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Belgium Experience

Suitable for Family, Group, Senior

OVERVIEW

From the charming old town of Bruges to the vibrant city of Brussels, Belgium is one of the most interesting countries in Europe to explore for Jewish travel. It’s the headquarters of the European Parliament, the center of the European Union, and home to the fourth-largest Jewish community in Europe, famous for their involvement in the diamond and fur industries.

45% of Belgian Jews were deported to concentration camps during World War II, and Belgium was the only country where a transport was stopped and deportees had a chance to escape.

Visit the Belgian Jewish Museum to see religious objects from the 16th century or see the National Monument to the Jewish Martyrs of Belgium. The Great Synagogue of Europe, completed in 1878, is also an important stop on a Jewish tour of Belgium. There’s so much to explore, and all while enjoying the beer, chocolate, and other treats that Belgium is famous for.

Highlights*

  • Walking tour in Bruges passing by the Lake of Love, Beguinage, Gruuthuse Museum, Onze Lieve Vrouw (Museum of the Church of Our Lady), and the Groeninge Museum.
  • Visit Kazerne Dossin – Mechelen Deportation Museum & Memorial, to learn about the historical account of Jewish persecution during the Holocaust from a Belgian perspective. Reflect on contemporary racism and discrimination in the country.
  • Take a guided tour of Snijders & Rockox House (art in a 17th-century patrician house) with English speaking guide. Learn about 16th and 17th-century life through objects and art.
  • Attend a Belgian Chocolate Making workshop followed by a self-guided museum visit. End your visit with a tasting of 10 different types of chocolates.
  • Take a guided visit to the Plantin Moretus Museum and meet visionary publisher, Christopher Plantin. Upstairs you can discover books that were published and printed there.

*Some experiences are subject to minimum group size

Day by Day Suggested Program

Day 1
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Arrival at Brussels Airport in the morning.

Transfer to Brussels, the largest municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region, for a panoramic city tour with an English-speaking guide including:

The Atomium
The museums of the Far East (Chinese pavilion, Japanese tower)
The port of Brussels
The European Quarter
Jubilee Park
The Royal Palace
The Park of Brussels and Royal Square
The Royal Galleries Saint-Hubert
Butchers’ Street
The Grand Place
The most famous little statue in the city: Manneken Pis.

Have brunch in Brussels at the Jewish Community Center

Transfer to Antwerp, a port city dating back to the Middle Ages, with a famous centuries-old Diamond District and Flemish Renaissance Architecture typified by the Grote Markt, a central square in the old town.

Check-in to the hotel.

Dinner at city hall.

Day 2
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Take a walking tour in Bruges, the capital of West Flanders, distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets, and medieval buildings. Pass by the

Lake of Love
Beguinage
Gruuthuse Museum
Onze Lieve Vrouw (Museum of the Church of Our Lady)
The Groeninge Museum.

Lunch in Bruges at the local brewery “Halve Maan”.

Visit Kazerne Dossin – Mechelen Deportation Museum & Memorial, which draws on the historical account of Jewish persecution and the holocaust from a Belgian perspective to reflect on contemporary phenomena of racism and the exclusion of communities, and on discrimination due to origin, faith, belief, color, sex, and sexual orientation.

Transfer back to the hotel in Antwerp

Dinner at leisure.

Day 3
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Visit the Red Star Line Museum with English speaking guide. Walk in the footsteps of immigrants and experience their enthusiasm and fear, excitement and insecurity.

Lunch in Antwerp at the restaurant Brasserie Appelmans.

Visit the historic Snijders & Rockox House (art in a 17th-century patrician house), where you can explore life in the 16th and 17th centuries through objects and works of art with an English-speaking guide.

Shabbat services at the Romi Goldmuntz synagogue followed by Shabbat dinner with members of the community.

Day 4
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Day at Leisure

Optional tours:

● Guided visit to Plantin Moretus Museum
Meet the visionary publisher, Christopher Plantin. Find out about the life and work of these ambitious families. Upstairs in the museum, discover several amazing precious books that were published and printed here.

● Guided walking tour of Cogels Osylei (Belle-Epoque architecture)
Let yourself be taken back in time and stroll, as the 19th century Antwerp bourgeois did, among the stately mansions that were designed by the best architects of the period. Your guide will tell you all.

● Belgian Chocolate Making workshop:
Guests make their own chocolate followed by a self-guided museum visit to a museum.
End the visit with a tasting of 10 different kinds of chocolate.

Day 5
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Transfer to Antwerp-Central Station
First-class train to Amsterdam.

Accommodation

*Star rating standards vary from country to country.

This experience is fully customizable. We will create your personal dream experience!

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