Updated: Jul 25
Living in Europe is a real treat. I love being able to hop on and off cheap flights and explore. In the last six months I have hit six countries. And thus far, Bruge is my favorite city! I was recommended this stop on my trek from Amsterdam to Paris by my good friend Sascha. And OMG am I glad she recommended it. Bruge is known for: Belgian waffles, chocolate, beer, fries, lace and diamonds! There was so much to eat and see in this darling city.
Bruge is a city of about 100,000 people on the west coast of Belgium, not very far from the ocean. And visiting in spring time is just wonderful. Walking through this city, you can feel how old it is. It is lined with cobblestones and churches that were constructed in the early ADs. Many of the streets are walking only and the entire city center has about a 2 mile radius. We rented the cutest AirBnB that came with a pair of cruiser bikes, which was perfect.
When life gets tough, this is the city I want to hole up in for a month. Everything about this city was just so quaint and charming, especially after visiting a monster like Amsterdam. I really want to take my mom to visit this spot.
The city centers around a central marketplace and spirals outward in a perfect circle. Within the city you can get boat tours through the canals and under the ancient bridges. I did a fair amount of research before this trip and got some great recommendations from the locals. This is a small city and can be done in just a few days. Below are my musts!
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Your Guided Rendezvous
You know how serious I am about my food. My sister YELPed this restaurant. It is the cutest French spot, it is an entirely French menu with French staff (they are not the friendliest, but that doesn't matter). The food was absolutely amazing! If you want a three tiered brunch, be sure to make a reservation. This restaurant has a great view of the Belfry.
A Canal Tour
On our nine day excursion, I wanted to do a canal tour here over Amsterdam because I knew the canals would be smaller and cuter. You must do a canal tour if you go through Bruge, the boats are rather small fitting about 15 people max and you can have a guide talk you through the city. I loved seeing the buildings fall right into the water.
Church of Our Lady Bruges
This is an icon of Bruge, it is the second tallest brickwork tower in the world. It dates back to the 12th century and is visible from almost anywhere in town.
Belfry of Bruges
The Belfry is located in the center of everything at the Bruge Markt. Apparently it is 366 steps to the top, if we had more time we would have climbed it. It is said to have a grand view of the city.
The Chocolate Line
This is one of the more famous chocolate places in the city. That being said, there is literally a chocolate store every quarter mile! This country is known for its chocolate, and the truffle I had was to die for. I loved this place in particular because it had some of the most decorative chocolates I have seen. There were chocolates in every color of the rainbow, in every shape and with every filling you can ever imagine. You can also watch the chocolatiers make the chocolate through a Krispy Kreme type window exhibit.
The Old Chocolate House
This one was a recommendation from our AirBnB host who was a Bruge native. We knew we wanted to get the famous Belgian waffles. This is a quaint place with stain glass windows, we didn't even know there was a restaurant upstairs when we walked in. It is an adorable mom and pop place, the first floor is a tiny chocolate shop. Make your way upstairs for divine waffles! These are not the classic ones you see in all the photos, theirs are a bit thinner and crispier. And to our surprise they have over 50 different hot chocolates to choose from, in which you drop your own chocolate into a steaming mug of milk. Mmmmm don't miss this stop. It will forever be in my memory.
This is a fantastic place to stop and sit with a beer. It is legal to walk the streets with a beer. My little sister (20) was ecstatic to walk through the park with a milk stout beer in hand. There are tons of ducks and swans to look at, as well as interesting vegetation and churches right up against the water.
2Be: To Be in Bruge
This place has an incredible beer wall with hundreds of bottled beers displayed, and they have a great beer terrace and restaurant in the back with 16 local beers on tap. If you love beer, this is your stop! You can't beat these local beers. I really enjoyed the Viven Master IPA 7%.
24 Hours in Bruge:
Church of Our lady Bruges
Belfry of Bruges
The Chocolate Line
The Old Chocolate House — waffles
2Be: to be in Brugge (beer wall)
Poules Moules - dinner