Belgium doesn’t come across as a happening country, especially when compared to its neighboring countries like The Netherlands, France, Germany & UK. We beg to differ when it comes to other towns of Belgium like Bruges & Ghent.
We spent 4 days in Belgium out of which 2 days were spent in Brussels. In this guide, we will tell you everything about taking a day trip to Bruges from Brussels.
How to reach Bruges?
There are many ways to reach Bruges. You can reach Bruges by train, bus, taxi or a rental car.
Train: You can take a train from Brussels-Midi to Bruges. There are trains available almost every half an hour. It takes anywhere between 54 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of train you choose.
If you have Eurail pass, you don’t need any seat reservation. If you don’t, simply buy a return ticket from Brussels-Midi.
Bus: The frequency of buses between Brussels & Bruges is not as great as trains. It takes about 2 hours to reach Bruges. Simply head to Brussels Gare du Nord & hop on a bus.
Taxi & Rental cars: You can also reach Bruges by hiring a taxi or getting a rental car. It is the most expensive option out of 3 but also the fastest & the most personalized one.
What did we do in Bruges?
A day trip to Bruges means there’s a lot of things in store for you. Here’s a list of attractions that we visited in Bruges. We tried our best to make the most out of our day trip, but obviously, we couldn’t see everything that Bruges has to offer!
1. Bruges Belfry
The most famous monument of Bruges has to be its Belfry. To get a panoramic view from the top, you need to pay EUR 12. It is 86m tall & you have to climb about 366 steps to reach the top. Once you reach the top, you can see some of the best views of Bruges.
Is it worth EUR 12 though? If you are really interested, it is okay to pay but if you have climbed other towers at other places, you can pass it. Don’t forget to visit all the rooms inside the Belfry.
I love European markets. They are always full of happiness & good goods. Markt is a market square of Bruges where you will get down when you come by bus from the train station to the town of Bruges.
Markt is relatively small (at least when compared to other European cities) but it is quaint & beautiful. I suggest you sit down in one of the coffee shops, have a cup of delicious Belgian hot chocolate, sink in all the beauty that this Belgian town has to offer & move on to the next monuments.
3. Streets of Bruges
Bruges has canals, cobblestone streets & happy people all around town. You can take a boat ride in the canals of Bruges or walk around the narrow lanes to get perfect pictures. You can also head to smaller markets located inside these streets to shop for souvenirs or get your portrait made by a Belgian artist. A melodious music performance made us stop for few minutes. Don’t forget to find a busker in Bruges because they are amazing.
Historic Center of Bruges is also a UNESCO World Heritage site!
4. St. Walburga Church
We decided to go visit a church in Bruges because it had an interesting history to it. St. Walburga’s church is about 375 years old & it contains many valuable artifacts. If you have visited a lot of European churches before, I suggest you skip this because there is nothing different from the other churches in that case.
5. Brewery Tour
The final thing that we did in Bruges was a brewery tour. De Halve Maan is a family-run brewery since many generations & it is one of the oldest breweries of Belgium & Europe. The tour cost was EUR 10 including the guided tour & a drink of your choice towards the end of the tour. In the tour, our guide introduced us to the beer making process from scratch. There were raw ingredients, machines for every stage & other little things that we don’t even know while chugging down beers.
After touring the brewery (which is in its original shape even now), we got to their bar where we could avail 1 free drink. You can guess the rest of the evening then! 😉
Fun fact: De Halve Maan has installed the world’s longest beer pipeline which connects the brewery & the bottling plant located 3.2 km away. It can transport 4,000 liters of beer in an hour!
We really wanted to visit other monuments of Bruges like Basilica of the Holy Blood, Windmills of Bruges, Michelangelo’s Madonna With Child & Beguinage but we could do only so much in a day. We definitely recommend you to spend more time (probably 2 days) in Bruges if you have a relaxed trip. You will not regret spending so much time in Bruges for sure.
Where to eat in Bruges?
In the main market, there are many nice cafes & restaurants. It really depends on what kind of cuisine you want to eat & how hungry are you. Check Google & Yelp to read authentic reviews about these places.
We went to one of the inside streets & found a gem of a place called The Potato Bar. The owners of The Potato Bar, Kevin & Ramses, are amazing chefs & friendly people. We tried out the Medium portion of fries with Muscels from Brussels topping & it was the best version of Belgian fries that Parampara has ever eaten!
They also have the best ice cream in Bruges. 😉
Where to stay?
There are many types of accommodations available in Bruges if you want to stay overnight. We stayed in Brussels & took a day trip to Bruges from here.
Watch our complete day trip to Bruges here:
Photos: Awara Diaries