A quick guide on what to see in Bruges and all the information you need to enjoy the city.
Photo of @andreitoader
Bruges is a small city located in the northwest of the old continent, more specifically in Belgium. Belgium is always on the list of countries to visit when one travels to Europe for the first time. It belongs to that set of Spain, France, Italy, Germany and England. But why? Its prices, its beauty and its comfortable location are irresistible for global tourism.
Now, onto what you're all wanting to know: what should I see in Bruges? The city is small but with many corners to turn or - you could say - many things to try. The classic chocolates and strong beers are a treat for anyone's palate. Therefore, they are usually included together with the tours of places in this weekend getaway to the city that feels like something out of a fairy tale.
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Taking a dip into a country with so much culture to offer is something you can't miss. It's probably a good idea to indulge in these activities at the beginning of your trip as they involve concentration and learning. What will you find? There are many things to see in Bruges related to history: museums, churches, monuments, parks, etc.
Dive into knowledge at the Groeninge and Memling museums
There are two museums in Bruges that you must visit, even if you only go for one weekend.
The Groeninge Museum is the most important museum in Bruges and is located in a quiet part of the city. Within the same museum you can take a tour that takes you through several centuries of the best Belgian painting with its great masters, in which you will see some of their most famous works such as the "Virgin with Canon Van der Paele" by Jan van Eyck, Memling's "Guillaume Moreel Triptych" or Hugo van der Goes's "Death of the Virgin", among many others.
Then we have the Memling Museum that is located in the old Hospital of San Juan, one of the oldest in Europe and stands out for its beautiful interior, in which for example, in the old chapel you can see 6 paintings by the artist Hans Memling. You can even visit the pharmacy and the old hospital rooms. Don't doubt that this will be a good dose of Belgian knowledge!
Fulfilling a dream: the Windmills
Surely you have seen a windmill in a movie sometime and you have asked yourself: "Where are those things?" or "What's inside them?" Well, it is nothing mysterious but we think that with the following example you will understand what it is about. In Bruges there are windmills and they are located in the Kruisvest Park. The most famous is called Sint-Janshuismolen. They are 1 or 2 km from the centre, but the walk to get there is pleasant, so if you have time, do not hesitate!
Don't panic, this is not a madhouse or torture house. The Beginjnhof in Bruges is a Beguinage. The Beguinage of Belgium are practically obligatory places to see in Bruges as they belong to UNESCO. These are medieval houses built for orphans or widows so that they could live with dignity. In this case, the Beguinage of Bruges was built by the Countess of Flanders in 1245, and currently houses Benedictine nuns. In this small city within Bruges you can also visit a small museum where the history and way of life of the Beguines is explained. At the Begijnhof in Bruges you can also visit two churches and a house-museum where you can learn more about the history of this site.
The great Grote Markt
It's time for a little more entertainment. We are going to visit the Grote Markt. Located in the centre and heart of Bruges, it is a square of beautiful buildings that adorn the site in an exceptional way. To decide what to do in Bruges you must go straight to this square and visit the Belfort Bell Tower, its most impressive monument. In addition to this tower, in the center of the square there is a statue honoring the local heroes Jan Breydel and Pieter De Koni. #HostelsClubTip, go on Wednesdays as it's market day.
Right next to the train station is Minnewater Park (you have no excuse not to visit it as soon as you get to Bruges, huh!). Be careful as Minne in Dutch, means "love", so you can imagine that the atmosphere very romantic, with swans included! Likewise, if 'love' is not the vibe for you after getting off the train, you can go directly to see the Castle of La Faille or the lake and the hospital if you feel bored. If you don't have much time, a good option is to book a panoramic bus tour of the city in which you will pass through Minnewater Park and the beautiful area of the Kruisvest mills, located in the north of Bruges.
And as we are, Burg Square
Along the Breidelstraat from the Grote Markt, you will reach Burg Square - another of the busiest places to visit in Bruges. The historical facilities that surround the square such as the Town Hall or Stadhuis, the Palace of Justice or the Basilica of the Holy Blood, among others, make it rival the Plaza Mayor in beauty. The Town Hall stands out for its Gothic-style exterior and for its two interior rooms: the Gothic Hall and the Historical Hall. On the other hand, the basilica comprises two churches, one on each floor, on the one on the upper floor you can see the drops of Christ's blood.
Looking for a hostel in Bruges? Check out these options.
Photo from @belenmc10
Ok, we've experienced the daytime culture of the country now it's time to move on to the nighttime culture, right? There are many things to see in Bruges during the night since if there is something that Belgians do not lack, it is a good taste for alcohol and some other cult drinks.
For example, the most lively area at night is in the center, with many charming bars where you can try a wide variety of Belgian beers. They can go to the famous De Garré pub in Burg Square or Brugs Beertje in Kemelstraat. Do not be fooled by the difficulty of the names, everywhere is easy.
If you are staying in a central area, the perfect option is Blekerstraat, with its street artists, and above all, Café Vlissinghe, the oldest pub in the city, dating back to 1515. There are also many typical bars on Vlamingstraat.
As in many cities, universities are always there and not only to educate but also to gather a large mass of students willing to take whatever is within their reach. This happens in the eastern part of Bruges, on the Langestraat and Kraanplein. Right here you will find clubs, bars, pubs, and outdoor cafes on the Eiermarkt. South of Bruges are the most exclusive and expensive venues, such as those in the Zonnekemeers area.
#HostelsClubTip time: many bars / pubs are open from Monday to Saturday until midnight but there are also others that close later on weekends. The ones that close later are those in the Langestraat area, which don't stop until dawn.
Chocolate Feast Sunday
One of the must-do things in Bruges is to taste the chocolates and beer. Imagine that you go on vacation to Belgium and when you return from a trip your friends and family find out that you have not tried Belgian chocolates.It would be really a shame! We are going to save your life with this article about what to do in Bruges with some sweet recommendations.
Bruges' fame with chocolate began in the 16th century. At that time merchants were looking for new products to earn a living and thus imported sugar cane from Portugal. When the Spanish brought cacao, they only had to mix these ingredients to create what we know today ...
In Bruges there are more than 50 master chocolatiers. All Belgian chocolates are made with 100% cocoa butter. In Bruges there are six restaurants dedicated to making Michelin-starred chocolate dishes.
Do you really want to learn about chocolate and what is behind it? Then go to the Choco-Story museum. Here you can learn everything about cocoa, its history, production. Even at the end of the visit there is a small tasting of some chocolates.
Where is the best store? The most prominent store that is considered the temple of chocolate is The Chocolate Line. In this store you can see how they are making the delicacies that you can later buy on time. Another store is Spegelare Chocolaterie. This is also legendary in Bruges. Another option is Roose Chocolaterie where there are more than 100 varieties of chocolate bars. Good news! They sell tablets up to half a kilo!
What a walk through Belgian lands. History, beer and chocolates. What more can you ask for from a trip? We hope you can enjoy our chocolate guide and, lastly #HostelsClubTip, don't forget to book your accommodation. At Hostelsclub we have thousands of accommodations available at a good price, click here to see them.