You’re planning to visit Bruges in Belgium and are looking for good addresses and things to do? This article is for you! We discovered the pretty city of Bruges and fell under its spell almost immediately. With its charming cobbled streets, colorful architecture and soothing canals, it’s hard not to fall in love! For us, it’s the perfect destination for a weekend with friends or loved ones. On a human scale, the “Venice of the North” has so much to offer: numerous museums, delicious gastronomy, itineraries for cycling, walking or boating… You won’t be bored! We take you on a journey of discovery through Bruges, with advice on where to sleep, where to eat and all the addresses we’ve loved.
Visiting Bruges, where to sleep?
Bruges Augustyn Hotel
If you’re visiting Bruges and looking for a good hotel address, we recommend this one. We stayed here every weekend and found it a great option for discovering Bruges on foot. You’ll be very close to the city center (less than 10min walk) but still far from the tourist hustle and bustle.
The rooms are tastefully decorated, and we recommend the one we stayed in, on the top floor, which has a magnificent view over the city.
Last positive point (and a big one! 😉 ) is the breakfast. It’s delicious, made up of tasty local products. It’s perfect for visiting Bruges early in the morning!
A must-see when you come to Bruges, this is the liveliest spot in town! On this large square you can admire a row of adorable colorful houses, numerous restaurant terraces and a superb Belfry. We recommend you visit in the evening too, as the square is beautiful at night and much quieter.
The Belfry of Bruges, or the Belfort
83 meters high, the Bruges Belfry is worth a look if only for its architecture, a World Heritage Site. You can plan to climb to its summit, where the view is apparently incredible. But it has to be earned, with 366 steps to climb!
Practical information: you can visit the Belfry of Bruges every day between 9.30am and 6pm, but we advise you to get there early to avoid the queue. Admission is €12 for adults, €10 for those aged 6-25 and over 65, and free for children under 6.
The Rozenhoedkaai and Bruges canals by boat
This was our favorite district to explore, both on foot and by boat. The architecture of the houses, the canals and the flower-filled alleyways really create a special atmosphere! Photography lovers, this is the district for you on your visit to Bruges.
The best things to do in Bruges? Take the boat to visit Bruges from the water
If you want to visit Bruges, boarding a boat to see the city from the water is a must! You’ll be able to contemplate the narrow streets and fall under the spell of the city’s atmosphere. We loved this 35-minute trip, and really recommend it. There are 5 piers so choose yours and set off on your adventure!
Practical information: boat tours operate between March and mid-November. Count €12 per person for a 35-minute guided boat tour. You can pay on the spot without prior reservation.
Rental a bike to visit Bruges
Renting a bike to visit Bruges is ideal if you’re staying for a short time and want to see as much as possible. We loved getting away from the city center, letting ourselves be carried along the canals and pedaling all the way to the Bruges windmills (we’ll tell you more about them below).
For our part, we rented the bikes from B.Bike for €12 a day. The place is right next to the Concertgebouw Museum.
This place is a must-see when visiting Bruges! We loved it for the peace and quiet, the white-fronted houses and the huge tree-lined garden. This place was dedicated to the beguines, lay nuns. Stop by on your discovery of the city, it’s surprisingly rejuvenating and inspiring!
This Minnewater lake and park is very close to the Beguinage. Also known as the Lake of Loves, it’s the romantic, bucolic place you absolutely must stop by if you come to discover Bruges as lovers 😉 We loved walking around it, admiring the reflections on the water and having a drink (a Belgian beer of course!).
The concert hall and museum: Concertgebouw Circuit
If you’re a culture buff, this is the place for you! Step inside this contemporary building to discover its huge auditorium and atypical architecture. Home to many classical concerts and shows, the acoustics are apparently magnificent. We chose to take the Concertgebouw Circuit tour to discover the secrets of the building’s contemporary works, both aural and visual. The tour ends on the top floor with a superb view over the rooftops of Bruges! A great time, we recommend it, especially if you’re staying in Bruges for more than a weekend.
Practical information: we advise you to check the venue’s website for opening times. Admission is €8 for adults, €4 for 6-26 year olds and free for children under 6.
The Sainte-Anne and Saint-Gilles districts to visit Bruges differently
If you have the time, we recommend cycling to the Sainte-Anne and Saint-Gilles districts. They’re just as adorable as the city center, but much quieter. We loved discovering the row of old mills, colorful and in very good condition. It’s well worth the detour!
You can also enjoy a coffee at Café Vlissinghe, one of Bruges’ oldest venues.
This small residential cos dates back to the Middle Ages and is still perfectly maintained. This is a nice place to admire the gardens and the picturesque side of the place.
Visiting Bruges, where to eat?
De Republiek Bruges for a trendy lunch
If you’re looking for a good address in the city center that’s designer, affordable and not too touristy, head to De Republiek ! We really liked the atmosphere of this brasserie, the dishes are tasty and on sunny days you can even enjoy a pretty inner courtyard. Expect to pay around €30 per person for lunch. Tested and approved for us!
Sanseveria Bagelsalon for brunch
Sanseveria Bagelsalon is a popular Sunday brunch spot offering all kinds of sweet and savoury bagels. The place is decorated in the English style and the atmosphere is relaxed for a late breakfast or a Sunday brunch! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On the other hand, be sure to book in advance as the queue is a little long, as is the service. A chill brunch!
Bistro Den Amand for dinner
The Bistro Den Amand is a simply delicious address! The family-run setting doesn’t look like much, but the food is really top-notch. We chose the daily specials, one based on fish and the other on meat, and everything was delicious. Count around 45€ for a dinner, you won’t be disappointed.
Best waffle addresses in Bruges
Otto Waffle in Bruges
It’s impossible to visit Bruges without enjoying one or more waffles! We really recommend this address for refined and delicious waffles.
Good place to try waffles in stick form. A great gift idea to bring back to your family or friends!
Visiting Bruges, when to come?
We discovered Bruges in spring, at the very beginning of May. We found it an ideal time, as the weather was mild and the alleyways were all in bloom, very pleasant for a spring weekend! The Christmas markets must be amazing too, with the magical atmosphere of this city. We hope to be able to go back in December and give you our feedback!
Visiting Bruges, how to plan your trip well?
Visiting Bruges, how to get here?
To find the best mode of transport for you to visit Bruges according to your budget, we advise you to always look on the OMIO comparator. This will give you an overview of all available modes of transport. You’ll be able to compare prices very easily.
In order to find the best hotels in Bruges and benefit from the best conditions (security, cancellation…) we go almost exclusively through Booking.com for our trips. We recommend that you take a look at the available hotels before you leave. You can filter them according to their ratings. The customer reviews are very numerous and recent, which means you can avoid unpleasant surprises when traveling!
The best things to do in Bruges, ideas for activities
This trip is the fruit of a collaboration with the teams at the Bruges tourist office, and we’d like to thank them warmly. We remain totally free in what we say, so our opinions are personal and sincere.
Thank you for reading
We hope that the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you visit Bruges!
You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex