Top 11 Things to do in Bruges
Calling all fellow adventurers and daydreamers! Brace yourselves for a whimsical journey through the enchanting city of Bruges, where waffles reign supreme, beer flows like a river, and medieval wonders await around every cobblestone corner.
Listen, folks, when we found ourselves with two spare days in Belgium, the idea of exploring yet another city felt as thrilling as watching paint dry. But then, like a beacon of Belgian brilliance, Bruges magically appeared on our radar. It seemed like the entire travel universe was chanting “Bruges, Bruges!” So, being the curious souls we are, we heeded the call and embarked on a quest for waffle-fueled adventures.
Let us tell you, dear reader, Bruges had us hooked faster than you can say “chocolate-covered waffle.” From the moment we set foot in this fairytale wonderland, we were whisked away to a realm of medieval magnificence and mouthwatering delights.
So, buckle up your tastebuds and tighten your belts, because we’re about to reveal the top 11 things that will make your Bruges adventure truly unforgettable. From climbing bell towers to wandering through streets straight out of a storybook, we’ve got you covered. And yes, we’ve sacrificed our waistlines in the name of research—sampling more chocolate than is advisable and testing the limits of Belgian beer appreciation. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
Get ready to fall head over waffles for Bruges’ undeniable charm. This is a place where history comes alive, where the scent of freshly baked waffles floats through the air, and where every street feels like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie on a mission, or just someone with a soft spot for fairytales, Bruges is the place to be.
So, grab your knightly armor (or your most comfortable sneakers), because we’re about to embark on a whimsical adventure through Bruges’ medieval marvels and culinary wonders. Join us as we uncover the secrets of this magical city, and remember—laughter, joy, and chocolate-induced happiness are mandatory!
1) Drifting Through Bruges: Embark on a Captivating Canal Cruise
Bruges, often referred to as the “Venice of the north,” is a city that captures the imagination with its intricate network of canals. Intrigued by the meandering waterways that seemed to whisper tales of the past, we knew we had to embark on a boat tour and delve deeper into the heart of this enchanting Belgian city.
So, with anticipation in our hearts and a camera in hand, we set out on a captivating canal cruise—a must-do experience that reveals the hidden beauty and rich history of Bruges in the most picturesque way.
From the moment we set sail, we were mesmerized by the picturesque scenes unfolding before our eyes. Majestic medieval buildings lined the canals, their facades reflecting in the tranquil waters. Bridges, with their arches elegantly framing the views, invited us to drift beneath them, adding an element of excitement to the journey.
Our knowledgeable guide shared captivating stories and intriguing facts about Bruges, bringing the city’s history to life with each passing landmark. We discovered the secrets behind the intricate architecture, learned about the city’s prosperous trading past, and marveled at the significance of the canals in shaping Bruges’ identity.
The boat tour granted us a unique perspective of the city, showcasing hidden corners and charming nooks that can only be experienced from the water. As we glided along, we couldn’t help but be enchanted by the serenity and tranquility that enveloped us.
Taking a boat tour in Bruges is an absolute must-do for any visitor. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s timeless beauty, to witness its hidden charms, and to gain a deeper understanding of its captivating history. So, when you find yourself in this fairytale-like city, be sure to embark on a canal cruise—a journey that will leave you spellbound and forever in awe of the unique allure of Bruges.
2) The Buzzing Heart of Bruges: Unveiling the Market Square or the Markt
Welcome to the vibrant beating heart of Bruges, where history, flavors, and laughter come together in perfect harmony—the legendary Market Square! Step into a world where time stands still, and the spirit of the city comes alive with every step you take.
Prepare to be tantalized by a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors. Wander through the vibrant market stalls, where friendly vendors beckon you to sample their artisanal treats and exquisite local produce. Indulge in the buttery delights of freshly baked waffles, their irresistible aroma permeating the air. Sip on a velvety Belgian hot chocolate that dances on your taste buds, leaving you craving for more.
But it’s not just about the food—it’s the atmosphere that truly sets the Market Square apart. As you stroll through the square, you’ll encounter lively conversations and infectious laughter that resonate with a warm and welcoming spirit. Pull up a chair at one of the bustling outdoor cafes, soak in the ambiance, and watch the world go by. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, people-watch, and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Bruges’ daily life.
3) Indulge in Belgian Delights: Chocolates, Waffles & Fries Galore!
Calling all foodies, dessert enthusiasts, and fry fanatics! Prepare your taste buds for a mouthwatering adventure through the culinary wonders of Belgium. When it comes to Belgian cuisine, there are three irresistible treats that will make your heart skip a beat: heavenly chocolates, delightful waffles, and crispy fries.
Let’s start with waffles—the edible dreams that make breakfast, lunch, or dinner an absolute delight. Brace yourself for a crispy exterior, a fluffy interior, and a symphony of flavors that will transport you to cloud nine. Picture yourself devouring a warm waffle piled high with whipped cream, fresh berries, and a drizzle of Belgian chocolate. Now, that’s what we call a slice of heaven! For a truly charming experience, head to Arlecchino by John Van Opdurp—a tiny van stationed in front of the town hall. Their waffles will whisk you away on a magical journey of taste and texture. And if you’re in the mood for a mind-blowing combination, Chez Albert is the place to be, where waffles and Belgian chocolates come together in a harmonious union.
Next up, we have the golden heroes of snacking—the Belgian fries. Crispy on the outside, and served with an array of mouthwatering sauces, these fries are a true culinary triumph. Take a stroll through the streets of Bruges, and you’ll encounter a tempting parade of fry stands, inviting you to indulge in their crispy creations. From mayo to special dipping sauces, the possibilities are endless. Trust us, once you dip your fries in that creamy mayo, you’ll never want to go back to ordinary ketchup.
And of course, we can’t forget about the crown jewel of Belgian confections—chocolates! Prepare to be seduced by an abundance of artisanal chocolates that will make your taste buds dance with joy. As you wander through the picturesque streets of Bruges, you’ll find yourself drawn to the charming chocolatiers that line your path. Step inside, and let the intoxicating aroma of cocoa envelop you. Explore a world of silky truffles, decadent pralines, and artistic chocolate creations that are almost too beautiful to eat. From classic flavors to unique combinations, each bite is a delectable surprise that will leave you wanting more.
So, my fellow food enthusiasts, get ready to embark on a delectable adventure through the culinary wonders of Belgium. Indulge in the velvety richness of Belgian chocolates, savor the crispy perfection of Belgian fries, and surrender to the sheer deliciousness of Belgian waffles. Your taste buds will thank you, and your heart will forever cherish the memories of these mouthwatering delights. Bon appétit!
4) Step into a Fairytale: Explore Bruges by Horse-Drawn Carriage!
Ready for a magical adventure? Leave the modern world behind and step into a fairytale as you embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the charming streets of Bruges. This whimsical mode of transportation is not only a delightful way to explore the city but also a unique opportunity to connect with the locals and experience Bruges like a true insider.
Hiring a horse-drawn carriage is like unlocking a secret passage to the heart and soul of Bruges. As you hop on board, you’ll be greeted by the friendly and knowledgeable Bruggman, your guide and storyteller for the journey. These local experts are passionate about their town and will regale you with fascinating tales of Bruges’ history, legends, and hidden gems.
Now, here’s a special tip to make your carriage ride even more unforgettable—keep an eye out for the coach-woman who has a delightful furry companion by her side. This adorable canine co-pilot adds an extra touch of charm and companionship to your carriage adventure. Get ready for a wagging tail and some puppy love throughout the day!
As you venture through the cobblestone streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook. Admire the architectural wonders and picturesque canals that have earned Bruges its nickname as the “Venice of the north.” The rhythmic clip-clop of the horse’s hooves and the gentle sway of the carriage create a soothing ambiance, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the fairytale atmosphere.
Want to add a sprinkle of enchantment to your experience? Opt for a sunset ride and watch as the sky paints a breathtaking canvas of colors. The fading light casts a romantic glow over the city, enhancing the magical aura of your carriage adventure.
So, whether you’re traveling with your loved one, family, or friends, don’t miss the chance to explore Bruges by horse-drawn carriage. Let the fairytale come to life as you connect with the locals, hear captivating stories, and soak up the whimsical charm of this extraordinary city. Get ready for a journey that will leave you with cherished memories and a smile that lasts long after the carriage ride ends. Let the enchantment begin!
5) Calling All Beer Lovers: Bruges, Where Beer Dreams Come True!
In the enchanting city of Bruges, beer lovers find themselves in paradise, where every sip is a celebration of flavor and camaraderie. Get ready to raise your glasses and embark on an unforgettable beer journey like no other!
Start your beer adventure at the iconic Beer Wall, where shelves overflow with a rainbow of liquid delights. From golden ales to rich, velvety stouts, the Beer Wall is a beer enthusiast’s dream come true. Take your time, explore the vibrant labels, and let your taste buds tingle with anticipation.
Now, brace yourself for the ultimate beer-tasting experience at the Tbrugsch Bieratelier. This charming spot will whisk you away to a world of laughter, flavor, and good times. With a menu boasting 12 carefully selected beers, you’ll be treated to a journey of taste sensations. And guess what? The contagious laughter and warm ambiance will make you feel right at home.
Bruges is where beer dreams come true, where every sip is a celebration and every moment is filled with laughter. So, gather your beer-loving buddies, clink your glasses, and create memories that will leave you with a permanent grin. Cheers to the joy of beer, the vibrant beer community, and the infectious spirit of Bruges!
6) Embark on a Windmill Quest: Unveiling Bruges Hidden Gems!
Everyone knows that the Dutch have their fair share of windmills, but did you know that the Belgians boast their own windmill wonders too? Brace yourself for a delightful surprise as we venture a little beyond Bruges’ main town and discover a captivating line of windmills that will steal your heart away.
Step off the beaten path and follow the picturesque canals that meander through Bruges enchanting outskirts. As you wander along, a row of historic windmills will gradually come into view, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich past. These windmills, once an integral part of Bruges’ defensive walls until the 13th century, now stand as magnificent remnants of a bygone era.
Though time may have diminished their numbers, the four remaining windmills proudly stand tall, silently narrating tales of the city’s vibrant history. Their elegant structures and mighty sails create an awe-inspiring sight against the backdrop of the tranquil countryside.
As you continue your leisurely walk, be prepared to be captivated by the sheer beauty that surrounds you. The canals, with their shimmering waters and graceful swans, add a touch of serenity to your journey. The harmonious melody of chirping birds and rustling leaves sets the stage for an unforgettable experience.
Each step brings you closer to the windmills, inviting you to embrace their presence and immerse yourself in their stories. Take a moment to marvel at their architectural brilliance, imagining the centuries of craftsmanship and ingenuity that have gone into their construction.
As you explore, you’ll come to realize that this hidden gem of windmills is not just a sight to behold but a testament to Bruges enduring spirit. The journey itself becomes an adventure, allowing you to discover the city’s lesser-known treasures while enjoying the breathtaking scenery that unfolds before your eyes.
7) TAKE A TOUR OF DE HALVE MAAN
No trip to Bruges is complete without a journey into the heart of brewing heritage. Step into the centuries-old De Halve Maan brewery and prepare for an unforgettable experience that will tantalize your taste buds and ignite your passion for beer.
Join the daily brewery tours, a must for every beer lover seeking to unravel the secrets behind the magic of Belgian brewing.The tours take you on an immersive journey through the fascinating history of De Halve Maan. Explore the hidden corners of the brewery, where ancient copper kettles and oak barrels stand as silent witnesses to centuries of craftsmanship and dedication.
After the enlightening tour, indulge in a well-deserved treat at De Halve Maan’s restaurant. Immerse yourself in the warm ambiance as you savor delectable cuisine paired perfectly with their exceptional beers. From traditional Belgian dishes to contemporary culinary delights, each bite is a harmonious dance of flavors that will leave you craving for more.
8) TRY OUT THE LOCAL CUISINE
Belgium is renowned for its culinary delights, and when you find yourself in the charming city of Bruges, prepare to embark on a mouthwatering journey through a world of tantalizing flavors. From heavenly chocolates to aromatic beers, and from delectable mussels to crispy fries, Bruges is a paradise for food lovers.
When it comes to immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Belgian cuisine, Brasserie Cambrinus is a must-visit. Step inside and prepare to be amazed by their extensive menu, which reads like a treasure trove of culinary wonders. The traditional Flemish stew, lovingly cooked to perfection, will transport you to a realm of hearty goodness that will warm your soul. And let’s not forget the star of the show—their beer selection. With almost 400 types of beer to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you sip on liquid gold that complements your meal in the most delightful way.
For an authentic taste of Belgian mussels, Poules Moules is the place to be. This cozy restaurant is a hidden gem cherished by both locals and tourists alike. Make sure to secure a reservation for dinner, as the mouthwatering pots of steaming mussels draw in crowds. Dive into a pot of succulent mussels, perfectly cooked and infused with flavors that will transport you to the shores of Belgium. Pair it with a refreshing beer or a glass of crisp white wine for the ultimate sensory experience.
9) Discover Tranquility at the Béguinage: Bruges Serene Haven
Amidst the bustling streets and vibrant energy of Bruges, lies a hidden gem that offers a serene escape from the tourist crowds. Welcome to the Béguinage, a place of tranquility and timeless beauty that will transport you to a world of peace and solitude.
As you step into this enchanting sanctuary, you’ll be greeted by a row of charming white houses, standing as guardians of serenity. The air is filled with an almost palpable sense of calmness, interrupted only by the gentle melody of chirping birds. In this oasis of tranquility, time seems to slow down, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of solitude.
