“Two weeks, in Bruges, in a room like this? With you? No way….”
Unfortunately unlike Ray, in the film ‘In Bruges’ we only had one day.
Where Is Bruges?
Bruges is around 90 mins West of Brussels, the Capital of Belgium. Situated near the coast of the North Sea.
How To Get There
The train to Bruges runs on a regular basis from Brussels Central and Midi stations. There are also trains that run from Antwerp and Ghent. The city centre is a pleasant 20 minute walk from the train station. Just follow the flow of people.
Bruges uses the Euro, like the rest of Belgium.
Top tip have cash on hand, we found a lot of places i.e bars, and the boat tours didn’t accept card payment which left us hunting down cash machines.
The moment we started our walk from the train station, we could see how historic this city is. I would recommend reading about the history before you go.
What To See And DO
The Market Square is simply a place to sit and watch the world go by, nothing overly spectacular, or different from any other main square we’ve been in. We didn’t spend much time here.
The square is fully pedestrianized, with the usual horse and cart rides available, which we don’t agree with, so never do!
The climb to the top of the belfry tower was on our list of things to do in Bruges. However, by the time we arrived the queue was past the 45 minute wait sign. This seems to be the norm. My advice would be to get there as early as possible in the day before all the other tourists appear.
We sadly didn’t have time to wait, as we only had a few hours to explore the rest of the city, so we had to move on. The 300+ steps to the top would be worth it as I am sure, I can imagine that the view would be something special.
An absolutely fabulous way for us to see around the city from a completely different perspective and see things we wouldn’t have otherwise seen on foot. I recommend you make this one of the first things to do after the Belfry.
The boat cost 10 euro per adult and 6 euro for a child between 3-11 years, which I thought was fantastic value for a 30 minute tour. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable.
There are a few companies working on the river and boarding stations are not very far apart, so if you come across a busy one – don’t want to wait, just move onto the next.
The boat took us from one edge of the city centre right around to the other side, the architecture on the way was beautiful.
You may have guessed from the introduction to this blog post we have seen the film ‘In Bruges’. This hotel was the first one they stayed in, and left, via the window… it is a working hotel, so if you want you can stay in it or even pop in for a drink.
Bruges has some fantastic bars and cafes, we pottered around stopping off here and there to sample a glass or two of their famous beers. I’d recommend sticking to small glasses. They do sell pints but remember this beer is a lot stronger, and you don’t want the day to finish early!
We visited on a Monday and lots of the bars and brew pubs where shut. But luckily 2be bar, which has a wonderful view of the river and an interesting beer wall was open, and was a very popular choice. They had a wide range of beers, and bar snacks. They only take cash, but conveniently, or dangerously, there is a cash machine at the entrance!
All around Bruges we found churches that were free to enter and wander around. Our favourite was the quaint lower Chapel of St.Basil’s. We learnt that it is the only Romanesque Church in Western Flanders. We just loved the simplicity of it.
Bruges truly is a city we would have happily got lost in. Every street we walked down was stunning with lots of insta worthy photo opportunities!!
Would we recommend?
100%.We would have liked to have spent a night here and explored the wider city. The guide on the boat trip gave some fantastic advice about places to visit, and eat and drink. The city sure had a lot more to offer than we got to see in our short time there!
- Visit the Belfry early and beat the queues.
- Bring cash as well as card.
- If spending more than a day try and get out and see the beautiful windmills just outside the city radius.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading about our visit to Bruges. It’s a magical city which I fully recommend you visit if nearby.
The Lewis Family.