When I think about Bruges, what I can say is: what an adorable, romantic and charming city! It was love at first sight: with each step made, I was discovering another amazing medieval building, another interesting colored house, another hidden canal…just like a dream!
I spent one day in this beautiful city and I was completely fascinated. It is so small that you don’t need public transportation to move around. Just wander on its cobbled streets, between medieval buildings, admire the gingerbread houses and endless canals and be prepared to be amazed!
HOW TO GET THERE FROM BRUSSELS:
It is only one hour away from Brussels and the trains’ timetable is one per hour. The price is around 30 Euros/person/return.
WHAT TO SEE
We turned right from the train station and walked for 15 minutes until we reached the city center.
On the way through, there is a quiet park, with a lot of swans. We were alone so I thought it might not have been the right way. Where were all the tourists? (we discovered later…)
Following the way to the city center, you will find Smedenpoort, a beautiful 13th-century gate, rebuilt several times.
Don’t forget to admire the charming houses along the way:
MARKET SQUARE – PART OF UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
It is a pedestrian square, car-free from 1995 (so I can call it tourists’ heaven, there are huge crowds of tourists all the time).
Despite the crowds, it is a great place to wander around. You can admire the colored Flemish buildings (a landmark of Bruges), the imposing Belfry, the neo-Gothic provincial court. Simply adorable!
Belfort van Bruges dating from 12th century, it is a guardian of this splendid square, with its 83 meters tower. You can climb 366 stairs and overlook Bruges from the above. We skipped this during our visit; the narrow stairs are getting me claustrophobic.
THE PROVINCIAL COURT
It was originally a Waterhall, demolished and rebuilt in the 19th century. Its style is Neo-Gothic. For me, it is the most interesting building from the square.
It is probably the most photographed place in Bruges. Once there, you will understand why: the view is amazing!
The best experience in Bruges is admiring the city from a boat. Only imagine: lots of canals surrounded by medieval buildings and charming colored houses, a serene park with white swans and loooot of quietness, many bridges…it is so romantic!
Well, as everyone wants to experience a boat trip, the queues are usually large. However, the whole experience worth every second of waiting. The ticket is 8 Euros per person and the journey takes up to 30 minutes.
When we were there, the city was participating in some exhibition of modern arts so we could admire the creations from the boat.
This was supposed to be a swan (right side):
And this a dolphin made by recyclable materials:
THE MINNEWATER OR LAKE OF LOVE
We got there during the boat trip so we spent only some minutes admiring the place. It is so quiet and adorable!
THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY, BRUGES
Its height- up to 112 m makes it the tallest tower in Belgium.
ALMSHOUSES – GODSHUIZEN
These fairytale-whitewashed houses are spectacular! The houses were built in the 14th century and were charity houses meant for vulnerable people: single women, poor, etc. Nowadays, they are mainly inhabited by elder people.
We found a street full of these houses near the train station.
Finally, we couldn’t leave Bruges without tasting a local beer and, of course, the delicious “frites” (fries):
If you’re traveling in Belgium, you definitely cannot miss Bruges!
Train from Brussels: 30 Euros/person/return
Boat tour: 8 Euros
Travel. Enjoy. Repeat.