IS THIS ONE OF THE MOST ROMANTIC CITIES IN EUROPE?
I never really considered Belgium as a place to go on holiday. All I knew about it was that the European Union had big offices in Brussels, but after visiting Bruges, I started to understand why all these European politicians have decided to move to Belgium.
Bruges is a fairy-tale medieval town, and with its lovely squares, picturesque canals and cobbled streets, it really is one of the most romantic cities in old Europe! Getting lost in the city for a couple of days is one of the best things you will do for a while!
There are plenty of things to do in Bruges, and I hope this guide will help you to have a wonderful time!
1| Wandering around the canals
With its dreamy canals crossing the city centre, Bruges has been called “Venice of the North”. Walk along the water or take one of the boats that depart from Huidenvettersplein. The tour takes around half an hour and it’s worth doing even if you are short on time.
2| Walking around the colourful Markt
Bruges Market Square, known as the Markt, has charming colourful buildings all around it. If you fancy a tour of the city by horse carriage, head over to the centre of the square where you can find plenty!
3| Eating Waffles
Crunchy on the outside and made with a light and fluffy vanilla batter, nothing beats an amazing Belgian waffle. This is the perfect start of your food adventure in Bruges.
There are plenty of toppings to choose from including chocolate, Chantilly cream, strawberries and cream, cherry and cream…you can’t go wrong!
If you are looking for some gifts to bring home, I would suggest the biscuit version of these incredible waffles.
4| Eating lots of yummy chocolate
I know, I know, you just had the waffle! But as you venture around the picturesque streets, you will be surrounded by the most amazing chocolatiers. Dark, milk, white chocolate, pralines and truffles… all your chocolatey dreams will come true. Just jump in any shop and you won’t be disappointed.
5| Eating Mussels and Fries (Moules-Frites)
The lovely lady from the hotel where we were staying suggested us a restaurant loved by locals: Gran Kaffee De Passage, and it didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere was great, and so was the food.
Mussels and Fries is the national dish in Belgium, and you will be able to find them pretty much everywhere. The traditional way to cook them is with white wine, lots of shallots, parsley and butter, also known as Moules Marinier. Get stuck in with your hands, delicious!
6| Drinking Beer
Oh, Belgian beer! There is a reason why it’s so popular around the world.
If you are a true beer lover, you can take a tour of The Half Moon Brewery (De Halve Maan). Or you can simply enjoy a taste of many beers at one of the bars around town.
We loved 2Be (The Beer Wall), where you can choose from 16 beers on the tap or order a selection. Tasteful!
7| Looking for the windmills
Windmills? In Belgium? Yes! Not only do the Dutch have windmills, but the Belgians have them too!
Around the canals on the border of town, you can see old windmills dating from around the 18th century.
8| Getting lost in the romantic small streets
Bruges centre is fascinating, but don’t forget to walk around the charming lovely streets around town. You will find lots of romantic spots and beautiful corners to explore.
9| Climb the Belfry
A total of 366 steps to get to the top! But once you do, you will be rewarded with some stunning and breath-taking views of the city. The Belfry is 83m tall and it’s leaning to the east 87cm (a lot less than the Tower of Pisa, but if you look closely you will see that it’s not straight!). The 13th-century tower that overlooks the Market Square houses a carillon with 47 melodious bells, and it used to be the city’s former treasury.
10| Eating a Bagel
I know I know, bagels aren’t from Belgium. But we found this lovely place and I had to mention it! It’s the perfect spot for a delightful brunch or light lunch and their bagels are truly sensational.
Sanseveria Bagelsalon feels like a homely cosy living room with a fresh blend of Scandinavian design and vintage chic look. You can choose between sweet and savoury bagels, delicious salads, home-made quiches and tasty soups.
Check the opening hours as they only serve breakfast, brunch and lunch.
11| Eating a Merveilleux
I suppose you are wondering what a Merveilleux is? A Merveilleux (meaning ‘Marvelous’) is a small cake that originated in Belgium. It’s a heavenly meringue biscuit topped with tempting whipped cream and dusted with many divine toppings.
We tried the Magnifique: a base of meringue, with praline whipped cream coated with almond chips and caramelized hazelnuts. So delightful!
Aux Merveilleux de Fred have so many to try!
12| Looking for the filming location of In Bruges
Bruges has always been famous for its lovely canals and medieval feel, but the movie “In Bruges” with Colin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson has certainly helped to put it back on the map. Most of the locations are iconic corners of the city, and if you need any help here you can find a guide to 15 of the locations.
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