Bruges is a medieval city in the Flanders region of Belgium. The whole historic center of Bruges is a UNESCO site. Things to do in Bruges include;
- Markt and the historic center
- Provinciaal Hof
- Belfry of Bruges
- Basilica of the Holy Blood
- Church of Our Lady Bruges
- Burg Square
- St Salvator’s Cathedral
- Kruis Gate and Windmills
Hotels in Bruges are reasonable for this part of the world, in fact, there are often great deals if you travel off season.
Markt – UNESCO Site
The central plaza of Bruges is known locally as the Markt. From the Markt, all the things to do in Bruges are within walking distance as well as the train station. The central plaza is famous for the historic Medieval buildings surrounding it. If you visit at the right time there will also be a market in the central plaza. However, if you visit when there isn’t a market you can get some beautiful clear shots of the plaza. In my opinion, the colorful buildings which surround Markt are the Instagram worthy location in Bruges therefore do not miss it!
Provinciaal Hof – UNESCO Site
The Provinciaal Hof is a building used for ceremonies and exhibitions. In addition, it’s one of the outstanding buildings on the Markt. It’s architectural style is Gothic Revival, a trend with most buildings in Bruges.
Belfry of Bruges – UNESCO Site
The Belfry of Bruges is located in the Markt central square. It’s a Medieval bell tower and it’s possible to climb the 366 stairs to the top for views of the city. A picture cannot do the Belfry of Bruges justice, you must see it in person to understand the enormity of it. As a matter of fact, it’s the tallest belfry in Bruges. Did you know, the tallest belfry in Belgium is located in nearby Ghent? Finally, a romantic horse drawn carriage tour of the city is a popular option for those visiting Bruges with a loved one. These leave from in front of the Belfry on demand.
Basilica of the Holy Blood – UNESCO Site
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a must see in Bruges. It dates back to the 12th century when it was home to the Count of Flanders. Today however, the Basilica is famous for a jar of holy blood (blood of Christ) which was brought from the holy land in the 12th century. Where in the holy land did the Count of Flanders find this holy blood? Additionally, what the holy blood had been doing for the previous 1,100 years? You must ask this question when you visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
Church of Our Lady Bruges
The Church of our Lady is the second tallest brickwork building in the world. In addition, it’s the tallest structure in Bruges. That’s 2 reasons to visit this church! A third would be to see the Michelangelo sculpture of Madonna and Child inside. You can find famous works by Michelangelo in Florence as well as Vatican City.
Burg Square – UNESCO Site
The most famous square of Bruges is of course Markt. However, that’s not the only beautiful square in the city. I strongly recommend you visit the quieter but equally as beautiful Burg Square. As it’s also part of the historic center of Bruges it is of course, part of the UNESCO site region. A stunning building in Burg Square is the 650 year old Town Hall.
St Salvator’s Cathedral
The St Salvator’s Cathedral is one of the tallest in the city, as a result it dominates the skyline. The main draw of this church is to see the Medieval tombs inside.
The Groeningemuseum showcases Belgian and Flemish artwork. If you enjoy viewing art, I strongly recommend you visit. Check out the latest exhibitions when you visit.
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 them! Finally, if visiting a chocolate shop doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, I recommend the Choco Museum.
Belgium is 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! Still, a beer is usually a good excuse to enter some of the Medieval buildings of Bruges.
The Kruis Gate is a must see as it’s the historic entrance to the city. Unfortunately, these gates, along with 2 other gates are all that remain of the city fortress. An interesting fact is that the city walls were sold in the 18th century. When you see the size of the city gates, you will have a good idea of the size and importance of Medieval Bruges.
The Netherlands is famous for windmills but if you’re not going or cannot wait to see a windmill then Bruges has its own windmills. A short walk from the central square you’ll find 4 picture perfect windmills. Furthermore, they are very close to Kruis Gate, so you can visit these 2 points of interest together.
How to get from Bruges to Rotterdam
There are a few direct Flixbus services between Bruges and Rotterdam. Alternatively, you can connect in Antwerp, as a result you can take a few photos of the colorful houses near the bus stop. Finally, the journey takes from 3-4 hours and costs around €20.
After reading this and another of your Belgium posts, I am ready to go! The Bruges Market Place is absolutely gorgeous! Seeing that would make a trip there worthwhile. I’m a little sad to hear that the chocolate isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. None the less, it’s still chocolate!
I went to Bruges as a day trip from Paris, loved it! It hailed for a couple of minutes while I was eating lunch at one of the restaurants in Markt and the wet ground on your photos reminded me of it. My favorite beer is actually a Belgian fruit beer which I think tastes much much better in Bruges than anywhere else.
The architecture in Bruges is absolutely breathtaking and the Bruges Market Place is so colorful, and you captured it so well. I would love to visit the market there and have some beer. I also heard Belgium chocolate is the best in the world but I hardly tried it. I found it interesting when you mentioned that it does not taste any better than a bar of milk chocolate. Some of the local snacks have a good reputation but does not really live up to the expectations.
I’ve heard a lot about the quality of chocolates in Belgium and have always wanted to try… but maybe not anymore because you mentioned it’s not better than a regular chocolate bar. We had chocolates in Guatemala and Belize a few months ago and that was really somethin’ else. I feel a little less sad about never having tried Belgian chocolates 😛 I’m assuming you had a positive experience with Flixbus if you were able to get to Rotterdam without fail. That’s really good to know because I was having doubts about using them based on some reviews.
I have been to Bruges before and its a beautiful city. I was there in winter so it was cold but a clear day so we walked around the city and also did a ride in one of the boats. I would love to go back and fully explore again in summer though and have some more of those amazing belgian chocolates.
Bruges has fantastic architecture and its Central Square reminds me of Grand Place in Brussels. That horse drawn carriage tour of the city is certainly romantic and an experience to remember especially for couples. People have different tastes and others may not agree with your comments on Belgian chocolates.
Bruges is absolutely fantastic place to visit. We went there for Christmas markets a couple of years abo and I loved everything about it- chocolate including, lol. I thought it would look even better in spring or summer and so made a promise to myself to go back there one day. One thing I bought from there and loved it is tapestry which they are famous for and are so pretty and so many to choose from.
I visited Bruges in 2015 and it looks like you also had the same weather as me! It’s a shame I didn’t see more of Bruges or take many photos it was a beautiful city.
I have no desire to visit Brussels but Bruges and Antwerp are definitely on the list so I will take note of your tips! How disappointing that the chocolate tasted like ordinary Milka chocolate, I always wondered if it really was that amazing. Bruges looks like a beautiful, colourful city to explore!