Bruges’ breathtaking beauty lies in its fairytale feel. The city itself is a museum, a pure feast for the eyes. It seamlessly allures guests and locals alike with its church towers reflected in the waterways, cobbled lanes dotted with charming cafés and medieval mysteries. Stay a night or two to enjoy the magical evening light or go on a daytrip if you live nearby. Come for the weekend if you love people watching in a lively setting or revel in a serene retreat during a couple of warm summer weekdays. There are so many charming things to see in Bruges! Read on to get inspired and discover the top reasons for adding Bruges to your travel bucket list.
Have a taste of Belgium
Prepare to fill your belly with heavenly flavors that people travel across the globe for. Especially Belgian beer, fries, waffles and chocolate conquer hearts with their original and diverse recipes. These treats await at every corner in Bruges, but for the full experience, start your tour at De Halve Maan brewery from 1856 to learn how to pour and taste beer the right way. Afterward, stop by the captivating Choco Story museum, which tells you the tale of cocoa’s transformation into chocolate from a historic, geographic and botanic angle. For the cherry on top, end your culinary adventure with a wonderful waffle dessert from your café of choice.
Walk along the Windmills
Let the beauty of Bruges take your breath away with its awe-inducing windmills dotted around the edge of the old city. Out of the 23 mills that existed in the 16th century, just 4 remain along the ramparts: Koeleweimill, Nieuwe Papegaai, Bonne Chiere and Sint-Janshuismill, the oldest mill from 1770, which is particularly impressive because it still stands in its original spot and boasts a museum. Going for a windmill walk is a great way to get to know the area surrounding the city center and its history.
Experience the old town
No medieval city is incomplete without its Old Town. With is cobbled lanes, charming canals and Gothic architecture, the historic center of Bruges is an unmissable part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. As the birthplace of 15th century Flemish Primitive painting, Bruges’ Old Town continues to exude an artistic vibe. Some of the period’s most exceptional masterpieces can be seen in one of the 26 museums dotted around the city. If the weather allows it, simply find a bench on the main square and indulge in a tasty portion of Belgian fries. And to digest, climb the 366 steps to the top of the medieval Belfry Tower and you’ll be rewarded with striking views.
From myriad museums and galleries to churches and cathedrals, a weekend won’t suffice for you to witness every gem that Bruges boasts. That’s why we suggest visiting the following three landmarks to get a sense of the city’s cultural treasures. If you visit just one church, make it the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which impresses with its flamboyant façade, Romanesque character and Neo-Gothic top church. Art enthusiasts can’t miss Groeninge Museum, which displays a world-famous collection of Flemish Primitive paintings and some remarkable temporary exhibitions. Last, but not least, pay a visit to Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges sculpture, housed in the Church of Our Lady.