Visit Bruges on a trip to Belgium! Consider it good advice. Sure it’s touristy, but it’s still worth seeing. On our vacation to the beautiful little country that is Belgium, that l highlighted on my previous post, we visited Bruges on a fun day trip from Brussels. I first heard of Bruges from the Colin Farrell movie from a few years ago.
I know l am not the only one who was inspired by that little independent movie, as l have seen references to it from so many people. It apparently sparked the wanderlust in many. It just seems so quaint. Having seen it, l can confirm that is indeed true. It is a wonderful little gem of a place.
Bruges is located in the Flemish region of Belgium and is the capital and largest city in the province of West Flanders. It used to be a trading post between the 12th and 15th centuries, thanks to its so-named “Golden Inlet”,( Zwinn Chanel), which connected directly to the sea. How lucky is that!
Alas, by the 15th century, the inlet stilted and lost its connection to the vast sea. It wasn’t long before the prosperity enjoyed by Bruges shifted to Antwerp, and the population dwindled. Bruges is booming again, thanks to tourism, as more and more people like ourselves have discovered the charm.
This medieval city of Bruge, with its cobble-stoned streets, Cathedrals, and Canals has retained its old-world uniqueness. It was so cool to hear the clickety-clack of the horses’ hooves as they ferried tourists all over town.
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More than a day in Bruges?
Fun Facts about Bruges:
- Bruges is known for Spinning and Weaving Lace. It produces some of the most luxurious lace in the world. Flax flowers, which are used in lace production, grow like a weed here :-).
- It is mandatory for every citizen of Bruges to vote.
- The town center of Bruges is a UNESCO world heritage site.
- The first book printed in English, a work of William Claxton, was in Bruges.
- Bruges was the European Capital of Culture in 2002.
- Bruges gets over 2 million tourists a year.
- The sculpture of Madonna and Child in Bruges is the only work of Michelangelo believed to have left Italy during his lifetime.
- Bruges is called the Venice of the North.
- Several beers are named after Bruges, such as Brugge Blond , and Brugze Zot beer . One of the top things to do in Bruges is try the many types of beer.
Visit Bruges for the beautiful canals:
Pin it for later for what to see and do in Bruges:
Related Reading: Highlights of Brussels
My observations of our Bruges visit: 🙂
Early dwellers must have been wicked short. I am only 5’5″, and looking at most of the old doorways, l would just fit. Federico couldn’t get in the door without ducking..
Chocolate Heaven. The stores were everywhere, and they smelled and looked so good.
It can be brutally cold! It was at least 15 degrees colder than Brussels.
Brugges is expensive:
It is kind of pricey, most main courses that we saw were €24 on average, and €7 for starters. We didn’t see a lot of people eating at restaurants either. I think you can only gouge tourists so much, plus it was cold!!! We ended up having a hot dog and Belgian fries combo with soda for €7 each.
The train from Brussels to Bruges gets really, really packed. My advice is to get to the platform early and stand in front. Don’t be shy about getting on quickly. To not do so, you would end up like the hundreds of people with no seat, who have to stand for the entire trip :-(. The trains leave often, l think every 45 minutes or so, but they are always packed!
Every single taxi in Bruges is a Mercedes Benz. Every single one!!!! I mentioned it to Federico after l had seen like 4, he didn’t believe me at first. We then started keeping tabs, and lo and behold..every single one is a Benz! I don’t know how that is possible, even the taxi vans are Mercedes! It was kind of cool and totally solidified the fact that l was right when we went back to the train station, and the cab stand was one Benz after the other!
Here is a little video of the town square panorama. Don’t laugh at me too much! :-), and yes.. l know you don’t pronounce the “S” in Bruges!
Related Reading: Our Ghent Visit
It reminds me of Amsterdam. I prefer Bruges :-). We visited Brussels, Ghent and Bruges. My love is reserved for Ghent, which l will write about next. I did like Brussels a lot, and totally recommend a visit to Brugge.
In conclusion, your 1-day trip itinerary’s best things to do in Bruges might include:
- Dam Square, the drop-dead gorgeous heart of Bruges, and visit the market vendor stalls
- Carriage ride for a scenic view of Bruges
- Indulge with a romantic canal ride of Brugge
- Visit a brewery and try out Belgian beer
- Try Belgian chocolate at one or several of the many little stores or at the chocolate museum.
- Eat tasty Flemish food in Bruges
- Visit historic Beguinage, an oasis of calm and serenity. An old charming haven for women that is worthy of a visit.
- Climb the iconic Belfry (Belfort) tower for an awesome 360-degree view of the city. This is a top tourist attraction in Brugge
- Visit one of the many art or quirky museums in Bruges such as the Frietmuseum (museum of Fries)
Have you been to Bruges? If so, did you like or love it? If not, is it a place that you would like to visit?