Top 10 Things to do in Bruges
For anyone who loves old medieval towns and fairytales, Bruges is a must-visit. From its food and beers to its beautiful architecture and quaint streets, Brugge has it all. When we realized we had two days in Belgium on our way back from Paris, spending the day in another city did not hold much appeal. Hence we looked for another option. Lo and behold, Bruges turned up in most of our research and voila we knew where we would be spending our two days. In this article, we recommend the top 10 things to do in Bruges.
1) TAKE A BOAT TOUR THROUGH THE CANALS
Bruges is a city of canals and is often called the ‘Venice of the north’. We were completely intrigued by the continuous meandering of the canals and pretty much strolled to the end of them. There are quite a few options for boat tours, all of which last about 30 mins and can be easily found.
We recommend the boat tours while in Bruges, and you can find more information and the timing of the tours here.
2) VISIT THE MARKET SQUARE OR THE MARKT
The market square in Bruges is in the heart of the town from where you can branch out into the various parts of the city. The square is surrounded by cute colorful old buildings, including some architectural masterpieces like the Belfry of Bruges, whose bell tolls give a feeling of being stuck in the past. The best time to visit this old medieval town is early in the morning. The sight of early morning sunlight coming in and lighting up the main square, along with all the horse carriages, lined up is something else.
3) EAT LOTS OF BELGIAN CHOCOLATES, WAFFLES & FRIES
If you are a foodie like us, whenever we visit a new place, one of the first things we look for is what to eat and where to eat it. Belgian food is not something, you really need to look up, cause who does not love some waffles, chocolates and fries.
For waffles, we would recommend trying Arlecchino by John Van Opdurp, which is a small little van parked in front of the town hall and serves amazing Waffles. We would recommend Chez Albert, who serves some absolutely marvelous Waffle and Belgian Chocolate combos. For fries, you can have these at pretty much anywhere in the town. These are served with mayo, which I think is definitely better than ketchup. I can go on about the food as there is so much more you can eat.
4) RIDE AROUND IN A HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE
Hiring a horse-drawn carriage available throughout the city will give you a different take on seeing the town. These are stunning, and with local Bruggman giving you details about the town’s history, this is pretty perfect. I would suggest looking for the coach-woman who has a cute dog for companionship throughout the day.
5) BELGIAN BEER TASTING
Belgium is known worldwide for its beers, and Bruges is no exception. When in Bruges, there are a few must-visit places for any beer lover. From the Beer Wall to the Bottle Shop to the Tbrugsch Bieratelier. The latter was a place we completely came across by chance and would say this was one of the best wrong turns we have taken in a while. They offer a beer tasting menu of 12 beers, by the end of which I guarantee you any non-beer lover will turn into a lover, and end up having the best time only laughing through the night.
6) TAKE A MORNING STROLL TO FIND THE WINDMILLS
Everyone knows that the Dutch have a lot of windmills, but so do the Belgians. A little on the outskirts of the main town, there is a line of windmills. Until the end of the 13th century, 23 windmills served as part of the town’s walls. Today though, only 4 stand tall. And the walk there along the canals is stunning.
7) TAKE A TOUR OF DE HALVE MAAN
No trip to Brugge is complete without a tour of a brewery. De Halve Maan is a centuries-old brewery. They organize daily tours of their establishment, which no beer lover would want to miss. They also have a restaurant that serves some delectable cuisine and obviously some fantastic beers.
8) TRY OUT THE LOCAL CUISINE
Belgium is mainly known for its chocolates, beer, mussels & fries. When in Bruges, we would highly recommend trying a restaurant called Brasserie Cambrinus, which definitely did not disappoint. We had the traditional Flemish stew which was terrific, and be advised, their menu is pretty much like a ledger of sorts as they serve almost 400 types of beer.
For the traditional Belgian mussels, we recommend trying Poules Moules. If you’re going there for dinner, you would need to get a reservation as this place is famous among the locals and tourists. A pot of mussels there is a must when in Bruges.
9) GO BACK IN TIME IN THE BÉGUINAGE
A peaceful escape from the bustling tourist town is a visit to the Béguinage. The row of white houses amidst the absolute silence, except for the chirping birds, is something of a soothing experience. You will hardly find anyone except for a nun or two walking the paths on their way to some service. This place is exceptionally beautiful in springtime when the daffodils are in full bloom.
10) THE BELFRY TOWER AND BONIFACIUS BRIDGE & THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY
For all the architecture and history buffs, there is no shortage of beautiful buildings and historical monuments in Bruges. Though for us personally, these 2 completely stood out. The Belfry tower standing tall in the Market square used to be previously used as a treasury. Still today, it is an observatory deck, where visitors can see the whole of Bruges and its stunning views.
The climb is a task with its winding stairs, but definitely worth it. If you are not up to the climb, then just stand below the tower and check if it is actually leaning while you take in the bell tolling to different tunes. The next stunning piece of architecture is the Church of our Lady and the Bonifacius Bridge. The church houses the famous sculpture of Madonna with child, by Michaelangelo.
Do you think we missed anything? Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below …
post a comment