We spent about 48 hours in Bruges recently after having visited for the first time about 5 years ago, just after getting married. On our second visit I realized I had forgotten just how pretty the city was, it really is like a fairytale town (it doesn’t feel big enough to be a city), with its cobbled streets and medieval buildings. Here’s how to see the best of Bruges in 2 days!
We went in January and it was COLD. If you go at this time, be prepared to wrap up warm!! In fact on our first night, it snowed really heavily in the evening which made the walk back to our hotel very pretty, if not a bit cold!
A couple of the most popular tourist attractions do live up to the hype and you should definitely pay them a visit if you’re in Bruges.
One of them, in the city center’s Markt Square is a 13th-century belfry with a 47-bell carillon and 83m tower with panoramic views. We didn’t go up to the top this time, but for 10 Euros and after 366 steps, the breath-taking panoramic view of Bruges is worth both the money and cardio effort. The steps are very small and windy though – maybe it’s not for the claustrophobic!
Basilica of the Holy Blood
Another tourist tick off is the Basilica of the Holy Blood – a place that allegedly houses a relic that contains Jesus Christ’s blood….
The relic of the Holy Blood is displayed each Friday, the building is beautiful inside and out – and for only 2.50 Euros to take a look around, it’s worth a half hour stop.
One of Bruges most appealing features is it’s accessibility. You can walk around the city centre very easily. We walked everywhere and didn’t need to take a bus or taxi once. You can also walk into the city centre in about 10 minuets from the train station – although there are taxi’s available if you’re travelling with lots of bags.
De Halve Maan Brewery
One of our favourite things that we squeezed into 48 hours was the tour of De Halve Maan Brewery and I’m going to write another post on just the brewery soon 🙂 Don’t miss it next time you’re in Bruges!
Another good couple of hours spent was a trip to the Dali Museum (it’s in the Markt Square, next to the Belfry). It’s a small gallery/museum but it’s packed with Dali’s art which gives it an intimate feel.
There are some unusual pieces – not perhaps his most famous, but you really get a feel for this style and philosophy and we found the whole thing really interesting. It’s only 10 Euros per person, and although some reviews have criticized the lack of his more well known art, I didn’t have a problem with this at all – it was great to see some lesser known works – from small sketches to larger colorful prints and sculptures.
There are obviously many wonderful bars and restaurants in Bruges. You must try Bruges Zot – a 6% ABV blonde beer – it’s delicious and also brewed at the De Halve Maan Brewery. Even if you don’t normally drink beer, try one, you’re in Bruges for God’s sake!
The Monk’s Hole or t’ Poatersgat
A quirky bar that we would recommend for a cosy drink is The Monk’s Hole, or t’ Poatersgat – an underground bar accessed by a tiny door. This place gets really busy and has a great atmosphere, great beers and wines at reasonable prices. Look carefully for a concealed hole in the wall along Vlaamingstraat 82, and enjoy your choice of 120 Belgian beers on the menu, including a selection of Trappists.
We travelled from London St Pancreas to Brussels, then then on to Bruges. Buy your ticket from Brussels to Bruges via one of the ticket machines for around 14 Euros. You can buy the ticket on the train, but it will cost you nearly 10 Euros more. Also under travelers under 26 get reduced prices!
Bruges is beautiful and not your typical city break – there’s no noisy traffic jams or crowded public transport. It’s a place to walk, to drink beer, to eat chocolate in a real life fairytale setting.