This small Belgian city is so charming that it simply makes its visitors fall in love with it.
Located only one hour from Bruxelles, Bruges was an important and rich city in the past centuries, due to its strategic location and trade routes. It is also the type of place that will make you forget any worry and just focus on the beauty and the specific charm of its channels, historical buildings, delicious chololateries, waffles and beers.
This fairytale medieval city, included in the UNESCO heritage list is truly an unforgettable place.
Bruges really deserves more than a day trip and it surely has enough to offer to keep you busy, but since many times it is combined with visiting Bruxelles we thought about giving you our top recommendations for a one day trip to Bruges.
How to get there:
Bruges is very easy to reach either by car or by train. For both the journey takes about one hour and the train timetable is offering quite a lot of flexibility. The return journey by train is about 15 euro/person.
Top 10 things to do on a one day trip to Bruges:
Take a boat tour on the channels
Although Bruges is a small city it has many attractions to offer. The best way to start exploring the city is to take a boat tour on the channels. There are more small docks to take the boat from and the ticket is 8 euros per person. You will surely enjoy the tour and you will also hear many detailed explanations about the places you see during the tour.
Explore the main square, streets, passages and bridges
Bruges is considered to be one of the most well preserved medieval cities in Europe. It is worth having a detailed look at its impressive architecture and buildings, as well as many bridges. The main square, also known as the market place, is famous for the 13th century belfry, but you can find here also museums, restaurants, beer houses or shops. Very close by there are also many interesting passages that lead to lovely channel views, pubs or cafes.
Climb the 366 stairs of the Belfry for an amazing view
This medieval bell tower is 83m (272 ft) high and once played a very important role in the city, by housing the treasury, archives and also by providing a good observation point for fires. The stairs are quite narrow so expect a delay or waiting in line to be able to go up or down, but the view over the city is impressive.
Indulge yourself with Belgian waffles and chocolates
While visiting Bruges you simply can’t miss the delicious chocolates and waffles. The smell will also make you crave for some. Prices go up depending on how much topping you would like to have on top of the waffle, but the taste is definitely worth it.
Visit the Church of Our Lady and the sculpture “Madonna and Child” by Michelangelo
The Church of Our Lady is a landmark in Bruges and its tower is dominating the skyline of the city. The tower is 122.3 m (401.25 ft) high and makes the church one of the tallest brick buildings in the world. If you like art, you would also enjoy seeing the sculpture, which is one of the masterpieces of famous Michelangelo.
Have a delicious lunch on Sint-Amandsstraat street
In Bruge there are many restaurants to choose from, but we found some really good options and value for money on Sint-Amandsstraat street, that starts right from the main square. You can chose from restaurants, pubs and brasseries with local specific or if you want something else you can also find Italian, French and even Asian cuisine.
Discover the beer wall at 2be Bar
Another place not to be missed is the 2be bar and their famous beer wall. The bar looks like a beer museum and (as expected) they serve a large variety of beers. The atmosphere is great and some areas have lovely views over the channels.
Try local beers
And since we mentioned beers you must try the famous local beers Brugse Zot or Straffe Hendrik, which are the only beers actually produced in Bruges by De Halve Maan brewery. You surely won’t be disappointed.
Visit the historical De Halve Maan brewery
We’ve just mentioned the beers, but we can’t forget the brewery, which has a long and impressive history dating back to the Middle Ages. Although it is still in use, the brewery can be visited and also hosts a small museum. You can also hear about local legends, such as the one related to Emperor Maximilian and the fools of Bruges, that gave the name of the Brugse Zot beer.
More information can be found here: http://www.halvemaan.be/en/brewery-visit
Have a walk near Minnewaterpark and The lake of love
Bruges is also considered a very romantic city. If you are visiting it with your partner you should know there is a local legend that says that couples walking and kissing on the bridge over The lake of love will experience eternal love. The legend is quite sad and it is about a young girl Minna, who fells in love with a warrior that unfortunately is not accepted by her father. She escapes a marriage arranged by her family, but dies of exhaustion when she is finally found by her lover. The name of the area and the lake are inspired by her name and this legend. Even if you are not interested in the romantic aspects, the lake is still very beautiful and offers a lovely scenery that would make a walk near very enjoyable and relaxing.
Our one day trip to Bruges was wonderful and we hope to explore the city more with another occasion.