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Bruges at night

How To Spend a Weekend in Bruges

Have you visited Bruges? Are you planning to spend a weekend in Bruges in Belgium?

We had already visited Brussels but was keen to visit Bruges and Ghent and our time in Bruges coincided with a weekend, what could be more fun. We were fans of Belgian beer, Belgian chocolate and of course their famous Belgian waffles and our Bruges weekend break needed to include all three. We also wanted to roam the medieval city and its cobblestoned streets and alleyways and stroll alongside the canals. Bruges is known as the Venice of the North.

Canals of Bruges

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Our Bruges hotel for the weekend was the centrally located Hotel ‘t Voermanshuys at Oude Burg 14. We could not have asked for a better location.  Most of the major sites such as:

were all just a short walk away from our 16th century 10 room accommodation.

Latest guest review: “Nikos and his staff were very welcoming and keep the rooms neat and tidy. An excellent breakfast is served each morning. The hotel is ideally placed for exploring Bruges and is located less than a 5-minute walk from the main square. A very enjoyable stay.”

Hotel 't voermanshuys Bruges

 

Latest hotel guests Tripadvisor reviews can be read here

Location of Hotel ‘t Voermanshuys

Things to do in Bruges

Fun Things To Do at the Weekend when Visiting Bruges if you are a Food Lover

Prosecco chocolates in Bruges

Belgian Chocolate Workshop

Would you like to create your own Belgian chocolates?

Tour description from our partners Get Your Guide:

“During this 2.5-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to temper chocolate to craft 2 types of Belgian chocolates. The 2 chocolates you will craft throughout this experience will be as follows:

Pralines: the most famous Belgian chocolate, consisting of a delicate chocolate shell with a creamy filling. You’ll learn how to make both the shell and the filling from scratch.

Mendiants: chocolate discs studded with dried fruits, both crispy and delicious. You’ll make at least 30 chocolates, which you can either eat on the spot or take home to family and friends. With these easy techniques and chocolate theory, you will also be able to make your own chocolates once you return home.

Book your Belgian Chocolate Workshop here

1.5 hour Belgian Waffle Workshop

Tour description from our partner Get Your Guide:

“Your tour takes place in a delightful workshop in the Ezelstraat Quarter of Bruges. It will be there that you will discover the art of the Belgian waffle, throughout a 1.5-hour waffle-making workshop.

Following a short introduction, you will begin to follow your recipes, splitting into teams. Everything you need to create your waffles is provided, including ingredients, take-home recipes, kitchenware, assistance, and demonstrations. You can prepare the waffle dough, bake it, and then decorate your waffles with whipped cream, chocolate, and seasonal fruits. You don’t need any previous cooking experience to attend the workshop, and kids are welcome too.

Feel free to make crazy topping combinations; cream, chocolate, honey, fruit, the choice is yours. At the tour’s conclusion, you can take photos of your creations, before enjoying them with a complimentary drink.

Book your Belgian Waffle Workshop here

How about combining two of our favourites – a beer and chocolate tour?

Bruges Beer

Explore the historic centre of Bruges on a private 3-hour tour, and marvel at the medieval squares and monuments. Sample delicious chocolates at the Choco-Story Museum and enjoy a 3-course lunch at the De Halve Maan brewery.

Book your Belgian Beer and Chocolate tour here

To find the best Chocolate and Strawberry Waffle in Burg Square, Bruges head to Gelateria

Best waffle food truck in Bruges

Around 11 am during the day John Van Opdury turns up on Burg Square to sell his famous Belgian waffles with chocolate and fruit.  You will know when he turns up there is a very quick long and winding queue forming. You know when they are the best waffles in town as they are cooked before your very own eyes.

Best waffles in Bruges

NB: the waffles in tourist shops are premade and microwaved.

Visit Bruges Canal

Enjoy boat tours in Bruges on the canals.

Local operators provide local boat tours on Bruges canals. Click here for more details.

Bruges Walking Tours

Bruges Walking Tours

Take a Legends Walking Tour in Bruges.

The Legend of Bruges tour takes 2 hours. It is a free walking tour.

Meeting place: Grote Markt in front of the statue.

Places included in the free walking tour are:

Market Square | Belfry | Gruuthuse Palace | St. John’s Hospital | Beguinage | Lake of Love | Brewery | Smallest Street | Church of Our Lady | Bridge of Love | Dijver | Rosary Quay | Fish Market | Burgh Square

During our tour we learnt about the history of Bruges.  Some of the highlights are:

  • in the 9th century Bruges started out as a small settlement near the river
  • Bruges was plundered by Vikings who sent the goods back to Norway
  • the first-ever stock exchange was in Bruges
  • the noble house of Burgundy moved to Bruges and ruled the empire from there, Bruges became the richest city in Europe
  • Famous Flemish Painters such as Jan Van Eyck and Hans Memling made their home in Bruges
  • Bruges was a major cloth trading centre in the late 13th century
  • Bruges decline started in the 15th century when the Zwin, the waterway that linked Bruges to the sea, silted up
  • There are around 80 bridges in Bruges
  • The city centre is listed as a UNESCO cultural heritage site

Visit the Groeningen Museum

Address: Dijver 12, 8000 Bruge

 

 

Visit The Belfy of Bruges

Belfry Tower Bruges

You could call it the leaning tower of Belfry as the tower leans a metre to the east.

You can pay a small fee and climb the 366 steps for spectacular views of Bruges.  The Tower stands 83 m high. The tower was used as a watchtower. There are different bells located inside the tower to indicate:

  • danger
  • time
  • important announcements

Address: Markt 7 Bruges

Visit The Lace Centre (Kantcentrum VZW)

 

Bruges is famous for its lace-making.  Visit the Lace Centre for locally produced lace.

After Bruges went in decline during the mid 18th century it became the poorest city in Belgium. Lacemaking became an important part of the economy during this period providing work for the women of Bruges.

A lace festival is held during August over 4 days.

Address: Balstraat 16, 8000 Bruge

To Travel Too Tip

Beware of some of the lace that is sold is the tourist shops in Bruges as it is not made in Bruges but mostly made in China.

Visit the Friet Museum

Address: Vlamingstraat 33, 8000 Bruges

Bruges is also famous for its fries.  They have even dedicated a museum to fries.

There are green food trucks in the Markt Square, the one on the right sells the best fries according to our tour leader in our Legends Free Walking Tour.

Visit the Choco- Story Museum

Address: Wijnzakstraat 2 8000 Bruges

Learn about the history of the cocoa bean from the Aztec period through the ages. Watch the making of pralines and you get to sample the finished product at the end.

Visit the Beguine Houses of Bruges

Beguine Houses of Bruges

The Beguine Houses are homes that were used by single and widowed women outside the walls of the convent.  You can view these houses on the Legends Walking Tour.

Address: Begijnhof 24-28-30 , Brugge

Beer in Bruges

Take a Beer Walk Bruges Tour visiting the Beer Museum, Bourgogne des Flandres Brewery, ‘t Brugs Beertje a pub with over 300 Belgian Beers available, Cafe De Kuppe and ‘T Zand.

Book here for your beer tour

Bruges Brewery Tours

Bourgogne des Flandes Brewery
Brewery Bourgogne des Flandres
We enjoyed their Brewery tour starting with the history of their beer making and finishing with an ice cold Belgian beer in their beer garden by the river.
Address: Kartuizerinnenstraat 6
Opening Hours as of 2021: (Check their website for more details in regards to COVID restrictions)
The brewery and the Ale House are accessible to visitors every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 am to 6.00 pm.

De Halve Maan Brewery

Tours are also available  – details on their website.

They have the 1st beer pipeline in world that is 3276km long. The pipeline was built because the owner was having transport problems in the city with his beer trucks causing traffic jams. He came up with the idea of building a pipeline to transport the 1500 gallons of beer per hour underground to the bars in Bruges.

More Things To Do in Bruges

Day Trips to Bruges from other European Cities

 

 

Best Bruges Hotels

Maison Le Dragon (Dragon Hotel Bruges)

A popular hotel in Bruges is the luxury Maison Le Dragon, a private B & B guesthouse. The location is perfect for visitors, just a 3-minute walk to the Belfry of Bruges.

Maison Le Dragon Bruges

 

Latest Tripadvisor Bruges review on Maison Le Dragon:

“We stayed here early in January and it was wonderful. Perfect location – quiet, but literally just 3 mins walk from the main square, beautiful rooms and Emmanuel was the friendliest and most generous host – he basically planned our whole weekend walks around the town for us! Add possibly the most beautifully presented breakfast we have ever seen and we could not recommend highly enough.”

Bruges Airbnb and Hotels

 

Best Restaurants Bruges

Tripadvisor Bruges has listed the top 10 restaurants in Bruges rated by travellers.

Cheap Flights to Brussels

Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner who then directs you to the airline’s website with no extra fees to pay.

Bruges Metro/Buses

For more information on transport around Bruges click here

Bus Tickets Around Europe

For the latest bus schedules and ticket prices click here

Purchase Your Eurail Pass here

Car Rental in Belgium

For the latest car rental deals in Belgium click here

Travel Insurance

 

FAQ’s on Bruges

How far is Bruges from Brussels

By train, it is 89 miles and there are 75 rail journeys per day. The average journey takes 57 minutes.

By car, it is 98 km and takes 1 hour 13 minutes.

What is the airport in Bruges?

The closest airport to Bruges is Brussels which is 110km away.  We flew from the Czech Republic to Bruges and caught the airport train to Bruges, it was by far the easiest way to reach Bruges.

Are shops closed on Sunday in Bruges?

Shops in Bruges are open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Most shops are closed on Sundays, there are a few speciality shops that will be open especially around the heart of the city.

What is there to do in Bruges on a Sunday?

  • When you visit Bruges on a Sunday we recommend that you take a boat cruise, or a Legends Free Walking Tour.
  • Enjoy eating fries in the Markt.
  • Visit the Koeleweimolen and Sint-Janshuismolen mills – two of the windmills of Bruges.
  • Visit the Groeningen Museum – opened between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm

What are the top Bruges attractions?

The top Bruges attractions are brewery tours and boat tours of Bruges canals.

When is the best time to visit Bruges?

To visit Bruges when the weather is warm and mild is to travel in the peak time from June to August.

How many days should I allow to visit Bruges?

Most of the things to do in Bruges is centred around the Old Town – the minimum amount of time we would recommend is 2 days and maximum 3 days.

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Canal boat ride - a weekend in Bruges

 

A weekend in Bruges - canal boat ride

 

Pinterest - a weekend in Bruges

 

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