BRUGES, BELGIUM TRAVEL TIPS

Bruges is a gorgeously preserved picture-perfect town located in West Belgium.  Only 12k from the coast this city is full of canals much like cities such as Amsterdam or Venice.  Bruges is often referred to as “Venice of the North.”  Hope you enjoy my Bruges, Belgium Travel Tips!

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THINGS TO DO

  • BELLTOWER (Belfrey Tower): 366 steps to the top but a fantastic view upon arrival!
  • HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDE: Any time of year this can be a festive and unique way to see the city.
  • BIKE: You can bike around town, or to the one of the next towns over called Damme. An easy and flat 4 miles there and back along a beautiful canal with bike lanes. If you are feeling really ambitious, biking to the coast is only 12km away.  Knokke and DeHaan are my 2 favorite coastal towns. And yes, there are big sandy beaches open to sun bathers in the summer time!
  • BREWERY – Da Halve Maan Brewery – a good tour in a cute part of town.
  • CANAL TOUR: Friendly boat drivers will welcome you aboard to take you on a 30 min canal cruise. This is a great thing to do first so you can see the town quickly and then choose where you want to walk/bike back to.   Good history lesson too! You can catch a canal tour in the main part of the city and there are many companies that offer this for around 7euro per person.
  • CHRISTMAS MARKETS: If you are lucky enough to be in Bruges at the end of November through the New Years, you are in luck. This town turns into a winter wonderland filled with fantastic Christmas markets.
  • Bruges is known for its chocolates and lace/tapestry shops so there is lots of shopping and chocolate tasting to do. All in all it is a peaceful way to spend the day in the summer time or a festive good time during Christmas market season.

TRANSPORTATION

  • DURATION OF TRIP: Most people make Bruges a day trip or weekend trip at most so often people are coming from another big city such as Amsterdam, Brussels or Paris when deciding to head out to Bruges. Staying 1 night is worth it as the city is so beautiful during the day as well as at night with everything all lit up.
  • TRAIN: Most people are coming from Brussels and there are many trains that leave Midi Station (every half hour or so.) The train station in Bruges is an easy walk to the center of town. You can also catch a train from Paris or Amsterdam as well.
  • CAR: Driving in Belgium is easy, however driving inside Bruges is quite aggravating. It is a city of canals and one way streets, so one wrong turn might cost you a 10 min detour. However parking is usually less than 10euro for the day.
  • ONCE YOU ARE IN BRUGES: Once in Bruges, park that car and leave it. Bruges is best seen on foot or by bike because of all the one way streets and canals. There are many places in town to rent bikes.

ACCOMMODATIONS

RESTAURANTS

  • Da Hobbit or The Habit – They are across the street from each other — once you decide which one to go into, ask them why they would put these two so close together.  😉 All you can eat ribs are the bomb. Spaghetti is good too!
  • Herberg Vlissinghe: the oldest pug in Bruges — good for a sunny terrace and a cheap lunch. A great place to sip one of my favorite beers I have only seen in Bruges called Fort Lapin.
  • Café Crannenburg – I always get stressed out walking into a town square where there are a number of touristy restaurants waiting to rip you off.  But you still want a drink and take in the sights.. this is the best of the bunch in the main square.  Order a hot chocolate!

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • The spelling of Bruges is different depending on the language spoken.  So keep in mind, Brugge, Brugges, Bruges can all be used.
  • This area of Belgium is Dutch speaking so you will encounter Dutch and English mostly.
  • There is a Lamp museum and an origin of French Fries (Frites) museum should you really be rained out and need an indoor activity. 🙂
  • I’ve said it before, avoid renting a car and driving to Bruges. It is walk-able and bikable.