Hi everyone! I have some exciting news… as you’re reading this I am currently in San Francisco! My parents surprised me with this trip for my birthday and so far I have had a great time. I will definitely be writing a few posts about this trip so make sure to look out for those in the next couple of weeks! Anyway, today I will be sharing with you my time in Bruges (Bruges in English and French, Brugge in Dutch, the local language), a beautiful and historic city in northwest Belgium. I was lucky enough to spend three days in Bruges this past summer, so in this post I will be going through everything I did in those three days. I hope that this post is helpful to any of you planning on visiting Bruges, and if not, hopefully you enjoy reading this post (and it inspires you to visit!)
So as you already know, my family and I visited Bruges for 3 days and 2 nights. For the entire trip, we stayed at the Bourgoensch Hof Hotel. The Bourgeonsch Hof is a charming hotel literally steps away from the city centre. It has free breakfast, amazing service, and a beautiful view over the nearby Bruges Canals. If you’re staying in Bruges, I would 100% recommend you stay at the Bourgoensch Hof!
When we first arrived in Bruges, it was already almost nighttime, so we decided to spend the late afternoon exploring the city. The first place we went to is the heart of the city, also known as the Markt. In the northern side of the square you will find the actual Market, in the eastern side you will find the historic Provinciaal Hof (pictured above), in the southern side you will see the famous Belfry (more on that later!), and finally on the western side you will find a continuation of the Market as well as the Huis Bouchoute building.
After wandering around the city for a while, we decided to find a place to have dinner as well as watch a Euro 2016 match featuring the Belgium national soccer team, which was going on at the time.
As the game began, more and more people crowded to watch it front and centre in front of the screen, so I wasn’t able to take a photo of the actual game taking place. I was able to take this photo of some of the funny hats people were wearing to support Belgium though!
Here’s a photo of the delicious waffle I had for dessert.
After dinner and the game, we headed home for the night. Now onto day 2!
In the morning of our first (and only) full day in Bruges, we headed out to the Chocolate museum, also known as Choco-Story. Yes, it may sound a little odd, but it was actually a very interesting museum to visit, and I learned a lot about the history and making of chocolate. Sadly I didn’t take any very good photos there so I don’t have anything to show for it.
After that, we came back to the town square to locate the Belfry that we would be climbing up! We had originally planned to go early in the morning, so that we were the only ones there, but there was a thunderstorm going on so we weren’t allowed to go up. I think it would’ve been quite cool to see the view from the top during a thunderstorm, but quite risky as well.
If you don’t already know what it is, the belfry I’ve been referring to is known as the Belfry of Bruges, and it is undoubtedly the most famous building in the Belgian town. The Belfry actually has a very interesting history – Its construction began in the 13th century, and it has had many renovations since then.
The Belfry is now open to tourists, and it provides (in my opinion) the best view of Bruges. It is 366 steps up to the top, and you do pay a small fee, but as you can probably tell from the pictures it is definitely worth it. All I would say is I recommend bringing water if you’re planning on making the trip to the top during the summer!
After our trip to the top of the Belfry, we went on a walk through Bruges. One of the coolest things we discovered on our walk was this green river – I wasn’t able to find any information about it (the green effect is possibly from moss?) but it was without a doubt one of the most fascinating things I saw in Bruges!
Later in the day we went to a dessert place called Oyya. I would really suggest you visit Oyya if you’re looking for a great dessert place in Bruges. It is much less expensive than dessert from restaurants, it has many more options, and to be honest, it is overall much better!
On our third and final day in Bruges, we decided to take a road trip out to France! I love how Europe is so small that you can go between countries within a few hours. As you can tell, the area we visited in France was very beachy. It is known as the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region and it is in Northern France, near the Belgium/France border. Depending on what area in Nord-Pas-de-Calais you are visiting, it is a 1-2 hour drive to the region.
We stayed in Nord-Pas-de-Calais for a few hours, as well as for lunch. After that, we drove back to Bruges.
If you are thinking of taking a road trip from Bruges, I would highly recommend you do so! Some alternative places to visit include Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp (where we stopped for lunch and a walk around the Saturday market), or even Amsterdam (although I would advise you to stay in Amsterdam for much more than just a day).
Once we arrived back in Bruges, we took another walk through the city. On this walk, we discovered this picturesque home. How cute is this photo?
Finally, before heading to Amsterdam to wrap up our trip, we stopped off at Oyya once again. This time I had an ice cream, which, don’t get me wrong, was very good, but I wish I had had another waffle as it was my last day in Belgium!
Overall I had an amazing time in Bruges. If you’re looking in to visiting, I would 110% recommend you do. However, learn from my mistakes – I do wish I had visited a few more things there. I guess that’s just an excuse to go back!
Hope you enjoyed! Have you ever been to Bruges? Leave a comment below letting me know!
Thanks for reading.