“The Venice of the north” is the nickname that Bruges received, a charming small town located in Belgium surrounded by water canals and colorful medieval infrastructure. It is pretty easy to fall in love with this fairytale-like town that has been named a UNESCO world heritage. There’s plenty of activities to do, even if you have a short itinerary; this is the perfect place to stop by due to its size; it’s quite easy to walk around it. The city is well known for many things, the canals, the infrastructure, the many chocolate stores, the waffles, and its history. In today’s article, I’ll talk about my experience visiting what is, for me, the most charming city in Europe, a place that has to be on your bucket list.
- Walkthrough the city
When I first arrived at Bruge, I couldn’t wait to walk around this town, that was the first thing I did, and I believe it should be the first thing for you to do. Take your time and take a walk through this beautiful destination, as I mentioned before, this is not a big town so you won’t have to walk long distances. You can walk on your own, or you can choose a guided walking tour that I highly recommend as you would get more in-depth information about the town’s story. By walking through the city, you’ll get a better overview of the places you’ll like to go afterward; you can also take a tour on a horse-drawn carriage if you don’t enjoy walking. Either way, I’m sure that you will enjoy everything that this town has to offer.
- The Market Square
The Market Square is the center of the town; this is where you would want to go when you find yourself in Bruges; this is where all the restaurants, festivals, and Christmas markets occur. In here, you will also find some Belgian chocolate shops and some lace shops; you’ll be impressed by the handmade tablecloths and other pieces made by hand. If you are going to buy chocolate, make sure you buy it from the local stores, it’s handmade and way more delicious. You’ll find a lot (and I cannot stretch this enough) of chocolate stores. My personal favorite was “Oliver’s Chocolate Shop and Bar” and “Chocolatier Dumon,” located close to the market square. Another recommendation for all the foodies reading this is to try their famous Belgian waffles; you’ll thank me later.
If you go to this place on a Wednesday, you’ll be able to enjoy the market in the morning and buy several things like vegetables, fruits, flowers, and other snacks. Another thing to do close to the marketplace is head up to the Belfry Tower, a beautiful observation place with a rich history behind it.
- Take a Canal Boat
Bruges is a canal town, so one of the best ways to explore it is by taking a boat through the city’s inner canals. The tours last around 30 minutes, making it an easy and fast activity to put in your itinerary. When you get on the boat, you’ll be able to see the most beautiful parts of the city. Believe me when I tell you that you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a fairytale storybook.
- Go to Minnewater Lake
Minnewater lake is every nature fan’s dream. It’s located downtown, and it’s the perfect place for a romantic walk with your significant other or your friends. You can take a waffle with you if you don’t have a lover and enjoy the gorgeous lake and trees surrounding this space. If you arrive at Brugges by train, you’ll pass by this location, so it’s kind of an introduction to the city and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful spots. Here you will also find the Lover’s bridge that holds a legend that says if you kiss your lover here, your love will be eternal (sadly for all of us single people out there, the tale does not apply to us but don’t worry, we still can have the warmth of the Waffles). This is also the perfect place to decompress after a long day of sightseeing.
- See Rozenhoedkaai (Quay of the Rosary)
If you want to enjoy the view, this is the place to go. The Quay of the Rosary is a stunning area of the city worth seeing; it’s close to the market square, and it is where the canals meet, making it a picture-worthy spot due to the medieval buildings that surround the area. This is also where most of the canal boat tours begin, so it also works as a starting point. Be sure to have your camera ready because I have no doubt you’re going to need it.
Bruges is a city that, in my opinion, deserves way more attention than it gets. It’s the perfect town for those who want a calm vacation, and a city that, due to its size, allows you to visit it for only a couple of days (although I assure you, you’ll want to stay forever). As many people describe it, when you arrive in Bruges, you’ll feel like you’re transported into fantasy land. This city has a lot to offer to those who want to visit, from delicious snacks to astonishing architecture and romantic views; this place is perfect for everyone.
Originally Posted in Heart of Hollywood Magazine