We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

96%
Found this guide helpful

Bruges has become an increasingly popular destination, romanticized for its picture-perfect looks as a charming medieval Belgian city, with a rich trading history and wonderful Flemish architecture. Known as "The Venice of the North" due to its splendid canal system and bridges, it's a fantastic place to visit, even if just for one day.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie

12 Places

6 City Tips

Print
Map

12 Places

The Markt

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Belfort

Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk

Churches & Cathedrals

Sint-Janshospitaal

Art Museums, History Museums

Minnewater Lake

Bodies of Water

Beguinage (Begijnhof)

Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas

Jerusalem Chapel & Adornes Domain

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Bruges Art Route

Hiking Trails

St. Walburga's Church (Sint-Walburgakerk)

Sacred & Religious Sites

De Halve Maan Brewery

Breweries

Groeningemuseum

Art Museums, History Museums

Sravya R's City Tips

  • Museums and galleries are generally closed on Mondays.
  • Avoid eating in restaurants directly in the Grote Markt; they can be expensive and of varying quality, sometimes overcharging for bottled water and what you may think is complimentary bread. Instead, try heading towards the smaller streets away from the tourist center. Although food is usually quite pricey in Belgium, you should be able to find something to cater to your tastes.
  • Any visitor to Bruges should, without question, take a boat trip along its picturesque canals. The boats depart from different locations around the city every 30 mins or so, and operate from 10am-6pm from March to November. They will give you a sense of the history and inimitable design of the city. They are generally very informative and guides are offered in various languages.
  • Horse-drawn carriages are popular with visitors, however these street tours can be an expensive tourist trap.
  • As a medieval city, Bruges operates a complex one-way system to negotiate traffic, and you won't see many cars driving through the center. You can easily see all that Bruges has to offer by walking the cobbled streets or hiring a bicycle.
  • Bruges is a fairly small city. It will only take you around 45 minutes to walk from one end to the other, making it easy to see all the essentials during a day-trip.
  • The Markt
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    All visitors will find themselves inevitably congregating in the impressive main square, The Markt, which was refurbished in the neo-Gothic style and was historically the medieval commercial center. The Provincial Hall was first built in 1787 and then reconstructed in the 19th century upon former water halls, where the merchant ships that traveled by canal would unload and store their cargo. The central statues depict Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, who took part in leading the 'Battle of the Golden Spurs:' the victorious 1302 Flemish uprising against the French king.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Grote Markt will be busy all year round, but don't let that put you off!
    • The Burg, the historic administration center of Bruges, is located just next to the Markt.
    • It is best to avoid the cafes and restaurants directly in the square.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Coffee Stop 19/03/2019
    • The Buzzing Heart 19/03/2019
    • The Markt
    Address:
    Markt
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Other:
  • Belfort
    Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    The Belfry and Cloth Halls date back to the 13th century; however like many historic buildings in Bruges, they were destroyed by fire and rebuilt on several occasions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can buy a ticket to climb the 366 steps of the Belfry, which will give you fantastic panoramic views of the city.
    • There is a permanent Salvador Dali exhibition located in the Cloth Halls.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • 336 Floors Later 20/03/2019
    • Lovely view after a brisk climb. Worth the effort 20/03/2019
    • Belfort
    Address:
    Markt 7
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 87 43
    Price range:
    US$16 - US$16
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Basilica of the Holy Blood
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    The Basilica of the Holy Blood was first built in the 12th century, while its Steeghere façade was designed in the Gothic style in the late 16th century — behind which the reliquary of Christ's blood is said to be held.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The reliquary is only shown to the public on Fridays, and from the 3rd to 17th of May.
    • The lower Basilius Chapel retains its original Romanesque style, dating back to the 12th-13th century.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful church 20/03/2019
    • A precious memory 20/03/2019
    • Basilica of the Holy Blood
    Address:
    Burg 13
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 33 67 92
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    The only one of his sculptures to cross the Italian border, Michelangelo’s statue 'Madonna and Child' is on display at the Onze Lieve Vrouw (Church of Our Lady) on Mariastraat, whose dominating presence on the Bruges skyline showcases many different architectural periods from the 13th to 15th century, with later Gothic touches. Other religious paintings from Flemish artists can be seen inside the church too, as well as the decorated tombs of famous Brugeans. This is certainly a visual feast!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Renovation works on the building may sometimes cause disruption.
    • There is a small fee to see Michelangelo's statue.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Magnificence lost 20/03/2019
    • Renovation 20/03/2019
    • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk
    Address:
    Mariastraat
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 87 11
    Price range:
    US$8 - US$8
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Sint-Janshospitaal
    Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    Built right on the canal, this medieval hospital and chapel was one of the oldest in Europe, and is now a museum housing works painted by the 15th century Flemish master, Memling. It also provides a fascinating insight into the treatment of ailments during the hospital's history, with a variety of medical tools and records on display.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Closed on Mondays.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    • Very average 08/03/2019
    • A must. 04/03/2019
    • Sint-Janshospitaal
    Address:
    Mariastraat 38
