I miss Bruges, no surprise. It’s always going to be my town, the one I dreamed to live in, the one I actually got to live in, and the one I had to leave, for the reasons that are a bit distant right now… All I know is I miss my place on earth and so from the missing came inspiration to write this post. Hopefully it’s helpful 🙂
So… you got one day in Bruges – you lucky bastards – and you wanna see the most of it without getting too overwhelmed? Bruges will overwhelm you anyway with it’s beauty, but I’ll make this tour a little less about quantity and a little more about quality.
First thing in the morning you go to Belfort Tower situated on the Market Square. You won’t miss it. It dates back to 13th century, it’s 83 meters tall and you’re gonna have to climb 366 steps to reach the top. Chances are you’ll be one of the firsts in the queue to the top, if you get there early in the morning. If it’s fall or autumn, and you manage to get there when it’s still a bit dark, you’ll see a beautiful sunrise from the top, along with Bruges’ rooftops. That’s a view you shouldn’t miss. But if you get there too late and there’s a long line already, I would give up, because you’ll use a lot of time waiting in the queue. Open everyday from 9am till 6pm, tickets are 12 euro (10 euro if you’re a student or on pension).
From the Belfort Tower you’re only a couple steps far from the greatest museum in Bruges – Historium. And while I am not a museum fan and I almost never visit them, this one I visited and absolutely loved. First of all it’s interactive and has a lot of visual effects, secondly it’s narrated as an adventure, absolutely not boring and will interest not only adults, but also kids. While being there, make sure you go to virtual reality experience, that’s gonna blow your mind 🙂 Open from 10am until 6pm, regular price: 14 euro.
Next on our tour would be the boat trip. Bruges is famous for its canals that make the town being called Venice of the North. There are couple of places that you could take a boat tour (i.e. De Meulemeester, Wollestraat 32) and they all have the same prices. It’s a very nice experience, I did it myself a few times and enjoyed it each time. The captain is also a guide, so you’ll hear some stories about Bruges and its architecture. Price: 10 euro, 6 for kids until 11 y.o. Open from 10 am till 6 pm.
After that you’ll probably get hungry so take a bite and maybe go for a walk? I recommend Sanseveria for the most delicious bagels in town. But there’s also Pizza Hut, or McDonalds if you’re in the mood for fast food. There are also couple of vegan options for those who don’t eat meat, check De Brugsche Tafel, De Plaats.
In about two hours you could walk around the old town, see the Minnewater Park, visit some churches, and there are lots, and they are beautiful. Sintsalvatoorcatedraal, Onzelievevrouwekerk, Heilige Bloed Kapel… If that’s not your thing, use the time after lunch for visiting another museum, Groeninge. Or Gruuthuse. They are both very famous for their collections of art, if this is your thing, suit yourself 🙂
After a walk or museum tour, walk back to the Market Square and here are couple of options for you. First of all, you need to decide if you’re a beer, chocolate or fries lover. We have attractions for all those three, but you won’t have time for all of them. I love all of those Belgian specialties. If you’re a beer lover, go to Bruges Beer Experience – a beer museum. It’s a very cool place, with beer tasting option if you’d like. If you prefer fries, we have Fries Museum with a history of Potatoes and Fries. There’s also Choco Story – a chocolate museum, with delicious shop at the exit. Your choice! My favorite was the beer museum, but I guess I was more thirsty than hungry that day 😉 Opening hours and prices:
* Friet Museum: everyday 9am-5pm, 7 euro (kids 5 euro);
* Choco Story: everyday 10am-5pm, 9.50 euro (kids 5.50 euro)
* Bruges Beer Experience: Mon to Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-5pm, 16 euro (kids 6 euro).
After a snack or a drink, you may want to buy some souvenirs or chocolates for your friends at home. There are plenty of shops that provide such products. Just choose one of the streets that go away from the main square and I’m sure you’ll see something you’ll like. Meanwhile enjoy the architecture, which blows my mind every time I take a walk in the town.
You could grab a coffee now in one of cafes in town, or start searching for a place to eat dinner. There’s this cute place opposite the Our Lady Church (Onzelievevrouwekerk) called Maria van Bourgondie. If you decide to go there, salmon is my all times favorite dish from there. Other good restaurants in the neighbourhood are ‘t Fonteintje, Ribs’n’beer (but here you need a reservation, like two weeks before… best ribs in the world though!), ‘t Nieuw Walnutje, The Olive Three. All delicious places!
I hope you had an amazing day in Bruges! Truth is, no matter what you decide to do, what the weather is, and even if everything is closed due to corona virus… you’re gonna love Bruges, no matter what. It’s a magical place. God, I can’t wait to go back!