The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

18 Best Things to do in Bruges, Belgium in 2023

Looking for issues to do in Bruges? You have come to the proper place. Belgium journey author Sam Van den Haute of Checkout Sam shares the perfect issues to do in Bruges. We are enthusiastic about this publish as we now have but to go to this picturesque city and have at all times needed to go since watching the film In Bruges.

Bruges, additionally identified additionally as ‘Brugge’ in Dutch,  is considered one of Europe’s most well-preserved fairytale cities. Located in the western Flemish area of Belgium, Bruges will actually transport you to locations you’ve solely examine in storybooks whereas permitting you to indulge in fashionable comforts and delicacies.

Things to do in Bruges, Belgium

Imagine your self strolling down a quaint cobblestone path, previous winding canals teeming with swans and cathedrals from the center ages. Just add some fashionable procuring spots and the odor of chocolate to that scene and also you’ve received the enchanting, medieval metropolis of Bruges.

Let’s check out the highest points of interest in Bruges that you simply gained’t need to miss in your go to to this bewitching vacation spot.

1. Quay Of The Rosary

Rozenhoedkaai (Quay Of The Rosary) is probably the most photographed place in Bruges. Located on a pointy bend of the Dijver Canal it provides the loveliest view in Bruges. The medieval buildings are positioned immediately on the canal between the stone bridge and the place the Dijver and Groenerei Canals meet. It’s inconceivable to miss as it’s a widespread start line for boat excursions.

This guided boat and strolling tour follows a neighborhood information as you see Bruges from the Canals on the water. You’ll uncover the narrowest avenue in Bruges, the basilica, and the Fish Market in your strolling tour. You’ll then get onto a canal boat tour on the Quay of the Roasary and sail alongside the canals to view the facades lined in ivy as you float underneath bridges admiring the great thing about the town. Details right here.

Visit the 2Be – Beer Wall

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Hot Tip: Make your method to 2Be for a chilly beer throughout the Canal to view the well-known beer wall. Belgium is known for its beer and 2Be homes greater than 1000 completely different beers alongside its 30-meter-long beer wall.

Beer followers will love this extremely rated tour. This Bruges beer expertise units off on foot to study and style Belgian beer. It consists of visits to native hidden gems and a preferred beer bar. The tour consists of Five tasters and three places together with a brewery. Plus a mini chocolate pairing.

2. the Old Town of Bruges

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Home to over 117,000 folks, Bruges, is usually referred to because the “Venice of the North. ” With canals weaving via the Old Town surrounded by the grand canal, Bruges is the proper place to discover a combination of enjoyable issues to do and see. But in contrast to Venice, there’s the choice of discovering small quiet corners to chill out and soak in the splendor.

The Old Town of Bruges is a chosen UNESCO World Heritage Site and its small space packs a big punch. Many of the highest points of interest in Bruges are simply accessible as you wander the streets and discover the canals. With its distinctive historic pathways, church buildings, and parks, you’ll uncover a metropolis in Europe that stands out from the remainder.

This personal strolling tour is advisable to discover the city heart. You’ll see many of the prime Bruges points of interest such because the Belfry of Bruges and Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk a church containing the Madonna and youngster by Michelangelo. You’ll wander the canals and alleyways and finish with an optionally available boat journey alongside the canal to see the sights. More particulars right here

3. Lake of Love

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The Lake of Love (Minnewater) is a quiet retreat inside Minnewater Park on the south finish of Bruges. This picturesque location is ideal for quiet strolls. One of probably the most photographed locations in The Lover’s Bridge spans the canal and it’s mentioned that should you cross the bridge with the one you’re keen on and sneak a kiss, your love will final perpetually.

4. Belfry of Bruges

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A protected World Heritage web site, the Belfry of Bruges is a medieval bell tower in the center of Bruges’ medieval city. This is a hovering masterpiece that stand 83 meters (272 ft) excessive it provides some spectacular panoramic views of the town.

The climb up would possibly really feel a tad claustrophobic, however the trek will show to be nicely value your whereas. Within the bell tower, its 47-bell carillon continues to be tolled manually on any given day.

The Belfort is named a very powerful and symbolic tower in Bruges courting again to the Thirteenth century. It is a standing reminder of one of many oldest examples of medieval structure. You may also acknowledge the Belfry of Bruges tower which was featured in the well-known film “In Bruges”.

5. Bruges Museums

Bruges has many artwork museums and galleries and the Bruges: Museu Musea Brugge Card offers entry to 12 museums. Prices begin at 33 Euro and provides entry to Belfort (Belfry of Bruge), City Hall, Groeninge Museum, Liberty of Bruges, Sint-Janshuis Mill, Our Lady of the Pottery, Folk Museum, Michelangelo’s ‘Madonna and Child’ and extra.

You can activate your card up to one yr after buy. To activate your card you’ll be able to immediately go to the attraction and scan your voucher on the entrance. Get your card in advance right here.

One of the extra distinctive locations to go to in Bruges is the Torture Museum. This was the oldest jail in Bruges courting again to the eleventh century. Today it has been reworked right into a museum displaying the cruelty of mankind. There are genuine torture devices courting again to the center ages. There are wax figures depicting a number of the torture gadgets transporting you into the horrors of this early dungeon. Even although it’s troublesome, it’s generally vital to see what people are able to in order that we be taught to not repeat the errors of our previous.

6. Market Square

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The Brugge Markt in any other case referred to as the Market Square (or Bruges Markt) is among the prime spots to try whereas in Bruges. Today the sq. is chock-full of eating places and retailers and is used as a gathering place for locals. Market Square can also be the place you’ll be able to catch a journey on a horse-drawn carriage to discover the town!

Each constructing in Market Square is exclusive, and you’ll discover the distinct modifications in structure all through time as you stroll via this historic market. For these craving for a “life-like” stroll into the previous, ensure to cease by “Historium” positioned in the sq., which provides a historic expertise again to the fifteenth century!

The medieval market sq. has been in use because the yr 958 and can also be the placement of the well-known Belfry tower. A go to right here is one that you just can not cross up. Make positive to maintain an eye fixed out for the statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck who led the Flemish rebellion towards the French king in 1302.

One of probably the most romantic issues to do in Bruges is to take a horse drawn carriage tour. Carriages go away from Market Square and take you on a half-hour journey to see the Bruges canals, historical bridges, and exquisite squares.

7. The Burg Square

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For these in structure and historical past, you’re positive to be dancing with pleasure all through your total journey to Bruges. The Burg is a sq. that has been inhabited because the 2nd Century and displays examples of Renaissance, Gothic, and Neo-classical structure together with the Old Town Hall – a star attraction in Bruges. You will end up strolling via historical past with every constructing you cross in your method into Burg sq..

The historic buildings in one of many oldest elements of Bruges embody the “Stadhuis” also referred to as the Bruges City Hall, which is preserved from its authentic construct in 1376, and the Old Civil Registry from 1537. The Old Town Hall is among the oldest buildings in the complete area and the town has been ruled from right here for greater than 600 years. There is a museum on the bottom ground that’s value going into.

You will even see the historic courtroom of Justice, the Church of our Lady, and the Palace of the Liberty of Bruges (Brugse Vrije). You may even pop on over subsequent door to discover the outdated fish market and plenty of scenic canals!

The Burg Square is a good start line to discover Bruges. From the sq., proceed your stroll to discover the colourful alleys that lead you to the canal. It’s stunning, free, and oh-so-photogenic.

8. Church of our Lady

what to do in Bruges - Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk
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The Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) is an alluring magnificence originating from the Thirteenth century. Complete with a 115.5-meter-high tower, (379 ft) the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk is the highest-standing construction in Bruges and is seemingly the second tallest brick tower in the world. And here’s a enjoyable reality, additionally it is the second tallest brick constructing in the world.

The Church shows varied notable artworks from artists such because the marble Madonna by Michelangelo. It has been expanded and renovated over time, initially taking roughly two centuries to assemble. It is at the moment present process additional restoration. Some artworks will likely be unavailable to view due to the renovations, nevertheless, the vast majority of this spectacular church together with the Madonna ought to now be accessible.

9. St. John’s Hospital

Reflecting its over 800 years as a working medical establishment, this widespread historic museum is discovered within the medieval Saint John’s Hospital.

Sint-Janshospitaal is understood for being one of the vital nicely preserved outdated hospitals in all of Europe. Now a museum, it offers you the possibility to see what the outdated wards and life in the hospital would have been like.

As for artwork, there are lots of collections from varied homes of worship that have been in the outdated group of Saint Jan’s. Many of these items have been handed over to Saint Jan’s Hospital after the autumn of Napoleon in the yr 1815.

