Bruges is located in the northwest of Belgium and is the capital of the West Flanders province. It has been a long-time favourite for many when it comes to city break destinations. In particular around Christmas time, when Bruges puts on its famous Christmas markets. Getting to Bruges whenever you wish to go is easier than ever with the Eurostar. You can reach the city in around 2 hours 30 minutes from London. The city is canal based, creating a peaceful atmosphere and picturesque views. Cobblestone streets compliment the old medieval buildings that line Bruges’ streets, making a peaceful village-like ambiance. The city’s port, Zeebrugge has helped make the city an economic centre for trade and fishing, whilst Bruges’ Markt Square features an abundance of sights for its visitors to enjoy, as well as a marketplace.
Things to do in Bruges
Medieval buildings and towers, a buzzing central square and stunning churches are amongst the highlights when in Bruges. Museums are popular here too, showcasing all things arty and chocolaty. The city’s winding canals have loads of fun in store for Bruges visitors too.
- Markt – This is the main square in Bruges featuring the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll find small cafes and eateries here, as well as old buildings which encapsulate the feel of Bruges.
- Belfry of Bruges – A medieval bell tower and perhaps the most iconic building in Bruges! Climb up 366 steps to discover fantastic views and a treasure chamber.
- Church of Our Lady – This church has a stunning Gothic style exterior. It's topped off with elegant spires and also features a statue created by none other than Michelangelo.
- Groeningemuseum – Museum full of iconic Flemish art.
- Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan – A brewery which features guided tours and a museum.
- Canal tours – Better yet, why not discover Bruges via a canal cruise?
Places to eat
Cuisine in Bruges varies from delicious seafood like oysters and scallops to everybody’s favourite – chips. Of course, Bruges has some of the best beers and chocolates you have ever tasted too. So, a Bruges city break means forgetting all about your calorie count! The perfect food for dessert is no doubt one of Bruges’ famous waffles. With a ridiculous amount of toppings to choose from, you’ll keep going back for more.
Top places to eat include:
- De Stove
- Rock Fort
- Gruuthuse Hof
Bruges lives and thrives off of its historical past, so as you can imagine, there is a lot of culture for you to uncover during your Bruges holiday. The city offers a dose of Belgian culture, as you walk through the medieval setting and wonderful canals. But, apart from that, Bruges is home to dozens of museums which can help you learn a whole lot more about Belgian culture.
- Groeningemuseum – For art lovers interested in discovering famous paintings and artwork from Flemish artists.
- Saint John’s Hospital and Hans Hemling Museum – This hospital dates back to the 12th century and has surgical instruments on show along with religious art.
- The Church of Our Lady – This unmissable building is known for its tower and Michelangelo’s art.
When to go
Bruges has wonderful Christmas markets and some of the most popular ones around, so a winter trip is on the cards if you wish to experience the exciting atmosphere at this time. If not, the best time to visit Bruges is during the summer when the weather is pleasant, although the city is still subject to damp weather and slightly chilly temperatures. Visit in spring if you want to avoid crowds.
Average high and low temperatures (°C)
- January: 6° / 1°
- February: 7° / 1°
- March: 9° / 3°
- April: 12° / 4°
- May: 15° / 8°
- June: 18° / 11°
- July: 19° / 12°
- August: 21° / 12°
- September: 18° / 11°
- October: 14° / 7°
- November: 9° / 4°
- December: 6° / 1°
Bruges nightlife is a pretty laid-back affair. Be prepared to enjoy a couple of beers with your friends at a local pub instead of dancing the night away. Head to Bruges’ Old Town to find the majority of bars and pubs. Beers are a huge part of the nightlife here, so during your Bruges weekend break why not try a couple variations of Belgian beer. If you’re looking for a trendier crowd, head over to the Kuipersstraat and Zilverstraat areas.
Top nightlife venues include:
- ‘t Brugs Beertje
- De Garre
- De Coulissen
- Comptoir Des Artes
Bruges weekend breaks aren’t complete without some chocolate tasting. Belgian chocolate is a favourite among many and is famous around the world. Head on a chocolate tasting tour where you can try different varieties of Belgian chocolate. Or visit well-known chocolate shops in Bruges to stock up on your favourites before you come back home. If you’re interested in the history of chocolate just as much as the taste, make your way to Choco-Story. This museum tells the story of chocolate from its role in the past as an ingredient in Mayan and Aztec drinks all the way through to its creation by Belgian chocolatiers.