With its cobblestone streets, romantic canals and outdoor cafés, Bruges oozes with fairy-tale charm. This beautiful Flemish city, located in Northern Belgium is just a quick hour train ride from Brussels. Once we arrived in Bruges (Brugge in Dutch) we headed towards the Markt and Burg Squares, stopping along the way to admire the dreamy canals lined with gorgeous architecture and whitewashed almshouses.
In Bruges, it is fun to explore the city by water-way. So we decided that a canal tour of this medieval city was a must and hopped aboard one of the open boats located right next to St. John’s Hospital. This particular canal tour lasted 30 minutes and cost €7.20 per person. We began the tour by cruising through the Lake of Love where we spotted many swans swimming about or resting on land. Then we headed back past the St. John’s Hospital, a functioning hospital up until 1978 but is now a museum. We zipped along the picturesque canals taking in the views of the medieval architecture and headed on towards the Rozenhoedkaai canal with stunning views of the extravagant bell-tower Belfort. We spotted the Church of Our Lady, a gothic landmark, built in the late Middle Ages, containing the Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo. We highly enjoyed our canal tour through this idyllic town and would recommend taking a tour when visiting. Just be sure to watch your head when the boat goes under some of the low bridges!
De Halve Maan (The Half Moon) brewery is the only remaining family run brewery in Bruges that is still operating and brewing beer daily. The brewery, which began brewing beer in 1856, has been run by six generations of a family from Bruges who have continued to produce top quality brews for decades. We enjoyed a 45 minute educational tour of the brewery with explanations of the brewing process followed by a visit to the rooftop for some panoramic views of the city.
The daily guided tours cost €7 per person and run every hour in English, Dutch, French and German. The cost includes the tour of the brewery and a pint of their most famous brew the Brugse Zot. This delicious golden-blonde beer has a unique taste with a subtle fruity flavor. Even if you don’t have time to take the tour of the brewery I would recommend visiting this family run business to enjoy a pint or two!
After the brewery tour we walked the cobbled streets towards Bruges’ famous Markt Square. This square is easy to locate due to its most famous landmark, the 13th century belfry of Bruges, the Belfort. Visitors can trek the 366 stairs to the top to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Bruges.
The historic Markt Square is filled with gorgeous medieval architecture, bustling with horse-drawn carriages and busy outside seating cafés. Next to Markt Square is the equally impressive Burg Square, both of which are pedestrian only areas. After a long walk around the town taking pictures, we sat down in the outdoor seating at Craenenburg Cafe-Brasserie for a delicious dinner.
How to get there: From the Brussels/Bruxelles Centraal Train station, purchase a weekend ticket (1/2 price on weekends) to Bruges/Brugge. Cost per person round trip was €15.20. The trains run from Brussels to Bruges twice every hour at either 21 past or 59 past. If you are staying overnight in Brussels the last train heads back to Centraal station at 11:00pm.
Most museums are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00 and closed on Mondays. The following attractions are open on Mondays: De Halve Maan Brewery Tour, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Church of our Lady, Begijnhof, as well as, most boat tours. You can also purchase the Brugge City Card if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing. The cost is €40/48 hrs or €45/72 hrs and even includes a canal boat ride!
Save to Read Later ↓