When I think about my time spent in Belgium, Bruges is the city that left the biggest imprint on my mind. We had just spent ten days in the city of Paris, so Bruges felt like the perfect respite from the bustling city life. Bruges is a city dotted by Flemish style buildings and mulled over with the dark colors of brick reds and browns. Up until 10 am, the city is quiet and still, except for the few locals pedaling away on their bikes. As soon as 10am comes around, the shops and restaurants begin to open, and tourists begin to swarm the Markt.
It is in this center, where the colorful buildings pop and the horse carriages line up for 50 euro tours around the city. The Belfry tower is also positioned here, standing as the highest point in the city, providing beautiful views. A quick stroll from the Marktplatz brings you to a river, where 30 minute canal tours can be taken.
When it comes to menu options, it is quite simple to step inside any restaurant for similar menu items, usually resembling a selection of mussels and fries or a traditional flemish style beef stew. And if you have dessert on your mind, like I often do, there are several chocolate stores sprinkled around the city, as well as Liege waffles, and gelato shops.
Bruges is definitely full of charm, very walkable, and the people are friendly. After staying there for four nights, I would recommend at least a 2 night stay as being plenty of time to walk the city streets and explore what the city offers at a leisurely pace.
Bruges City Guide:
Flemish Beef Stew from De Vlaamsche Pot
Mussels and Fries from any restaurant in the Markt
Burger from Chez Vincent or Ellis Gourmet Burger
Liege waffles from Chez Albert
Waffles from The Old Chocolate House
Coffee and Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate from The Old Chocolate House
Tea or coffee from Merveilleux
Coffee from The Gulliver Tree
Coffee from Margritt
Dill and Kamille (Home Goods Store)
Lunabloom (Children’s Store)
Pur Chocolat (My favorite Belgian Chocolate Store for chocolate truffles)
Things to Do
Walk up the Belfry Tower for views of the city.
Take a canal tour to see the city by boat.
Walk the city streets, but preferably start in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Visit these sights – Markt, Swans by Minnewater, Burg square, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood