The Top 10 Things To See and Do in delightful Bruges city, Belgium

When I look back on the past decade of our travels, all I see are little city breaks scattered throughout the years. Instead of burning all the vacation days on one big, proper trip, we favoured spontaneous voyages around Europe and Ireland.

One thing I was surprised to discover I found real satisfaction in planning all the trips and loved the anticipation of what might happen. Actually, when I think about it, I enjoyed organising weekend getaways and staycations even more than remembering them after.

I got so hooked that I needed this happy feeling in my life repeated as often as possible. I started planning prospective road trips and crazy adventures. Over the years I plotted pretty much everything I could, from a two-week Pacific Northwest adventures to The Great Ocean Road trip and even several Around The World Trips.

Some of the journeys and routes that I have planned are still bookmarked for later, fingers crossed we make it happen,  and some of them we had a chance to experience several times.

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Pretty cobbled streets in Bruges, Belgium.

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When it comes to pretty European getaways, Bruge is one place I always wanted to go to. It was one of the first trips that I personally curated with great enthusiasm.

Was I seduced by chocolate fountains that never dry out or inspired by long exposure pictures of the medieval city at night with silky smooth waters popping up on my Instagram feed?

The purpose of our visit to Bruges, that was founded in the 9th century by the Vikings,  was to see its beautiful squares, hear folkloric tales and to climb 366 steps to the very top of the Belfry.

And even though we arrived in Bruges hearing rain pound on the train window and even though we never made it to the medieval bell tower, we were swept away by its laid-back ambience and delectable foods.

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You gonna love Bruges!

 

The top 10 things to see and do in delightful Bruges city, Belgium

For those world wanderers who want to discover the best things to see and do in this city, we put together a list of some of the most beautiful places you’ll find in Bruges.

If you ask me, there’s no denying that with the quirky houses, incredible Christmas markets, and the cobbled streets, Bruges is one of the Europes most beautiful cities.

It’s so beautifully unique and full of history that, in fact, the centre of it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

After spending a full day in Bruges, we can recommend this medieval town to everyone. Bruges is a very walkable place, and you can fit all the major attractions in a day. So, bring your walking shoes and explore this place.

 

#1. Eat all the Belgian chocolate you can

On a quest to find the best sweets in town? You have come to the right place. White and dark chocolate, macaroons, pralines, truffles, strawberry ganache, waffles – whatever you fancy! Bruges is cheerfully dripping in sweets. For the most amazing chocolates in the World, go to The Chocolate Line.  Lavender and the Cuban cigar flavour, anyone?

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Pure deliciousness.

 

#2. Find the 18th-century windmills

The Koeleweimolen and Sint-Janshuismolen mills are located on the outskirts of town and are worth a visit. Out of four remaining windmills, these two are still used today to grind the grain. Each of the houses a small museum and if you are in luck, you’ll see the sails in motion.

#3. Look out for In Bruges filming locations

Before our trip I scrolled through the Netflix archives, looking for a black comedy starring Collin Farrel and Brendon Gleeson, In Bruges.  Not only this movie was hilarious; it also revealed beautiful Gothic architecture, old bridges and lots of tourist attractions.

Most of the filming locations are freely accessible, and you can see Minnewater Bridge, The Groeningemuseum, the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, The Huidenvettersplein, The Jan Van Eyckplein and many more. Bring your camera, get the map of all the filming locations at the tourist information bureau and have fun finding them.

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#4. Go for a Boat Ride

The canal boat ride was the very first thing we enjoyed in Bruges. The price of the ticket is around 8 euro, it takes 30 minutes for a round trip, and this trip allowed us to see the town from a different angle. Jumping into the boat with other travellers was a perfect way to see the city and our tour guide was quite the character, telling jokes and interesting facts about everything we saw along the way.

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Bruges, Belgium.

#5. Go for a walk

When you go for a walk around Bruges, the evidence why this place never needs to fight for visitors attention, unlike Ghent or Antwerp, is on every corner. Strolling through unfamiliar streets and squares filled with small cafes and shops, we stopped many times to gaze into the beautifully decorated shop windows, tried to imagine what the rooms look like behind those pink painted window frames, admired the unique architecture and tried to absorb its energetic vibe.

#6. Explore Bruges on bike 

Bruges is a land of bicycles. Our advice, rent a bike, ditch the mid-day crowds and go for a ride. You can use the pedestrian/bike path that circles nearly all the way around town. If you enjoy hopping on two wheels and like to see the countryside too then go all the way to Damme, situated north-east of Bruges.

