Bruges is a beautiful medieval city almost untouched by time. If you like jazz, you will be well catered for. If you like chocolate and beer, you will be in heaven.
Also known as “Venice of the North,” Bruges happens to be unique. Cultural and artistic, cosmopolitan, medieval, and a Unesco World Heritage site to boot. Strolling along Bruges’ alleys, picturesque canals and verdant ramparts can make you fall in love with this quaint town.
There is enough history here to fascinate you for hours and there are priceless works of art to wonder at. There is amazing architecture, peaceful canals and views that are a photographer’s or artist’s delight.
This city manages to encompass so much within its ancient walls. It is known as the ‘Venice of the north’ because of the canals and bridges. You may walk throughout the city, and after any turn, in any lane, and on any waterfront you can expect an unspeakably charming sight
Things to Do
- Basilica of Holy Blood– The double church, dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Basil in the 12th century and a basilica since 1923. It consists of a lower church that has maintained its Romanesque character and a neo-Gothic upper church, where the relic of the Holy Blood is preserved. It is a modest little building tucked away in the corner of the Town Square. It is the oldest shrine of Bruges.
- Grote Markt- The largest of Bruges’ two central squares, Grote Markt has Nineteenth century gabled buildings that edges three sides of the square while the fourth side flanked by the impressive Belfort.
- The Belfry– The Belfry dates back to about 1240, when Bruges was quite prosperous thanks to the Flemish cloth industry here. The tower has fallen victim to fire three times. On the way to the top of the tower you can stop on different levels to see displays of old bells, plus admire the big bell and see the carillon in action. Today there are 47 bells and they ring every quarter-hour. The panoramic views of the town from here are simply breathtaking.
- Canals & Bridges– Bruges is said to resemble the Italian Venice and the Russian St. Petersburg . The whole area of the city is riddled with canals and quaint bridges. Boat trips are very popular among tourists because many interesting places and there are many restaurants that can be reached only by water.
- Bruges Beer Museum– Immerse yourself in the beer history of Belgium and of Bruges. Discover the many different types of beer and unravel the mysteries of the brewery process.
- The Minnewater– The Minnewater is at the edge of the medieval city center. This water reservoir is nicknamed ‘the lake of love’ for its incredibly romantic setting. There are bridges, pretty buildings, green lawns, and countless white swans.
Eat & Drink
Avoid eating at Grote Markt and Burg square. Prices are high and the food is mediocre. One can find far better food and prices down the small streets leading away from the Markt. To drink best Belgian Beers head to De Halve Mann brewery. Besides De Halve Mann, the most famous pubs in Bruges are De Garre and Brugs Beertje. They will offer you a choice of more than 100 varieties in De Garre, including their own strong beer Triple de Garre 11%.
How to get to Bruges
The easiest way to get to Bruges is from Brussels. Trains to Bruges depart twice per hour from the airport. The journey time is 1 hour 30 minutes. Bruges’ railway station is just 1500 meters from the center. Trains from Paris and Amsterdam also arrive at this station. One can drive down to Bruges too from Brussels very easily and makes for a good day trip.
The wonderful thing about Bruges is that so long as you have a city map in your hand, it is really hard to get lost. One can wander on the lanes and along the canals for hours enjoying the tranquillity of this town. Walking around Bruges is definitely the best way to see this gem besides taking the canal route which we missed but worth a trip.
Bruges is brimming with medieval influences and is one of the most popular medieval cities in Europe, Lot of people know about this town because of the movie “In Bruges” where its beautiful architecture was shown. I found this city to be very charming and would want to visit it again. Many believe that Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I totally agree with that because You Will Remember Bruges!
Next Stop– Ghent