I’m sure that anyone who has visited Bruges will agree with me that the city’s character and allure will captivate you immediately. The peaceful flower-lined waterways, cobblestone streets, and beautiful medieval architecture create a fairytale feeling that you’ll happily give in to during your stay.
I first visited Bruges back in 2002 when I was just ten years old and fell in love with the quaint Belgian city. My family and I were returning home from an Easter holiday road trip to the region of Provence in France and decided to make a detour to Bruges before we headed back across the Channel via Calais. I remember my trip clearly even now, and although I was seeing the city through my childhood eyes, I was wowed by the gorgeous buildings and the pretty little shops that you can find down every street. It wasn’t until last October that I finally made my way back to the Belgian city once again, and I was once again won over by its charm.
So here are 6 reasons I fell in love with Bruges, and you will too!
So much chocolate
Belgium is well-known for its world famous chocolate and of course, Bruges is no exception, considered by many to be the chocolate city. Wherever you go, be that the main tourist thoroughfares or the smaller side streets, you will find chocolatier after chocolatier offering some of the most delicious treats you have ever seen.
Head to Dumon to discover some of Bruges’ best pralines and traditional chocolates. For those seeking something more contemporary, stop by the The Chocolate Line, where you will be surprised at the variety of weird and wonderful flavours.
As well as being considered the chocolate city of Europe, Bruges also competes with Amsterdam and Stockholm for the title, Venice of the North. Lined with bright, sweet-smelling flowers in spring and summer, the canals in Bruges have a certain appeal and beauty that you are bound to love. And I mean it, you will love them.
Rise early in the morning and enjoy a peaceful walk along the canals whilst the city is still asleep or, if you aren’t a morning person, why not enjoy a boat ride later in the day.
Along with the canals, the most distinct feature is Bruges’ well-preserved gothic architecture. With its past as an important medieval trade hub, Bruges is packed with beautiful churches and other high profile buildings around practically every corner. The Belfry. The Beguinage. The Grote Markt. The Burg Square. Sint Anna district.
I could go on listing all the beautiful landmarks that there are to see. Walking around in the historic centre truly felt like being transported back in time. Bruges is a city guaranteed to delight any history junkie.
Cute houses and Cobblestone streets
It is not only the medieval architecture that makes Bruges oh so pleasing to the eye. In fact, I found some of the smaller houses tucked off the major tourist routes to be just as, if not more, beautiful.
The triangle shaped buildings and gabled roofs, along with the small but thoughtful details, make for some of the cutest buildings ever. Be sure to venture off the main roads and walk along the cobblestone streets, you will not be disappointed!
I love a good market, and so on my visit to Bruges, I couldn’t help but track down where the local markets are held. Strolling through the centre, we stumbled across Vismarkt (fish market) which was offering a whole range of artisanal goods as well as its namesake – fish.
Other markets in the city include; the flea market on the Dijver Canal, held every Sunday (and Saturday during the summer), a hotspot for genuine antiques and secondhand crafts; and the Zandfeesten, which is held three times a year during the summer months and is where you can find top-quality bric-a-brac and crafts.
The Belfry view
Something I have yet to do, but that I couldn’t miss off this list, is a trip up the city’s iconic Belfry tower. Standing at 83 metres tall and housing, amongst other things, a carillon with 47 melodious bells, the Belfry tower rewards its brave visitors with a breath-taking and unforgettable panoramic view of Bruges and her surroundings. That is, if you can face the 366 step climb!
So what do you think? Will you be booking a trip to Bruges? Do let me know what you thought of my post in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Likewise, if you have anything you would add to this list then please share! Love, V x