Discover the poignant history of World War I on a moving full-day tour to the Flanders battlefields from Brussels. Visit the impressive monuments that commemorate the lives of fallen soldiers and admire the natural splendor of the Belgian countryside as you travel. Listen to fascinating commentary from an expert guide as you see graves that immortalize those killed in the world’s first major conflict; reflect in the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves and the German Military Cemetery of Vladslo then revitalize with a traditional ploughman's lunch. Enrich your historical knowledge at the Flanders’ Field Museum then feel your soul stir during a poignant Last Post Ceremony in Ypres.
Full-day Flanders’ WWI battlefields tour from Brussels with an expert guide
See the poignant Käthe Kollwitz sculptures called Grieving Parents at the German Military Cemetery of Vladslo
Stop for a typical Belgian lunch of cheese and bread in Passchendaele’s legendary Old Cheese Factory
Visit quietly dignified memorials to fallen WWI soldiers like Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery
Enjoy an audio-guided tour around In Flanders’ Fields Museum near Essex Farm Field Hospital
Spend time in Ypres and attend the Last Post Ceremony in the evening
Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to this time
Returns to original departure point
What To Expect
Depart from your centrally located hotel in Brussels or greet your guide in the city center, depending upon which option you selected. Climb aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned coach and admire the scenic surroundings as your travel towards the town of Vladslo. Disembark and explore the German Military Cemetery of Vladslo, a poignantly peaceful area that features the famous sculpture by Käthe Kollwitz, Grieving Parents. Next, venture to the small city of Diksmuide and see a stretch of the Western Front that symbolizes Belgium’s courage and heroism during the conflict. See impressive monuments such as the monument of the "Brooding Soldier" dedicated to the sacrifice of 2,000 Canadian soldiers during the first German gas attack. Revitalize with a hearty ploughman's lunch in a local restaurant in Ypres before heading to Flanders' Field Museum. Hear fascinating tales of violent warfare and the dank conditions soldiers lived in then enrich your knowledge with the comprehensive exhibitions. Stop at the somnolent town of Passchendaele and discover how a bloody battlefield underwent a radical transformation into this quaint place. Then head to the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery to reflect upon the 35,000 graves that immortalize the memory of fallen soldiers. Next, travel to Essex Farm Field Hospital and see the bunkers that inspired John McCrae to write his influential poem, 'In Flanders’ Field.' Venture to Hill 60 to see some strategic tunnels then disembark at the picturesque town of Ypres to enjoy some independent exploration and dinner (own expense). Reconvene with your guide at a pre-arranged time to witness to soul-stirring Last Post Ceremony at Ypres’ Menin Gate. Absorb the saddening simplicity of the service then return to your vehicle for the drive back to Brussels.
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 travelers
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Although this was a long day, we visited a variety of cemeteries, monuments and areas relevant to WWI. Our guide was well organized and knowledgeable about Flanders and the war sites, ending with the Menin Gate for the evening ceremony. With good weather we could appreciate the details of the Belgian landscape. A good tour for anyone looking to visit WWI battle sites in Belgium.
Despite a late start due to problems with a coach the tour was excellent. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and the other travellers were good company. The weather was good which helped. It was a most interesting and moving experience. We visited the Flemish memorial, a German cemetery, Essex Farm Forward Dressing Station where the famous In Flanders fields.. poem was written, the West Yorkshire Trench found during the construction of an industrial estate, had an excellent lunch provided as part of the tour ion a very nice hotel in Ypres - visited the excellent Flanders Field museum in the Cloth Hall at Ypres though an hour was not long enough to take in everything on to the huge Tyne Cot cemetery - beautifully manicured as one expects with Commonwealth War Graves - past the Brooding Canadian soldier and Black Watch memorial statues and then to Hill 60. Here craters and shell-holes remain visible after over a century and there is the massive crater left by the huge explosion felt across the English Channel. The tour ended with the last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate - I did not expect such huge crowds of people - particularly school parties - but on the whole they behaved well and were silent for the superbly played last Post and moving wreath laying mainly by school children.
It was a long day from 9.30 am until 10 pm when we arrived back in Brussels but worth every penny and something i will never forget.
I took this tour on 11/11/17 and arrived at the Brussels City Tour office at 8.30Am for a 9AM departure. The office was very busy with a lot of people who were taking several different tours leaving at the same time, but the ladies in the office managed the situation very well. The bus is very spacious and comfortable which is great as you spend a decent amount of time on it while travelling from one sight to another. Our first stop was in Brugge to pick up some other passengers and our tour guide Dierkmierk I hope that is how to spell his name. Out tour guide was spectacular he was informative and engaging with everyone. The first stop of the tour was the Vladslo German cemetery where the statue of the grieving parents can be found. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit Yser Tower as the surrounding area was flooded due to the weather, however we did make a stop at the Yorkshire Trench and Dug out, and also at the Welsh National Memorial Park in Langemark as there were several Welsh passengers. We then drove to Ypres and had a ploughmans lunch bread/meat/egg/salad at a restaurant in the Grote Markt which is included in the tour price although you pay for your drinks separately. After lunch we walked 2 minutes to the In Flanders Field museum where we had almost an hour to walk around before meeting up at the exit of the museum to travel to Essex Farm Cemetery where the memorial to John McCrae writer of the poem In Flanders Fields can be found. Following this we travelled to Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery where we had to park the bus and board a shuttle due to the amount of people that were there for Armistice Day. Unfortunately, this meant that we lost a lot of time and daylight and could not visit Hill 60, but we did get to spend a good amount of time in Tyne Cot reflecting on the emotional day so far. Around 5.30PM we travelled back to Ypres where we stopped at the Menin Gate and our tour guide gave us more information about the memorial and also what to expect for the Last Post Ceremony. We then had about an hour of free time in the Grote Market before attending the extended Armistice Day Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. Finally, we boarded the bus and arrived back in Brussels around 10.30PM. Overall, I highly recommend this tour for anyone who has an academic or personal interest/connection to WWI. The top benefit of the tour is that you get to see a lot of sights in one day trip that would be almost impossible to see if you did the trip by yourself as many of the places are far away from each other and difficult to get to. The inclusion of a sit-down lunch and also a very informative tour guide was an added bonus to the whole trip.
Amazing tour, the guide was extremely informative about the history. If you’re academic, love history this is a great tour. Keep in mind that they cram a lot in his tour so you’re always on the go. So you definitely get your money’s worth.