Bruges is a medieval city in the Flanders region of Belgium which is located in the EU and Schengen community. Bruges offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Basilica of the Holy Blood
- Market Place and the historic center which is a UNESCO world heritage site
- Church of Our Lady Bruges
- St Salvator’s Cathedral
- Belfry of Bruges (and view of the city)
- Provinciaal Hof
- Kruis Gate and Windmills
Hotels in Bruges are reasonable for this part of the world, there are often great deals when traveling off season.
The central plaza of Bruges is known to the locals as ‘Markt’, from here, everything in the city is within walking distance including the train station. The central plaza is famous for the historic and medieval buildings surrounding it. If you visit at the right time there will be a market in the central plaza. If you visit when there isn’t a market you can get some beautiful clear shots of the plaza.
If you are visiting Bruges with your loved one, a popular option is to take a romantic horse drawn carriage tour of the city which leave from the Central Square on demand. The Belfry of Bruges (above center) is located in the central plaza, this is a medieval bell tower and it’s possible to climb the 366 stairs to the top for views of the city. A beautiful Gothic building in the central plaza is the Provinciaal Hof (above left) which is a building used for ceremonies and exhibitions.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a must see in Bruges. The Basilica dates back to the 12 century when it was home to the Count of Flanders. The Basilica is home to a jar of holy blood (blood of Christ) which was brought from the holy land in the 12th century. Where in the holy land the Count of Flanders found this holy blood and what the holy blood had been doing for the previous 1,100 years I have no idea.
Belgian chocolate has a reputation of being the best in the world and as Bruges is a tourist hot spot you’ll find plenty of chocolate shops. You must try the various flavors available, if for nothing else to say you’ve tried it! I didn’t find the chocolate any better than a bar of Milka chocolate that you can buy anywhere in the world.
Belgium is also famous for it’s beer and because Bruges is small and there is a high concentration of bars and tourists, this makes it the perfect place to go bar hopping. A word of warning, the Belgian beer is a little bit stronger than the beer you get in your home country, so take it easy!
The Netherlands is famous for windmills but if you are not going or cannot wait to see a windmill then Bruges has it’s own windmills. A short walk from the central square you’ll not only find 4 windmills but also the city gates to Bruges named Kruis Gate.
I could not find a bus from Bruges to Rotterdam, so I took the train back to Brussels and from there I found a Flixbus direct to Rotterdam for €9. You must take the train to the Brussels North Station and the bus station is connected. The bus passes through Antwerp on the way to Rotterdam which is picture worthy stopover.