What to Do in Bruges in 1 Day? Itinerary & Travel GuideWhat to Do in Bruges in 1 Day? Itinerary & Travel Guide

> June 27, 2024
What to Do in Bruges in 1 Day? Itinerary & Travel GuideWhat to Do in Bruges in 1 Day? Itinerary & Travel Guide

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It seems everyone loves Bruges, and then here I am just liking it. Though, it does have the best beer museum in the country, heck, I’d go as far as to call it the best in the world, so that pushes me over the edge, I guess! Canals, medieval houses, museums, beer… what’s not to love?

Oh, I know! The crowds of day trippers! You could easily become one of them, but if you want to spend one full day in Bruges, you’ll be one of the mere 2.5 million others who stay the night (as opposed to around 6 million others who are in and out within a day).

Truth be told, Bruges feels a more like a tourist movie set than an authentic city, but I gave it a test punch and those brick walls are the real deal. So, just come to Bruges with expectations set straight and you’ll be alright.

Below, I’ll detail how you can spend the best day in Bruges: what to see, where to eat, and which attractions are worth it.

What to expect in Bruges?

Visiting Bruges in Belgium, itinerary by Next Level of Travel

Wandering around Bruges is a wonderful experience by itself!
 

Bruges (pronounced [broozh]) is cute and quaint in a way that’s semi-kitsch. Remember that the thing to do in Bruges is wander, admire the brick facades, cross the many bridges over the canals, and just bask in the tourist joy. Bruges doesn’t have a ton of attractions that you need to cross off your list, it’s more the town as a whole that you’re there to see. Tourist towns aren’t really my thing, so I was more into Ghent and Brussels, and while I think many people end up loving their time in Bruges, they also never have the urge to come back. I think the trick to Bruges is staying a night or two in one of many hotels, because you’ll get the chance to see the city without the thousands of day trippers, and it’ll leave a better lasting memory.

My tips for visiting Bruges:  

  • It makes sense to buy the Musea Brugge Card for EUR 33 if you want to visit the Belfy, the Church of Our Lady, and at least one other museum or gallery in Bruges. It gets you into every museum for free, and usually gets you a free time slot reservation, too. Individual entrance fees are EUR 15 at most places.
  • Make sure to get your Belfry ticket in advance! There is a maximum capacity of 16 people inside at a time, making it hard to impossible to get in if you’re visiting in the popular months. And when you get your tickets, make sure to be there for your time slot—they won’t let you in if you’re late!
  • You’ll have no trouble communicating in English in Bruges, since it is in Flanders where everyone and their dog has at least a decent knowledge of English. It’s easy peasy... which is a good thing, because Flemish?! Not easy peasy.
  • Don’t expect a nightlife. Evenings in Bruges are a relaxed affair, since all the day trippers are gone and you’ll be left all alone. Just kidding. But partying and Bruges don’t go together. You’ll need to head to Brussels or Antwerp for that.
  • You’ll get around on foot. You shouldn’t be renting a car in Belgium anyway (use the trains), and the city center is small enough to walk.

Bruges orientation + map 

Map of all the places to see in Bruges in one day, Belgium travel guide

A map of the locations of all the places you’ll see during your day in Bruges (get the full list in Google Maps). Hotels in order of coolness: Boutiquehotel 't Fraeyhuis (best!) | Dukes' Academie Brugge | |Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce
 

Bruges is compact and you’ll have no trouble walking everywhere you need to go, even the train station, which is very close to the city center towards the south.

Here's the plan of your one day in Bruges in order of how you’ll be visiting them:  

  1. Lovers' Bridge (Minnewaterbrug) and Minnewaterpark
  2. Sashuis, Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde
  3. Church of Our Lady Bruges
  4. Gruuthusemuseum or Sint-Janshospitaal or Groeninge Museum
  5. Canal tour
  6. Belfry and Market Square
  7. De Burg Square: City Hall and Basilica of the Holy Blood
  8. Bruges Beer Experience or Halve Maan Brewery tour
  9. Bruges’ windmills

Hotel in Bruges

If you’re wondering which hotel to stay in, the short answer is Boutiquehotel 't Fraeyhuis.

