Burges (or Brugge in Flemish) – the postcard-perfect quaint little town in the Flanders region of Belgium makes for a great day trip from the neighbouring cities of Brussels and Antwerp. Steeped in history and retaining a rare medieval character, Bruges is often called the ‘Venice of the North‘ due to the numerous canals skirting through its historic centre. It’s well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site city centre with cobbled stone alleys and swan filled canals offer an enchanting experience making Bruges a must-visit when in Belgium.
Bruges is located in the Flanders region of Belgium. The country is sandwiched between the Netherlands to the north and France to the south. It is divided primarily into two regions – Flanders, which is a Dutch-speaking region to the north and Wallonia, which is a French-speaking region in the south. The dialect of Dutch spoken in Bruges is called Flemish. A lot of names and signs in Belgium is bilingual. As such, Bruges is the name for the city in French while Brugge is its Flemish equivalent.
This article delves into everything a traveller needs to plan a perfect holiday in Bruges. It including when to visit, how to get there, things to see and do in Brugges, where to shop, where to eat and drink, and finally the best places to stay at.
When to visit?
Like the rest of Western Europe, the best time to visit Bruges is usually during the summer months from June to August. However, unlike the rest of Western Europe, Bruges can be cold and damp even during summers. From October to March, the temperature drops down rapidly and is considered to be the low season. However, winter visitors will experience a host of holiday events, including Bruges’ famous Christmas markets. Spring and Autumn are the shoulder seasons. Check out Bruges on Holiday-Weather.com for more weather-related information.
Arriving in Burges
The town of Bruges does not have an airport of its own. However, the capital of Belgium – Brussels – is well connected by Air with the rest of the world and offers direct trains from the airport to Bruges every hour. More on that later. Also, close by are the major cities of Antwerp in Belgium and Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.
The best way to reach Bruges is by train via the excellent Belgian rail network. Direct trains connect Bruges to Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent in Belgium.
Direct Inter City (IC) trains connect Brussels Midi (Zuid) Station to Bruges every half n hour with a journey time of 1 hour. These trains go via Ghent, which also makes for an excellent day trip from Brussels. Single one-way tickets for adults cost 14.3 EUR (~ 16.83 USD, 1263 INR) in the 2nd class and 22.1 EUR (~ 26 USD, 1952 INR) in the 1st class. There are direct trains from Antwerp as well every half hour with a journey time of 1 hour 30 minutes. Single one-way tickets for adults cost 15 EUR (~ 17.66 USD, 1325 INR) in the 2nd class and 23.1 EUR (~ 27.19 USD, 2041 INR) in the 1st class.
From Brussels Airport Zaventem Station, there are direct trains every hour to Bruges. Journey time is around 1 hour 30 minutes. Single one-way tickets for adults cost 21.20 EUR (~ 24.97 USD, 1874 INR) in the 2nd class and 29.7 EUR (~ 34.98 USD, 2625 INR) in the 1st class.
Reservation and booking
A round trip would be priced twice as much unless you purchase a special weekend return ticket. Tickets, both single and return, are valid on the day of purchase, except when purchasing online for a specific date or when you buy the weekend ticket. There are no open dated tickets in Belgian Railways trains. Youth below 26 years of age and senior citizens above 65 can avail discounted tickets. There are several other multi-trip and multi-day passes available. All such information along with the latest ticket prices can be checked on the official site of the Belgian Railways linked here. You can also check train schedules and book tickets on the official website. Other reliable online travel agents selling train, bus, and air tickets for Europe are Trainline and Omio (formerly Go Euro).
Seat61 is an excellent resource for train travel in Belgium and across the world – my number one go-to website for all train travel research. Given that Belgium is a bilingual country, most stations might have two names – in French and in Dutch. Brussels Midi is french while Brussels Zuid is dutch for the same station.
Flixbus plies multiple buses every day on the Brussels to Bruges route from both Brussels North and South Stations. It also runs direct buses on the Antwerp to Bruges route. Tickets start at 6.99 EUR (~ 8.23 USD, 618 INR) and can be booked online here. Journey time is under 1 hour 30 minutes from both Brussels and Antwerp. Bus tickets can also be booked on Omio.
From Amsterdam, there are direct buses to Brugges with a journey time anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. Tickets start 16.99 EUR (~ 20 USD, 1502 INR). Tickets can be booked both on Flixbus site as well as via Omio.
Euro (EUR) is the official currency of Belgium along with 18 other member states of the European Union. The proliferation of cashless transactions in Belgium is high, like the rest of Western Europe, and hence the need to carry wads of cash is minimal. ATMs are also ubiquitous in Brussels and Brugge and support most international debit and credit cards. Many tourism-oriented services also accept payments in US Dollars and British Pound.
Getting around Bruges
The best way to get around the historic city centre is on foot. The quaint little cobblestone streets need to be experienced and taken in slowly and what better way to do it than wandering aimlessly through the medieval alleyways and getting lost for good.
‘Legends of Bruges‘ by Legends Tours is one of the highest-rated free walking tours in Bruges. The tours are 2 hours long and take place at 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM and 2 PM every day. It’s a guided walking tour led by an English speaking guide through the old centre. They work on pay-what-you-want principle wherein the guests decide how much the tour is worth and accordingly tip the guide. There is no upfront tour price. Additionally, Legend Tours offers free Night Tours and paid Private Tours as well. Finally, Visit Bruges, the official tourism website of Bruges, offers downloadable documents for do-it-yourself self-guided walking tours in the city.
Apart from walking, a great way to explore the town is on a bicycle. Bruges Bike Rental is a company offering bikes on rent in Bruges for 4 EUR (~ 4.72 USD, 354 INR) an hour or 13 EUR (~ 15.34 USD, 1151 INR) for the day. Check their website linked above for further details.
Quasimundo is a company offering bike tours in Bruges and is well rated on Trip Advisor. Their signature ‘Bruges by Bike‘ tour starts daily at 10 AM and runs for 2 and a half hours. Accompanied by an English speaking guide, guests cycle through the historic centre. Prices are 30 EUR (~ 35.39 USD, 2656 INR) for an adult. Baja Bikes is another company offering 2 and a half-hour long bike tour in the city centre accompanied by an English speaking guide for 30 EUR (~ 35.39 USD, 2656 INR) per adult. Starts at 10 AM every morning.
Public buses are the best way to get from the Railway Station in Bruges to the city centre. Tickets cost 3 EUR (~ 3.54 USD, 267 INR) and are valid for a single journey with all transfer within an hour included. No buses run in the historic centre of the town. Visit Bruges provides a handy guide to all the bus lines serving the station to city centre route. All public buses are operated by De Lijn.
Taxis are available in Bruges from the Market Square and the Railway Station. A list of all taxi companies and their fares is provided in the Visit Bruges page. Green Rides is an environmentally friendly electric bicycle taxi which operates both within the historic centre as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Top things to see in Bruges
The centre of Bruges is quite compact and can be easily experienced in a day. However, for visitors who can afford to spend a night, it is absolutely worth it. Bruges has become extremely popular in recent years with tourists and day-trippers thronging the city’s narrow lanes during the day, especially in peak season. Come evening, and an ethereal calm settles over the medieval city and makes for a great time to explore the city, sans the crowd. Below is my recommended list of top things to see in Bruges.
