I love Bruges. I’ve been a couple of times now and even though its a small place I could easily go again and again. From the UK it’s very easy to get to, both times I’ve been we drove but you can also get the Eurostar and there are even some small cruises that stop off there. Either way its only a short distance away and being a small city you don’t even need much time to explore, perfect for a weekend break! Just be prepared to indulge in lots of chocolate and come back bloated from beer!
In this post I share 8 things to do whilst you’re in this beautiful city!
Ah Belgium chocolate! You can’t go to Belgium and not eat chocolate! Whilst walking around Bruges you will see chocolatiers everywhere, any street you go down they’ll no doubt be somewhere to buy chocolate. My favourite chocolate shop? Chocolat De Julie.
To learn more about chocolate, it’s origin, history and how it came into Europe, check out the chocolate museum ‘Choco-story’ where you can also chomp on free chocolate on the way round.
Don’t miss the Choco Jungle Bar – influenced by the origin of chocolate, this cafe is filled with jungle creatures, a tree house, and different chocolate drinks based on the Aztec and Mayer times.
Did you know – chocolate was first used as a drink with added spices, it wasn’t until years and years and years later when it was made into a solid form!
One thing I love to do in Bruges is to sit in a bar and taste different beers!
Learn more about beer at the Beer Experience. Walk around the museum then afterwards you can sit in the bar downstairs and use tokens (bought with the museum ticket) to taste some beers!
Don’t forget to visit The Bottle Shop before you go home! Here you can find all the different and unusual beers from Belgium.
3 – Chips
Not many people would associate chips with Belgium, I certainly didn’t until you see chip shops throughout the city and after I went to the frites museum! Yes that’s right, a museum all about fries (mainly about the potato actually). But to be honest it was very interesting!
Did you know – the sweet potato is not actually from the same family as regular potatoes?! Mind = blown.
Anyway, just like chocolate, you can’t go to Bruges and not try the chips! Either buy some from a little chip shop or sit in a cafe and order mules & frites!
4 – Belfry tower
One of the main attractions in the square, walk inside and read the history of the tower which you can even climb up! If you look close enough you will notice the tower leans slightly.
5 – Basilica of the Holy Blood
An interesting must see, hidden in the corner of a square the Basilica of the Holy Blood is a little chapel that supposedly holds Holy blood which you can actually queue up to view. Whether you believe it’s real or not the chapel is nice to walk around anyway, its very colourful inside!
6 – Rent bikes
One of the best ways to explore Bruges? By the saddle! Hire bikes for just €4 at the Bruges Bike Rental and take a little trip around the city. Don’t worry about traffic though, there’s not that many cars driving around the centre so you’re pretty safe! Ride along the canals towards the outskirts of the centre where you’ll find a path that leads around the city. Maybe even find the windmills before cycling back down the cobbled streets to the centre.
7 – Admire the architecture
One thing I love to do whilst I’m away is to admire architecture, its history, its design, the small details some wouldn’t notice. Bruges is full of character especially in its buildings.
One thing I noticed when I was last in Bruges was a bus stop built around trees. I admire this so much, combining modern architecture with nature. These are the designs we need more of in the world!
8 – Wonder the little streets & canals
Bruges is one of those cities where you can just wonder. It’s not very big so it’s hard to get lost, you might even stumble across small art galleries or another chocolate shop!
Travel tips :
Driving from the UK is dead easy. Do your research on parking and the route before you go to avoid faffing around when you get there
When eating out – like most cities, avoid market square for restaurants and cafes, these can be pretty pricey.