27 things to see and do in Bruges (the unmissable and the curious)

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Visit the potato chip museum, the chocolate museum, the 1856 brewery, or walk along the Rozenhoedkaai quay with one of the best postcards of Bruges. Admire the architecture and appreciate a sculpture by Michelangelo. Take a walk through the canals of the so-called Venice of the North. These are some of the things to see and do in Bruges that I propose in this post after my stay in the city.

(St. Boniface Bridge is one of the attractions to see in Bruges) (*)

Don’t miss out on all the options because there are plans to do with children, free tours, and family activities to spend a full day (or more) enjoying Bruges:

Contents

Bruges’ safety pins

1. Take a general walk through the historical centre. As in so many tourist cities, in Bruges it is possible to take the free tour “a la gorra” in Spanish or hire the guided tour in Spanish for 10 euros.

También se puede utilizar el bus turístico de Brujas >> Here you can see prices and book it

2. Get to know the central square (Grote Mark) and admire its architecture.

3. Admire the old Courthouse and Provincial Palace with its current neo-Gothic style.

4. Visit the most famous tower of Bruges (the Belfort Tower). Also known as the Bell Tower of the Hallen, it is 83 meters high and is also in the Markt square. There are usually long queues on special days and weekends to go up. The price to climb its 366 steps is 8 euros.

5. Visit the second main square of Bruges (Burg)

6. Admire the Stadhuis building of the city of Bruges with its imposing architecture.

7. Admire the Palace of Justice (Brugse Vrije) with its golden details.

8. Visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek), where, according to legend, some drops of Christ’s blood are kept in a vial.

9. Take a walk along the canals of Bruges. It’s a perfect way to understand why they call it “The Venice of the North”.

10. Taking photos on the Rosary Pier (Rozenhoedkaai). This point is the place where some of the most famous postcards of Bruges are made. One of the most photographed buildings at this point is The Beer Wall, a bar where you can also taste beers.

11. Cross the Bonifaciusbrug Bridge (St. Boniface Bridge). This corner, which I found by chance during my walk, is one of the most charming spots in Bruges. It’s very close to Our Lady’s Church. Interestingly, it is one of the newest bridges in the city (it was built at the beginning of the 20th century).

12. Visit an van Eyckplein Square, also known as Jan van Eyck Square. Another beautiful corner of Bruges.

13. Visit The Gruuthuse Museum with its art collection (you can see the official website of the Gruuthuse Museum)

14. Visit the Museum Hospital de San Juan. It was nothing less than a medieval hospital, one of the oldest in Europe. It is very close to the Church of Our Lady and today is a museum dedicated to the history of hospitality, but also to exhibit art objects including renowned Flemish painters.

15. Visit the main church of Bruges (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk or Church of Our Lady) with its 122 meter high tower. The white marble sculpture “Madonna of Bruges” by Michelangelo is located there.

16. Visit the 14th century cathedral of St. Saviour (Sint Salvatorskathedraal), the oldest cathedral in Bruges.

17. Visit the Groeninge Museum where a summary of the history of Belgian art over six centuries is on display. Here is the official website of the museum.

18. Learn about all the sights of Bruges for free by taking the free tour “a la gorra” of myths and legends.

19. Visit the Beer Museum. It is one of the places in Bruges where you can learn more about the world of beer, its brewing (and tasting) (here is the official website).

20. Taste its typical delights, among which are the chocolates, the breweries, the waffles. You might as well take the chocolate and beer tour of Bruges. Or simply walk around to find shops along the way where you can taste and buy these products. Another option may be to take a party tour of Bruges.

21. Visit the brewery with guided tours and the Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan museum. It is a family business with a long tradition (since 1856) where Brugse Zot beer is brewed. The entrance fee for adults is 12 euros and here is the official website.

22. Visit the Museum of Torture. Bruges has a good collection of curious museums. One of them is this museum (here is the official website)

Things to do with children in Bruges

23. Visit the Chocolate Museum. The Choco-Story tells the history of cocoa from the Mayans to the present day. It’s ideal for a visit with children. They make exquisite chocolates there. And very close by is the Coco-Jungle theme bar, which is also part of the museum. It operates in a 16th century building in the centre of Bruges. (Choco-Story official website)

24. Visit the Historium Bruges. This museum tells the story of medieval Bruges with incredible audiovisual effects. It’s located on the Grote Mark itself. (Historium Bruges official website)

25. Visit the Museum of Potato Chips. Another Belgian speciality has its dedicated space in Bruges: there you can learn about the history of the potato and its sauces inside one of the most beautiful buildings in Bruges (Saaihalle). Here is the link to the official website of the Friet Museum

26. Take a walk around Minnewater or the “Lake of Love”. This is the old medieval port, where today there is a green walkway with lots of swans swimming in the canal.

27. Visiting Bruges at Christmas. These pre-dates (especially during the whole month of December) in Bruges the decoration and markets make it a dream destination. For example, the Christmas market is considered one of the best in Europe, and runs from 22 November to 5 January. There are plenty of parallel activities, concerts and more attractions for visiting Bruges at Christmas.

What to see and do in Bruges (map)

Also in the blog I made a complete guide to Bruges with tips for things to see and do based on my trip, but also with tips for staying, moving and how to get there. In this map you can see the attractions located on the map:

How to get to Bruges

There are often organised excursions to Bruges from Brussels. But the most usual thing is to arrive on your own. The simplest option is by train (it costs about 15 euros per section, and there are frequencies of almost one hour). By car it will be about 97 kilometers in just over an hour. One option is to book a rental car and with discounts if you don’t have your own, although I recommend this if we extend a more complete itinerary through Belgium.

(*) All images belong to Matías Callone

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