Historic Center of Bruges
The historic centre of Bruges has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 2000. This is what most visitors come to Bruges to see and most of the attractions in the city are themselves within the old city walls. This former commercial capital of Northern Europe was a major trading hub at its peak and still retains a lot of its former character within the fortified city. Most of the former city walls have been lost over time. However, one can still witness the splendid gothic architecture of the city, characteristic of Northern Europe. With its numerous cancels, churches, and towers, Bruges is deservingly the magnum opus of the Flemish world. The two most important city squares to appreciate the architecture of the old town are the Markt Square and Burg Square. Read more at about the centre of Bruges on the website of UNESCO.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
This famous church in Burg Square house an important relic of Christianity – a vial of blood that is said to be that of Jesus. Basilica of the Holy Blood is a minor basilica built in the 12th century as the chapel of the Count of Flanders. The relic is housed in the upper chapel which was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 16th century. The older lower chapel is built in Romanesque style. Extremely popular with tourists, there can be quite a queue to view the relic. Entrance is free. However, visits to the Treasury/ Museum costs 2.5 EUR (~ 2.97 USD, 222 INR) per person.
- Location: Burg 13, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily 10 AM to 5:15 PM
- Ticket: Free, Treasury/ Museum – 2.5 EUR (~ 2.97 USD, 222 INR) for adults
The tallest tower in the Markt Square, Belfort or Belfry, as its popularly known, dates back to the 13th century. You may climb 366 steps to reach the top of this 83-meter tall tower and be rewarded with stunning views over the medieval city. On the way up, visit the City Treasury which held the city’s charters, seals and coffers. You can also see a drum and a keyboard used to play the tower’s 47 bells of the carillon.
- Location: Markt 7, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily 10 AM to 6 PM
- Ticket: 12 EUR (~ 14.23 USD, 1065 INR) for adults
The Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde or The Begijnhof, as it is more popularly known, is a convent with white-coloured houses and large grounds originally meant to house beguines – women who chose to live a pious and celibate life. In the present day, it houses the nuns of the Order of St. Benedict and other celibate women. Visitors can enter the grounds for free. For entering the houses, there’s an additional charge.
- Location: Begijnhof 24-28-30 , Brugge Belgium
- Hours: Daily 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM
- Ticket: Free to enter the grounds, Beguine’s house: 2 EUR (~ 2.37 USD, 177 INR) for adults
Next to The Begijnhof is the swan filled lake of Minnewater. It is also called the Lake of Love and has been romanticised by local folklore. Makes for a great resting place in the adjacent Minnewaterpark park benches or for a picnic beside the lake. The park and the lakeside are open 24*7 and are free to enter.
This is a museum dedicated to classical Belgian and Flemish art. Some of the masterpieces on display in Groeningemuseum are Madonna with Canon Joris Van der Paele by Jan van Eyck and the Moreel Triptych by Hans Memling among others. It also has on display Neo-Classical pieces of art from the 18th and 19th century along with masterpieces by Flemish Expressionists and post-war Belgian Modern Art.
- Location: Dijver 12, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Tue to Sunday: 9:30 AM to 5 PM, closed on Mondays
- Ticket: 12 EUR (~ 14.23 USD, 1065 INR) for adults
Torture Museum Oude Steen
This is a museum not for the faint at heart. Located in one of the oldest prisons in Europe, Torture Museum Oude Steen is an exhibition of all instruments of torture historically used on prisoners. It tells the gruesome tale of prison systems in Europe, and of human suffering – both physical and psychological using life-sized wax figures and replicas of actual instruments used for torture.
- Location: Wollestraat 29, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM, Open up to 9 PM in July and August
- Ticket: 8 EUR (~ 9.5 USD, 710 INR) for adults
St Bonifacius Bridge
Located in the heart of the Historic Centre, St Bonifacius Bridge is a great stop for your Instagram photos. However, this ancient-looking bridge is a very recent addition to Bruges city-scape, built in the early 20th century. Still, hordes of tourists throng this bridge for their perfect photo-op and to watch tourist boats cross the canal underneath.
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, also called the Church of Our Lady, is famous for housing the only sculpture by Michelangelo in Northern Europe – Madonna and Child. It’s 115.5 metre-high brick church tower is the 2nd tallest in the world. Also worth seeing are the countless paintings, the 13th and 14th-century crypts, and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold.
