10 best things to do in Bruges
Top Attractions in Bruges
Postcard-perfect setting, cultural wonders, world-class lace, luxurious chocolates and local beers - that is what Bruges (or Brugge) is all about! Known as the ‘The Venice of the North’, thanks to its proximity to waterways and many canals, Bruges became important due to the tidal inlet important to local commerce known as the ‘Golden Inlet’. It is also believed that Bruges derived its name from its bridges, over 50 of which cross its canals. Renowned as one of the most important commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, this alluring city is one of the best preserved European cities and offers the kind of charms rarel seen elsewhere. It is a small city and meandering through its narrow streets or taking a boat trip on the canals makes for a perfect daycation. Bruges attracts enormous amount of travelers every year. If you are someone who has always enjoyed history, fine architecture, quaint streets and good food, this city is the place for you. Explore the 10 best things to do in Bruges.
1. Belfry of Bruges:
The Belfry Tower is a very famous landmark that dominates the skyline of Bruges visible from almost anywhere in the city. It is an 83-meters tall medieval bell tower offering beautiful, panoramic views of the city housing a carillon with 47 melodious bells. It was used as a watchtower to spot enemies and other dangers, such as storms, in earlier times. Undoubtedly, it is one of the top attractions in Bruges.
2. Church of Our Lady:
Being the second tallest brickwork tower in the world, the church displays extensive Gothic architecture. It was built across 2 centuries and holds a wealth of art treasures including the famous Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, as well as the painting of the Crucifixion of Christ by Anthony van Dyck. The building is a fine example of the craftsmanship of Bruges' artisans and if you are someone who appreciates architectural brilliance, this church must be on your list of best places to see in Bruges.
3. Basilica of the Holy Blood:
Located on Bruges' Castle Square (Burg), Basilica of the Holy Blood is a beautiful 12th-century historic church in Bruges consisting of a lower and upper chapel. It presents a spellbinding sight from the 12th century and is home to the precious vial which is said to contain Christ's blood. Visitors will get to appreciate the Romanesque and Gothic architecture of the church.
4. Groeninge Museum:
Built on the site of the medieval Eekhout Abbey between 1920-1930, the Groeninge Museum is a municipal museum housing a superb collection of Flemish Primitives, 15th and 16th-century paintings, baroque and Renaissance works as well as major items from city's collection of post-war modern art. It is one of the most celebrated art galleries as it houses a complete survey of 6 centuries of Belgian and Flemish paintings.
5. Chocolate Museum:
Also known as the Choco-Story, the Chocolate Museum is a paradisiacal stopover for adults as well as children. Entertaining as well as informative, the museum has a section that sheds light on the health benefits of chocolate and visitors also get a chance to see how chocolate is made. Anyone who is interested in knowing the origins and history of chocolate must pay a visit to the Chocolate Museum as it is one of the best the best place to visit in Bruges.
6. Bruges Waterways:
Bruges is a beautiful town crisscrossed with canals and a visit to the city isn't complete without a trip on one. Go ahead with any of the trips that will make you appreciate the major highlights of the city from a completely different perspective. Canals are as useful as roads if a lot of goods are being ferried, which was the case during Bruges’ Golden Era when it used to be a busy port and important center of commerce in Northern Europe.
7. Burg Square:
Representing a variety of architecture ranging from Gothic to Renaissance and neo-classical, the Burg Square is the administrative center and the historical heart of Bruges. The presence of interesting buildings on the square especially the Town Hall or locally known as Stadhuis takes you on a journey through Bruges' long history. Also lined up are a couple of brasseries and restaurants where you can sit and admire the beauty of the square while sipping on your coffee.
8. Market Place:
Located in the heart of the Bruges, the Market is a bustling plaza with various eateries and fine historic buildings. Spread over an area of 1 hectare, the Market is a beautiful open space laced on 3 sides by gabled buildings and horse-drawn carriages since it is car free since 1995. The city’s foremost edifice, the Belfry dominates the scene, while the statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck stand right in the center of the square.
9. Historic Centre of Bruges:
A testimony to the brilliant architecture of the city, the Historic Centre of Bruges is a must-visit attraction. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, you cannot help but admire the magnificent Gothic buildings and the medieval settlement. It serves as an outstanding example of how well-maintained the historic fabric is, and how it has evolved over the centuries, while also displaying major changes in the cultural and commercial fields in Europe. Don't forget to add this attraction on your bucket list of Bruges.
10. Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul:
Standing atop Petrov Hill in the center of the city, the Cathedral of St Peter & Paul is a national cultural monument. It is one of the most important pieces of architecture in South Moravia and is best known for its gothic revival and baroque architecture. Visitors might also like climbing the cathedral tower to have a beautiful view of the city. Don't forget to add this attraction on your bucket list of 10 best places in Bruges.