Amongst these examples of high-level spiritual artwork, you’ll additionally discover donated works from associated charities, in addition to the well-known Sixteenth-century ensembles from Hans Memling within the chapel.

10. The Begijnhof 

things to do in Bruges - Begijnhofs or Beguinages
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As a UNESCO World Heritage web site since 1998, Begijnhofs, or “Beguinages” are definitely a novel characteristic of Europe, particularly Belgium and the Netherlands.

Dating again to the mid-Thirteenth century, these historic complexes have been initially inhabited by a group of spiritual girls, or Beguines, who lived their lives by instance of the apostles. The Begijnhof in Bruges particularly counts as one of many best-preserved. Some Beguine’s homes are open to guests the place you’ll be able to step again in time to get a really feel of what it was like to reside right here!

The Beguines lived in a group consisting solely of ladies; those that have been widowed or single that needed to reside in a pious method. The Begijnhof continues to be used right this moment as dwelling quarters for nuns and girls who’ve chosen to keep single.

As you stroll down its tiny cobblestone streets, you’ll go away behind the noisy ambiance of the town and end up in a peaceful, serene space.

11. Basilica of the Holy Blood

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The superb Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed (Basilica of the Holy Blood) dates again to the twelfth century. It is among the prime points of interest in Bruges and isn’t to be missed. Named for Our Lady and Saint Basil, this well-known double church is alleged to possess a vial harboring drops of the blood of Jesus Christ himself.

The blood of Jesus was supposedly delivered to the basilica from the holy land after the crusades in the twelfth century. This relic of Jesus is taken out day by day at 2 pm permitting guests to pay their respects.

Being a double church, you’ll discover two distinct sections in your go to. An higher church, which sports activities neo-Gothic structure and is residence to the relic of the holy blood, and a decrease chapel, which has preserved its Romanesque options. You gained’t need to miss the possibility to see this distinctive basilica in individual!

The Basilica of the Holy Blood, aka Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed is positioned in the town heart, simply west of the town corridor. Bruges City Hall is also referred to as the “Stadhuis.

12. Groeningemuseum

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There isn’t any higher place for artwork lovers to study Belgian artwork and historical past than the well-known Groeningemuseum! Bruges has loads of artwork galleries however Groeningemuseum is among the best. This artwork museums is constructed on the previous location of the medieval city, Eekhout Abbey, the museum provides a complete visible overview of varied elements from Flemish & Belgian artists, in addition to art work from between the 14th to the Sixteenth century.

This consists of neo-classical items from the 18th and Nineteenth centuries. Many post-war fashionable artwork items and examples of Flemish expressionism are additionally highlighted on the museum and let’s not overlook the world-renowned assortment of Flemish primitive work.

Of course, many of those works have been initially created in Bruges itself! It’s additionally good to observe that there are common showcases of gorgeous exhibitions held in the Groeningemuseum.

Don’t overlook to try the apothecaries and herb backyard!

13. Loppem Castle

things to see in bruges  - Loppem Castle exterior pond view
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Emphasizing the fairytale-like ambiance of Bruges, the Nineteenth-century Loppem Castle could be discovered simply 10km south of the town heart.

Boasting stunning neo-gothic structure, the Loppem Castle combines its authentic inside and architectural state with its winding backyard maze, and an unlimited assortment of artwork to take you again in time.

The citadel was quickly residence to King Albert I after the primary world warfare, even internet hosting Queen Elizabeth in 1918.

Walking via the corridors of Loppem citadel brings to life the footprints left by artists and kings of the previous.

14. Hof Arents Park

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After that a lot sightseeing, you’ll be prepared for some peace and quiet. Located immediately behind the Arentshuis museum, one can find the gorgeous Hof Arents.

This charming inexperienced park is located alongside the canals and provides a small idyllic bridge, exterior art work, and plenty of hidden benches between tall bushes.

While the 18-century Arentshuis museum itself is definitely value a go to, you’ll be arduous pressed to discover a extra tranquil spot because the Hof Arents park.

15. De halve maan

Beer lovers will get pleasure from stopping in at De Halve Maan Brewery. It dates again to the Sixteenth century and has been handed down from era to era since 1856. No European metropolis go to can be full with out a tour of the city’s brewery. De Halve Maan provides day by day brewer excursions the place guests can get pleasure from a pint of Brugse Zot Blond Beer on the finish of the tour.

