72 hours in Bruges

Print Friendly

If you’re looking for storybook charm, you can’t do much better than Bruges. From quaint cobblestone alleyways to grand church towers, it’s the perfect portrait of medieval Europe. 

The secret’s out. Bruges is up there with Prague, Edinburgh and Stockholm as one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe; and people know it. But knowing when to go and avoiding the common tourist traps will allow you to experience the Belgian city as it should be: in a constant state of fairytale-like bliss.

When to go

If you don’t mind the cold, the post-Christmas rush is a fantastic time to head to Bruges. The city is just as charming in the ice and snow (if not more so) and you’ll have fewer tourists to compete with at the top sightseeing spots. January and February aren’t your typical travel months, but you’ll appreciate having the city to yourself.

Where to stay

Situated right on the High Street, in the heart of Bruges’ city centre, Hotel Prinsenhof offers luxury accommodation and absolutely superb service. Once a grand family home, the hotel has just 24 rooms, so make sure to book as soon as possible.

A more budget-friendly option is the charming Hotel Karel de Stoute, located in a quiet neighbourhood just a few streets away from the main square. The building served as the residence of the Duke of Burgundy during the 14th century and manages to exude historic charm around every corner. When booking, ask for a room with a view overlooking the city’s colourful mosaic of rooftops.

What to eat

Chocolate fans, welcome to your happy place. Bruges is known for its gourmet chocolatiers, and there’s no shortage of chocolate treats to tempt you. The Chocolate Line, with its handcrafted, flavoured chocolates (lemongrass, earl grey, espresso, saffron and more) is thought by many to offer the best chocolate in Bruges. Other contenders include: Dumon, Galler and The Old Chocolate House.

Of course, you can’t fill up on chocolate alone (or can you?). Something you’ll notice about Bruges is that the restaurants do exactly what they say on the tin. With names like ‘Books & Brunch’, ‘Hashtag Food’ and ‘Soup’, you’ll have no problem finding just what you’re looking for. In addition to those three cafes (all recommended), you can’t miss the ‘t Brugs Beertje beerhouse for a pint of Belgium’s finest brew.

If you’re in the mood for seriously fine dining, then Park Restaurant is a great choice. Known for its elegant presentations and delicious wine pairings, it’s Bruges’ premier restaurant for French/Belgian cuisine.

What to do

Bruges looks good at every angle, but one of the best perspectives of the city is from its meandering canals. A boat tour of Bruges’ waterways is a fantastic way to take in its beauty and learn more about its history, architecture and distinct culture.

Once back on foot, make sure to visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a 12th century chapel that’s famous for housing a relic believed to contain Christ’s blood. Jumping forward in the city’s history, the Museum voor Volkskunde (Folklore Museum) offers a fascinating insight into 17th-century Bruges. It features a classroom, grocery, millinery and other rooms that show what life was like at different eras in the city’s history.

Another not-to-miss attraction is the Town Hall (Stadhuis), which has been home of the city’s government since it was built in 1376. The building is an architectural wonder, particularly its Gothic Hall, which features wall-to-wall paintings depicting the city’s rich history.

Would you fancy a Bruges city break?

The following two tabs change content below.

Silversurfers Features Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Features Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Silversurfers Features Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Destination Features

Discover the secret paradise of the Maldives welcome-on-beach
If your idea of holiday heaven is discovering new places, meeting local people and learning more...
Barefoot luxury in the heart of the Makasutu Forest in The Gambia Floating lodges 37097_41442549_Serenity_&_3rd_Party (1)
Deep in the forest of Makasutu, by a tributary of the River Gambia, you’ll find a unique and...
Beach breaks in Goa 37594_11437295_Serenity Use Only
Located on India’s western coast, travellers who visit Goa are met with an eclectic culture...
The best dishes to sample in The Gambia Header
Gambian cuisine may not be one of the world’s most renowned culinary scenes, but a holiday to...
5 Tours & Excursions to take in Goa Main image
Goa is one of the most diverse and beautiful destinations in India, perfect for a winter sun...
5 destinations to see the autumn leaves change beautiful autumn trees and colors in the forest
One of the best things about the changing of the seasons is that the leaves turn with them – the...
The Gambia – A wealth of wildlife on your doorstep Canoes along a tributary of the River Gambia
When dreaming of a wildlife adventure in Africa The Gambia is off many people’s radar, but this...
An introduction to The Gambia, West Africa’s ‘smiling coast’ 1054_4709571_Serenity_&_3rd_Party
An ideal location to soak up some well-needed winter (or summer) sunshine, this small country...
Winter 2016: 6 Breathtaking Destinations You Need To Visit Sri Lanka
It’s no surprise that more and more of us are keen to escape the grey skies during the winter...
Discover Shearings new Autumn/Winter programme Image-1B--1
Shearings Holidays has launched its 2016/17 Autumn Winter programme, promoting a full range of...
Seychelles – nature and paradise in perfect harmony Grande Soeur
Whether for an annual holiday, a special anniversary, or that ‘once in a lifetime’ trip...
Explore the USA: 6 things to see Statue Of Liberty In The Deep Blue Sky
It's the 4th of July - American Independence Day - an annual celebration that marks the forming of...