Bruges! The chocolate. The canals. The swans. Where do I begin? All of it is beyond beautiful, even on a cold, snowy weekend in March.
One of my favourite things about Bruges is that you don’t have to fly to get there. I’m a huge wanderluster and travel addict, always planning and thinking about where to go to next. But guess what? I don’t like flying. So the idea of catching a train and not having to check in two hours early, not having to sort my liquids into little bottles, and not having to endure take offs and landings was a thrill for me.
We spent a short but sweet weekend in Bruges in March. And while we were only there for two nights, we were well and truly taken aback with the charm and magic of the West Flanders capital.
Bruges is small, which makes it the perfect place to explore on foot. There aren’t loads of ‘big tourist sights’ to visit, which isn’t a bad thing as every street, canal, building, and bridge are so picturesque, it more than makes up for it. And now I’m going to share my ‘must see’ list with you.
My top five things to do in Bruges
1.Climb the Belfort
Looming over the market square (Markt) is possibly Bruges’s most iconic building. At 83 metres tall, the Belfort is hard to miss and is usually visible no matter where you are (which comes in handy if ever get lost in Bruges!). It’s 366 steps to the top and worth every step! You’ll be rewarded with great panoramic views across the city so don’t forget your camera.
2.Cruise the canals
You can’t go to Bruges and not experience its famous waterways. Canal cruises are probably the best way to see all that Bruges has to offer, and you’ll also be treated to an on board commentary from the skipper, offering local insights and interesting facts. What more could you want?!
3.Walk to the windmills
A little further out, away from the hustle and bustle, is a pleasant walk which takes in the four remaining windmills of Bruges. Walk along the canal and visit each one in turn – and don’t miss the wooden sculpture of a man in a glass cage! But be patient, and wait and see what he does.
4.Sample the local food and drink
Beer, waffles and chocolate. You will be spoilt for choice on where to taste these delicious delicacies! For beer, we opted for the Brewery Bourgogne des Flandres and enjoyed a bottle of Martin’s IPA. For waffles, we went to Chez Albert (my mouth is watering just thinking about them). As for chocolate, take your pick! The streets are lined with gorgeous chocolate shops with inviting window displays, making them even harder to resist!
5.Visit the Begijnhof
Walk in the footsteps of the beguines, unmarried women who lived here and led a pious and celibate life. This wonderful place dates back to 1245. It’s peaceful, quaint, and like stepping back in time.
Have you ever been to Bruges? What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts so I can start planning my next trip!