Magical is the word that comes to our mind when we reminisce about the time we spent in Bruges. A charming town with its whitewashed almshouses, cobbled streets, swans gliding in the canals, a stunning cathedral and prettiness just everywhere. The charming town looks straight out of a storybook. We went on a day trip from Brussels to Bruges, but if you have time we would highly recommend you to stay in Bruges for few days (2-3 days) and soak in the beauty of this magical place before and after the day-trippers are gone. In case, you are wondering what to do and what not to miss in this charming town, then read on for the top things to do in Bruges, Belgium.
Top Things to Do in Bruges
Picnicking by the Canals
Bruges is the kind of place you can come to and enjoy your time forgetting all the worries of the world. Minnewater Lake and Koningin Astridpark are two popular parks perfect for setting-up your picnic basket under the tree and enjoying your time with your loved ones.
Devour Waffles, Chocolates & Fries –
Bruges is famous for its crunchy and delicious fries and amazing waffles. Stop by any shop or cafe and order some fries and waffles. Waffles here are available with numerous toppings from icing sugar to Nutella and cream. They are tastier and fluffier as compared to the American waffles.
Boat Ride –
Bruges is dubbed as the ‘The Venice of the North’ and one of the best ways to explore the city and marvel at its architecture is by boat. Just hop on a boat and explore the city with the expert commentary about the highlights of the city which might go unnoticed. We would highly recommend the boat tour if you are running short on time. The journey lasts for 30 minutes.
Ride around in a horse-drawn carriage
Hail a carriage and step back in time with the fun ride, exploring the quieter alleys of the city.
Wander. Wander. Wander – by Bike or on Foot
Bruges is best explored on foot or by bike. Get a map from the local tourist information center (the tourist information center is located next to the train station) and start exploring. You can hire bikes and explore the quieter and beautiful places where cars are not allowed. Nothing would be better than sauntering past the beautiful gardens, bridges on the canals, cobbled alleyways, stunning cathedrals, and parks.
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For museum fanatics, Bruges won’t be disappointing either.
- Groeningemuseum is for art lovers and houses painting that is religiously inspired. It has works by Jan Van Eyck and Hieronymous Bosch.
- Choco-Story, a museum telling the history of the cocoa bean.
- Frietmuseum – one of a kind museum entirely dedicated to french fries.
- Diamantmuseum – Dedicated to diamonds.
Markt Square & GROTE MARKT
Stroll through the historic market square admiring the colorful pretty buildings. It has also been named as a Unesco Heritage site. Relax, dine, chill, admire the Gothic architecture, take in all the prettiness and all the buzz.
Bang at the market square is the 83- meter tall bell tower that dates back to the 13th century and its 366 steps stairs lead you to the most impressive view of the city. There are also 47 impressive bells and an old treasury. The tower is one of the most historically important buildings of Bruges.
Timing: 9:30 am-5:30 pm
Visit Burg Square & Basilica of the Holy Blood ( Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)
Burg Square is a public square and also the earliest of the inhabited places in the city. It houses the holy blood of none other than Christ. The church does have religious importance for Christians but regardless of any faith, the church is stunning and one of the must-visit places in Bruges. Beautiful detailing in the interiors is hard to give a miss.
The “Ten Wijngaerde” Béguinage
Whitewashed houses on all the three sides and a chapel on the other side makes it a perfect medieval setting. It used to be a place of residence for single women who worked for the church but weren’t necessarily nuns. It is quite peaceful as compared to other touristy spots.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the four romantic windmills waiting for you next to the canal at Kruisvest. The windmills were built in the 1770s. Two of them (Koeleweimolen and Sint-Janshuismolen mills) are still functional and have small museums inside. It makes for a perfect walk on a bright summer day.
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady)
You can find Michelangelo’s Madonna With Child and paintings dedicated to the city’s former residents.
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Capture memories at ‘Rozenhoedkaai’
One of the most photographed place in Bruges. This is on the way to the Markt. You can visit the place both in the morning and evening.
Other Attractions to Include:
Places to stay in Bruges
How to Reach from Brussels to Bruges
The easiest way to get to Bruges is by train from Brussels. From Brussels Central Station, the train journey to Bruges takes an hour. Local buses can take you from the train station to the Markt.
Hope you liked our top things to do in Bruges, Belgium. If you have been to Bruges, let us know what are your top things to do in Bruges, Belgium.
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