What to do in Bruges (other than eating and drinking your body weight in chocolate and beer)?
So you are looking for things to do in Bruges? Look no further, here is everything you need to know.
Bruges is based in Northwest Belgium and is the perfect place for a long weekend from the UK. You can easily get an early morning ferry like we did and get to Bruges in time for a coffee and breakfast.
Bruges wasn't a must-see place on our bucket list, but a few friends had been and had said how lovely it was and so we decided to make a little detour before heading to Amsterdam and I am glad we did!
How to get to Bruges
You have a few options if you want to get to Bruges from the UK
FERRY TO BRUGES - There are various routes you could take by ferry to reach Bruges.
DFDS Ferries travel from Dover to Dunkirk which only takes around 2 hours. Dunkirk to Bruges by car only takes 1 hour or 2 hours by public transport. DFDS also travels from Dover to Calais which takes 1 1/2 hours to reach Calais and and then is around 1 1/2 hour drive to Bruges.
P&O Ferries travel from Hull to Zeebrugge but you have to travel overnight and is not particularly cheap
FLY TO BRUGES - You can fly from the UK to Brussels and then get to Bruges by train or car. There are some flights from the UK directly to Bruges but they are limited so most people fly to Brussels. Brussels only takes just over an hour to get from London to Brussels. Brussels is only 60 miles from Belgium, so is conveniently located.
EUROSTAR TO BRUGES - You can get the Eurostar to Brussels and then get a connecting train to Bruges. The journey to Bruges using the Eurostar takes around 3 1/2 hour in total.
We got the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk as were driving to Amsterdam and Paris but decided to stop off in Bruges on the way for breakfast. It is surprising how easy it is to get to Bruges from England. Dunkirk to Bruges was just under 50 miles and we reached Bruges around 9:30 am, just in time for breakfast. As soon as we started walking around, I fell in love with the place. Churches, cobbled lanes, canals and picturesque squares, it was like something out of a fairy-tail.... oh, and the chocolate; it was everywhere.
A lot of people go to Bruges for a day trip from Brussels or just spend a few hours there like we did, but I think there is a lot more to Bruges than meets the eye and I believe you could easily spend a long weekend in Bruges without getting bored.
We placed ourselves in the Markt of Bruges which is the main square and is the hub of the city, where the belfry tower is based. The horse-drawn carts and the buzz of locals and travellers created a lovely atmosphere and was an ideal place to sit for breakfast. The sun was out and with a coffee and croissant, it was a perfect morning and was definitely living up to its reputation of being one of the most romantic cities in Europe.
While we ate breakfast we had a view of the main landmark of Bruges, The Belfry. The tower is 83 meters tall and you can climb the 366 steps to the top to get stunning views of Bruges and beyond. It is said that the Belfry Tower leans 1 meter to the east, so was a great place to sit and stare at the tower.
After breakfast, we walked around and explored the canals and got lost around the pretty narrow lanes.
How to get around Bruges
You can see the majority of Bruges by foot but if you want to take a different form of transport, you can take a boat trip around the canals to see the city from a different perspective. Cars are not allowed in the centre and I think that's why it feels so relaxing and dreamlike, with the quaint noise of horses trotting along the cobbled lanes.
Top things to do in Bruges
You can decide to spend your time in museums, churches, eating your way through the chocolate shops, tasting the beer in a brewery or just simply walking around.
Looking For Fun Activities In Bruges?
Don't forget to book your activities before your arrival to
ensure a fun adventure.
If you want something a bit more structured then I would recommend going on a walking tour. If you have read any of my other Europe trip posts, free walking tours are one of the first things I do, as you get your bearings and learn lots about the history and local culture, in a short period of time.
After a few hours of wandering around taking in the scenery, eating chocolate and tasting local beer, our time in Bruges was over and we were on our way to Amsterdam. The visit was short and sweet but was a perfect city to take a morning stroll and I really enjoyed our breakfast in Bruges.
And after staring at the Belfry for ages, I still can't tell if it is wonky?
Other posts which you may find helpful or interesting if you are planning on taking a career break: