In Bruges – a glorious weekend
Have you seen the movie ‘In Bruges’? If you have, I wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t too impressed by the city itself, but I’m glad we visited because it’s one of Europe’s most preserved medieval towns and you won’t want to leave.
Part of the reason why Bruges has remained so traditional and charming is that the historic town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been since 2000.
Where is Bruges and how to get there
Located in the northwest of Belgium, you will no doubt read that Bruges is the capital and largest city in West Flanders which also happens to be the Flemish region (yes Flemish is the name of an official language, similar to that of Dutch).
Despite being the largest city in the area, it is still small enough to explore by foot!
We travelled from London via the Eurostar to Brussels and then switched trains to Bruges. The entire process was so easy and super convenient and drops you off basically as close to the old town as possible!
What to see in Bruges
Walking Tour: There are a few things you need to see while you’re there so I’d recommend joining a walking tour as they show you all the spots and give you the history behind it all. There are a few free walking tours available so pick the one that best suits you and make sure you jump on one!
We got to know the history of the most famous dog in Bruges! He was of course in the movie ‘In Bruges’ and became a tourist attraction. His name was Fidèle and he was a golden lab who sat on the window sill and watched the passers by.
Market Square: When you’re not on the walking tour, just wander around the cobblestone streets, walking in and out of the adorable shop fronts around Market Square and relax! I can promise you that you’ll love Bruges as much as we do.
The old square is surrounded by these gorgeous coloured buildings, plenty of bicycles and heaps of restaurants to choose from. You can even jump on a horse drawn carriage to explore the area!
Belfry of Bruges bell tower: If you feel like climbing up the 366 steps to get to the top then you should definitely get there early to avoid waiting for an hour or so in the line. The staircase is narrow, as all bell towers are so this shouldn’t be a surprise!
When you’re at the top you have views over Bruges and it is amazing.
Basilica of the Holy Blood: This is a very unique Catholic church. It was built in the 12th century and it claims to have a vile of the holy blood inside.
Canal boat cruise: Before you leave, you really do have to jump on a cruise through the canals. This is an absolute must when you’re here and the half hour journey will show you a different side of Bruges, from the canals.
The boat has a local guide and they point out different points of interest so you know what you’re looking at. There are a few spots around the city where you can jump on a boat so keep an eye out for the platforms (and probably massive lines!!).
Museums in Bruges
There are few you can visit in Bruges and here are the ones we stopped in at.
Bruges Bier Museum: If you’re in Belgium, you must visit one of the breweries! This museum gives you the history of the Trappist Beers and also has a nice view over the old town centre.
Frietmuseum: Well, if you’re like Jenna and love fries.. or really potato in any form then you should visit this museum. To be honest, it wasn’t the most amazing museum we’ve visited, but if it’s a rainy day you could probably fill in some time!
The Chocolate Museum: You can’t visit Belgium without visiting the chocolate museum! We watched how the chocolate is made and got a taste test as well, which was delicious!!
Where to eat
Poules Moules: We were recommended this restaurant by the hotel. We were not disappointed! The service was great, the vibe was fantastic and the food… amazing!
The Waffle Van: These waffles were the best in Bruges!! He parks his van in the afternoon and evening and you pick which one you want. He will make them fresh while you wait and trust me – it is worth the wait! Absolutely delicious.
Grilled meat from De Wijngaert is a must. Absolutely delicious, it’s not all about the Moules Fritte when in Bruges!
2 be (To be in Bruges): This is such a great beer garden! On a gorgeous sunny day, you can sit outside and admire the buildings, boats going up and down the canal and it is very relaxing!
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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous