Bruges always ranks high in lists of top places to see in Belgium and Europe, making it a more than certain must visit for us. Also, since this was our first time in Belgium, we really wanted to travel around and see other places besides the capital, Brussels. And that’s exactly what we did.
Bruges historic centre is a UNESCO world heritage site which showcases impressive architecture in a very nice and walkable environment. Plus, some very nice beer!
We stayed in Bruges a little bit over a day, spending one night in a B&B just outside the historic centre. As this was part of a road trip through central Europe, we used a rental car to get there.
Read more about visiting Bruges…
Once inside the city walls we headed for the historic part. Along the way, it seemed that everyone was going to a football match, riding their bicycles and wearing one of the local teams jerseys.
Our first two stops were St. Salvator’s Cathedral followed by the Church of Our Lady, very close to one of the most popular boat tours booths. We would eventually decide to go back to this area at a later stage to go on a boat tour and also explore the southern part of town.
We walked on the direction of Markt – the central square of Bruges. On the way, we stopped at the main canal for some pictures. The belfry known as Belfort can be seen from distance.
Next to Markt, we passed by Burg square. Here lies the impressive gothic city hall from the 14th century.
Once on Markt, we stopped at one of the many local bars for a Belgian beer, with a view. Bright and sunny spring day also helped.
To get to the top of the Belfry we had to go up 366 stairs and queue for around 30 minutes, but the magnificent views across Bruges made it totally worth it. Highly recommended.
No visit to Bruges can end without a boat tour. It takes around 30 minutes and goes slowly across town, with commentaries in different languages by the guide/captain.
We finished our visit south of town. First at the Beguinage, a religious place, followed by the Minnewater Park.
Must do and practicalities
For us, the highlights were the Markt square, including the climb up the Belfry tower (Belfort) for magnificent views, and the boat tour. The boat tour gives a good feeling, from the canal, of how the city looks like. Still, walking the around is the best way to see some more interesting things, including many of the architectural features. Also, the state of maintenance of the main buildings is quite impressive. Looks like a good conservation effort gone right.
Do a mandatory stop for beer and chocolate! In terms of proper food, moules frites is a traditional dish in Belgium with mussels and fries. We surely did that!
This was our visit to Bruges. What do you think? Have you been? Drop us a comment.