After two corona years, the Belgian has full confidence in the safe nature of a city trip. In recent weeks, TUI, the largest travel organisation in Belgium, has noticed a major upswing, especially towards the end of the year, in city trips to neighbouring countries where you can easily travel by car or by train. Many Belgians still have a few vacation days left that they would like to spend in an attractive place where they have never been or have not been for quite some time. Paris is the front runner, but London, Amsterdam, Cologne and even a weekend in Antwerp are also very popular these days.
Cultural cities have had a particularly hard time in terms of tourism in the past two years. It is not surprising that the traveller wanted to avoid places where many people gather during the full corona period. In the meantime, the situation has completely changed: most Europeans have been vaccinated or have built up immunity, and are confident that the pandemic will not be repeated this winter. And so people travel again, also to the cities that have been very popular for decades.
During these winter days, the cities in neighbouring countries are on the rise. It is cold in the northern part of Europe, but especially during this Christmas period, the most famous cultural cities are particularly hot. You can go shopping or enjoy a warm atmosphere in the numerous restaurants and cafes. And a visit to a museum, cathedral or palace is also bathed in a different, more subdued atmosphere during the winter months.
Like every year, quite a few Belgians still have a few days of leave that they have to take this month. The responses in the TUI travel agencies and at the TUI call centre already showed that many couples inquired about a city trip of four to five days. Meanwhile, the bookings for the cultural cities in neighbouring countries are coming in smoothly and we can speak of a true revival.
Paris is recovering in all its glory and is unrivalled in the first place.
London, which was particularly plagued by the Brexit troubles, is even improving by 500%. You can experience the famous Boxing Day on December 26, the shopping moment of the year and a strong tourist asset, again this year.
The winter cosiness along the canals of nearby Amsterdam also appeals to many Belgians.
There is no more intense Christmas atmosphere than in Cologne, so close and yet so different, with no fewer than seven Christmas markets.
And why not much closer? Belgium’s own pride, Antwerp, with the recently reopened Royal Museum of Fine Arts, is an excellent idea for a weekend away, close to home.
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