Travel

Is Bruges Worth Visiting? Our 2023 Guide to Bruges.

So, you've managed to sneak in a long weekend or a couple of days off work. You've thought that a city break might be what you fancy, but where? Maybe Bruges? It is a couple of hours away by plane or train, and is featured in the famous (or infamous) film In Bruges. The question is, whether it is actually worth Visiting Bruges, Belgium and what is the best things to do there? 

Thankfully for you, we have already made the trip and we're going to run through some of the main tourist attractions in Bruges and whether it is worth going or not. 

Lets go.

In Summary - Is Bruges Worth Visiting

Lets just get strait to the point and give you a brief summary about whether Bruges is worth a visit, or should you go elsewhere?

Well, we'd say that Bruges is worth visiting, but it entirely depends on what you like to do while being a tourist. If you enjoy history and architecture, romantic walks along the canal, and (fairly overpriced) chocolate-covered treats, iced creams and waffles, then you're going to love Bruges.

There is also the opportunity to enjoy a drink in Bruges then there are several breweries and establishments that sell traditional freshly brewed Belgian beer. You'll find however, that the surroundings are more suited for a quiet few with a loved one, rather than a stag do or big night out. If you are planning to go big, then Brussels is a better choice of city break.

 

What is there to Do In Bruges?

Belfry of Bruges & Burg Square

Bruges is pretty small. You can maybe walk through and around the town centre within an hour or so. There may be lots of little walks, but the main action is centred around the central square.

You can't miss it. It is where you'll find the Belfry of Bruges, Bruges city hall, the Historium Brugge (which is very expensive for what it is) along with plenty of tourist activities (like a horse and carriage tour).

The most famous and biggest attraction is the Belfry which you can enter for 15EUR and climb to the top, with stunning views over the town, the surrounding parks and the Belgian countryside.

The tower was first built in 1843 and added on to up until 1822 when the gothic top was added. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999 and is well worth the money you spend to visit.

Belfry of Bruges

Canals & Walkways.

While there are plenty of things that you can do for a fee, the best things in life are free. If you're on a budget, or your weekend is to be spent relaxing and. taking in the scenery, then Bruges has some spectacular walkways along the canals through the town.

You'll be thankful to know that plenty of tourists do not venture so far and the canals are often quiet - especially on a 'traditionally' grey and rainy Belgian day.

The canals wind through the town centre and away in a loop around the outer ranges of the centre. You can make the walks as long or short as you wish - but you'll find the amazing architecture, the tranquillity and parks surrounding the water breathtaking. Perfect if you're a keen photographer.

If you want to, there are also boat tours along the water which cover a short distance. They are expensive and miserable in the rain, but it is a fun way of seeing the city without having to make such an adventure on your feet.

Brudges Canal

Minnewater Lake

Bruges is surrounded by beautiful and romantic places to walk. Even the quiet side streets are a delight.

If you're in Bruges and have had enough of period buildings, and you need to see some grass, the Minnewater Park, Lake and Poertoren Tower are a great places to reconnect with nature.

The park itself extends quite far and will make a great autumn walk after a big lunch or even several Belgian beers.

The park extends into a small little street where you can find bars, shops, restaurants and quaint little places to sit for a break.

Be warned, the park can be very busy if the weather is nice, so there is little peace to be had the closer you get to the train station, however, if you follow the path away - out towards the outskirts of Bruges the path is much calmer.

As an added bonus - there are lots and lots of huge white swans to see perched on the banks of the canal.

 

Minnewater Lake in Bruges

Beers!

Belgum in general is a good place if you like beer. They specialise in beautifully crafted beer that is some of the very best you'll drink on planet earth. It is what Belgians do very well - make beer.

There are plenty of places to enjoy a quintessential beer in Bruges, but you must know that they are quite a bit more expensive than they are in Brussels, and you're unlikely to get the same level of choice.

What beer in Bruges does offer is a wonderful setting to enjoy the finest beer you'll ever drink.

A personal highlight of our trip was sitting on the banks of the canal with a beer. It cost roughly 9EUR for 2 330ml beers. Which is expensive, but worth it.

 

Belgian Beer in Bruges

Waffles & Chocolate

Again, Belgium is known for it's fine chocolate and Waffles. You do not need to travel to Bruges to enjoy these things, but while you're in the city, it is something you should do.

The suggested way to eat a Belgian Waffle is simply with butter - nothing else. While you may be tempted to eat it with Chocolate, heaps of cream and fruits, the locals like to keep it simple. As you can see by the photo, we couldn't resist.

There are more chocolate shops to count in Bruges and when choosing your Waffle house, the only thing to consider is your view.

There is no way that we could suggest the best waffles in Bruges, but the highest rated is House of Waffles by the canal. Regardless, it is hard to go wrong.

Belgian Waffles

Final Thoughts, Is Bruges Worth Visiting

If you're looking to enjoy a relaxing couple of days enjoying walks, soaking up the spectacular views and indulging in some chocolate, then yes, Bruges is worth visiting.

There are some reasons why you may want to avoid the town - if you're looking for a lively drinking culture then you should avoid Bruges, and if you want excitement, adventure and a thrilling experience, you may wish to find another city to explore. Bruges charm is its tranquillity, peace and beauty.

If you agree or would like to share your own experience of Bruges then you're more than welcome to leave a comment in the section below.

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