Bruges is not just a city full of history; it is also a city of beauty with stunning gothic architecture. In fact in the year 2000 the historical city centre was pronounced a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is easy to see why when you visit the city. Walking through the mediaeval cobbled streets, through the traditional market square and past whitewashed almshouses, you can’t help but feel that you have been projected back in time. The enchanting canals also give Bruges an added charm and are an important part of the city’s history.
There are many ways in which to enjoy Bruges, be it cycling or walking through the city, visiting the numerous museums and monuments, or sampling the Belgium cuisine and local beers in the many restaurants and bars. However there are a few things to see and do that are highly recommended and will make any trip to Bruges complete.
The Grote Markt or ‘Market Square’ is in the centre of Bruges and is the hub of the city. It reflects the mediaeval history of Bruges and has some fascinating buildings. Here you will find The Belfry and Cloth Hall, one of the city’s most famous buildings. The bell tower dates back to the 13th Century. Visitors can climb the 366 steps to get a magnificent view of the city at a height of 83 metres.
You can also appreciate the architecture of the Provincial Court, a stunning neo gothic building, or admire the statues at the centre of the square, which are monuments to Pieter De Coninck and Jan Breydel, the leaders of the resistance against the French occupation and 13th century Belgium heroes.
Alternatively why not relax in one of the open air bars and restaurants, and enjoy one of Belgium’s famous beers as you watch the world go by, or take a horse and carriage tour of the city from the Market Square for an authentic experience.
In the winter you can come and enjoy the Christmas market. Regular markets are also held in the square where you can sample and purchase local produce and goods.
Learn about the history and culture of Bruges in one of the many museums. Visit Michelangelo’s awe inspiring marble sculpture ‘Madonna and Child’ in the Church of our Lady.
Of course there is so much more to see and do in Bruges, be it taking a cruise along the canal, visiting a brewery, or spending time in one of Bruges’ shopping districts.
If you want a romantic break, or if you just want to appreciate the history and culture of a picturesque medieval city, Bruges is the destination for you.
Travelling to Bruges by Ferry
Bruges is the closest major city to both of Belgium’s ferry ports that are connected to the UK, it’s just a 25 minute drive from Zeebrugge and only 30 minutes from Ostend ferry port.
If you are not travelling on one of the three of the UK to Belgium ferries then there is actually a few other options open to you on getting to Bruges. If your travelling from Dover, the ferry to Calais will get you within 75 miles of Bruges and even better the Dover to Dunkirk ferry will take you to within 45 miles of Bruges, only a 50 minutes drive. Where ever you live the UK, driving to the Bruges should be easy with ferries available from Scotland, Hull, Ramsgate and Dover.