Top Things To Do in Bruges: The Ultimate Guide
Bruges, Belgium is a city that might be a bit unknown to you. It’s not the first place that comes to mind when you think of European cities with an international reputation and tourist attractions. This particular city, though small, has been known for centuries for its old town which is filled with Medieval buildings, cobblestone streets and beautiful canals. Here are some suggestions on what to do in Bruges that will help make your trip worth it.
The Major Highlights of Bruges
Bruges is one of the most popular cities in Belgium and this is mostly due to the beautiful city itself. There are so many things to do in Bruges that it’s hard to narrow down the list, but these are some of the most popular tourist attractions you could ever visit.
1. The Grote Markt Square: This is where you can find plenty of restaurants and shops.
2. Belgium's only World Heritage Site, St. Donatian's Cathedral: This cathedral has a lot of history and architecture that will leave you speechless.
3. La Petite Market: The little market which is just a few minutes walk from La Grote Markt Square has plenty of goods, food and souvenirs for sale, at very affordable prices.
4. Bicycling in Bruges: If you're looking for an inexpensive way to see the city on two wheels, renting a bicycle from a bike rental shop can be an excellent option for visitors.
What to do in Bruges
One of the most important things you should do in Bruges is to take a boat tour along its canals. There’s an old saying that says “Bruges is a city with canals, not streets.” Bruges has over fifty miles of canals which is why it’s also called the Venice of the North. The old town is so narrow that it only has space for two-way traffic, making it easy to dodge cars and bicycles while taking in the beautiful scenery and stopping to enjoy the shops along the way. You can also see some popular figures from history on your boat tour, like Jeanne d'Arc and Charles V who both made appearances on these boats long ago.
Another great activity you could do in Bruges is to take a guided walking tour through its old town, giving you an up-close look at all of its historic sights. This will allow you to see various buildings in their original condition without having to worry about missing out on anything as you walk through this charming European city.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Bruges is during the summer when the weather is warm and there are a lot fewer tourists. This is also when you will see most of the locals out and about. During the off-season, you might feel like you're in a ghost town with just a few people walking around.
Need a Hotel?
If you need to stay overnight in Bruges, there are plenty of options near the old town. There’s a selection of hotels that offer great services, such as free Wi-Fi and breakfast. One hotel that is highly recommended is the Hotel Old Town. It offers an unbeatable location with great access to the city’s best sites and attractions. They also offer modern amenities like free Wi-Fi and a fitness center.
Bruges has a lot of restaurants. You can find everything from French to Italian cuisine, while the best dishes are served at the many Bistro's. The most famous restaurant is probably De Halve Maan which has been serving up their Belgian cuisine for over 300 years. Their menu includes traditional dishes like mussels and sausages with potatoes, as well as more modern options like a beef carpaccio with truffle mayonnaise.
The other restaurant that's very popular is Café de la Gare which offers authentic Belgian dishes in a traditional setting. They even offer an English menu for those who aren't familiar with Belgian food. For dinner, you should try the smoked haddock with leek tartar sauce or the braised rabbit legs in red wine sauce.
For dessert, Café de la Gare has a selection of delicious crepes and waffles made fresh to order on site every day.
One of the best things about Bruges is that there are a lot of tours available. You can choose from a variety of different tours that will offer you a great overview of the city.
The best way to see all the sights and get your bearings is on a bike tour. The City Sightseeing Bruges bike tour offers you a unique way to explore the city while pedaling along on your bike. The tour takes you past some of the most famous buildings in the city and you even get to see some hidden gems that are less known by tourists. You'll cycle along two canals and pass through narrow alleys and beautiful squares.
Another great option is the hop-on hop-off bus tour which gives you an opportunity to get off at any stop and explore for as long as you like before hopping back on again at a later time. The bus will take you all around Bruges and show you everything there is to see, including many of the best sights in town, such as Burg Square, Belfort Castle and Groeningemuseum among others.
Bruges also offers a great walking tour that will let you explore the city in depth. The tour takes you through many of the historical neighborhoods and past all the important landmarks. You will learn about the history of Bruges and see many interesting sights along the way, such as the Church of Our Lady and Saint Salvator's Cathedral.
Another great option is to take a canal cruise. Bruges has two canals that run through it so you can choose between a boat tour along one or both of them. The boat tours are very relaxing and give you a unique perspective on this beautiful city as you glide along on your boat. If you opt for a boat tour, be sure to check out the Belfry first because it is located right next to one of Bruges' most famous canals.
Bruges is a perfect European city to visit — it has a lot to offer and is a great place for all types of travelers. The city is famous for its canals, which are full of life and activity, and the old town is a wonderful place to spend a day or two wandering around. I wish you happy travels on your trip to Bruges and please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.