Tiny Bruges—Plenty of Attractions

The Burg Square at night. Bruges, Belgium.

It is funny, but there are no attractions in Bruges…almost! The main sightseeing in Bruges is BRUGES ITSELF!

The whole old city is named as a UNESCO World Heritage site: its streets, gardens, towers, bridges, seafronts, churches, swans, restaurants, and chocolate shops. Bruges reminds me of a precious casket, accurately and scrupulously carved from stone, water, and greenery by some extraordinarily talented giant and left at the channel network.

You may walk throughout the city, and after any turn, in any lane, and on any waterfront you can expect an unspeakably charming sight which forces your photo-camera to work, work, and work.

Yes, I agree, there is a statue of the Virgin and Child by Michelangelo. It is the only piece of art by Michelangelo exported from Italy during his lifetime.

The historical center of Brugge, Belgium.

The canals and churches of Bruges, Belgium.

A canal in Bruges with the famous Belfry tower.

The Bruges Madonna sculpted by Michelangelo. Bruges, Belgium.

It’s true that Bruges has another famous attraction—a brewery/museum. De Halve Mann opened in the 16th century, and still brews beer to this day. You can visit the brewery and at the exit taste a glass of beer, so-called “Brugse Zot,” and have a lunch. The cuisine is not refined (it’s not France, after all!), but expensive just the same—as is everything in Bruges, I must say.

De Halve Maan is the only family brewery in the centre of Bruges, Belgium, that is still active.

The cheese plate in De Halve Maan is the only family brewery in the centre of Bruges that is still active.

Yes, there are several churches with wonderful interiors, which I have already shown.

Inside of one of the churches of Bruges, Belgium.

Inside of one of the churches of Bruges, Belgium.

There is a permanent exposition of Salvador Dali under the visiting card of Bruges—the famous belfry tower, or Belfort.

Exhibition of Salvador Dali under the Balfort tower in Bruges, Belgium.

There are also the Beguinage convent and other educational monastic institutions which you may visit, but they are not breathtaking.

Finally, the main attraction of Bruges: numerous chocolate shops. Belgian chocolate is really amazing. I won’t post any photos because our stocks of chocolate are almost exhausted, and there is no need to rip open old wounds, but you can visit the web-site of our favorite chocolate shop in Bruges.

Well, I guess these are all Bruges’ attractions. Then why does an endless stream of tourists from all over the world come here in any season?!


The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

The historical center of Brugge, Belgium.

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

The Sint-Salvator Cathedral of Bruges, Flanders, Belgium.

Blinde Ezelstraat or Blind Donkey Alley. Brugge, Belgium.



It is a well-known fact: Bruges is famous not only for its chocolate, but also for its beer. Here, you will find more than 600 varieties of beer. For each gourmet—his beer! Bruges is not inferior here, even to Prague.

Beer in Bruges, Belgium.

Besides De Halve Mann, the most famous pubs in Bruges are De Garre and Brugs Beertje. They will offer you a choice of more than 100 varieties in De Garre, including their own strong beer Triple de Garre 11%. Pub Brugs Beertje is a picturesque place known for its easy party atmosphere, good cuisine, and hospitality.

Canals and bridges

Belgian Bruges is a city of canals; it resembles the Italian Venice and the Russian St. Petersburg in this respect. No wonder that the second name of the city is Venice of the North.

One of the canals of Bruges, Belgium.

Three big canals converge at the center of this tiny and undeniably unique city All three have a great depth; even large ships can easily move here. But it is precisely the small canals that give Bruges special charm. The whole area of the city is riddled with artificial canals of different lengths and widths with quaint bridges slung over them.

Bruges at hight. Belgium.

Boat trips are very popular among tourists because many interesting places and restaurants can be reached only by water. Who knows what an amazing view awaits you just after the next bridge?

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

Somewhere in the historical center of Bruges, Belgium.


Bruges has many bridges: 54, including several drawbridges ensuring free movement of the large ships, but several unique wooden footbridges have also been preserved.

Channels of Bruges, surrounded by unusually picturesque facades and manicured waterfronts, will delight you with a meeting with regal and graceful swans who have chosen this particular, fantastically beautiful city as a place of residence.

Some more of Bruges’ attractions

Of course, one of the most famous monuments of Bruges is the watchtower Belfort located on the Markt.

The Belfry of Bruges, or Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical centre of Bruges, Belgium.

This square is the busiest in the city; a huge crowd walks here at any time of the year. Every hour nearly five dozen bells of the Belfort tower begin their chimes, to the delight of the audience.

Be sure to visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood, the Town Hall with a magnificent Gothic hall, and the Lake of Love. Basilica of the Holy Blood is a modest little building tucked away in the corner of the Town Square. It is the oldest shrine of Bruges. The lower church was built by Theodore Alsatian, Count of Flanders, at the beginning of the 12th century. The church is dedicated to the Holy Blood of Christ. Theodore Alsatian brought the receptacle with the sacred relic—drops of “Blood of the Lord”—from the Second Crusade in the 1147-1149.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium.