- Location: Mariastraat, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, Sundays from 1 PM to 5 PM
- Ticket: Free to visit the church, Museum (including the paintings and sculptures): 6 EUR (~ 7.12 USD, 533 INR) for adults
Bruges’ City Hall, also called the Stadhius, is one of the oldest in Europe. It has been the seat of the local government for well over 600 years. This magnificent Gothic Hall located in the Burg Square has on display original documents and paintings highlighting the evolution of the city and its governance over the centuries. A must visit when in Bruges.
- Location: Burg 12, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 9:30 AM to 5 PM
- Ticket: 6 EUR (~ 7.12 USD, 533 INR) for adults
Bruges Art Route
The Bruges Art Route is a windmill park around 30 minutes walk from the town centre. It is a world away from the crowded historic centre and makes for a wonderful break in case you are in town for more than a day trip.
- Location: Kunstroute Vzw Korte Vuldersstraat, 30, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Always open
- Ticket: Free
Cathédrale Saint Sauveur de Bruges
Saint Saviour’s Cathedral is the oldest parish church in Bruges. It is filled with a huge collection of paintings by Flemish Masters and treasure chamber displays. Also worth seeing is its splendid Gothic architecture and stained glass windows. This church in the historic centre is free to enter.
- Location: Kunstroute Vzw Sint-Salvatorskoorstraat 8, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily 10 AM to 1 PM, 2 PM to 5:30 PM
- Ticket: Free
This is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe originally founded in the 12th century. On display are the medieval wards of the hospital, a church, and a collection of art and medical instruments. The most famous paintings on display are the 6 masterpieces by Flemish primitive artist Hans Memling. Also worth visiting are the apothecary’s and herb garden of the hospital.
- Location: Mariastraat 38, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, closed on Mondays.
- Ticket: 12 EUR (~ 14.23 USD, 1065 INR) for adults
Things to do in Bruges
Apart from the sights listed above, there are a lot of activities and things to do that one might indulge in while in Bruges. Not all of them might be of interest to all visitors. Below is my list of top things to do in Bruges. Pick the ones that you fancy.
De Halve Maan Brewery
De Halve Maan is a brewery home to some of Bruges iconic beers like Brugse Zot, Straffe Hendrik and Blanche de Bruges. Visit the brewery to enjoy a guided tour demonstrating the traditional process of beer making in Bruges. The tour includes a tasting of the Brugse Zot in the brewery bar. Additional drinks are available for purchase. You can also purchase bottled beers to take away from the brewery store and have lunch or dinner in the brewery’s restaurant.
- Location: Walplein 26, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily 11 AM to 6 PM, extended hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Check website for latest information.
- Tours: 45 minutes in duration, 12 EUR (~ 14.23 USD, 1065 INR), includes a tasting of Brugse Zot Blonde beer.
There is a separate XL tour which lasts for 90 minutes and includes a tasting of 3 beers in the Brewery cellar apart from the what is included in the standard tour. Priced at 21 EUR (~ 24.91 USD, 1864 INR)
Bourgogne des Flandres Brewery
Another brewery worth visiting in Bruges is the Bourgogne des Flandres. It is known for its namesake beer. The brewery has recently relocated back into the town of Bruges after 60 years. Here too, you can take part in a tour of the brewery, learn the traditional way of making beer in Bruges, and end the tour with a tasting of the Bourgogne des Flandres beer. Also, present on site is a bar selling its house beers and food, and a store selling bottled beer and other merchandise.
- Location: Kartuizerinnenstraat 6, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 10:30 AM to 6 PM, Ale House stays open till 7:30 PM
- Tours: 40 min in duration, 11 EUR (~ 13.05 USD, 976 INR), includes a tasting of the Bourgogne des Flandres beer
Bruges Beer Experience
Bruges Beer Experience is a great way to learn about the history of beer and beer making in an interactive way using an iPad. Price of entry to the experience includes a tasting of three traditional beers. It has an on-site bar and a store as well.
- Location: Breidelstraat 3, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Experience – daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, Saturdays open up to 9 PM, Bar/ Shop open daily from 10 AM to 6:30 PM
- Tours: Self-guided experience – without beer 10 EUR (~ 11.86 USD, 888 INR), with a tasting of 3 beers 16 EUR (~ 18.98 USD, 1420 INR).
A great, albeit a bit expensive, way to experience Bruges is on Balloon, soaring over the historic centre in an early morning or late evening flight. Bruges Ballooning prices are 180 EUR (~ 213.52 USD, 15981 INR) for a shared ride which includes pickup and drop off, a 1-hour flight, celebratory champagne, and a Belgian breakfast. Private flight options also available. Check the website for more information.
- Location: Breidelstraat 3, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Morning flight – 3 hours including pick up and drop off, ends around 10 AM. Evening flight – around 4 hours including pickup and dropoff, pick up between 5 PM to 7 PM
- Tours: 180 EUR (~ 213.52 USD, 15981 INR) per adult, 125 EUR (~ 148.28 USD, 11098 INR) per child in the morning/ 110 EUR (~ 130.5 UD, 9766 INR) per child in the evening for a shared ride on a balloon. Includes an hour-long balloon flight, pickup and dropoff, celebratory champagne post the flight, breakfast, and insurance. Group sizes vary from 4 to 10 passengers. Evening flight does not include breakfast but does include Belgian beers.
Canal Boat Ride – Boottochten Brugge
Boat tours in Bruges’ canals is an extremely popular tourist activity. Usually, these trips are of 30 minutes in length and skirt through the canals of the historic centre giving visitors a great way to see the medieval town. While there are several tour companies offering boat trips on Bruges’ canals, Boottochten Brugge is one of the top-rated ones on Trip Advisor. Their boat tour is 30 minutes long and is priced 10 EUR (~ 11.86 USD, 888 INR) for adults. One can also hire the entire boat for a private experience.
- Point of departure: Bootexcursies Gruuthuse, boarding point 3, Nieuwstraat 11, 8000 Bruges
- Hours: Daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, 30 minutes long trips
- Tours: 10 EUR (~ 11.86 USD, 888 INR) for an adult, 6 EUR (~ 7.12 USD, 533 INR) for a child in a shared boat
Luc Vanlaere Harpist
Luc Vanlaere is a Harpist from Bruges who does Harp Concerts for free daily. A great experience in Bruges away from the usual tourist traps. Highly rated on Trip Advisor.
- Location: “SITE OUD SINT JAN” Mariastraat 38, 8000 Bruges
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday at 3 PM, 5 PM, and 6:30 PM. The concerts run for 40 minutes each.
- Tours: Free, donations accepted
Shopping in Bruges
Bruges is a shoppers paradise and has a lot to offer for the discerning shopper- from high chocolate boutiques to intricately handcrafted Belgian lace stores. However, with the proliferation of foreign-made cheap copies of original crafts and mass-produced chocolates and beer, it’s important to know where should you buy from if the quality of what you are buying matters to you. Below is a list of trusted stores selling original locally produced Bruges and Belgian crafts and food.
Chocolates & Happiness
Chocolate & Happiness is a highly rated artisan chocolate boutique in Bruges. Its family run and all the chocolates are made in house and in small batches. These high-quality chocolates make great gifts and can be bought along with personalised souvenir boxes. They do not resell any of their products. Highly recommended for authentic Bruges chocolates.
- Location: Wollestraat 16, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Open Wednesdays to Mondays from 10 AM to 6 PM, closed on Tuesdays
The Bottle Shop
The Bottle Shop is a specialized beer shop selling hundreds of varieties of Belgian beer (800 plus different kinds of beer to be precise). Also available in store are other local souvenirs and gifts. Must visit if you would like to indulge in a bottle of high-quality Belgian beer or simply to wrap them up as gifts to take back home. They also have an online store from where you can order your beers and get them delivered across the world.
- Location: Wollestraat 13, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 6:30 PM
2be Beer Wall
2be Beer Wall is another store in Bruges located in a 15th century Mayor’s house with a permanent exposition displaying Belgian beer in shelves embedded into the wall. Apart from the wide range of Belgian beers, the store also sells chocolates, biscuits, and other souvenirs. They have a roof-top bar with splendid views over the medieval city.
- Location: Wollestraat 53, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Thursdays to Tuesdays from 10 AM to 7 PM, closed on Wednesdays
Unlike most of the tourist shops in Bruges selling cheap lace mass-produced somewhere else, ‘t Apostelientje only sells locally made high-quality lace – both new and vintage. Highly recommend by some of the best guide books in the world like Michelin Guide, Rick Steves’, Lonely Planet, and Rough Guides, this is a must-visit place for a lace connoisseur or for visitors willing to indulge in a top-notch souvenir.
- Location: Balstraat 11, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10 AM to Noon, 1:15 PM to 5 PM, Sundays from 10 AM to Noon, Tuesdays from 1:15 PM to 5 PM, Closed on Mondays
Another world-class chocolatier in Bruges is Delpa. It claims to be the oldest Artisinal Chocolatier in Bruges and lives up to its reputation. All chocolates are made in-house and the shop sells a variety of treats apart from chocolates. A chocolate worth trying in Delpa is the famous ‘The Bruges Swan‘ – an artisanal chocolate in dark, milk or white version with a variety of fillings
- Location: Mariastraat 20, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 6 PM
Where to eat and drink?
Bruges can spoil you for choices when it comes to high-quality establishment for dining and drinking. It offers a variety of options – from fine dining restaurants to street-side waffle joints – there’s something for every budget and taste. Below is a list of my recommended places to dine and drink in Bruges. Some of them may cater to Vegetarians and Vegans.
Park is one of Bruges highest rated restaurants offering a fine dining experience with an impeccable service and in a beautiful setting. Prices, as expected, are on the higher side. However, the quality of the food, the paired wine, and the quality of service is second to none.
- Location: Minderbroedersstraat 1 opposite Astrid Park, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Evenings 7 PM to8:30 PM, closed on Mondays and Thursdays
- Price: 4 Course Set Menu (without drinks) – 49.5 EUR (~ 58.72 USD, 4395 INR), All inclusive 4 course menu (including drinks) – 79.5 (~ 94.31 USD, 7058 INR), a la-carte food and drinks available
Sfeerbistro De Twijfelaar
Another top-rated restaurant in Bruges, Sfeerbistro De Twijfelaar serves local cuisines in an intimate setting with artistic decor. They also have an outdoor terrace which is open during the summers. They serve a set menu lunch made from Wednesdays to Saturdays for 18.50 EUR (~ 21.95 USD, 1642 INR) per person.
- Location: Eekhoutstraat 24, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: From Noon to 2 PM, 6 PM to 9 PM, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, closed on Sunday evenings
- Price: Set menu lunch for 18.50 EUR (~ 21.95 USD, 1642 INR) per person from Wednesdays to Saturdays
BRUTAL by Bruut
BRUTAL by Bruut is a highly acclaimed restaurant in Bruges which prides itself for the great wine it pairs with the equally good food. It offers a fine dining experience in a no-nonsense setting and serves Belgian as well as international cuisine. Set meal options are available. It also has a lot to choices for Vegetarians and Vegans.
- Location: Meestraat 9, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Mondays to Fridays from Noon to 9 PM
Beers Yesterday’s World
Beers Yesterday’s World is a brewpub in the historic centre serving Belgian beers in an antique setting. While Belgian beers are what it is known for, the pub also serves a wide range of other alcohols and sells antique souvenirs as well. Prices are average for Bruges. Must visit place and highly recommended.
- Location: Wijngaardstraat 6, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Mondays to Fridays from 2 PM to Midnight, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 AM to Midnight
Fred’s – Belgian Waffles and Ice Cream
Fred’s – Belgian Waffles and Ice Cream is an iconic Belgian waffle and ice cream shop with outlets throughout Europe. The one in Brugge is just off the Markt Square and serves a wide variety of waffles and ice cream with all kinds of toppings. Great for cheap treats on the go.
- Location: Eiermarkt 20, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Mondays to Fridays from 10 AM to 10 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 11 PM
This is one of the best places in Bruges to get your Belgian waffle fix. On the menu are a wide range of waffles and an equally impressive variety of toppings to go with them. Also available are ice creams and milkshakes. Perfect for takeaways. Located between Markt Square and Burg Square.
- Location: Breidelstraat 16, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 6:30 PM
The last place but certainly not the least in the list is At Tattie’s. This quaint little cafe serves all-day breakfast including sandwiches, waffles, coffee, fries, shakes, salads, and a lot more. Great for a cheap meal on the go.
- Location: Jan van Eyckplein 3, Bruges 8000 Belgium
- Hours: Mondays to Fridays from 8 AM to 5 PM, Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM, closed on Sundays
Where to stay?
For people who want to experience Bruges in a way beyond what a day trip can offer, a stay in town for a night or two is absolutely recommended. Bruges has plenty of accommodations – from backpacker hostels to former castles-turned-5-star resorts. Below is a list of some of the highly recommended ones.
Hotel Dukes’ Palace Bruges
Hotel Dukes’ Palace is the former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy. This castle has now been turned into a 5-star resort and is one of the best places to stay in Bruges. The hotel offers a large 3000 metre sq. garden, an in-house SPA, a gym, a couple of restaurants, and a bar. It is located within the historic centre. Room rates start at 129 EUR (~ 153 USD, 11453 INR).
Hotel Navarra Brugge is a family-run 4-star hotel in a listed historic building. Its located minutes away from the Markt Square. Facilities include an indoor pool, a sauna, a gym, and a terrace. This is one of the highest-rated properties in Bruges on Trip Advisor. Room rates start at 119 EUR (~ 141.16 USD, 10565 INR).
Lybeer Travellers’ Hostel
Located halfway between the Markt Square and the Train Station, Lybeer Travellers’ Hostel offering shared as well as private accommodation for cheap. Includes free wifi, in-house bar, and laundry facility. They also host a variety of events and activities including free walking tours, Belgian beer tasting, karaoke nights, pub quizzes, and masquerade theme parties. Highly recommended luxury hostel for budget travellers located in central Bruges.
Other things to see and do in Bruges
It’s virtually impossible to mention all the sights worth seeing in Bruges within a single article. Apart from the ones listed above, Bruges is home to a long list of museums. One which is definitely worth visiting, if you can spare the time, is the Gruuthusemuseum. This is a museum dedicated to the history of Bruges chronicling the tale of the city using 600 plus exhibits. Entrance to the museum is priced at 12 EUR (~ 14.23 USD, 1065 INR) for an adult. Sint-Janshuismolen is a working windmill from the 18th century and the only one you can enter. It is located in the northeast corner of the city. It costs 4 EUR (~ 4.74 USD, 355 INR) to enter and is worth a visit.
Another chocolate store selling artisanal chocolates which might be worth visiting is The Chocolate Line Bruges. Finally, if a guided beer tour interests you, Bruges Beer Tasting Tour is a highly recommended and well-reviewed beer tour in Bruges. The tour is 3 hours long and includes a tasting of 5 local beers. Priced 45 EUR (~ 53.38 USD, 3995 INR) per person in a group tour.
Bruges makes for a great place to visit once the lockdown ends and people are free to move around. In recent years, Bruges has become extremely popular in the tourist radar and with so many tourists pouring in every summer, its difficult to fully appreciate the charms of this medieval city in a crowded setting. However, with tourism coming to a halt with the onset of the pandemic, it will probably take years to get back to the numbers previously witnessed. As such, getting to see cities like Bruges before the hordes of tourist start trickling back in is an experience not to be missed.
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Below is a map with pins for all the sights discussed above in this article.