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 87 43
    Price range:
    US$16 - US$16
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Minnewater Lake
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    Minnewater Park attracts many visitors as it has a picturesque setting — surrounding a tranquil swan-filled lake (also known as the Lake of Love) — and plays host to a variety of open-air music concerts during the summer, such as the Cactus Festival.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Koningin Astridpark is another quiet park located in the center of town, and a perfect place to rest your weary feet after a day of exploring.
    • The park is located near the train station, and you can walk through it before entering Bruges.
    • The lake was artificially made as a water reservoir, part of the canal system.
    • The view from the bridge is not to be missed.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very picturesque 19/03/2019
    • Beautiful area 18/03/2019
    • Minnewater Lake
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 46 46
    Other:
  • Beguinage (Begijnhof)
    Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    Just behind the Minnewater Park is the atmospheric whitewashed front of the Beguinage, and a quiet convent garden with poplar trees. The community of nuns, or Beguines, lived and practiced here in the houses built mostly in the 17th century, although the Beguinage was first established by the Countess of Flanders in 1245.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It is free to walk around the peaceful gardens, and a cheap ticket will get you into the small museum.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful 20/03/2019
    • Very peaceful 19/03/2019
    • Beguinage (Begijnhof)
    Address:
    Wijngaardstraat
    Bruges
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 33 00 11
    Other:
  • Jerusalem Chapel & Adornes Domain
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    The Jerusalem Church retains many of its original features (having sustained little damage), and the stained glass windows date back to 1482 and 1560. Although the entrance fee is a bit steep, the history of its proprietors, the 15th century Italian Adornes family, and the chapel's dark and somber atmosphere make it a definite point of interest.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Nearby sites include the city gates and the Folk Museum.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hidden Gem 14/03/2019
    • i thought it was highlight of our visit 08/03/2019
    • Jerusalem Chapel & Adornes Domain
    Address:
    Peperstraat 1-3
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 33 88 83
    Price range:
    US$8 - US$8
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Bruges Art Route
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    If you fancy exploring Bruges slightly differently, then the city Art Route might be for you. Taking in the history and key sights, this bike ride along the canal (which makes up the outer ring of Bruges) will lead you to the city gateway and windmills — far away from the main tourist hustle and bustle. A great activity if you wish to see a little of the landscape, and fancy burning off some of the chocolate and beer you've invariably consumed!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are many places to hire bikes from, including the train station. More information can be supplied by the tourist office.
    • You can also take a canal boat trip or cycle to the nearby medieval village of Damme 7km away, experiencing the Flemish countryside along the way. (A number of other cycling tours are also available.)
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting exploration of more of Bruges, outside the centre 16/03/2019
    • Worth the walk 17/02/2019
    • Bruges Art Route
    Address:
    Kunstroute Vzw
    Korte Vuldersstraat, 30
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 475 38 64 82
    Other:
  • St. Walburga's Church (Sint-Walburgakerk)
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    A rather stunning, yet wonderfully simple former Jesuit church, built in the Baroque style; this hidden treasure is located close to the Markt. The music playing in the church definitely adds to the uplifting and spiritual atmosphere that the unusually luminous building creates.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • During the summer, classical music recitals here are open to the public.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Break from the crowds for further inspiration 05/11/2018
    • Unusual Marble Interior 04/11/2018
    • St. Walburga's Church (Sint-Walburgakerk)
    Address:
    Sint-Maartensplein
    Bruges
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 46 46
    Other:
  • De Halve Maan Brewery
    Breweries
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    If beer is your thing, then it is essential that you visit De Halve Maan brewery, which has been in business for centuries, and manufactures two beers local to Bruges: Straffe Hendrik and Brugse Zot. You'll be given an informative guided tour of the factory, where you can witness the production line and learn about the history of the brewing process, before tasting the final products in the pub restaurant.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Tours run between 11am and 4pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Must See! 20/03/2019
    • Fascinating and Informative 20/03/2019
    • De Halve Maan Brewery
    Address:
    Walplein 26
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 42 22
    Hours:
    Sun - Wed
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Thu - Sat
    10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Groeningemuseum
    Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Sravya R Says:

    There are some good art galleries in Bruges, the main one being the Groeninge Museum which hosts a fine collection of 15th and 16th century European art. Works of particular note here include those by the Flemish masters such as Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, and Jan van Eyck.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Nearby you can find ART14, a more contemporary gallery, while 44 Gallery showcases modern photography.
    • Other good galleries include Absolute Art, which displays work by international artists, and Art O Nivo, which lends its gallery space to glass sculpture and architectural design.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 134 things to do in Bruges
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A few real gems in a nice sized art gallery 19/03/2019
    • Lovely art gallery 16/03/2019
    • Groeningemuseum
    Address:
    Dijver 12
    Bruges 8000
    Belgium
    Phone:
    +32 50 44 87 11
    Price range:
    US$16 - US$16
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo