Bruges Travel Guide Overview
Cobbled walks, old majestic towers, and historic churches are some of the sights you can expect to see in Bruges. The best time to visit this beautiful city is from June to September when the temperature is relatively warm at around 50 to 70 Fahrenheit. The weather is cool all year round so it’s hard to say the word “summer” here. April is a good month as the flowers, most notably daffodils, bloom all around the city. During April expect temperatures to be around 40 to 50. Hopefully, this Bruges travel guide will help plan your trip and give you inspiration on the best things to see and do around the city as well as give you some good tips going into your trip.
Bruges Travel Guide: How to Reach Bruges
Bruges is a province in the Western part of Belgium and easy to get to.
From Belgium’s capital Brussels, it would take just under two hours to reach Bruges. Tourists can research prices and buy tickets through websites like the SNCB official site. You can also go to the central station and the ticket booth for a direct ticket to Bruges.
Major airlines all over the world have flights to Brussels and since there’s a train station in the airport, getting to Bruges by train, is the easiest option.
Driving will take just over an hour. You can leave your vehicle in one of the free car parks on the outskirts of the city center or there is paid to park close to the center. The paid parking can cost about 14 euros for four hours to give you an idea.
Bruges Travel Guide: Travel Tips
Don’t forget your ID. Drinking alcohol on a daily basis but in moderation is socially acceptable in Belgium. The legal age for drinking beer and wine is 16, but for cocktails and other liquors, it’s 18. Bars are everywhere so it’s important to keep IDs (with age) at hand just in case a bar staff requires you to show them first.
Don’t rush. Most tourist destinations in Bruges are located near each other and you can tour the whole area in just a day. For those who really want to experience the majestic city, spend at least two or three days and observe the culture and the locals.
Do talk to locals. While some people say that most Belgians are usually quiet, they are actually very polite. Don’t be afraid to ask them about directions, ask them about the nearest café, or ask for local advice.
Do your best to blend in. Hundreds of tourists visit Bruges every day. Blend in and don’t act like a fool.
Take a canal boat ride. Enjoy a different way of seeing Bruges by hopping on one of its canal boat tours. They are relatively short but it’s worth it to see Bruges from a different perspective. The charge for the boat ride is 8 euros and more information can be found here: http://www.boottochten-brugge.be/
Try the chocolates. There are a lot of stores selling Belgian chocolates in Bruges – even on the streets! A trip to the city won’t be complete without experiencing a Belgium waffle. Bruges has amazing waffles topped with delicious chocolate.
Bruges Travel Guide: Typical Costs
Price Range for Hotels
The entire city of Bruges seems to be taken fresh out of postcards. It’s really a one-of-a-kind experience, even for seasoned travelers. Bruges city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and being in the city is like traveling back in time to the medieval era. Even the restaurants and hotels carry that charm! Accommodation can be pricey depending on where you stay. Budget hotel prices start at €30 while nicer hotels with a strong “castle” vibe can cost about €95 and up. Orangerie is one of the most popular hotels and accommodation is at €110 & up.
Cost of Meal
Meals usually cost about €20 in restaurants. A fast food meal starts at €7 while beer costs about €4. I would be very careful of some restaurants in places of interest, especially in the city center, because the prices are more expensive and the food oftentimes isn’t as good.
Don’t forget to try the waffles which are being sold in the streets for about €5 to €7 and of course, Bruges chocolates for less than €1.
Cost for Commute
Bruges is a very walkable city so most sites you can just walk to from the Central Station upon arriving. If you want to commute, the best way is to ride a bus. The price per trip is €1.30. Or you can rent a bicycle for the day for €8-€12. There are horse-drawn carts in places of interest and renting it can be very expensive. It costs around €40 for less than an hour.
Bruges Travel Guide: Top Places to Visit in Bruges
Markt (the market place)
Most of Markt or the main plaza located at the heart of Bruges, was used as set for the Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson movie “In Bruges”. The Belfry, the most iconic tower in the city, is located just within the Markt.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
As the name implies, Basilica of the Holy Blood is famous for its crystal vial that is said to contain a drop of Jesus’ blood. Aside from this significant religious relic, most tourists visit the Basilica because of its magnificent gothic architecture.
Bruges’ most famous gallery contains old Flemish and Renaissance paintings. Most of the artwork you will find in this museum were created by artists who worked in Bruges. To discover about the city’s art and culture, then a trip to this museum is a must.
Church of our Lady
Marvel at the beauty of Michelangelo’s Virgin and Child that stands on the church’s altar and get to see its magnificent tower, the highest tower in Bruges. The Michelangelo sculpture was actually stolen during WWII by Germany Soldiers and is actually referenced in the movie “The Monuments Men”.
Bruges canal tour
Just like Venice and Amsterdam, you can tour Bruges through its canal via boats. Boat tours will give you a glimpse of the city as a whole. Marvel at the beauty of old houses and buildings, churches, and quaint streets.
Get to know everything about chocolates, its transition and how it is made. You may also taste some chocolates for free if you happen to drop by a chocolate making exhibition.
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