Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders. It has a population of 118,053 inhabitants and was defined as a European capital of culture in 2002. Along with some other Northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is called as “Venice of the North”.Its economic importance is high because of its port and once it was the world’s leading commercial city. Cosmopolitan and Urban, given its small size, is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and offers charm that you can’t find elsewhere. Bruges is a perfect place every season of the year, culminating the Christmas season that becomes really a fairytale town. Bruges is known for its laces, beers and of course the incredible chocolates that you will find in tiny shops in every alley of the city and you will surely be yield to temptation.
The official language is Flemish but you will be able to communicate in English, as it is a very touristic place and most locals know English language very well. The currency is Euro so you will not encounter any problems in your transactions.
What To See...
Brugge Market Square
It is the central square and one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Here are some of the most important sights like the huge belfry that will help you always find your way as it is visible from every part of the city. In the market square as it is called you will find several shops for food, coffee, waffles and french fries that are some of the specialties you should try in Bruges.
This small cannal is definitely the most beautiful part of the city and one of the most romantic places you will ever see in your life! It’s true that no matter how many times you photograph this spot, we’re sure that every time you pass through you’ll be taking the same photograph again and again. It’s a postcard image and you’ll see either day or night! Summer, Autumn, Spring or Winter is always magical and it will never be enough from this incredibly beautiful place.
The Bonifacius Bridge is another point that you will truly love in this tiny, stone-built cannal, the calm waters and the swans give you truly pictures that will remain forever in your memory. The atmosphere and romance of this city is something that will leave no visitor unsatisfied, it is no coincidence that Bruges is called as Venice of the north and of course it is 100% true.
This beautiful lake is located next to Minnewater Park and is definitely one of the city’s sights that you have to see.
Queen Astrid Park
Queen Astrid Park is about a 5 minute walk from the main square and is an ideal place for a quiet walk. At the end of the park there is an old church and a playground worth visiting. In this park you will find many kinds of flowers and a very beautiful fountain right in the center.
Square of the Town Hall
Another very beautiful square and one of the main attractions of Bruges is the square of the city hall or ”Burg Square”. In this square you can see the town hall that is housed in a beautiful building and around the square you will find some of the best food and drink shops of the city, it is a less touristy place than the Market Square and definitely prices are a bit better than the relatively high prices you will find in the ” main square ”.
Jan Van Eyck Square
Very beautiful square with magnificent buildings and not so crowded like the central square. From here begins a very nice walk in the old town, next to the cannals! One of the most beautiful places in Bruges for sure.
Two very good choices if you have a bit more time in the city are definitely Brussels and Ghent. It’s two fairly short one day excursions and you have the opportunity to see two of the most beautiful cities of Belgium. The trip to Brussels costs 28 € roundtrip per person and takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to the central station (Bruxelles-Midi). Ghent is even closer to Bruges and in just 25 minutes you are in the center of a beautiful city. Train to Ghent’s central station costs about 14 euros per person and takes just 22 minutes.
What To Eat
What is the first thing that comes in mind when we hear the word Belgium? Of course waffles, unique chocolates, crisp fried potatoes and a huge variety of beers! Belgian cuisine is not generally famous for its traditional dishes, but believe us is very tasty! The whole city has the smell of a huge waffle that will continually challenge you to taste them, as you understand it is the first delicacy you have to try in Bruges! The center is full of shops that serve fresh waffles and you will not have difficulty finding one of them. If you want a salty snack, a good choice is fried potatoes in various versions (ketchup, mayonnaise etc), of course it is not something that will change your life but we suggest you to try it once in your journey.
When you want to eat something more comfortable and a bit more expensive then the place to visit is definitely the beer house Cambrinus! In this stunning beer house you will be able to taste over 400 kinds of beer but also terrific dishes that will surely satisfy you. You can choose from a wide variety of pasta, varieties of cheeses, cold cuts (which are really amazing) and very good meats.
How to move
Bruges is a really enjoyable and not very big city, so the best way to enjoy it is on foot. Wander through the stone alleys without having a specific destination and simply enjoy the magic and romance that exudes. Of course there are other ways to move, like a bicycle but we think the city center is better to walk on foot. If you want to get a little out of the center there are very good bus and tram connections. Bruges is accessible by car and by train from the Brussels central station.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Bruges is relatively cheap and a double room in the city center costs on average 50-70 euros apart from specific points like the central square where prices go up enough. We do not recommend you to stay in the many touristy spots of the city, as well as the high prices, there is a lot of noise during the whole day because of the tourist groups all year round. You can make your reservations via Booking.com.
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