Bruges | our mini guide to this romantic city

Bruges | our mini guide to this romantic city


I’d been hearing about Bruges for some time, and was eager to discover this pretty, romantic city, clearly one of the most beautiful in Belgium. How can you fail to fall under the spell of the Venice of the North? Here are our tips and addresses for enjoying a weekend in this medieval town.


Bruges is said to be Belgium’s number one tourist destination, and it’s easy to see why, with its historic center listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a charming town with its many canals, cobbled streets, gabled houses, corners with evocative and romantic names like the Pont des Amoureux, its beers so good and varied and its good praline chocolate.

First impression: the town is as touristy as Brussels ! This was immediately apparent on our first walk out of the hotel. Groups of tourists from Asia and Latin America actively follow their flag-waving guide. The small boats are crowded with groups and couples in love!

Second impression: the city isn’t very big! So there’s a lot you can do in a day! In two days, however, you’ll have plenty of time to lose yourself in the streets and enjoy a leisurely stroll. As the saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome”, so if I had any advice to give you, don’t plan an itinerary and get lost in the alleys and neighborhoods, because you’ll always come back to the heart of the city center. Every nook and cranny of Bruges is worth a visit, and the landmarks of the belfries and other church towers are there to show you the way. If you’re a photographer or just love photography, you’re in for a treat! Bruges is a superb city to photograph.

Third printing. In spring the weather is very pleasant, the parks and canals are in bloom but Bruges is a city that will charm you whatever the season. The atmosphere must be as magical at Christmas as in any other Nordic city. So I’m not going to give you an itinerary to follow, but rather list the must-sees and the little addresses we’ve found.




  • The Grand Place or Grote Markt is a large square typical of Flanders and the North, with its famous Beffroi, Saint Sauveur Cathedral and the Provincial Governor’s Palace (we didn’t climb the 366 steps of the Belfry, preferring to stroll the streets in the sunshine). Cobblestones, brick buildings, colorful facades and crowded terraces await you. (Belfry price 10 euros/p , open from 9.30 am to 6 pm)



  • The Quai Rozenhoedkaai or Quai Rosaire probably the most photographed corner, beautiful both day and night.

  • Burg square with its buildings adorned in gold

  • Walk along the Dijver



  • Neighborhood of Beguinage a UNESCO World Heritage site, in bloom with its beautiful daffodils. The place is very quiet and restful, as it is inhabited by the nuns (Benedictines) of the Order of Saint-Benoit.

  • Minnewater Park and romantic Lake Amour!
  • Stoofstraat, the narrowest street in Bruges
  • Stroll along Sainte-Anne and its windmills
  • If you’ve got time on your hands and have visited the length and breadth of Bruges, the city of Gand is also worth a visit. Just as charming and apparently less touristy, I’m sure you’ll find it very appealing.
  • If you have a country envy, venture 17 km along the Bruges-Sluis road, skirting the Damme canal. Along the way, in addition to the beautiful countryside and its local flora and fauna, you’ll enjoy a stopover in the charming little village of Damme with its characteristic bell tower. For a lunch break, Sluis is an ideal, charming village on the Dutch border, offering a wide range of products. Drop off your bike for a stroll, or even a spot of shopping, then return to Bruges. If you’d like an itinerary “bis”, plan it with the Dutch-language site It lists exclusively “bike-friendly” itineraries. Note the chain of numbers on the map, tape it to your bike frame, and follow the signs from number to number.




  • Take a boat trip along the many channels to discover this historic and romantic little town nicknamed the “Venice of the North”. Discover Greener (the green channel) Rozenhoedkaai to the Gruuthusemuseum and theNotre-Dame Church. (Price 8 euros/p for a 35-minute ride and 4 euros/children aged 7 to 11, open from 10am to 6pm.)


  • Rent a bike to tour the city and get around more easily. Some of the alleyways are narrow, and a bike will allow you to squeeze in just about anywhere. The walk along the medieval ramparts is truly enchanting. Ask at the tourist office, either on the main square or at the train station, for bike rentals. If you have the time, take a kilometer or two along the Damme canal, to cross one of the most distinctive natural landscapes of the Belgian polders.



➡️  Scooter électrique: vous pouvez aussi visiter la ville avec un guide privée pendant 2h. Vous découvrirez les quartiers plus calmes de cette belle ville mais aussi les moulins à vent, les anciennes portes de la ville, et autres trésors cachés. Infos et réservations ici


➡️  Si vous êtes gourmands comme nous, goûtez le meilleur de la cuisine belge lors d’une excursion culinaire privée. Vous découvrez les lieux où les habitants achètent leurs fruits de mer, leur fromage artisanal ou leurs truffes au chocolat. C’est l’occasion de tester les 10 meilleures spécialités de la ville comme les frites, les gaufres ou de bonnes bières accompagné d’un local pour avoir les meilleurs adresses. Réservez dès maintenant cette activité ici


➡️  Cours de cuisine pour apprendre à faire les vrais gaufres belges avec un expert local. Infos et réservations ici



  • Belgium is synonymous with chocolate. I therefore invite you to visit the chocolate museum to discover the interesting history of Chocolate through time, from the Mayans to the present day. As a bonus for foodies, there’s a chocolate tasting at the end of the tour. (Admission 5 euros/p)


  • Museum of one of the city’s last active breweries The Crescent Moon (45-minute guided tour 8 euros, Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge). Apparently, there’s a superb view of the city’s peaks from their roof terrace. There’s also the Bourgogne des flandres brasserie, a stone’s throw from the belfry, which appears to be more picturesque and traditional.





Bruges has a large number of hotel facilities and is probably full of places, each more charming than the last. It all depends on what you’re looking for, and at what price. Best of all, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the main square. Inns on the canal are also well known, such as Cote Canal (Hertsberg Street 10, Bruges 8000).

We stayed at the **** Old House the Peellaerttout near Burgplatz. It’s ideally located, very comfortable with spacious and elegant rooms. The hotel has a wellness area with its own spa, as well as small aristocratic lounges. Breakfast is tasty and served as a buffet. Average price per night 140 euros.

➡️ Find your accommodation in Bruges here


When it comes to eating, if you stray away from the main tourist spots, you’ll find what you need at a decent price. Plunge into the narrow streets and squares, where many small brasseries will delight you with local products: shrimp croquettes, shrimp tomatoes, Flemish carbonnades and chicon au gratin are just some of the specialties to try. If you have a sweet tooth, there’s chocolate, of course, but there’s also speculos. In Bruges, there’s finally babelutte, the Flemish version of hard caramel!
And to quench your thirst, there are over 300 different beers in Belgium, so you’re bound to find something to suit you!


  • Where to eat a good waffle?

The famous “waffles” can apparently be enjoyed Chez Albert (Breidelstraat 16, 8000 Bruges). I tried the milk chocolate one, drizzled with chantilly… very good but disgusting for me at the end!


  • Where to eat?

When we arrived, we tried the Italian restaurant Carlito’s just opposite our hotel. Very good and inexpensive. You should also try the Belgian moules frites. Expect to pay around 18 euros for plain fried mussels and 22 euros for mussels in a cream sauce with garlic, tomatoes, celery and onions.

Our favorite is the gourmet restaurant The Fishery. This is Bruges’ fish restaurant: oysters, shellfish, lobster and seafood await you for a ridiculously low price. (50 euros/person for the whole tray). We highly recommend it!




  • Where to enjoy a good hot chocolate?

Taste homemade hot chocolate at ” The Old Chocolate house “. You make your own hot chocolate by pouring cocoa beans of your choice into hot milk. A pure delight that I recommend to you. We were also recommended the De Proeveri for good pastries and tea/chocolate.


  • Where to drink a good Belgian beer?

A little everywhere, but you can also try Brugse Zot Blond (The one and only beer brewed in Bruges), The BeerWall (Wollestraat 53), a pleasant spot on the banks of the canals, as well as the Brewery Cambrinus (Philipstockstraat 19), where you can sample 400 different Belgian beers.

We had been recommended the Herberghe Vlissinghe (Blekersstraat 2, 8000 Bruges), in the Saint Anne district, renowned for its sunny terrace, but due to lack of time we were unable to go there.



  • What chocolates or sweets will you bring back?

Avoid tourist traps for chocolate. Bruges is home to a number of artisan chocolatiers, so much more talented than the big international names like Jeffe de Bruges.

We bought some great chocolates from Dumond’s and chocolates at The chocolate Line (Simon Stevinplein 19, 8000 Brugge). Visit nougat and massepain must be purchased from Brown Sugar.The window made me drool!





If you have a bit of time on your trip to Bruges, I suggest you try out the following activities to extend your stay and get out of town.


➡️ Explore the Belgian countryside and windmills on a private 3.5-hour bike tour to the small town of Damme. Information and reservations here


➡️ Kitesurfing lessons: A 30-minute drive from Bruges, Knocke-heist offers surfing lessons on a beautiful beach. Information and reservations here


➡️ From Bruges, Flanders tour of the Great War. Relive the Great War by visiting landmarks such as the Menin Gate Memorial and cemetery, and admire the famous Flemish poppy fields. Information and bookings here





If you want to drive to Bruges from Paris, I suggest you take a look at the car rental offers on skyscanner. It’s a platform I use a lot for my travels.


  • Visit car, Bruges is 1h from Lille, 3h from Paris, and 1H20 from Brussels.


  • By train, taking the Thalys to Brussels, allow 2h30 from Paris gare du Nord then take a regional train.


Practical information Bruges

  • Administrative formalities

Residents of EU member states only need a national identity card or passport for a stay of less than 90 days.

  • Currencies

The euro is the currency used in Bruges

  • Electricity

The voltage in Bruges is 220 volts, with a frequency of 50 hertz.

  • Languages

The official languages of Belgium are Flemish and French.



  • Stroll around Bruges at night, because from 10.30-11pm there aren’t many people on the streets, so the city is all yours. By night, the city is even more romantic…
  • Take the canal walk on early morning to avoid hordes of tourists and long queues at the ticket office.
  • In the morning, it’s best to head for the Grand Place, which is packed with tourists from 11 a.m. until sunset…
  • Avoid the 50-euro horse-drawn carriage tour…
  • Please note that Bruges residents dine from 7pm onwards, and services generally end around 10pm.
  • If you’re coming by car, there are plenty of parking lots in Bruges. (price 8,70 euros for 24h).
    Hotels also have small parking lots, but these are obviously more expensive than public parking lots. To save a little money, park at the entrance to the town – it’s free. You’ll just have to walk a bit. Alternatively, Centrum-Station parking lot costs 3.50 euros/day.
  • The City Card entitles you to free admission to 27 of the city’s museums and monuments: the belfry, the archaeological museum, the chocolate museum, the diamond museum, the Picasso exhibition or the town hall. Price: 47€ for 48h.


Bruges is certainly full of other good addresses. Perhaps you have some to share? Leave us a comment and we’ll add them to the list. We also invite you to read our article on Brussels to complete your stay in Belgium. Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, discover THE recipe for chicory au gratin (endives with ham), the Belgian specialty.




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