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I am going to Ghent for a conference in October and have a Saturday and most of a Sunday to spend before flying out from Brussels.

Is it possible to visit one of the trappist breweries with public transportation in a day trip from Ghent or (preferably) as part of travelling from Ghent to Brussels on the last day?

If not - what other options are there? (Emphasis on brewery rather than trappist!)

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

There are 7 trappist beers (6 Belgian, 1 Dutch).

From Gent, your best bets are Westvleteren, Westmalle or Chimay. None are easily reachable. To Westvleteren you get the train to Poperinge, for Westmalle Antwerp is your best bet and for Chimay you need to go to Charleroi. From the stations onwards you are depending on either a taxi or the (infrequent) buses. Remember that trappists are typically brewed in utmost silence requiring secluded areas ;)

Personally I think the trip is not worth the effort. In passing, perhaps, but as a specific destination, I am not so sure.

What you might want to consider is Watou, which is very nice small town close to the French border. It has the St Bernardus brewery

If it's all about beer, Gent has a lot to offer. My favourite one is here.

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Are you saying that despite the secluded areas that all of the Trappist breweries do allow tourists to visit? I ask since it turns out that we can't visit the Kahlúa factory )-: – hippietrail Jul 25 '12 at 11:20
Most if not all breweries have parts that are open to the public, some even host you as a guest to join them in their way of life: – user141 Jul 25 '12 at 12:29
Apparently guest are welcome for retreats at all monasteries – user141 Jul 25 '12 at 12:34
The last line merits a +1 :-) – André Peseur May 15 '13 at 19:42

None of the Trappist breweries lies on the way between Brussels and Ghent. And none of the Trappist breweries is really easily reached by public transport. Most often public transport brings you somewhere more or less nearby and then you still have to do a substantial walk. Be aware that taking a bus in Belgium (outside bigger cities) can be quite challenging if you are not a local. It's a bit weird. Even inside cities, it can be weird.

I would go for an alternative plan. There are a couple of great places in Ghent to sample Belgian beers, of any kind. If you do want to visit a brewery, there is one centrally located in Ghent.

If brewery is the Leitmotiv, the Cantillon brewery/museum in Brussels is worth a visit too. It is pretty close to the Midi train station. In that sense can be considered to be on the way from Ghent to Brussels, as requested. Cantillon is known for its Kriek, Faro, and Gueuze kind of beers. These are typical local beers from Brussels.

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