The 6 best things to do in Bruges. Belgium

9 Best Things to Do in Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a city often described as elegant, romantic, medieval, charming and relaxing. It’s a great place to talk, join a tour, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. If you like chocolate and beer, you’re in luck, because Bruges has plenty of these and other local dishes to satisfy your taste buds. So, if you’re new to Bruges, here are some of the best ways to spend your days here.

Canal Walking.

Bruges, Belgium

Take a walk along the canals (nearby hotels)

Sounds simple, but one of the best things to do in Bruges is to just walk along the canals. It’s also fun to rent a bike and ride the trails of the Old Town. The whole city is compact in size, which is great for wandering around and stumbling into neighborhoods you hadn’t even planned on. Look out for the Rosenhoedkai, where you’ll find picture-perfect postcard photos and amazing scenery as you walk or drive.

Take a scenic boat cruise

Bruges, Belgium

Take a scenic boat cruise (nearby hotels)

After you’ve mastered exploring the city on two feet, why not get out on the water to see the city from a whole new perspective? Bruges is called the “Venice of the North” because of its canals. There are canal tours that depart from Huidenvettersplein and last about 30 minutes. A canal boat tour is always a bit touristy, but this experience will literally make you feel like you are living in a fairy tale. It will also allow you to see sights in the city that you probably wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise. Boat rides usually last from March to November and cost about 8 euros per adult.

Try the local beer at the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery and others

Greetings at the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery

Greetings at the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery

Taste local beer at the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery and others (nearby hotels)

Throughout history, Belgians have made one of the most amazing beers in the entire world. Bruges is full of bars and nightclubs, but we love the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery for the local beer. The brewery is open every day except Mondays and offers tours for €10.50 per person over 16, which includes a free drink. Another great brewery to visit is De Halve Maan (Half Moon Brewery). This family-owned brewery offers guided tours every day and offers lunch daily from noon to 3 p.m. These 45-minute tours cost €10 per person and are conducted in English, French and Dutch daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The lunch menu includes delicious dishes such as shrimp stuffed with tomato and fries, spaghetti bolognese, Flemish beef stew and vegetarian lasagna.

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Taste delicious sweets

9 Best things to do in Brugge, Belgium

Taste the delicious sweets (nearby hotels)

The whole country of Belgium is known for its delicious homemade chocolates, and Bruges has some great places to try local products. Chocolate lovers will definitely want to stop at Choco-Story, a chocolate-themed museum. The museum tells the story of chocolate in Belgium and has various rooms, a library with works about chocolate and opportunities to talk to chocolate experts. The entrance fee to the museum is 8 euros per adult and on most days it is open from 10:00 to 17:00 or 18:00. Don’t forget to step away from the basic chocolate bites and try pralines, truffles, cream liqueurs and waffle toppings made with chocolate. The best chocolate stores in town include Chocolatier Dumon, Chocolate Line and Pralinette.

Lake Minnewater Vacations.

Minnewater Castle on the Lake of Love in Bruges

Minnewater Castle on Lake of Love in Bruges

Holidays on Lake Minnewater (Nearby Hotels)

The name “Minnewater Lake” means “Lake of Love,” and you may well fall in love if you spend some time here in Bruges. There are canals at each end of the lake, as well as walking paths, beaches and swans. Come here with someone special when you are in the mood for romance. It’s nice to take some time out of your busy sightseeing schedule and just sit on a park bench and look at the weeping willows. And if you get hungry, there are several great restaurants around the lake where you can grab a snack or a meal.

Spend some time at Burg Square

Bruges, Belgium

Spend some time at Burg Square (Nearby Hotels)

Architecture buffs love Burg Square because there are several fine examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture here. The town hall, or Gothic town hall, is full of history and dates back to 1376. It is one of the most historic places in the city that once had a fortress. Other places to see here are the Deanery in its Baroque style, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and Blind Donkey Alley. There are quite a few bars and restaurants in the area where you can sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

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Visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood

The interior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood

Visiting Holy Blood Basilica (nearby hotels)

Regardless of your religious beliefs or not, it’s definitely fun to check out the Basilica of the Holy Blood when you’re in Bruges. This impressive church contains the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood is contained in a small vial, and the inside of the church is a sight in itself. There is no charge to visit the church, but a ticket to the treasury/museum costs €2.50 per person. It is an active church that has masses, veneration and adoration. At certain times of the day, a vial of blood is given to visitors to line up to see it up close and receive a blessing.

Ride through the city in a horse-drawn carriage

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Riding around town in a horse-drawn carriage (nearby hotels)

There’s no denying that Bruges is a romantic city, so get your romantic side and take a horse-drawn carriage ride around town. It’s an interesting way to celebrate the charm of the old city and sightseeing, especially if your feet are starting to hurt from walking all day.