Hot Tip: An added bonus is that you would be able to go up to the highest of the brewery and expertise a panoramic view of the town, saving you the €10 you’d’ve spent going up to the highest of the Belfry of Bruges. 

16. Jan van Eyck Square

Located in the Hansa Quarter, Jan Van Eyck Square is known as after the well-known painter Jan Van Eyck. This is a quieter sq. than different squares in Bruges however it’s fairly picturesque.

During the Thirteenth to fifteenth century, Bruges was the buying and selling heart between England, Germany, and Scandinavia and this historic quarter of the Old Town offers you a way of what this vital crossroads was like. It is right here that you would be able to view the outdated mansions of the wealthy merchants who took up residence in Bruges. Jan Van Eyck was supported by the wealthy patrons of Bruges and there’s a statue of him at its heart.

17. Go Windmill Hunting

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Windmill in Bruges, Belgium shot on blue sky background.

We all know that the Netherlands is known for its windmills, however Bruges has them too! In reality, Bruges isn’t too removed from Amsterdam and many individuals take day journeys from Amsterdam to see Bruges. The windmills of Bruges have develop into a preferred attraction in Bruge with a handful of windmills positioned simply exterior the outdated metropolis. Sometimes referred to as windmill stroll, guests can take a stroll to see the picturesque windmills. You can go inside a few of them as nicely.

18. ChocoStory Chocolate Museum

No journey to any Belgium metropolis can be full with out visiting a chocolate museum. The Choco Story Chocolate Museum Tour takes you on a journey via time to be taught concerning the origins of chocolate and also you’ll get to style it too. Details right here.

Did you realize that there’s 4000 yr historical past of chocolate? This chocolate museum has three phases telling the historical past of the evolution of chocolate to how it’s made and a tasting.

How to Get to Bruges

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Bruges is positioned in the North-West of Belgium in the Flanders area of the nation only a few km inland from the North Sea. Bruges is lower than an hour’s practice journey from Brussels.

It is known for its canals and slim streets and the Bruges metropolis centre is a UNESCO world heritage web site.  It’s considered one of Belgium’s most well-preserved medieval cities and is a must-visit when exploring the nation.

Because it’s comparatively small, you’ll be able to see numerous Bruges and the medieval city in a short while. Bruges is only a brief drive or practice journey from Brussels and is well-connected with different cities in Belgium and Europe.

Bruges to Brussels: 101 kilometers (62 miles) Bruges to Ghent: 47 kilometers (29 Miles) Bruges to Antwerp: 90 kilometers (56 miles) There are additionally ferries to Bruges from England. Traveling by practice to Bruges is simple and handy. Brussels airport has a railway station so you’ll be able to go immediately to Bruges when you land. Or you’ll be able to do what we desire, lease a automobile and take a highway journey. You can evaluate costs right here at

Bruges Day Trips

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Many folks take day journeys to Bruges from Brussels and Amsterdam, however to actually get a really feel for this metropolis it’s best to spend the night time. For reserving motels, we use and TripAdvisor for comparability procuring, opinions, and offers.

Bruges is positioned in Flanders and a preferred day journey from Bruges is to go to Flanders Fields. The poppy fields of Flanders are visited on this tour. You might keep in mind the poem In Flander’s Field by John McCrea. The tour takes you to The WWI Battlefields, the Menin Gate Memorial, and the cemetery in addition to the poppy fields made well-known by the poem. Tickets could be bought in advance and there may be straightforward cancellation with 24 hours’ discover. Book your tour right here.

While in Flanders, a preferred cease is the Groeningemuseum. It shows well-known Flemish artists like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling.

When is the perfect time to go to Bruges?

The finest time to go to Bruges is from the tip of May to the start of September. From June to August the climate is gentle and sunny and it’s the excessive season for vacationers.

Out of each European metropolis you might have had the possibility to go to, I assure that Bruges will stand out from the remainder.

From its tiny canals to its historic markets and museums, there actually isn’t any place prefer it. Bruges will go away you with an enthralling, nostalgic impression that’s positive to final a lifetime.

Read More about Bruges and Belgium

This Bruges article was initially written by Sa van Den Haute and has been up to date for 2023 by The Planet D workforce.

Author Bio: Sam Van den Haute is the blogger behind Checkoutsam; an English, Dutch, and German journey weblog with sensible guides and beneficial data to assist fellow adventurers get the utmost out of their journey. He has traveled to greater than 60 nations and plans on visiting many extra! Follow him on  Facebook and Instagram

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