Over the Christmas Holidays, I thought I couldn’t be more festive by going to the country of ginger bread architecture and Christmas Markets. Brugge would have to be my favourite place to visit in Belgium. The people are very friendly, there is so much beer, chocolate and waffles that you will not miss out. There are many attractions, eateries and cultural places to visit it can be hard to chose. These are the ones that make it into my top 10.
First of all though, when you visit Brugge, I highly suggest that you buy a three day museum pass for 30 euros. This is definitely the cheapest way to to maximise your sight seeing in this lovely city.
1. The Belfry
The tallest building and the bell tower on the main square of Brugge. This building contains a museum on several floors on the 366 step climb to the top floor for the view over the city. There can also be massive cues to get in, even in the off peak season! So I highly recommend getting up early to be one of the first ones in.
2. Bruges Brewery
The only brewery that is left in the heart of Brugge and well worth the visit for their craft beer and food! The building is cute and historic. There are many dishes you can choose from including beer pâté, beer chips, the list goes on! If you decide to the brewery tour, they will take you back in history to how the beer was made before modern technology, as well as a good view from the roof over the city. Whilst I was away, I definitely became a fan of the Brun beer.
3. Onze Lierve Vrowekirk
One of the largest churches in the city centre, this very white church holds the sculpture by Leonardo DaVinci of the Madonna and Child. You are able to visit this sculpture on the 3 day museum pass and walk around the church. They also have some interesting coffins in there…
One thing I will not forget about my time travelling around Belgium is all the fabulous art I saw. To me it is definitely one of the art capitals of the world. The Groegenmuseum holds many master paintings through many different centuries and I highly recommend spending a few hours here.
5. Boat Rides
There a few little boat companies located around the city centre on the canals. It is nice to pay for a half hour tour on the canals and it is an alternative way to see the city. You will also get a little history lesson from your guide.
6. Exploring by Foot
Walk everywhere, you won’t regret it! And also there is no transport within the historic centre so on the bright side it leaves you little choice. This way you will discover the little pubs and restaurants that are hidden away from the tourist hub, and will give you a much more authentic experience of the city.
7. Waffles and Chocolatiers
Now you wouldn’t be visiting Belgium if you didn’t at least try and eat a waffle or visit on of the many chocolatiers. And there is just so many to choose from!!!
8. The Old Hospital and many other Museums
By the Onze Lierse Vrowekirk, is the old medieval hospital of Brugge. In here has different visiting art exhibitions which can also be a nice change once you get sick of seeing all the old master paintings. This art work tends to be more modern and uses a variety of media to engage your attention. There are of course also many other museums around the city that may take your fancy. On your pass you have the opportunity to visit up to 14 museums.
9. Town Hall
The town hall, located one block back from the main square is one of the most extravagant buildings in the city. I recommend going inside as the hall chambers are extremely intricate and can have you gawking for ages as you follow the story of Brugge around the walls.
If you walk to the outskirts of the old city along the river, you will come along a small area of old fashioned windmills. These are only a few of the original 25 that were here. During the summer, they are opened up and you may take a look inside.