Bruges Bucket List: 11 Best Things to Do in Bruges, Belgium

Bruges Tourist Attractions, Best Activities to do, and places to see in Bruges, Belgium

Best Things to Do in Bruges, Belgium
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What are the top tourist attractions to visit in Bruges, Belgium?

Bruges is in north-west Belgium and is famous for its fascinating canals, cobblestoned streets, and medieval buildings. Known as the Venice of the north, Bruges is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Its magnificence is partly because of how preserved it’s been throughout the years, even making it among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. This mini-city is charming in many ways. It offers a wide array of attractions which include world-class museums, family-friendly attractions and no less than scenic views.

Best Things to Do in Bruges, Belgium
Best Things to Do in Bruges, Belgium

This ancient walled town of artistic treasures is located about an hour from Belgium’s capital city, Brussels. To make sure you have the most memorable stay in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, here are the ten best things you’ll enjoy doing in Bruges:

Go around the Market Square

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Bruges Market Square
Bruges Market Square

This fascinating square has been a marketplace since 958. Today, it serves a place of assembly for both locals and tourists who desire to admire its four beautiful corners. This vast square is filled with banks, places to dine, shops, pedestrians, bicyclists, and some of Belgium’s most prominent places. The most striking building at the square is the Belfry. Without a doubt, this premier square has become a central hub of the city where people can mingle with others or silently enjoy the stunning city wonders.

Climb 366 steps to reach the top of the Belfry Tower

Bruges Belfry
Bruges Belfry

This medieval bell tower is one of the city’s most prominent symbols. This 272-foot-high building leans to the east by 87 centimeters, unfazed. For the most panoramic view of the city, reaching the Belfry’s mighty top is akin to hiking 366 steps. In the end, the view is worth it!

Learn more about medieval Bruges from the Historium

Historium Bruges
Historium Bruges

At the Historium, you can watch history become even more interesting through admirable creativity. Regular Historium exhibitions are scheduled throughout the year to make sure you have all the chance to take a trip to this famous attraction. At the Historium, is a tower that is 145 steps high. Reaching the top will give you a beautiful viewpoint at 26 meters high. Another reason to visit this unique gem is the Laborium, a virtual reality gaming and innovation lab. Discover the limitless world of virtual reality, after having learned about the city’s empowering past.

Visit picturesque churches

Bruges is a city abundant in gorgeous churches, shadowed by a very interesting past. The Basilica of the Holy Blood’s Gothic look is a scene-stealer. Apart from its particularly unique beauty, this church is home to the venerated relic of the Holy blood, allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea. This relic is said to contain a cloth with the blood of Jesus Christ.

Church of Our Lady Bruges
Church of Our Lady Bruges

The Church of Our Lady Bruges is another divine place that’s worth your visit. In the past, the church served as a testament to the sophisticated taste, lavish wealth, and devotion of Bruges. Today, the church’s tower remains the tallest structure in the city, with a stance of 379 feet high.

Go museum hopping

The first and only museum dedicated to potato fries is located in Bruges. The Fries Museum is enthusiastic in its endeavor to spread the word pertaining to the history of fries, its origins in Belgium, and the production of more Belgian fries.

Frietmuseum Bruges photo by Tania Dey via Wikipedia CC
Frietmuseum Bruges photo By Tania Dey – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

From fries, let’s move on to the delightful, chocolates. If you wonder about the origins of chocolates and how these sweet chocolate milk conquered Europe, there’s only one place you need to be in. At the Chocolate museum, you will also find about how chocolates influenced the industrial revolution, and why it used to be medicinal. In this museum, you will take a plunge on the delightful world of chocolates where your eyes, mouth, and nose will feast on.

After you fill your senses with mouth-watering pleasure, indulge in the history of Belgian visual art at the one and only, The Groeninge Museum. Here, you can enjoy the works of the Renaissance and Baroque masters. Enjoy an abundant view of top-class paintings done by the inspiring Flemish expressionists.

If you haven’t been to a Lamp Museum before, Bruges will give you an unforgettable first-time experience. This educational trip will take you down the memory lane of lamps and other lighting sources. Learn about the mysteries of the glow-worm, the lantern fish, and more.

Get to know the Beguines from Belgium through Ten Wijngaerde

Ten Wijngaerde photo by Donar Reiskoffer via Wikipedia CC
Ten Wijngaerde photo By Donar Reiskoffer, CC BY-SA 3.0 CC

Ten Wijngaerde used to be the abode of Belgium’s laywomen. The beguines, during the 13th century, promised not to marry to devote their time to voluntary poverty, caring for the poor and sick, and their religious faith. Get to know their way of life better by visiting this reflective place which now functions as a convent for Benedictines.

Take a dazzling canal tour

Bruges Canal Tour
Bruges Canal Tour

There’s nothing quite like being on a magical boat ride while going around the heart-melting beautiful places in Bruges. Cruising the canals of this stunning city is an age-old tradition. Legislation limits the boat rides to up to twenty at one time so if you do have to queue for this, know that the remarkable view and the entertaining tour is worth the wait.

Find eternal love at the Lovers Bridge

Bruges Lovers Bridge
Bruges Lovers Bridge

In the southern part of Bruges is the Minnewaterpark where a small rectangular lake can be found. This Lake of Love or Minnewater tells of the tragic romance between a warrior in love named Stromberg and Minna. Legends say that walking with a partner over the lake bridge ascertains eternal love. This romantic spot is not only a must-visit for love searchers but also enthusiasts of anything beautiful because the view of this lake is no less than majestic.

Visit a brewery established since 1856

Brugse Zot beer by Wikifalcon via Wikipedia CC
Brugse Zot beer By Wikifalcon – Wikifalcon, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

The Half Moon or De Halve Maan is a well-established brewery operating since 1856. It is here that the brewing of Bruges Fool and Strong Henri take place. For centuries, the Maes family has been brewing beer on the Walplein in Bruges. In the late 1990s, the brewery delivers at home by horse, proving to be one of the leaders of its industry. Today, they continue through their resilience and dedication. Not only do they make fine wines, but they also brew with passion.

Discover the Ruins at The Crown Plaza Hotel

In 1977, the French Revolution destroyed some of the important buildings in Bruges and one of them is St. Donatian’s Cathedral located on one of the main squares in the city.

The former site of St Donatian’s is now occupied by the Crowne Plaza Brugge Hotel; the foundations of the cathedral were uncovered in 1955 and are visible in the hotel’s cellars.

Have one of the best dining experiences

Belgium is famous for its many local dishes. Let’s start with one of its national dishes which has a museum established to tell the tales of its history. Frites, or fries, are best offered by frite carts. Be patient when falling in line because these carts offer deli fries without breaking your wallet. Yum!

Fries Store at Night
Fries Store at Night

Waffles need no introduction. Waffles are staples for the Belgians, some even serve them in a cone. Enjoy your waffle in a cone as you walk around the beautiful cobblestoned streets of Burges.

Belgian Waffle
Belgian Waffle

Beer is like water for the Belgians. A word of precaution when trying their thirst-quenching beer so you don’t find out the hard way–they’re a lot stronger than the average pint.

Bruges Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best Bruges hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Bruges, Belgium? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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