About Andre A
Lives in Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Since Sep 2011
35-49 year old male
Middle-aged brazilian guy that loves to travel and see new places.
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Bodies of Water
Churches & Cathedrals
Gift & Speciality Shops
Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
If you're going to Bruges for a weekend and arriving there on a saturday, start your visit by this square. Each saturday morning an open market is held here, with lots and lots of food (from roasted chicken to cakes and other delicious things), clothing, bed and bath linen, packaged products, and lots of other things. It's the perfect place to have a breakfast after a long train journey, and as the prices are reasonable you will see lots of locals around.
After the feast at the T'Zand Market, it's time to go to the Burg Square, This is the heart of the city and, if you like architecture, the place to be. Lots of exquisite buildings around the square to take pictures of, and some to visit. Special attention to the two buildings listed below: the Town Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Obs: If you watched the movie "In Bruges" (2008), they mention the Basilica, but the scenes that are said to be in the basilica were, in fact, filmed at the Jerusalem Church (also listed in this guide) since they couldn't get the proper authorization to shot the scenes in the real place.
In the Burg you will find lots of fantastic buildings, and this is one of them - maybe the most iconic. It's the City Hall and was build in 1376.
Another must-click in the Burg Square, and in this case a mus-visit too. Beautiful church, very famous because it holds a supposedly piece of Jesus Christ's clothing with a blood stain.
Once you've seen the Burg, it's time to see the city from above. Let me start saying that, if you are able to climb the stairs, you MUST visit this tower. That said, let me elaborate a little: The Belfry (or Belfort) is a huge tower that started to be built in the 1200s. Through the years, additions were made until it reached the current state, with almost 90 meters (295 feet) in height. As it is a very popular attraction and there's a limit of simultaneous visitors for safety reasons, the lines to enter are huge (1 to 2 hours waiting in line depending on the time of the day and the year). Apart from that, keep in mind that you will need to climb 366 steps that are narrower and narrower as closer to top you get. On the other hand, it's possible to rest periodically at the several levels of the tower (or, in other words, you don't need to climb all the 366 steps at once). But, once you've reached the top, everything will pay off! The view from there is absolutely fantastic! You can see the entire city and beyond, in 360 degrees, and take fantastic pictures. A plus is that you will be presented with the story of the tower clock, and the real, original mechanism - that is still in use. Be prepared to put your hands to your ears when they ring!
And, after all this effort, it's time to relax! Mr. Luc Vanlaere is a very talented musician that hold free concerts almost every day, in multiple times, at the "SITE OUD SINT JAN" (Mariastraat 38). You can check the times here: http://harpmuziek.be/ The music is very calm and relaxing, the atmosphere is great and Mr. Luc is a very pleasant host. He speaks at least English, Spanish and Flemish (these are the languages he spoke on the day I was at the concert), and explain a lot about the instruments, the music and his inspiration. A real must-go! At the end of the concert, you will be invited (but NOT compelled) to donate what you think you should for the show, or to buy his CDs (what I did). But if you don't want to, you can just leave.
After a long day exploring and walking around, it's dinner time! As this is your first day in Bruges, head to The Markt and choose one from the dozens of restaurants and bars in and around the square. After dinner, take a stroll to see Bruges at night - the lights give an entirely different appearance to the buildings.
It's your second day in Bruges, and you want to start slowly. So, head to this fantastic park! Believe me, if you take 100 pictures you will have 100 postcards. The place is absolutely beautiful, with lots of ducks, gooses and other animals, the wonderful Minnewater lake and lots of trees and flowers. You will be able to see a lot of locals, too, as they head here to enjoy the nature.
If your breakfast is already gone, stop in this little fast-food restaurant in the way back to the city center. They serve delicious sandwiches, fantastic Waffles (as everywhere in Bruges) and have a second floor where you can sit and enjoy your food. You'll probably need to wait a few minutes in the line, but no more than that - and you will save time and money having lunch here instead of a restaurant.
After lunch, stop in this church. Behind the church you will see, in a little square, some benches, statues and normally a musician playing violin or acoustic bass. On the other side of the square, you will find a little, but famous, bridge called Bonifacius Bridge, or The Lover's Bridge. It's a fairly recent bridge (dated from 1910), but it looks much older than that and is a very picturesque place.
Now it's time to go shopping! Apart from the excellent chocolates and Waffles, there's another thing Bruges is famous for: the laces. The problem is that you will find lots and lots of machine-made (or even cheap imported) laces in most stores, trying to pass as an "original handmade Bruges lace". If you want to make sure you will get the real, handmade, quality ones, head to this shop. Just be advised: the prices are not cheap. They can go from 15 or 20 Euros for the smaller works to even thousands of Euros for the big, century-old ones. But even if you don't intend to buy anything, pay a visit to the store and look around.
In the same part of the city, and close to the store, you will find this unique, peculiar church. It's a private-owned church built in 1470 by a rich pilgrim recently returned from Jerusalem. The church is still owned by the same family, that maintains and still hold services there and sometimes are there to show the church for you. But what put this church apart is it's architecture and interior, absolutely different from what you are used to. It's a little pricey for it's size (7 Euros), but worth the visit!
Another day gone, it's dinner time again. If you want to spend less than the night before and eat good food with an excellent service, you will like this place. Even being a chinese food restaurant, they have plenty of options to chose from, and you will certainly find something you like even if you're not that into chinese food. The atmosphere is excellent too, and the staff very courteous.
If you're staying a third day, use the last one to walk around without the rush normally associated with short stays. Visit the stores, stop at peculiar buildings, take pictures, eat some more chocolates and waffles... Enjoy! Just be careful to not miss your train!