One of the best things you can do in Belgium, apart from gorging on its delicious food, is take a day trip to one of its beautiful towns and explore them by foot! One of those must-see destinations is Bruges, a city in northwest Belgium, about an hour and a half away from Brussels. The city is discerned by its ample canals and pretty, medieval buildings. All that said, it is also quite a romantic place to be, depending on the company you hold!
Here are some tips and recommendations for day trip to Bruges, whether you’re on a budget or not!
How to get there
If you’re trying to get to Bruges directly from the airport, the nearest one is Brussels National Airport. From there, you can either go by Bus, Car, or take the train. You can also easily reach Bruges from Antwerp or Gent.
A train ride should take you about an hour to reach Bruges from Brussels Central. You can also buy a Benelux Rail Pass if you’re staying in Belgium for a long time, which significantly lowers down the travel cost around the country.
I took the FlixBus everywhere around Europe, which is a safe, cheap, and extremely convenient option. Buses are air-conditioned and well-maintained.
If you’re renting your own vehicle, just park outside the walls to avoid taking it into the narrow streets.
What to see and do
Here is an inclusive itinerary of how to make the best of your day in the city.
Belfry of Bruges
The Belfry is a huge, ancient bell tower soaring extremely high, and serving as a prominent symbol of Bruges. It is easily the city’s biggest landmark, and offers some splendid views of the city from the top. Climbing the top of the tower should cost you around 10 Euros.
Church of Our Lady
The tallest building in the city, dominating its skyline, is the the Church of our Lady. Visit it specifically for its sheer height and outer beauty!
Chill with some Ducks
Plop by a canal and take in the natural beauty of the city alongside some ducks! You’ll find plenty of them in and around the canals!
Bruges City Hall
The City Hall of Bruges is located right in the main plaza, and houses a magnificent main hall, some wonderful gothic architecture (Belgian style), and also a museum on the ground floor.
The square is surrounded by tall, grand buildings, neo-classical style. It is also located in the main plaza of the city, and is a great place to be at during all times of the day. It is also the ideal place to grab a quick snack or a bite to eat, as it is surrounded by pretty cafes and ample restaurants.
The best way to tour the city is by boat, as much of the area in the city is covered by water.
Another exquisite experience in Bruges is taking an air-balloon ride! If you’ve got ample time, don’t miss this one of a kind experience.
This museum of fine arts houses over six centuries of Flemish and Belgian paintings, with some from Jan van Eyck, Brugge’s own. The museum is small, and will hardly take any time to cover.
A trip to the Brewery De Halve Maan is a great experience whilst in Bruges. The brewery offers a guided tour and a chance to sample the beer in the end. Or, you could also indulge in some at the bar at Snuffel Hostel, with a variety of beer to choose from.
- Bruges is relatively cheaper than other European cities, so you don’t have to worry about too much expenditure here.
- All museums here are closed on Monday. Plan your trip accordingly.
- Make good use of the Belgian trains, if you plan to head to any other Belgian city.
- Carry an umbrella or raincoat, as it is likely to rain in the city.
Check out my detailed blog on BELGIUM.