Bruges is a delightful medieval town situated a short train ride from Brussels in Belgium, and it’s a real gem that deserves a spot on your itinerary if you’re nearby. Considered one of the most romantic spots in Europe, you’ll fall in love with the pedestrian-friendly streets, old building facades, and the canals that wind their way through the city. While it may not be deserving of a week-long stay, it’s definitely worth a day trip!
If you’ve found a way to spend a day in Bruges, here’s how I suggest you spend your time:
Explore the City
Bruges is a delightful town, filled with charming architecture and excellent spots to snap a photo. Even if you only have a few hours to spend in Bruges, you should make seeing as much of the city as possible a priority.
You can venture through Bruges on foot, strolling the cobbled streets, or you can sign up for a boat tour and gaze upward at the city from the canals. Either way, you’ll want to dedicate several hours to simply soaking up the sights and taking advantage of whatever catches your eye as you go.
For an entirely different view of the city, find time to climb the Belfry of Bruges. If you can make it up the 366 steps that take you to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of the city below.
Admire the Market Square
Bruges’ market square was once home to medieval festivals and tournaments. Now, it’s a space where tourists and locals spend their days strolling, dining, people-watching, and shopping.
Check out the statues, explore the stores that line the square, and try to imagine what life may have been like hundreds of years ago in the very same spot. For a real treat, visit on a Wednesday to experience the square’s pop-up market, where you can find locally-made trinkets and treats to enjoy on your trip or take home as souvenirs.
Fill Your Belly!
One thing’s for sure – you won’t go hungry while you’re in Bruges. This little town boasts a vibrant culinary scene. From cafes and coffee shops to world-class restaurants, you can find virtually anything you’re looking for here.
Start your day with a treat from That’s Toast, a cafe that specializes in – you guessed it – fresh flavor combinations served on crispy bread. Pair yours with a coffee or cold-pressed juice to give yourself the energy you need to begin your day.
Later on, satisfy your sweet tooth (or pick up some treats to bring back to friends and family) with a stop at the Old Chocolate House. If the weather’s warm, cool off with a scoop of gelato from Gelateria Da Vinci, one of the best in the city.
And if you’re around for lunch or dinner, grab a table at Cambrinus. This warm and vibrant restaurant offers an incredible menu of locally-loved dishes and an extensive tap list.
As you can see, it’s easy to spend a day in Bruges, but don’t miss out on these attractions in Brussels. Between seeing everything the city has to offer, spending time exploring a couple of its most well-known spots, and indulging in a few delicious meals, you’ll find yourself out of time before you know what happened.