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48 hours in Bruges, Belgium

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Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in Belgium, is only a short connection from Brussels via the Eurostar and bursting with history and culture. I visited Bruges at the height of its festivities when the city was teeming with markets and stalls dedicated to Christmas. While it made for the ideal festive escapade, the charming city is perfect for a weekend break at any time of the year.

For a short stay, it is advisable to rent an apartment in the city centre or its surrounding areas to really get a feel of the bustle of the city.

Image credit: pixel2013 on Pixabay

Boat tours

If the weather allows, take one of the many boat tours offered around the city which are a fun way to see a large area of the city as well as to learn more about its history from the tour guides. Bruges surrounds a vast canal system which made it a major trading port in the city's golden age around the 14th century.  

Canal View

View of the canals. Image Credit: Matilda Martin

Museums

Bruges' most popular art museums are the Groeningemuseum and the Gruuthusemuseum. Both museums feature stunning works of art dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, showcasing the history of the art scene in the city.

Food and drink

After strolling around the museums, you can rest your feet in one of the city's picturesque tearooms, or, if you have a sweet tooth, Bruges is overflowing with its famous Belgian chocolate shops and stalls selling the iconic Belgian waffle.

Waffles, Bruges

Image credit: Matilda Martin

There are many independent cafes and restaurants in Bruges, a refreshing break from the food chains or fast food stores that have infiltrated Belgium's larger cities. For lunch, fries and mayonnaise are a go-to staple here with Belgium claiming to have invented the game-changing partnering. For the best chips, head to one of the many stalls in the city centre, especially the main square.

French fries with mayonnaise

Image Credit: Kham Tran on Flickr

In the evening, l'estraminet is the place to go. The beautiful restaurant-come-bar features benches as seating, making it a vibrant and sociable dinner location. Their famous oven-baked spaghetti has a meat-free option. If you prefer a Greek meal, The Olive Tree serves beautifully presented food.

Alternatively, for your final evening in Bruges, why not try somewhere special? Restaurant Pomperlut, just a short walk from the city centre, is a family-run restaurant serving Mediterranean-style food. It is vegetarian and vegan-friendly and has a wonderful atmosphere, ranking number seven on Tripadvisor despite only opening in March 2018.

Churches

If you want to see Bruge's stunning collection of churches, you must visit Church of our Lady and Jeruzalemkerk, the latter of which is reportedly based on Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The visit includes a small museum touching on the history of the family estate and a Scottish-style sitting room where visitors can enjoy a coffee and small snack.

The Church of our Lady in Bruges, Belgium

Image Credit: Wolfgang Staudt on Wikimedia Commons, orignially from Flickr.

On your way from Church of our Lady to the Jeruzalemkerk, you will pass through the Bruges fish market where you can pick up something for dinner

Shopping

On your last afternoon in Bruges, be sure to take advantage of the high streets in Bruges. With many chains and outlet stores, you're likely to find something to take home with you.

Bars

To finish off your time in Bruges, you must visit the 2be Beer Wall which includes an outside seating area overlooking the canal. For just 10 euros, you can sample a tasting tray of four beers complete with nibbles to snack on.

inside the beer wall pub

Inside the Beer Wall Pub. Image Credit: Mark Healey on Flickr.

While in Bruges, you must try the Brugse Zot, a local beer served in hundreds of bars scattered around the city. However, make sure you watch out for the stronger beers as some have high alcohol percentages.

With so much to do in this beautiful city, at any time of the year, why not just book your tickets now?




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