Bruges, the medieval city that is known for canals, beer and chocolate

Bruges, the medieval city that is known for canals, beer and chocolate

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Bruges, the medieval city that is known for canals, beer and chocolate
Discover what to do in this beautiful city, whose main attractions can be easily covered in two days.

Bruges is undoubtedly one of the most charming cities in Belgium. Located north of Brussels, it is the capital of the province of West Flanders, despite being a medium-sized city with about 120 thousand inhabitants. It is known as Venice of the North, due to the channels that cross it and that connect it to the neighboring city of Gent. Its historic center, which maintains medieval features, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Discover what to do in this beautiful city, whose main attractions can be easily covered in two days.

It is in the historic center that the main attractions of Bruges are found. The best way to start your tour is by Grote Mark, the main square in the city. One of its postcards is the Provinciaal Hof, an 83-meter-high bell tower. This neo-Gothic building is the seat of the West-Vlaanderen provincial government. If you want to reach its top, you will have to climb 366 steps, but the effort is worth it, as it provides a breathtaking view. You will have to pay 10 euros to make the climb.

In the Grote Markt is the Salvador Dali Museum-Expo, which features a large collection of authentic sculptures by the famous surrealist. The bright decoration and the effect provided by the presence of many mirrors alone were worth the visit to the space. The Bruges Historium is another interesting museum in this large square. It tells the story of Bruges and on the second floor there is a terrace with an excellent view of the Grote Markt.

Right next to the Grote Markt is Burg Markt, the second largest square in the city. This is where the majestic building of the City Hall is located, in Gothic style. A few meters away, we find the Basilica of the Holy Blood, another Gothic building. It owes its name to the fact that, according to legend, it houses the relic of the blood of Christ. Inside, it is divided into two churches: the chapel of St. Basil, quite simple, and the chapel of the Holy Blood. The latter is decorated in golden tones and was rebuilt in the 19th century, with colored stained glass.

As already mentioned, there is no shortage of channels in Bruges. The best known is the Dijver canal, where companies that make boat trips around the city are located. Most of the boats are open and small and the tours last one hour. After the tour, the boat returns to the Dijiver Canal. It is the ideal time to visit the Arentshof garden, one of the most beautiful in the city. In the middle of the garden, there is the Bonifacius bridge, in a beautiful setting and one of the most romantic places in Bruges.

Our next suggestion is the Notre-Dame de Bruges Cathedral, the largest Catholic church in the city. It has a medieval tower 122 meters high, being the second largest tower made of bricks in Europe. Bruges is also known for its windmills and four of them, on the banks of the Dijiver Canal, are still used to turn wheat into flour. Everyone is open to visits.

Bruges is an excellent city for a pub crawl, that is, jumping from bar to bar while drinking beer (or whatever). After all, Belgium is one of the main beer producing countries. You can start at the Beer Museum, which is on the street that connects Grote Markt to Burg Markt, the second largest square in the city. At the end of the visit, there is a tasting, where you can choose three beers out of the eight available.

Then, head towards the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery, a city classic that reopened after 60 years without working. It is possible to visit or simply have a beer on the terrace overlooking the famous Dijver canal, the most famous in the city. You can finish this pub crawl at the De Halve Maan brewery, which produces two excellent craft beers, Brugse Zot and Brugse Straffe Hendrik. It is ideal to be visited in good weather, as it has an outdoor bar. If you want to take a guided tour of the factory, you will need to make an appointment

As we walk through Bruges we come across many stores specializing in chocolate. There are all kinds: bitter, milk, truffles, pralines and much more. We leave three suggestions of the best houses that sell chocolate in the city: Chocolatier Dumon (6 Eiermarkt street or the branch at Walstraat 6); The Chocolate Line (19 Simon Stevinplein Street) and the Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc (Katelijnestraat, 5). This last one is the oldest house in the city and at the entrance it has a curious sign: “only enter if you are really going to buy”.

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Events in Bruges