I’ve just spent three fantastic days in the stunning Belgian city of Bruges and I’m writing this travel guide sat in Brussels airport waiting for my flight home.
One thing that struck me during my pre-trip research was that so many people only spend one day in Bruges. Blog posts entitled ‘A day trip to Bruges’ and ‘How to spend 24 hours in Bruges’ are everywhere and plentiful. I’m not sure why people don’t count Bruges worthy of a longer visit but I’m here to tell you it was worth every second of our three nights there.
Technically, this is my second trip to Bruges. I visited when I was 10 years old but barely remember a thing. So, although I have walked these gorgeous streets before, I saw them through new eyes.
I visited Bruges with my husband, Jamie, for our sixth wedding anniversary and we spent three days wandering around in a beer and sugar-induced haze – Belgian beer and Belgian chocolates are some of the best in the world you know! For a perfect city break, here’s my personal travel guide to Bruges, full of our insider tips and recommendations!
Things to do in Bruges
While Bruges is technically a city, it’s on the smaller side, which is great if you’re looking for a more chilled out trip. That’s exactly what we needed; the relaxing vibe and smaller area meant we could explore at a leisurely pace. We mainly ate and drank our way around the city but we did manage to see most of the major sites too.
Marvel at the Markt Square
Bruges is the place to see stunning, historical buildings! The Markt Square is jaw-dropping, with the majestic Belfry tower looming over the beautiful and impressive Provincial Palace. Having served as a marketplace since the year 958, the Markt Square is steeped in history! Grab some Belgian chocolates from a nearby Chocolatier and perch on a bench to take it all in.
Climb the 366 steps to the top of the Belfry
While the 366 steps may seem like too much of a challenge after all those Belgian waffles, I can guarantee it is worth the effort. On a clear day, you are rewarded with far-reaching, panoramic views over the red-tiled roofs of the quaint city and a bird’s eye view of the Burg Square below. The admission fee for the Belfry is 10€ for 26-64-year-olds and 8€ for 6-25-year-olds and 65s and over, so it is great value. Just be aware though that you must climb up a very narrow, winding staircase with people going both ways, so be prepared for tight spaces and a steep incline.
Interesting fact: The Belfry leans just under a metre to the east. So, yes it is wonky! It’s not just your eyes!
Enjoy the view from Rozenhoedkaai
This view seems to feature on every piece of marketing material I’ve ever seen for Bruges – that iconic picture perfect photograph of the gorgeous buildings reflecting in the waters of the canal while the Belfry peeks out in the background. While visiting Bruges, you really must spend a few moments taking in this beautiful scene, especially at night.