Let me explain and add a few more options: I’d go for Boutiquehotel 't Fraeyhuis or Dukes' Academie Brugge, because I’m not 100 years old and I like the interior decor to reflect that. But if you’re dead set on staying in an old house right on the canals, and don’t mind the decor including a lot of antiques, granny wallpaper, and flowers on the drapes and carpets, take a look at Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce. I mean I’m sure it’s nice, it’s just not my style of nice.

Bruges itinerary for one day: Trip plan 

Restaurant tips: Bistro Christophe | De Gastro | Otto Waffle Atelier
Hotel recommendations: Boutiquehotel 't Fraeyhuis  | Dukes' Academie Brugge | Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce
Further readingBest Things to do in Bruges | Ghent 1-Day Itinerary | Best restaurants in Belgium  


The walking route during your itinerary for 1 day in Bruges, Belgium

Follow this route on Google Maps

Bruges itinerary, stop 1: Train to Bruges 

The city of Bruges in Belgium, photo by Next Level of Travel

So, hop on a train! Bruges is waiting!
 

Contrary to my usual recommendation to rent a car everywhere you go, I say stick to the trains in Belgium. They are cheap, fast, and frequent, making it completely unnecessary to get a car. You won’t need it inside cities anyway (expensive parking, low-emission zones, etc.).

Travel time from Brussels Central Station to Brugge station is 1 hour and standard ticket fare is EUR 17. Check train times and book tickets on SNBC (Belgium railways) website. There’s a direct train from Brussels to Bruges 3–5 times per hour.

The train station in Bruges is right outside the historic city center, which is oval-shaped and completely encircled by the river. From the train station, you could easily walk into the center, unless you travel with huge luggage, in which case you should head over to your hotel first to drop your bags off. Either grab a taxi or hop on bus no. 1 or 2 that leaves from the station every 5 minutes and takes you to the center.

>> Where to stay in Bruges? My tips: Boutiquehotel 't Fraeyhuis  | Dukes' Academie Brugge | Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce << 

Bruges itinerary, stop 2: Lovers' Bridge (Minnewaterbrug) and Minnewaterpark

Taking a walk across the Lover’s Bridge in Bruges, itinerary

Minnewaterburg and Minnerwaterpark
 

Time spent here: 30 minutes
Price: 0 
Opening hours: always open 
 

Start your itinerary in the south of the historical center and make your way up. You can either do that straight from the train station, which is just a hop and a skip away, or just circle back after dropping your bags off at your hotel.

Just so you know, this is only the first of two lovers’ bridges you’ll visit in Bruges today. This first one isn’t anything very special visually, but it’s supposed to bring you eternal love with however you cross it with. It didn’t quite work for me, but hopefully, you’ll have better luck.  I wonder if I should put in a claim for false advertising...

After the bridge, walk through Minnewaterpark, not because it’s anything spectacular, but solely because it’s on the way to the city center. Also, when you’re there, remember that this is the place of Bruges’ trade (namely lace), with the lake being the place where boats would load and unload before heading out to sea.

It’s a lovely park with a lake, and you’ll start getting into the groove of Bruges exploration. Like I said in the introduction, Bruges is really a place where you don’t visit large numbers of tourist attractions, instead wandering and soaking up the atmosphere. So, wander! Beer or coffee in hand is optional, but it certainly cranks up the vacation vibes!

Bruges itinerary, stop 3: Sashuis, Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde

Sashuis in Bruges, Belgium, photo by Next Level of Travel

Time for some Bruges architecture—this one is Sashuis house
 

Time spent here: 30 minutes
Price: 0 
Opening hours: Daily 7:30 am–8:30 pm for the beguinage
 

The next stop on your itinerary isn’t a stop at all, because you’ll continue with the wandering theme and walk through typical narrow streets while taking a look at the typical brick buildings that’ll be surrounding you throughout your day in Bruges. Then again, since you’re still a fair bit away from the very center of the Old Town, you should enjoy every bit of peace and relative quiet you can get.

Continue walking north from Minnewaterpark, and cross the river through the Sashuis—the houses over the river that used to help regulate the water flow in the city. Nowadays you can see some shops with local products there. Keep walking (or shop, up to you).


Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde  in Bruges, Belgium by Next Level of Travel

Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde
 

You’ll cross into the beguinage called Ten Wijngaerde. The white facades are in sharp contrast to the red bricked ones that you’ll find everywhere else. A beguinage is like an unofficial convent. The ladies living here weren’t nuns, but they lived there all emancipated, followed religious rules, all the while not taking any vows and still being part of regular life. Today, single women and some real nuns live there, too.  There are a few signs around the grounds to fill you in on the life of the ladies here.

Bruges itinerary, stop 4: Church of Our Lady Bruges

Church of Our Lady in Bruges by Next Level of Travel

The Church of Our Lady—you won't be able to overlook it!
 

Time spent here: 15 minutes
Price: EUR 8, also available is a combination ticket for the Church of Our Lady and the nearby Gruuthusemuseum for EUR 17 (see next stop)
Opening hours: Daily 9:30 am–5 pm (opens at 1 pm on Sundays)
 

As you’d expect in any European city, Bruges is also full of churches. I think they all look the same, so let’s just go to the one that you’ll see no matter where you are in Bruges because of the super high tower: the Church of Our Lady Bruges. The tower is one of the tallest brick buildings in the world, so I’m not making things up when I say you can see it from all over the place.

Unfortunately, the tower isn’t accessible to the public, so you’ll have to make do with the church interiors and a Michelangelo statue. To see his ‘Madonna and child’, which is in the paid section of the church, get a ticket for EUR 8 and walk on over to it. There will likely be a crowd of people in front of it, so you may need to wait your turn if you want to get closer.

The interior of the Church of Our Lady Bruges is amazing, so don’t be cheap and pay the entrance fee to give it a proper look. You’ll feel like you’re in a museum, with English signage at some of the art, which is nice. That said, you probably won’t spend more than 15 minutes inside unless you’re very much into religious art.  

Waffle tip!

Eating waffles in Bruges in Belgium by Next Level of Travel

You can't go to Belgium and not taste the waffles they make in all the towns you visit!
 

Before you head into the church, stop at Otto Waffle Atelier. Waffles are omnipresent in Belgium read more about Belgian food if that’s surprising to you), which ironically makes it really hard to find a good waffle shop. Otto’s is it. We devoured those things like it was nobody’s business!

Bruges itinerary, stop 5: An old hospital or an art museum?

Gruuthusemuseum in Bruges, Belgium, itinerary

The Gruuthusemuseum
 

Time spent here: 45 minutes to an hour per museum
Price: EUR 15, also available is a combination ticket for the Church of Our Lady and Gruuthusemuseum for EUR 17 (see previous stop)
Opening hours: Daily 9:30 am–5 pm
 

Now you have a choice, because there are very few people that will go on to see all 3 museums that I will be recommending in a moment. If you do, maybe you should consider spending 2 days in Bruges, because otherwise you’ll get museum burnout pretty quickly.

These three spots are right next to the Church of Our Lady Bruges, so you can just walk out of the church and then straight into one of the museums. Here are your options in the order in which I personally prefer them:

  • Gruuthuse is the restored palace of the lords of Bruges. The Gruuthusemuseum tells visitors the story of 500 years of the city’s history through objects from tapestries to lace and porcelain, but even just looking at the interior architecture is worthwhile. Official website: Gruuthusemuseum
  • Sint-Janshospitaal (St. John’s Hospital) is one of the oldest preserved hospitals in Europe, and again, the structure alone is something special. There’s a smallish pharmacy that’s set up like it would have been back in the day, which is very cool, but otherwise St. John’s Hospital is more saint than hospital, displaying lots and lots of religious art. Not really my jam, to be honest. If you go on the boat canal tour later, you’ll pass by the back “cholera door“ of this hospital. It’s the last exit some of the patients took out of here… if you know what I mean (it always lead straight into the waters of the canal…). Official website: Sint-Janshospitaal Museum


Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges, Belgium, itinerary

Sint-Janshospitaal
 

  • The Groeninge Museum takes you through six centuries of Belgian art. You start with the Flemish primitives—the details on these are mesmerizing—and end with Belgian modern art, which is anything from great to questionable. Official website: Groeninge Museum

Tickets for each of these musems cost EUR 15, and there is a combination ticket available that includes the Church of Our Lady and Gruuthusemuseum for EUR 17. It makes sense to get the Musea Brugge Card for EUR 33 if you’re planning to visit at least one of these museums, the Belfry, and the Church of Our Lady. You can buy it online and at every museum.

 Quick stop 6: Bonifacius Bridge aka the Love at First Sight Bridge

Bonifacius Bridge in Bruges, itinerary

This is the fatal bridge!
 

Time spent here: 2 minutes
Price: 0
Opening hours: all the time
 

You have another shot at love! Right next to the Church of Our Lady is another bridge that claims to attract love, called the Bonifacius Bridge. Sometimes called (and confused with the other) Lovers’ Bridge, Bonifacius Bridge promises to turn anyone you set your eyes on once you cross it into your true love. It’s a very small bridge, but despite being one of the youngest in the city, it is very picturesque and historical looking. Just make sure to have your eyes on the right human by the time you walk to the other side! Again, not sure what was up with the lovers’ bridges in Bruges when I visited, but they need to be maintained betteghentr, because they are obviously faulty.

So here’s a love tip: If you’re visiting Bruges on your own, go grab a new love at Bonifacius Bridge and then, if you’re happy with the bridge’s choice, drag them over the Lovers’ Bridge in the south to seal the deal.

What’s that? A growl in your stomach? No worries, I’ve got the perfect place to take care of that:

Lunch stop

De Gastro is a small, modern, family-run restaurant that has the nicest servers ever. Everyone around us was eating mussels, which I hate, but I guess they do them well. I opted for some beef and croquettes—very nice! You can choose to sit inside, in the courtyard, or at the few tables lining the street.

Bruges itinerary, stop 7: Bruges by boat

Bruges boat trip in Belgium, photos by Next Level of Travel

A pleasant cruise on the Bruges Canal will show you many beautiful corners of the city
 

Time spent here: 35 minutes
Price: EUR 15
Opening hours: Daily 10 am–6 pm
 

Belgian food is not exactly known to be light, so maybe you’re feeling a little tired after lunch. No worries, you can digest while you sightsee! On a boat tour, that is.

Just like in Ghent, there are little boats that go up and down the canals so you can see the historical buildings lining the water. It’s a pleasant way to spend 30 minutes, even if it’s nothing spectacular. I have to say the seating isn’t that great, because you’re crammed inside a small boat with 30–40 others, facing to one side.

There are several boat companies in Bruges that all provide the same service and the same route, so just hop on any one you happen to like departure time of. They leave from a few spots between De Dijver Park and just behind the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce hotel.

Note that you’ll be backtracking most of the way you’ve already walked on your itinerary today, as the boats go down to the Beguinage and back. But the guide gives info and stories about the places you’ll see, which is usually done in an entertaining way. Look out for the back door from the former hospital! That’s a story that I’ll never forget.

Bruges itinerary, stop 8: Bruges Belfry and Market Square

The Belfry Tower in Bruges, itinerary

The symbol of Bruges—Belfry
 

Time spent here: 30 minutes
Price: EUR 15, make sure to buy tickets in advance! The Musea Brugge Card gets you in for “free”

Opening hours: Daily 9 am–8 pm (varies in the winter months)
 

Next up, visit one of the top attractions in Bruges, the Belfry tower. I’ll be the first one to tell you to buy your tickets in advance, because they have a strict limit to the number of people that is allowed in, and I, sadly, wasn’t one of them.

Belfry tickets

You can wait in line to see if you’re lucky, but getting your ticket in advance is the smarter way to go. Also, if you’re neurotic and waiting in long lines makes you twitch, you’ll be happy to learn you can skip all that nonsense, because a ticket also gets you a time slot during which you are guaranteed to be let in. Just don’t take it as a suggestion—if you’re late, you’re out of luck!

The Belfry is the symbol of Bruges’ power in the 13th century. The bell tower stands tall at 83 m (272 ft) above the Grote Markt. You’ll be able to visit the treasury and the carillon room on the way up the 366 steps of the narrow, winding stairway, as well as marvel at the impressive wooden structure on the inside of the tower. The carilloneur plays the 47 bells on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 am–12 pm.

Once at the top, take a breather and take in the views of Bruges and beyond.


Market Square in Bruges, Belgium

Time to eat and buy souvenirs at the Grot Markt!
 

Back on the ground, you can take a little wander around Market Square (Grote Markt), one of Bruges main squares. It’s lined by many colorful facades and flooded by tourists on most days.

Bruges itinerary, stop 8: De Burg Square: City Hall

City Hall of Bruges on De Burg Square, photo by Next Level of Travel

Of course we have to see the City Hall of Bruges!
 

Time spent here: 30–45 minutes
Price: EUR 8

Opening hours: Daily 9:30 am–5 pm (council meetings are the last Monday of each month)
 

Just a short walk away from Market Square is the slightly smaller De Burg Square with two buildings worth heightening your attention for: Bruges Town Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood (we’ll talk about the latter in the next stop).

Let’s start with the city hall: wow! Gothic architecture has a way to make your jaw drop, doesn’t it? Usually, it’s enough to admire city halls from the outside, but in Bruges, you need to make an exception.

The Bruges City Hall is one of the oldest city halls in the Benelux countries, inspiring cities such as Brussels and Ghent when they built their city halls. You can admire its gothic-ness inside and out—it not only still holds meetings, but also serves as a museum with original artifacts and paintings depicting the administrative history of Bruges. Sounds boring, but is amazing. The history of Bruges and its connection to the sea is turbulent, but it’s also the reason why Bruges became so wealthy in the first place.

There are life-size portraits of important people like kings, mayors, and even Napoleon. There are also modern additions such as augmented reality and models of the city, but the most incredible part of Bruges’ city hall is the historical Gothic Hall on the first floor. The city council still meets here every month, as do many, many lovers that get married in it. Make sure to look up at the wooden ceiling!

And that’s it. It is a small museum, but worth your time. In 30–45 minutes, you can be done. Pay EUR 8 for your audio guide and off you go to explore on your own.

Bruges itinerary, stop 9: De Burg Square: Basilica of the Holy Blood

Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium

Basilica of the Holy Blood, another gem of Bruges
 

Time spent here: 10 minutes if you skip the blood, more like 30 minutes if you want to stand in line to see the relic
Price: 0, donations encouraged
Opening hours: Daily 2 pm–4 pm and Fridays 10:15 am–11 am if you want to see the vial with the blood-stained cloth; the basilica is open daily 10 am–17:15 pm
 

Once you’re done at the City Hall, stay on De Burg Square and just walk next door to a unique church—the Basilica of the Holy Blood. You probably think I say it’s unique because of the relic inside, but I actually meant that it’s smashed between the other buildings on the square like a townhouse, not a free-standing church. How often do you see that??

The interior is actually really cool, very ornate, but not in a gold-threw-up-all-over-the-place way, but in a large-fresco-in-a-small-church-with-amazing-vaulted-ceiling kind of way.

I’ve shared my opinion of holy relics when I wrote about the Turin Shroud, but let’s just say I’m not buying into the Jesus frenzy. The upper chapel of the basilica holds a piece of cloth stained with Jesus’ blood (or so they say). If you want to see it, time your visit between 2 pm–4 pm. On Fridays, there’s another veneration between 10:15 am and 11 am.

You’ll have to line up, shut up, and not take photos. Or so the sign said, and the attendants look like they mean business, so be respectful. Once it’s your turn, you go up to the priest and are shown THE BLOOD. No photos allowed.

Bruges itinerary, stop 10: The Bruges Beer Experience (or alternative brewery tour)

The Bruges Beer experience by Next Level of Travel

And finally, the Bruges Beer experience!
 

Time spent here: 2 hours
Price: EUR 13, or EUR 19 with beer tasting at the end

Opening hours: Daily 10 pm–6 pm (last entry at 5 pm), bar and shop close at 6:30 pm

Official website: The Bruges Beer Experience

This was my favorite experience in Bruges, and also my favorite museum in Belgium, so even if you aren’t a beer enthusiast, pay attention. I visited two beer tours in Bruges and they were both great—I’ll tell you a little about the De Halve Maan Brewery below so you can choose to go there instead if you want.

