The city we are going to discover in this article is one of the most famous in the country, considered as a real jewel of the Flemish heritage, we are of course talking about Bruges. This city, perfect for a city break, is the second episode of our series on the must-sees in Belgium.
We start this visit with the city center of Bruges and more precisely the Grote Markt. Located in the heart of the city, this square is a meeting point for visitors, inhabitants and shopkeepers. Every year the city hosts the Christmas market at this place by arranging it with an ice rink and sheds. It is surrounded by monuments of the city such as the Belfry, our next stop. It is also on this square that you can see the famous horse-drawn carriages allowing visitors to discover Bruges from another point of view. Famous for its colorful facades, the Grote Markt is really a must-see of the city.
Let's take some height with the Belfry, the most important tower of Bruges. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Belfry offers a breathtaking view of the city for those who manage to climb its 366 steps. This medieval construction dating from the 13th century was at the time a symbol of power with its 83 meters height. On your way to the top stop at the treasury and discover the impressive music roll of the carillon as well as the keyboard on which the city carillonneur plays the 47 bells of the carillon. For the movie lovers, it is in the Belfry that an important scene of the movie "In Bruges" was shot!
In Bruges, beer is one of the local emblems and an integral part of its culture. That's why a visit to the Beer Museum in Bruges is a must to understand Belgian history with this drink and to deepen your knowledge on the subject. In this museum, live a sensory experience by participating in interactive games on the theme of beer. Then after the visit, it's time for a tasting! Dark, blonde or white beer, the bar offers a varied choice for our amateurs. And for families visiting Bruges, no need to panic! The "Kids Tour" allows your children to enjoy the visit with you while listening to a story about Bruges beer.
Book your ticket: https://mybeerexperience.com/fr
We continue this visit with the Place of Bourg, known as the historical heart of Bruges. This square is home to many monuments such as the city hall, which has existed for over 600 years. Its varied architectural styles, its cobblestones on the ground as well as its square make it a key place in particular to organize open air shows in the heart of Bruges. Don't forget to go through the hidden door under the city hall to get to our next stop!
After enjoying the downtown area in a medieval style, let's continue this stroll along the canals with the Rozenhoedkaai, another gem of the city. The origin of its name goes back to the time when Rosaries, a religious accessory similar to the chaplet, were sold here. Situated on a winding canal, the quay almost completely surrounds the walled city of Bruges. Boat departures are also made from this quay for those who wish to discover the city from a different perspective. It's time to get out your cameras and capture some shots of the Venice of the North!
Queen Astrid Park
Considered the green lungs of Bruges, Queen Astrid Park has many assets. First of all, the park has a pond with a fountain and a colorful kiosk which makes it the perfect place for a romantic stroll. As for the children, they also have the right to their attraction with a free access to the playground. A little break in the green to recharge the batteries before continuing the stroll!
God's houses have a special history. These residential quarters were built from the 14th century onwards for charity on the one hand or with the aim of gaining a place in heaven according to tradition. That's why each quarter has its own chapel. Today these houses are still inhabited by elderly people in particular. Their picturesque gardens and white facades can be visited freely, but it is important to respect the tranquillity of the inhabitants of these districts.
The next stop is the Beguinage of Bruges, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. This place is a real favorite for everyone who has been there. A true haven of peace, the spectacle that this place offers you is impressive. At the beginning of spring, a bed of daffodils covers the garden of the Beguinage which contrasts perfectly with the white houses all around. The rest of the year, the calm and the plenitude of this place offer you a moment out of time. The best time to go there is at the end of the day when the last rays of the sun are shining on the daffodils, emotions guaranteed!
Church of Our Lady
We leave to the discovery of another religious building, the church of Our Lady. It is also called the Church of Our Lady of Bruges because it houses a sculpture of the famous Italian artist Michelangelo with the same name. The church has a tower of 122 meters high and is therefore among the highest brick buildings in the world. Its construction began in the 13th century in Gothic style and was completed 100 years later. In one of its hidden gardens, daffodils can be seen from March. This flowerbed is located right next to the St. Boniface Bridge, a pedestrian bridge with a romantic and medieval feel that overlooks the canals of Bruges.
Bourgogne de Flandres
Bourgogne de Flandres is a Bruges brewery famous for its red-brown beer characterized by its round and velvety taste. It offers tours for those who want to know how beer is brewed as well as tastings in its bar area. In spring and summer you can enjoy the terrace with a sublime view of the canal. We strongly invite you to come and test the authentic taste of this beer during your visit!
Walking along the canals
Last stop, walk along the canals and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Bruges before heading back to the city center. You can stop at one of the many waffle shops to add a well-deserved sweet treat to your walk. For those staying for two days there are other places to visit of course. We advise you to go see one of the 4 remaining mills on the outskirts of the city or to take advantage of the museums on Belgian specialities about chocolate or fries.
If you wish to benefit from reductions for your activities in Bruges, you can find out about the Martin's Hotels website which lists the activities in the surrounding area.
Our tour of downtown Bruges is coming to an end, and we can say without a doubt that it is one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium. The authenticity and tranquillity of Bruges make it a must-see. Its cobbled streets, canals and parks will convince you of the beauty of the famous Venice of the North.
See you soon for a new article!
You want to visit Bruges soon? Martin's Hotels has two accommodations in the city that will welcome you in the best conditions during your stay.