In case you hadn’t seen my social media posts recently, I have just come back from a short break from Bruges. It was my third visit to the city and I think it is one of the loveliest cities in the world. I could happily keep going back again and again and never get bored.
Anyway, I thought as I have been a few times now, I have experienced it enough to share my favourite parts of the city. So here is a short guide of what are the best things to do there in my opinion.
The Belfry is the most iconic part of the city. It can easily be seen from almost everywhere and is the tallest building in the Bruges skyline. I do recommend taking the 366 steps to the top of the tower (it’s very tiring but there are a few stops along the way) because the views from the top are epic! You can also learn about the history of the building and how a carillon added to the magic and how it has evolved over the years to the set up it has today. The belfry sounds every 15 minutes, rotating 4 different pieces of music. The pieces of music are changed every couple of years, meaning that the soundtrack of the city doesn’t stay the same for long.
Bruges has a large array of museums, my favourite being the Groeningemuseum. If you are keen visitor of museums, you can buy a 3 day pass which allows entry to the vast majority of them. You could easily spend 3 solid days doing just museums and still not see them all!
The Groeningemuseum is one of my favourites because it features a lot of history on the local Artists. As someone who hasn’t got a great deal of knowledge on art, I find this incredibly interesting and enjoy learning how the culture of the city developed over the centuries.
River Boat Tour
Whilst there are many ways to view the city, my absolute favourite is the river boats. Known as ‘The Venice of the North’, Bruges has a series of canals running through the city. There are multiple companies providing these tours, all of which have sole access to the canals. I do not have a preference to a certain tour company (I have tried a couple now), the information is similar on all of them. The main reason I love the tours is to see an angle of the city that would not normally be seen. Feeling immersed in the architecture and history is so enjoyable. However I do recommend if you are going to do this in the colder months you wrap up warm, it can get flipping freezing!
Nobody can visit Bruges without having some beer. There are an overwhelming number of bars in the city, but one of the must-do’s is the ‘Place 2 Be’ off the main square. The bar features a Beer wall with 400 different bottles on display. I recommend trying one of the taster trays, featuring 4 light or strong beers and 3 pots of nibbles. We had one of each and the ABV ranged for 4% to a whopping 10%!
Of course there are loads of things that you can do in Bruges. If I told you them all this post would turn into a book! My last few suggestions is to make sure you have some frites and at least one waffle. We also went to a little tearoom and had coffee and a chocolate taster tray. The chocolate is to die for but is so rich that it took us over an hour to polish of only a dozen on them between us!
I hope this is useful to anyone considering a trip there – it is undoubtedly one of the best places for a short city break.
Have you been to Bruges? What did you enjoy when you were there? I would love to hear your suggestions.