See the windmills

Windmill in Bruges

The Windmill in Bruges

See Windmills (nearby hotels)

Windmills are most often associated with the Netherlands, but some can also be seen when visiting Bruges. There are several windmills that date back to the 18th Century around the northeastern end of the canal around the Old Town. For example, the Sint Janshuysmill was built in the mid-1700s and is actually still grinding grain. Several of the windmills have small museums. But even if you don’t go in, take some pictures and take this peaceful walk.

Where to go in Bruges with children?

Bruges

According to many tourists, Bruges is the most beautiful city in Belgium. Once in Bruges, you feel as if you find yourself in an extraordinary place surrounded by fabulous houses and ancient sights. The town is very picturesque and deserves attention on its own, and in some places you must visit with the whole family! Especially during the New Year.

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1. DUMON Chocolatier store

Belgium, no doubt, can be called the land of chocolate … Here there are many factories where sweets are made according to classic and special recipes. Chocolate is probably the most popular souvenir from Belgium. In the tourist areas chocolate stores are literally at every step. The DUMON Chocolatier is one of the few stores in Bruges that sells homemade chocolate. The store has a very modern interior and the options for sweets are many, from classic creamy to unusual combinations of flavors. Address: 11 Simon Stevinplein 8000 Bruges

2. Chocolate Museum

What kid doesn’t dream of seeing how cacao beans are turned into chocolate? Go to the Choko Story, a chocolate museum housed in a beautiful 14th century building. Here you can not only learn a lot about the history of chocolate production and watch the process, but also learn how to make chocolates yourself! Little guests of the museum with pleasure participate in master classes on how to make sweets. Address: 2 Wijnzakstraat 2 8000 Bruges.

3. the Bowdenwijn Park

This water amusement park is located in the southern part of the city. Here you can watch dolphin and sea lion shows, swim in the pool and take pictures with sea animals. The park has an area for the little ones: kids are invited to ride a horse and swim in the boats, play miniature golf and watch parrot shows. Children under 1m can visit the park for free. Address: 12 Alfons de Baeckestraat, 8200 Bruges

If you’ve tired of wandering around the cobbled streets, take a boat ride – it’s not too long and doesn’t take more than half an hour, but it leads you into a medieval fairytale. You’ll meet not only the oldest buildings of the city, picturesque bridges and squares, but also the inhabitants of the local ponds – ducks and swans. In Bruges, there are many tour bureaus, which offer such walks – ask any of them: the prices and routes are the same.

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5. Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas tree store

What is sold in this store is closely related to the Western European winter holiday culture. It is a special store of Christmas toys – they are made of wood and glass in the German Christmas tradition. The atmosphere of the store recreates the magical world of the holiday – do not pass by! Here you will find great souvenirs for friends and relatives and unusual decorations for your home Christmas tree. Address: Breidelstraat 4, 8000 Brügge

6. Fries Museum (Frietsmuseum)

Another unusual museum in Bruges, and children love it! It tells how the potato “traveled” from Peru to Europe and shows the many devices used in different centuries to peel and prepare potatoes. After viewing the expositions, you are welcomed to a local café – the fries here are delicious! Address: 33 Vlamingstraat, 8000 Bruges

7. Markt – Market Square

Time for a bite to eat? You have to go to the main square in Bruges- Markt is one of the liveliest and busiest places in Bruges. The square was reconstructed several times but kept its medieval style. The square is full of restaurants and cafes with traditional cuisine, built several centuries ago: friendly hosts will delight you with delicious traditional dishes: try asparagus Flemish style, mussels with French fries, caramel biscuits and almond cakes.

8. Belfort Tower

Once in the market square, you won’t miss the tall building of the Belfort Tower. If you’re traveling with growing kids, take this unusual challenge together! There are 366 steps leading up to the top of this 88 meter medieval tower – no easy task, but you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Bruges and its surroundings from the very top! If you don’t feel like climbing up the stairs, you can take some memorable pictures in front of the tower and listen to the melodious chime of its 47 bells. Address: Markt – 8000 Brugge

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9. Astrid Park

This beautiful quiet park is lost in the streets of the city, just a few steps away from the bustling tourist areas. The park was laid out in the 19th century on the site of the gardens of a Franciscan monastery and features a variety of landscapes. In Astrid Park, this oasis in the center of Bruges, you can forget the existence of the city while watching the swans and enjoying the beauty of nature.

10. Medieval Loppem Castle

Loppem Castle is 6 km from the city, an excellent opportunity to walk through the gardens in the English style and a break from the bustling tourist center. The castle is little known, but very beautiful and an example of Gothic Revival architecture.

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