One of Belgium’s most visited places is Bruges. It has always been very touristic, being called the little venice of Belgium, but since the movie “In Bruges” it really got famous.
I have been there many years ago with school, but my boyfriend never been to Bruges. So we decided to take our free sunday and turn it into a day trip.
Below I will share some unedited pictures we took on the 5 places we think you must see while walking (or biking if you prefer) around Bruges.
Starting from the train station, south of the city.
1. The Beguinage (Begijnhof)
First place you can visit going up north from the train station is the Beguinage, a world heritage site dating from 1245. This is the place where the beguines used to live. Beguines were women, who decided for themselves to live a devoted and celibate life, without taking any vows.
Nowadays nuns of the order of St. Benedict live there in the charming white-colored house fronts and cute covent gardens. Outside of the beguinage you find many swans chilling together during spring and summer.
After having a stroll at the calm Beguinage, it’s time to hit the city center! Moving more up you will find a district that is very much photographed: the Rozenhoedkaai. And I understand why.
Just let the pictures speak for themselves…
Tip: if you are interested in a canal tour, many boat tours start from here.
3. Market Square with the Belfort “Belfry”
The big market square of Bruges has some amazing buildings from the 12th Century such as the provincial Court and the famous Belfry Tower. It was renovated in 1995 and without parking places, the large square is mostly traffic free.
Every wednesday morning they have the weekly market on the square. So go take a look if you are there on a wednesday.
What I loved the most are the cute colored houses and facades.
4. Mills of Kruisvest
After visiting the center, it is time to move more north east. Stroll along the streets of Bruges til you reach the park of Kruisvest. It’s a perfect spot to chill in the grass and have a picnic or a 4 o’clock snack.
There are 4 mills (from North to South)
– Koeleweimolen, an 18th century mill that is still operating
– De nieuwe Papegaai, a cute red mill
– Sint-Janshuis Molen, the only one open for visitors
– Bonne Chiere Molen, a blueish white mill with a cool view
5. Canal walk and Medieval gates
Now we will walk back from the mills to the station alongside the canal. It’s a long walk but there is a lot to see.
There are a total of 4 preserved medieval gates surrounding the Bruges city. On the way back from the mills, you can see 2 of those medieval gates and the very pretty views of the canal.
We also found a cute spot with purple flowers full with bumblebees. We had to test our camera’s macro option.
As we both live in Belgium, I didn’t talk about the food specifically as we eat it so often. But of course when in Bruges, the things you can and should try are our Belgian Beers, Belgian Waffles, Belgian Chocolates and Belgian Fries! And when in season: Mussels with fries!
Just avoid eating at the Market Square, where Belfry is. To me it really feels as a tourist trap with low quality foods for higher prices. We actually made that mistake, because we were walking around and lost track of time. I was getting really hangry at the time we were in the grand market, so we chose to enter one of those brasserie restaurant: biggest mistake… we paid too much for poor meat and shitty fries and some side salad with still some sand in it.. Never..again…
There is also a chocolate museum and fries museum to add to your trip if you are interested in their history.
Final words and one more tip
One more tip: go see the Minnewaterpark. This park is a very pretty park. Unfortunately when we went, there was a (paid) music festival going on there and we couldn’t enter. It is very close to the station and the Begijnhof, so you can easily take a walk there when you visit… if there are no festivals going on haha
All by all the trip was great, we were lucky with the sunny weather (not so much with the sunburns, but that is my own stubbornness of not wanting to take sunscreen with me) and really enjoyed strolling around in the center.
I will finish with more pretty pictures we took of Bruges, during the tour we made.
For more information about Bruges, you can always check the tourist site of Bruges here.
When in Belgium, pass by Antwerp too! Here some visiting tips for one day Antwerp!