The Bruges Beer Experience is located right in the city center between Market Square and De Burg Square, and is an interactive and highly informative museum where you learn about beer history, techniques, ingredients, and individual beer styles.

Every visitor 4 years and older (they do a kid’s tour, too!) gets their own tablet and headphones and walks around in their own pace. I was blown away learning about what beer is supposed to taste like when you’re not just focused on lagers all the time. The existence of this vast array of beers in Belgium gives way to entirely different beer culture than I’m used to. The beer in Belgium is what wine is in other countries—a high-end beverage that gets paired with chocolates, cheeses and Michelin restaurant dishes! Now that’s my type of dining!

At the end of the tour, you can get a tasting of 3 (strong!) beers in the bar, which gets bonus points for having a nice view over Market Square. It is accessible to the public and you don’t need to be on the tour in order to visit it. It can also be used as a regular bar.

Alternative brewery tour at De Halve Maan Brewery

De Halve Maan Brewery in Bruges, Belgium

I recommend the “The half moon” brewery
 

Price: EUR 16 for the 45-minute tour
Opening times: Tours in English run 4x a day between 12 pm and 4:30 pm (time the last tour starts)
Official website: De Halve Maan

I did both the Beer Experience and the De Halve Maan Brewery tour in a single day, so if you’re like me and that sounds awesome to you, I asure you it’s doable. Otherwise, maybe you’d like to choose one or the other. Here’s what the De Halve Maan is all about:

In the southern part of town, halfway between Lovers’ Bridge and the Church of Our Lady Bruges, is the only brewery that has managed to stay in central Bruges—De Halve Maan (“The half moon”). As such, it is in a historical building with historical building smells, narrow winding staircases and old production secrets waiting to be told. You can take a 45-minute tour through the brewery to learn some of them, or the XL tour that lasts 90 minutes (I did the shorter one).

At a time when other breweries moved out of the city center to build new premises outside the city, De Halve Maan decided they want to stay a true Bruges company and stay in their old building. They did, however, build a separate bottling plant 3 km away—and so they had to get creative.  And so in 2016, thanks to crowdsourcing, a one-of-a-kind, 3.2 km (2 miles) beer pipeline connecting the brewery and the bottling plant was built. You can see the pipeline at the entrance to the brewery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, and it was very different from the Beer Experience, focusing more on the history of this specific family business. Our guide was entertaining and informative at the same time. The tour got an upgrade in April 2024 to include some audiovisual elements. It ends on the brewery roof where you get not only a free beer, but a fantastic view of Bruges.

Tip: Unfiltered Brugse Zot can only be bought at De Halve Maan brewery. It was fabulous!

Bruges itinerary, optional stop 11: Windmills… and then off to dinner

The windmills of Bruges in Belgium by Next Level of Travel

Sint Janshuis Mill on the left and Nieuwe Papegaai Mill on the right
 

Time spent here: As long as you care to walk around for
Price: EUR 5 for Sint-Janshuis Mill

Opening hours: Sint-Janshuis Mill is the only one you can enter, daily except Mondays from 9:30 am –12:30 pm and 1:30 pm–5 pm

It’s been a long day in Bruges, but if you have any energy still left in you, you could go take a stroll to the city’s 4 leftover windmills. There were originally 23 windmills that used to be part of the city walls, and one of them—Sint Janshuis Mill—still grinds grain to this day! You can go look inside this particular windmill if you get there before 5 pm, which, if you’re following along with this itinerary religiously, you won’t. If you’re sad about that, go ahead and visit the mills tomorrow morning.

Otherwise, since windmills are just as fun, if not funner, to look at from the outside, I’d say just be happy with the exterior. You can even look for the parrot on the roof of the Nieuwe Papegaai Mill. The windmills are in a grassy area that people use as a park, so it’s great to get away from the tourist crowds… remember, this is Bruges!

The wooden windmills of Bruges are all located between the Dampoort and the Kruispoort (city gates), which is a roughly 1 km (0.6 mile) stretch along the ramparts in the north east “corner” of the Bruges town circle. 

And then, the tour groups leave, and the evenings in Bruges feel a lot more comfortable. Is it time for dinner? Wonderful, because I’m paying it forward by giving you this tip I got from a Bruges local:

Dinner in Bruges

Dinner in Bistro Christophe in Bruges, photo by Next Level of Travel

And now, a tasty dinner at Bistro Christophe!
 

You have to go to Bistro Christophe for dinner to end your day in Bruges! They’re only open in the evenings on most days, so make sure to snag a reservation. But it wasn’t just the fantastic degustation menu, the best steak in Belgium, or the créme brulée that made Christophe stand out. The service was amazing, the vibe was just right, and the prices didn’t make me mad either! You’re welcome.

For drinks, you could head back to your hotel if you chose one with a great bar. Dukes' Academie Brugge and Boutiquehotel 't Fraeyhuis both have the perfect spot for a nightcap.

And that’s it, folks! Your day in Bruges has come to an end. If you have questions, let me see if I can answer them. But first, a tiny bit of history:

Bruges’ history in a nutshell

In the 12th century, a great storm created a natural channel connecting Bruges to the North Sea. This new access to trade routes allowed Bruges to thrive as a commercial hub. The city's population seized the opportunity to export products, significantly boosting their economy. The lace industry, in particular, took off, turning Bruges into a bustling commercial hub. Minnewater Lake became a busy port for boats loaded with fabrics and lace, marking the start of Bruges' golden age of trade and commerce. Talk about making the best of a bad storm!


View of the buildings and canals in Bruges, Belgium, photo by Next Level of Travel

Ready for Bruges?

FAQ 1: Is Bruges a walkable city?

You can walk everywhere in Bruges, especially in the main tourist area. The train station is right outside the city center, so you can walk straight from there, as well. With luggage, it might make sense to take one of the buses that go through the city center, or just hop on a taxi. Otherwise, (wo)man power is all you need.

FAQ 2: Why is Bruges so famous?

Because old, brick buildings lining a web of canals with lots of bridges make Bruges incredibly picturesque. Also, the beer, beer museums, and beer culture is something you don’t want to miss—even if you’re not a beer drinker yourself. Though, it helps.

FAQ 3: Which is better, Ghent or Bruges?

I like Ghent better because it feels like a real Belgian city as opposed to a tourist town. Both are nice, just the vibes are very different, and Bruges gets a little overwhelming after a day.

FAQ 4: Why is Bruges expensive?

Because you’re in Belgium, and because you’re in one of the most popular tourist towns in the country. More tourists means more outrageous prices.

FAQ 5: What is the most popular beer in Bruges?

The most famous brewery is De Halve Maan, and their Brugse Zot is the beer to try. The unfiltered version of it is only available at the bar at the brewery. Otherwise, Belgium has a huge beer culture, and Bruges has at least two museums/tours that you should definitely visit so you learn more about it (The Bruges Beer Experience and De Halve Maan are my top picks). The Bruges beer scene is much more sophisticated than I expected!
 

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About me

About me

Hi! I’m Jan. I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I try to experience the best the world has to offer, and I don’t cease to be impressed. But if I’m not, I’m sure going to tell you! You can count on my full honesty and real opinions here. No bullcrap. I own and run several companies, which gives me great (but not unlimited) freedom to roam the world.  

I was first inspired to start this blog by my own experience of researching for upcoming trips—I often struggle with a lack of good information, accuracy, and authenticity of resources. You wouldn’t believe how many “travel bloggers” don’t even visit the destinations they write about! 

My goal with this blog is to provide you with complex and practical information so that you can plan your own vacation, complete with insights you’d only get if you visited the place. I also put together itineraries that are fully planned out trip guides.

Another aspect that drives this platform is my curiosity about the history, geography, politics, and economy of each country I visit, so I try to include this information in my articles, too. It’s always great to get the bigger picture, right? 

And just to be clear, I am not trying to compete with backpacking blogs or provide hacks for an economical and affordable experience. My vacations follow the standard pattern of traveling by plane, staying in good hotels, and renting a car on the spot to get around. I’m also always up for a fantastic meal, though I don’t shy away from local delicacies and street food, either.  

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