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Wer es gerne etwas ruhiger mag für den ist Brügge eine gutes Ziel für eine Städtereise, Bild: TTstudio / shutterstock

Bruges: the historic pearl of Flanders

Bruges is located in Belgian West Flanders and is the largest city in the region with just under 120,000 inhabitants. In 2000, UNESCO declared the old town of Bruges a World Heritage Site. Historic buildings of imposing size are lined up in the centre.

In addition, numerous canals, called Reien by the locals, run through the historic city centre and make up Bruges’ special charm. By the way, the liveliest square in the city is the Grote Markt with a view of the Belfry and the Provinciaal Hof.

Sights in Bruges

Grote Markt Bruges
The market square of Bruges (Grote Markt), Image: MarinaD_37 / shutterstock

The important sights of the Belgian city of Bruges are located in the historic city centre and are therefore within easy walking distance. If you want to get a first overview of the city, you can take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. These depart from the central square of the old town in front of the Belfry. Alternatively, you can also take a boat trip of about an hour through the areas of the centre.

The Belfry: Landmark with a magnificent view

The landmark of the city of Bruges is the Belfry. It includes a cozy courtyard where street artists often present their skills in summer. It is also worth climbing the narrow spiral staircase of the Belfry. At the top of the tower there is a magnificent view over the old town with its sights.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood with the Blood of Christ

The Basilica of the Holy Blood with its elaborately designed façade in Bruges is comparatively small. However, the real fame is not the basilica, but the ampoule kept in it. It is said to contain the blood of Christ. The basilica is open to visitors and the holy ampoule is displayed inside.

Beguinage: a place of peace and contemplation

Bruges is usually a hive of activity. A place like the Beguinage is just right on the sightseeing plan. To this day, nuns live here and meet several times a day in their chapel to pray. Parts of the site and a small museum are open to visitors. The peace and quiet in the beguinage under the shady trees provides inner contemplation and relaxation.

Bruges’ churches worth seeing

The sacral buildings of Bruges are imposing and richly decorated. Among the most beautiful churches in the city are the Cathedral of St. Salvator and the Church of Our Lady. In the Church of Our Lady, the Bruges Madonna by Michelangelo is a magnet for visitors.

The various museums in Bruges

If you are interested in art, you should definitely plan a visit to the Groeninge Museum during your stay in Bruges. The great masterpieces of the Flemish primitives are exhibited here. Directly opposite is the Arentshaus, another art museum with a focus on more modern works of art. Other museums in the city area are the two hospital museums, the Gruuthuse Museum and some private museums.

Where to eat and stay in Bruges

Since the historic city centre of Bruges is of particular interest to tourists, most of the hotels, holiday apartments and restaurants are located here. Classics on the menus during the season include mussel dishes, Belgian fries and frikandel. In addition, Bruges is known as the chocolate city, which is why Belgian chocolates are sold in many shops. The brewing culture in Belgium is also known far beyond the country’s borders and offers a considerable selection of Belgian beers in the city’s pubs. The variety of accommodation options is similarly great. From inexpensive hostels to exclusive luxury hotels, everything can be found.

Attractions from Bruges

For a longer stay in Bruges, there are some interesting destinations in Flanders in the area for a day trip. These can be reached by car as well as by train.

A trip to the sea in Zeebrugge

The extensive beach of zeebrugge, Image: Erik AJV / shutterstock

To escape the hustle and bustle of the historic old town of Bruges for a few hours, it is worth taking a detour to the Belgian sea. Zeebrugge belongs to the city of Bruges and can be reached quickly via a canal by boat, train and car. The extensive beach in Zeebrugge is particularly busy in summer and offers an extensive gastronomic offer. The lighthouse of Zeebrugge is also worth seeing.

Day trip to Ghent

Within about an hour’s drive from Bruges, another city with a historic city centre and numerous sights can be reached. We are talking about Ghent. On a day trip here, visitors can expect to see the historic Gravensteen Castle, St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the late Gothic Sint Niklaaskerk and the 14th-century Belfry.