A tale of cobbled streets, medieval marvels and chocolate – Bruges!

ByAndrea Thompson

March 15, 2024

Are you ready for a delightful weekend escape to the enchanting city of Bruges? Then I would like to give you my thoughts on what to see and do.

Step off the Eurostar at Brussels-Midi/Zuid, a swift transition to the Bruges-bound trains, affectionately known as HOTNAT, where in a mere 64 minutes, you weave through the Belgian landscape, a blur of green fields, sleepy villages, and fleeting glimpses of history and then Bruges reveals itself. Its historical centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cobblestones lead you to Markt, an old square where centuries converge. Imagine sipping coffee amidst beautiful buildings, their facades etched with secrets, a perfect break awaits.

Bruges invites exploration. Whether you walk through narrow alleys, discover hidden courtyards and across cobbled streets you can even hop on board a horse-drawn carriage to show you around..

The Groeninge Museum contains Flemish treasures. From Jan van Eyck’s to Hans Memling, each canvas a task of passion.

The Belfry Tower looms over Markt Square. Eighty-three meters tall, it stands proud, one of Bruges’ iconic trio. Remember the film “In Bruges” then climb its 366 steps and stop at the Treasury, where documents lay behind thick wooden doors held closed by 10 locks. Legend has it that ten dignitaries guard these keys—a pact to preserve truth and tradition.  Pause again for the carillon. Imagine a giant music box with 47 bells. The largest being the Victory bell, cast in 1680 and weighing six tons, its chimes can be heard across Bruges.

Step onto the Quay of Rosary, it is something out of a storey book. This enchanting spot is one of Bruges’ most photographed.  Just imagine a building that looks like a castle it’s reflection dancing on the water. The swans mimicking the dance from swan lake gliding across the mirrored waters.  Adorned with houses and shops all with the classic facades for their area,  it’s the perfect selfie spot and where once upon a time, rosaries were sold, hence the name “Rosary Quay.”

Historium lets you step inside the medieval Bruges with its interactive exhibits of a bygone era.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood boosts a vial which contains drops of Christ’s blood.

Not forgetting that Bruges isn’t just a city; it’s a chocolate lover’s paradise. With chocolate boutiques brimming with pralines, truffles, and cocoa-infused dreams courtesy of Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus. It was in the late 1800s, they pioneered pralines, delightful confections with creamy fillings. Their invention revolutionized the chocolate world, and Bruges became a stage for cocoa-infused magic. Don’t leave without trying!

The Bruges Beer Experience—more than a museum, it’s an immersion experience with the tale of hops, yeast, and centuries-old recipes plus the off tasting or two!

No visit would be without tasting the local culinary delights.

  • Gaufre and Liège Waffle (Belgian Waffles) These waffles are the most famous Belgian culinary trademark.
  • Moules-frites (Mussels with Fries) Traditional comfort food
  • Waterzooi: A creamy soup made with chicken or fish, vegetables, and herbs.

Your weekend in Bruges should be exploring galleries, discovering Flemish masters, losing yourself in lace shops, watching the world go past with a Belgium beer and as dusk settles, lanterns flicker, and the city dons its velvet cloak. Stroll along the moonlit canals, hand in hand, share a boat ride or steal kisses on bridges.   Bruges is filled with romance, history, charm, and a touch of magic. Pack your bags, embrace the cobblestones, and let Bruges weave its spell on you.