If the 2008 film In Bruges didn’t get you packing your bags to explore the Flemish town, allow us to introduce you to one of the finest hot spots in Europe.
Visiting Bruges is a bit like stepping back in time. With picturesque cobbled lanes and a labyrinth of peaceful canals, there’s no wonder Bruges is often referred to as ‘The Venice of the North’. The compact charismatic town is one of the best-preserved medieval destinations in Europe, and with its long history of fine chocolate making, it’s easily one the most romantic too.
Following the very quotable Ken from In Bruges, you’ll find it incredibly easy to “strike a balance between culture and fun.”
Whether you’re looking for a lavish boutique stay or something on a comfortable budget, Bruges has everything to meet your needs. For 5* luxury try Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, only a stones throw away from the main Markt with beautifully ornate and uniquely designed rooms. If you’re on a tighter budget, try Hotel Leopald for charming rooms and facilities perfectly located between the town centre and the train station.
Markt (Market Square)
A trip to Bruges is not complete without a visit to the main historic Markt. Medieval buildings, cafes and chocolate shops, surround the large open square and towering over everything you can find the impressively iconic Belfort Tower. For a small cost you can climb the tower to enjoy stunning panoramic views over Bruges and beyond.
Taking a canal tour is a must. Yes, it can feel a little touristy, but it’s one of the easiest ways to explore the town and gives you a totally different feel than by foot. If boats aren’t your thing, why not try a romantic horse-drawn carriage tour instead? These are available from the main Markt.
Because let’s face it, what we’re really interested in is the chocolate Belgium’s famous for. The Choco-story museum will not only allow you to dive into the history of chocolate, but also treats you to a chocolate making demonstration and tasting too.
EAT & DRINK
Arguably one of the best bits about any trip, Bruges will definitely not disappoint when it comes to your appetite. From handmade chocolate to local Belgian beers, Bruges makes a fine couple pairing when it comes to food and drink.
Foodies will be in their element, as you walk from handmade chocolate shop to handmade chocolate shop. The smell of cocoa is divine as you meander through the cobbled streets. We visited family run chocolate maker’s Dumon who aren’t shy to let you taste many a free sample.
Grab a warm Belgian waffle on the go as you explore or stop off at Bierbrasserie, Cambrinus, for a wide selection of beers or hearty meals cooked with, you guessed it! Beer.
Whether you want to gorge yourself with sweet treats or immerse yourself with many a historical landmark, Bruges proves the perfect short break for anyone looking to have a bit of ‘cultural fun’.
Been to Bruges? Let us know where to go @tweetjanes