei (Arrival: 5:45 PM)


Take a leisurely stroll along these picturesque canalside streets, soaking in the charming ambiance.

9. Dinner at a Local Restaurant (6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)

Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant in Ghent.

10. Return to Brussels (Train Departure: 8:30 PM, Arrival: 9:15 PM)

Please keep in mind that these timings and durations are approximate and may vary based on your pace and the time you spend at each attraction. Be sure to savor your meals and the unique experiences that Antwerp and Ghent have to offer!