The Béguinage is a place steeped in history and spirituality. Once home to a community of devout women called Béguines, it now serves as a refuge for reflection and contemplation. Take a leisurely stroll along the pathways, and you may encounter a few nuns, gracefully making their way to a peaceful service. The absence of bustling crowds allows you to appreciate the subtle details of the architecture and the sense of serenity that pervades the surroundings.
Springtime is when the Béguinage truly blossoms into a visual spectacle. Picture yourself amidst a sea of vibrant daffodils, their golden petals swaying gently in the breeze. The vibrant colors create a captivating contrast against the white facades of the houses, painting a picture of pure beauty that will leave you in awe.
As you wander through this peaceful haven, take a moment to pause, breathe in the fragrant air, and let the stillness of the Béguinage envelop you. It’s a place where you can find solace, find inspiration, and find a connection with your inner self.
10) The Iconic Belfry Tower: Bruges Towering Symbol of History and Grandeur
In the heart of the picturesque city of Bruges, Belgium, stands a towering sentinel that has witnessed centuries of history unfold. The Belfry tower, an iconic symbol of the city, stands proudly in the bustling Market Square, beckoning visitors to delve into its storied past and ascend its heights for a panoramic view of the enchanting surroundings.
Rising to a height of 83 meters, the Belfry dominates the skyline, its Gothic architecture captivating the eyes and imagination. Originally constructed in the 13th century as part of the Cloth Hall, the Belfry served as a symbol of the city’s economic prosperity and independence. Over the years, it underwent several expansions and renovations, reflecting the evolving architectural styles and the city’s changing fortunes.
As you step inside the Belfry, you are transported back in time. The medieval atmosphere embraces you, and the echoes of history seem to resonate through the sturdy stone walls. Ascending the winding staircase, each step reveals glimpses of the tower’s rich heritage, with artifacts and displays showcasing its significance in Bruges’ past.
Reaching the top is a rewarding experience. From the observation deck, a breathtaking panorama unfolds before your eyes. The charming rooftops of Bruges, the winding canals, and the architectural gems that dot the landscape come into view, painting a picture of timeless beauty. On a clear day, the view stretches far and wide, allowing you to appreciate the city’s layout and its harmonious blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
But the Belfry is not only a visual feast; it also holds a captivating auditory experience. Its carillon of 47 melodious bells fills the air with enchanting tunes, announcing the passage of time and adding a touch of magic to the atmosphere. The unique melodies resonate through the city, evoking a sense of nostalgia and wonder.
Beyond its architectural and musical allure, the Belfry is a cherished symbol of civic pride and unity. It stands as a testament to Bruges’ resilience and determination to preserve its rich cultural heritage. A visit to the Belfry is not only a journey through time but also an opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship of generations past and to connect with the spirit of a city that proudly embraces its history.
11) THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY
In the heart of enchanting Bruges, Belgium, stands a true gem of architectural brilliance—the Church of Our Lady. This captivating sanctuary has captivated hearts for centuries with its timeless allure and sacred splendor.
As you approach the church, you’ll be struck by its majestic presence, its towering spires reaching for the heavens. Step inside, and a world of divine beauty unfolds before your eyes. The interior is adorned with intricate details, from ornate altars to delicate stained glass windows that bathe the space in ethereal light.
But what truly sets the Church of Our Lady apart is its most prized possession—the sculpture of Madonna with Child, crafted by none other than the legendary Michelangelo himself. This exquisite masterpiece, carved from flawless marble, stands as a testament to human creativity and spiritual devotion. Its lifelike forms and serene expressions evoke a sense of reverence and wonder, leaving visitors in awe of its sheer artistry.
As you wander through the church’s hallowed halls, take a moment to soak in the atmosphere of reverence and spirituality that permeates the air. Feel the weight of history as you marvel at the seamless blend of architectural styles, a testament to the church’s evolution over the centuries.
Outside, the church’s grandeur is a sight to behold. Its imposing facade stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage and unwavering faith. The Church of Our Lady is not just a place of worship—it’s a sanctuary of tranquility, a masterpiece of art, and a symbol of Bruges’ enduring cultural legacy.
In a city where fairytales come alive, Bruges invites you to embark on an extraordinary adventure. Discover hidden canals, savor heavenly chocolates, and lose yourself in the charm of horse-drawn carriage rides. Ascend the Belfry Tower for sweeping vistas, or delve into the world of Belgian beers with a tasting extravaganza. Explore the secrets of the Béguinage and marvel at Michelangelo’s Madonna with Child. Bruges beckons you to create your own story within its cobblestone streets. So, what are you waiting for? Unleash your wanderlust and let Bruges weave its magic around you. Plan your unforgettable journey today and let this timeless city leave an indelible mark on your soul.
Do you think we missed anything? Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below …