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.

Saint Anna’s Church of Bruges, Belgium.

According to the latest statistics, the population of Bruges is only 115,000 people. It is very small as you can see, but the number of museums in this town can rival such giants as Brussels and Amsterdam: twenty museums (!) per four main streets and two squares. That is impressive.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium.

The historical center of Bruges, Belgium.


Many believe that Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I totally agree with that, but with one amendment—this is the most beautiful city in the world. Here, you will find many monuments of the Middle Ages because Bruges’ medieval attractions were not damaged during the two world wars. Bruges has a huge number of churches and museums, and all this on the background of history which stopped here somewhere in the 15th century. You will remember Bruges!

How to get to Bruges

The easiest way to get to Bruges is from Brussels which has a big international airport. Trains to Bruges depart twice per hour from the airport. The journey time is 1 hour 30 minutes. Bruges’ railway station, where you will arrive, is also very convenient. It is located within the city, just 1500 meters from the center. Trains from Paris and Amsterdam also arrive at this station.

From Bruges, you can go to see other cities of Belgium:

Bruges-Ostende. Journey time is 15 minutes.
Bruges-Ghent. Journey time is 20 minutes.
Bruges-Kortrijk. Journey time is 40 minutes.
Bruges-De Panne. The trip takes one hour.
Bruges-Antwerp. The trip takes one hour and ten minutes.

However, having a car in Bruges is a real inconvenience. Bruges is a medieval city with narrow streets, many of which are pedestrianized or have one-way traffic. The city is literally riddled with quaint canals, so moving around the old city by car is a nightmare.

The most reasonable solution would be to leave a car at the parking lot near the train station where the parking fee per day is low. In addition, the driver and passengers are provided with free travel passes for bus routes, although it is better to travel on foot in Bruges. The more experienced traveler will be able to find a free parking lot in the new city or along the circular canal.

Recently, I told you about our vacation in Bruges at the rented for quite a low price house. Today I showed why you should take a trip to Bruges and take a look at its attractions.

More about Bruges

Brugge: Capital of Chocoholics and the Best City in the World
Bruges in Photographs. Day and Night

42 thoughts on “Tiny Bruges—Plenty of Attractions

  1. I like your article and respect your opinion but you are missing some information. You forgot to mention that Bruges is not really a medieval city, it is mostly fake. It is a late 19th and 20th century reconstruction and recreation and most visitors are not even aware of this. Furthermore from a point of view it lacks originality and authenticity. Even many buildings were rebuilt in the late 1920s, 1930s and even 1960s but they look perfectly medieval from the outside but they are not. The most famous bridge was built in 1910 but it looks very medieval. This one of many examples that Bruges is sor of a fake Disneyland and not as old as it looks; It was affected during both wars but it didn’t have a lot of damage. There are other cities in Belgium that are better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your opinion, but I think every medieval building demands the restoration from time to time, otherwise you will get something like Oppede le Vieux, France. Bruges is more fortunate. It has an extensive medieval history unlike any Disneyland.

      And one more thing, tell me please, what small city in Belgium is better than Bruges? I’d like to visit it.


  2. Looks great im going over for part of my honeymoon the end of Oct, anything other than the standard things that u would reccommond, cant wait to go over


  3. Wow, you are good at this! My photos of Bruges did not come out as well at all! [Of course, they were pre-digital, but not as well composed besides–you have a great eye!] I discovered many small, narrow alleys in Bruges, which are a special fondness of mine, and I also enjoyed the “puritan monastic” sort of pre-minimalist almshouses (Godshuizen) and nunnery houses (Begijnhof), with their muted white, simple repeating geometries and spacious light courtyards.


  4. Bruges is one of my FAVORITE cities! I loved looking at your photos! The town looks just like it did when I was 13, which is getting farther and farther away 😉 Thank you for your post which allowed me to relive some wonderful memories. Thank you for visiting my blog!


  5. I agree that it’s really the most beautiful city in the world. It’s really deserving to be a world heritage site. I would love to ride in one of those boats. I think it would be romantic. 😉


  6. I love this city! I first visited here in ’93 with my family and have been coming back as often as possible ever since! Did you find the only “real gelato” shop outside of Italy? It’s in one of the back alley’s opposite the bell tower, the owner is a really nice woman who actually learned how to make gelato proper by some of the masters in Italy – her name escapes me at the moment.- I remember the first time I was there and I thought I’d get a nice morning run in around the city – LOL I think the whole thing took 30 minutes and that’s with running up and down the side streets! Bruges in such a beautiful place! Great post! Thanks for reminding me its time to go back!


    1. Gelato?! Not in this time. It was enough of wonderful French cheeses for us 🙂 We was eating them every day and have being overweight as a result 🙂 Check the link at the end of this post, and you will see our dinners.


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