Poppy’s Travel Diary – Bruges – Whether you’re interested in history, art, architecture, delicious food, or simply seeking a romantic and enchanting destination, Bruges offers a wonderful blend of attractions and experiences that make it a must-visit city in Europe.
Bruges, located in Belgium, is a charming and picturesque medieval city that offers a unique experience for visitors. The entire historic centre of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its network of canals, cobbled streets, and well-preserved medieval architecture. The city’s enchanting ambience makes it feel like stepping into a fairy tale.
Where to Visit – The city boasts a rich architectural heritage, featuring medieval buildings, Gothic churches, and elegant squares. The Belfry of Bruges and the Basilica of the Holy Blood are notable landmarks that showcase the city’s architectural beauty. The Markt Square, surrounded by stunning buildings is the vibrant heart of Bruges. The nearby Burg Square boasts historic buildings, including the Gothic-style City Hall.
Bruges is home to a variety of art museums, such as the Groeningemuseum, which houses an impressive collection of Flemish Primitive and Renaissance art. The city’s museums offer a glimpse into Belgium’s rich artistic heritage. For many city visits I have taken advantage of the convenience of the Get Your Guide passes, the Musea Brugge Card with entry to 11 museums was well worth the investment, offering destinations I may not have found otherwise.
Although not my style, Bruges is famous for its traditional lace-making techniques. You can learn about the intricate craft and purchase delicate lace souvenirs. There were also several tapestry shops offering a vast selection of wall hangings and cushions.
Where to Eat – If you have a sweet tooth, Bruges is renowned for its delectable chocolate and mouth-watering Belgian waffles. With a chocolate shop almost on every corner, the choice is unmeasurable, however, through some local research we discovered the freshly made artisan chocolates from Dumon Chocolatier which has a wonderful selection of delicious chocolate treats.
Belgium is known for its exceptional beer, and Bruges is no exception. The city is home to cosy pubs and beer halls where you can sample a wide variety of local brews. Visit the local brewery as well as the very impressive 2Be Beerwall, the perfect place to shop for Belgian products with a bar and terrace to enjoy too.
Where to stay – Dukes Palace – this former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy is now a unique five-star hotel in Bruges, with a super restaurant, garden and interior design, there were certainly no complaints here!
We opted to travel to Bruges from the UK via train, this offers several conveniences that make it an attractive option for many travellers:
Speed and Efficiency: Eurostar trains are known for their high speed, allowing you to reach Brussels (the nearest major city to Bruges) quickly from various European cities. From London, the Eurostar journey to Brussels takes around 2 hours.
The trains usually depart from and arrive at major city centres, such as London’s St Pancras International and Brussels-Midi/Zuid stations. This means you don’t have to deal with long airport transfers and can easily access public transportation options or walk to your hotel upon arrival.
Comfortable Travel: The trains provide a comfortable and spacious travel experience with ample legroom, power outlets, and onboard amenities, making the journey enjoyable.
Scenic Views: The train journey from London to Brussels and then to Bruges offers scenic views of the countryside, allowing you to appreciate the landscapes and passing towns.
Easy Connections: Brussels-Midi/Zuid station serves as a major transportation hub, offering numerous connections to cities and towns across Belgium and Europe. Finding a connecting train to Bruges is straightforward, with frequent services available.
No Luggage Fees: Unlike many airlines, Eurostar typically allows passengers to bring two large suitcases and one piece of hand luggage without additional fees, making it convenient for travellers with multiple bags.
Environmental Considerations: Trains are generally more eco-friendly than planes, producing fewer carbon emissions per passenger, making them a greener travel option.
Flexibility: Eurostar offers a range of ticket options, including standard, standard premier, and business premier classes, allowing travellers to choose the level of service that suits their preferences and budget.
Overall, travelling to Bruges via train, especially with Eurostar, provides a convenient, comfortable, and environmentally friendly way to reach this charming Belgian city while offering you a glimpse of scenic landscapes along the way.
Bruges had lots to offer and was perfect for a short stay away.