Bruges is nicknamed “the Venice of the North” because of its many canals. The medieval architecture of the inner city is extremely well preserved. It’s no wonder that this city has been the setting of several historical television series and has been a UNESCO site since 2000.
Bruges is ideal to discover by foot, but you can also choose to go by horse and carriage or by boat. The boat shows you around all the sights and enables you to make beautiful pictures. All the guides are very nice and helpful , and Bruges was recently elected as one of the top 10 friendliest cities in the world!
On the market square, you’ll find the belfry. Are you up for a challenge? In that case, pay the entrance fee and climb all the 336 stairs to the top of this medieval bell tower. I assure you, the view over the city is worth the effort. On a sunny day, the square is packed with people sitting down to enjoy an ice cream of Belgium’s favourite dish; French frites with lots of mayonnaise.
From the main square you can either go wandering around the shopping streets or you can pursue the cultural promenade. You can spot Michelangelo’s sculpture Madonna and Child at the Church of Our Lady. In the basilica of the Holy Blood, a relic is shown there twice a day. Next to the basilica, you find the city hall. Go inside, take the stairs to the first floor and discover the magnificent gothic hall.
There are a variety of museums in the city. Especially the paintings of the Flemish Primitives are worthwhile. My advice: go and visit the Groeningemuseum. The audio guide will give you all the necessary information of each painting.
We spent the night at the Grand Hotel, in the middle of the centre, which gave us the opportunity to walk around in the evening. We got a taste of several delicious Belgian beers in the local pub. Did you know the city of Bruges recently installed a 2- mile underground beer pipeline which can fill up to 12 000 bottles an hour? Apart from beer, you’ll also find delicious chocolate in the numerous artisanal shops. How can you resist so much temptation on holiday…
I found this city to be even more beautiful at night. The lights and the moonlight add a sort of romantic mystic to the scene, and with the right camera, you can shoot amazing pictures.
If you’re looking for a destination for a city trip, don’t hesitate and explore Bruges, you won’t regret it. Oh and by the way, the train station has easy connections to other big cities such as Gent, Brussels and Antwerp.
In association with https://bezoekers.brugge.be/
Pictures by Jan D’Hondt / Jan Darthet