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Bruges, Belgium.

#7.  Find cute doorknobs

As we wandered from one cobbled street to the next one, we found many beautifully detailed doors often with symmetrical designs. One thing to look out for in Bruges is door knobs that come in all shape and sizes. We spotted everything from flowers and animals to beautiful ornaments. Knocking on the doors in this town sure is fun.

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Cute, isn’t it?

 

#8.  See the impressive Town Hall

Located in Burg Square Bruges Town Hall is strikingly remarkable inside and out. Interior of this place is decorated with a golden ceiling and valuable paintings. 19th-century murals adorn the Gothic Hall and may original documents can be found in the historic chamber.

#9. Go on a tour  with a horse-drawn carriage

While walking around medieval town, we quickly learned that that Bruges was in a class of its own.  Another fun way how to enjoy the sights and listen to the stories told by the coachman is to go for a half-hour carriage ride along beautiful streets. It is definitely one of the priciest things to do in this city, but its good fun!

#10. Send some love

Last thing before we left – postcards. I send one home to Latvia and to my friends from every place we visit. I love this old fashion way of keeping in touch as it’s an effective way to show you care. Who doesn’t want to receive a hand-picked card with a personal note from the other side of the world?

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Sending postcards from Bruges.

 

How to get to Bruges

Typically for most visitors, the first stop in Belgium is Brussels city. From here, you can enjoy a short train ride to Bruges with Belgian Railway.  To make the most of your trip, especially if you are going on a day trip, you need to get an early start.

It takes around an hour to make it to Bruges from Brussels by train, and it’s possible to purchase the ticket in advance. To do so, use the Belgian train online page.

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Bruges, Belgium.

 

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Now, over to you!

Have you been to Bruges? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Bruges and have travel-related questions!

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

30 thoughts on “The Top 10 Things To See and Do in delightful Bruges city, Belgium

  1. I’ve been to Bruges twice, both times as day trips. I wouldn’t mind spending an overnight or two there someday. I can’t believe it took them until 2010 to declare it a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Great post.

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    1. It doesn’t get much more lovey-dovey than wandering around Bruges and taking in ivy-covered houses, dreamy canals and historic churches. Bruges is super romantic, and everything has this intimate quality to it; even on a rainy summers day. Thanks for stopping by and safe travels x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bruges looks absolutely enchanting, I am adding this magical place to my bucket list. Also, cuban cigar flavored chocolate?! I am so intrigued.

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    1. Hi fellow traveller, if you are planning a trip to Brussels with enough spare time to explore nearby towns and cities, Bruges is a must! The best thing about it; Bruges is easily accessible by train, and you can even stop at Ghent, which is slightly modern yet equally appealing, on your way back to Brussels. Safe travels and thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Bruges is very much unusual and lovely place to visit, but it can also be very crowded with tourists, especially during the summer month, but don’t let this stop you from exploring the world or losing the sense of wonder, plan accordingly and be two steps ahead of everyone else. Thanks for visiting and reading and have a good day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, we spent a day in Bruges. Driving from Paris and back. Too short. (Started raining as we crossed the Belgian border! and didn’t stop most of the day!)
    Have to go back.
    Thanks for the post.

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    1. It started raining as soon as we arrived, so much for a sunny summer city break, and we even ended up purchasing rain jackets and umbrellas, nevertheless we had a great time wandering around! Have a good day

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We had lots of fun sampling Belgian chocolate. While you will possibly gawk at the price of some of them, the textures, flavours and fillings are perfectly combined to give you a real joy! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day

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    1. Hi, and thanks for stopping by I actually had to use the Google search engine to find where is Green Bay, and now I know!

      I’m glad we set aside an extra day to visit Bruges, despite the rain and tourists crowds, we absolutely loved it! Loving your fat-tire winter biking adventures, although cross country skiing, something we are yet to try, sounds more appealing I would give a bike a try too. Safe travels x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so exciting, hope you guys have an amazing time in Bruges! Apart from its reputation as one of the prettiest cities in Europe, the historic centre was our biggest appeal. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day

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    1. Ahhh….we had so many amazing photos from our day trip to Bruges that were stored on a computer! Before I had a chance to transfer all the files to an external hard drive, I managed to drop my PC in a process damaging its hard drive to a point where recovering all the photos was simply impossible.

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