Updated: Apr 14
Bruges, or “Brugge”, is an amazing, romantic and picturesque place! It is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe. Last weekend I visited it for the second time and I’m absolutely in awe again. Just strolling around this beautiful city makes you feel inspired and motivated.
Called “The Venice of the North” for a reason, (see my Top 5 in Venice) it is a must-do when visiting Belgium. Below my Top 10:
1. Bruges Markt
One of the most central and colourful places in Bruges. The main square is gorgeous, whichever way you look – see the picture above taken at the Markt. Its beautiful architecture makes it very photogenic. The market square holds a weekly market on Wednesdays, Christmas market in the winter (with ice rink and festive stalls) and is full of restaurants and cafes all year round.
What is more, the Markt is dominated by its Belfry, which made it to #5 on this list, see below.
Address: Markt 20, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & http://visit-bruges.be/see/parks-squares/market-square-markt
2. Quay of the Rosary (Rozenhoedkaai)
Perhaps the most photogenic and representative spot in Bruges (one of the most photographed), demonstrating the beauty of its canals and architecture blending synergistically together.
Take your Instagram-worthy pictures and consider taking a boat ride or start
your walking tour around the beautiful city of Bruges.
Address: Rozenhoedkaai, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & https://www.visitbruges.be/highlights/rozenhoedkaai
3. Salvador Dalí Museum-Gallery
I am a big fan of Salvador Dalí’s work and this Museum is an excellent way to get to know the artist, what inspired him, as well as buy his works if you so wish. In fact, all the works are on sale in this Museum-Gallery, which is rather unusual but also interesting. What is more, the collection is presented in a sensational Daliesque décor of mirrors, gold and shocking pink.
You will notice that Dalí was inspired by numerous topics – Hemingway’s books, Alice in the Wonderland, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and many more. Despite his incredibly creative art, he also produced large volumes of sketches, paintings, sculptures etc. I recently visited Dalí’s Museum in Berlin and the two make a really good combination in terms of venturing into Dalí’s work and personality. Strongly recommended!
Address: Markt 7, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & https://www.visitbruges.be/en/dali-xpo-gallery
4. Canal Boat Trip
You can take the canal boat ride from numerous points across Bruges, one of which is the point #2 on this list (Rozenhoedkaai). They leave frequently, so even with many tourists and high demand, you will get your chance without too much hustle.
The trip is very inspiring and romantic. You can take wonderful pictures of canals, bridges (from which the name “Brugge” is derived – there’s more than 50 of them), picturesque buildings, older mansions and the general gothic architecture of Bruges.
Wishing you a great weather for this one! 🙂
Address: Nieuwstraat 11, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & https://www.boottochten-brugge.be/en/
5. The Belfry Tower
The building that is dominating the Bruges skyline is called “The Belfry Tower” or “Belfort”. It is located at the heart of the city center and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can climb the top by conquering 366-steps narrow staircase. The view from the top is absolutely amazing and well worth the effort. You will also hear the bells ringing every full hour.
Address: Markt 7, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & http://visit-bruges.be/see/monuments/belfry-tower
6. Michelangelo’s Madonna with Child at Church of our Lady
Michelangeo’s Madonna with Child is the only sculpture of the famous artist that left Italy during his lifetime. This marble sculpture was carved around 1503 and shows his genius and dedication to his work. Despite its small size it easily attracts all the attention in this giant, 122-meter high, church. Unfortunately, due to renovation the Church of our Lady is closed until the end of May 2019.
Address: Mariastraat, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & http://visit-bruges.be/see/churches/church-our-lady
7. Minnewater Park (with Lover’s Bridge and Lake of Love)
The main park of the city with its famous Lover’s Bridge and the Lake of Love. It is located in the central part of town and makes for a perfect break to seek some tranquility and romance. The Lover’s Bridge and the Lake of Love are the key attractions located within the park. The legend has it that kissing on the bridge as well as crossing it with your partner makes love everlasting.
The best way to enjoy the view over the Lake of Love and the Lover’s Bridge is to have a drink at the Café in the Park. Perfect place to recharge, reflect and enjoy.
Address: Minnewater, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & http://visit-bruges.be/see/parks-squares/minnewaterpark
The main and probably the best Museum in Bruges (except the #3 on this list – The Dali exhibition 🙂 ). It boasts a huge collection of famous Flemish painters, including but not limited to Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. It also includes a comprehensive overview of Belgian plastic arts as well as neoclassical, Flemish Expressionism and post-war modern art.
Extremely vivid colours and detailed paintings, often inspired by religion. Perfect for a rainy day.
Address: Dijver 12, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & https://www.visitbruges.be/en/groeningemuseum-groeninge-museum
9. The “Ten Wijngaerde” Beguinage
Beautiful small park with tiny white houses, close to Minnewater Park. Absolutely gorgeous views and very romantic and peaceful. The greenery is stunning, especially in the spring and summer months. Stop by to relax and take some photos. Embrace the beauty of the greenery and the picturesque white houses.
It is worth mentioning that his beguinage was founded in 1245 and still resembles medieval times. Transport yourself back in time and enjoy the daffodils! 🙂
Address: Begijnhof 30, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & https://www.visitbruges.be/en/groeningemuseum-groeninge-museum
10. Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica houses the very blood of Jesus Christ himself and is therefore a must-do item for all the Christians. However, it is worth visiting the basilica regardless of your religious beliefs as it has big historical value and impressive decorations.
Its lower church has maintained its Romanesque character, whereas the upper church, in which the relic of the Holy Blood is preserved, has a neo-Gothic architecture.
Address: Burg 13, 8000 Brugge, Belgium & http://visit-bruges.be/see/churches/basilica-holy-blood
In summary, Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a must-do when visiting Northern Europe. The city is well known for its cobbled streets and amazing architecture. It is perfect for couples, as they will fall into the romantic air of the city. Finally, you will also find everything Belgian here – chocolate, chips, waffles, mussels and beer.
As always, do let me know your thoughts on Bruges and don’t forget – Moving is Living!
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