Bruges – it’s pretty, magical and enchanting for starters, plus it’s the foodie, beer and architecture lover’s dream!
It’s also really small so it can be easily covered in a weekend and everything is accessible on foot.
My nan has always said it’s one of the prettiest places, houses adorned with colours, little chocolate box shops, with a river what’s not to like, right? Even the Zara has the MOST beautiful facade. Well, it’s just like a real life Lilliput Lane (if you know what they are) – every twist and turn is adorable and we happened to quite like the contents of the chocolate shops too!!
Here I’ve rounded up a few of our favourite stops and I highly recommend it (we got a super good Eurostar deal and went with our good friends (and neighbours), Tess and Mark.
We had great fun exploring Bruges with plenty of pit stops for chocolate, waffles, hot chocolates, crepes, beer (and the list goes on)… yes I came back a few lbs heavier, but when in Bruges, and all…
Our top picks:
Yes, I am starting with food stops… but I do go onto our favourite sightseeing places so bear with me!
This had to be listed first (be warned there may be a queue) – but a waffle, with all the toppings you could ever dream off (from strawberries to chunks of Oreo and lashings of salted caramel)- I’m pretty sure I had toffee ice cream with salted caramel sauce on top of mine and it was delicious, not going to lie, I could’ve eaten five or maybe even ten over the course of the weekend!
Visit for the exterior alone – it is the cutest little chocolate shop on the corner, just so pretty! And of course you can buy Belgian chocolate there too, win win. Where this is, you’ll also find a couple of great beer houses and amazing meringue shop (I, as usual, took photos of the names of everything but have since broken my phone, but they’re right here near Dumon Chocolatier so I’m sure you’d stumble across them).
My favourite chocolate shop has to be this one, Carvin, it’s on the prettiest street in Bruges (Rozenhoedkaai – just up from the Quay of the Rosary) and they make delicious hot chocolate to take away (perfect if it’s a little chilly) and the giant slabs of chocolate are, well, drool worthy.
Not forgetting to mention all of their products are homemade, handmade, artisanal, and without preservatives. Although the shop window does say “no conservatives”, instead of preservatives, which I had a little giggle at…
This is one of the restaurants I’d found doing my research, we didn’t actually eat here in the end as we were only there for one night and we were quite taken by “The Passage” but I felt it was worth a mention as it looks lovely, had good reviews and a pretty courtyard so it’s perfect if you plan to visit Bruges in warmer months.
This was a dinner recommendation that got mentioned a couple of times, and we struggled to get in when we tried to book the morning of, so it’s definitely popular too.
It’s quirky, cosy, candle lit and does some seriously yummy beer, bisque and ribs so put it on your feasting list!
This is the most beautiful brunch spot – listed as the top 10 places to brunch by both the Culture trip and Elle Magazine and it is crazy beautiful (although my other picture of it has a random coke bottle in it), I suggest you check out the website, here – it’s amazing!
We stopped here for coffee and cake for breakfast – it was another quirky little spot that did yummy coffees, pretty but simplistic interiors, and delicious homemade cake.
Dille & Kamille
A florist with a pretty monochrome facade that I fell in love with so if you like that kind of thing it’s worth stopping by…
Kwak Beer (this is a beer not a place, but deserves a paragraph of its own)
Again, I no longer have the name of the place we stopped at for this because I broke my phone (that’ll teach me for laughing at Matt’s socks) but keep an eye out for it, stop and try it – it’s good beer in what looks like an egg timer within a wooden frame, and it’s always fun to try something different. The glass is in a wooden frame because it’s the beer they used to drink whilst riding a horse and cart, and the wooden frame/contraption would stop the glass from falling over.
All hail the biggest beer museum in the world, with the biggest beer wall and you can just have drinks there too if you like!
Then of course there’s the usual cultures hotspots when sightseeing in Bruges. These were our favourite…
The Quay of the Rosary
Without a doubt one of this quaint place’s most beautiful sights, it’s postcard perfect and it’s only five minutes away from the market square – Markt. It’s also the place you can pick up a boat ride if you fancy seeing the city from the water.
With it’s row of beautiful coloured houses, the Cloth Hall and the majestic Belfry Tower it is a must. Any route that you take from this main square will take you off down lovely little streets that are worth wandering along. If you’d prefer not to explore on foot, you can get a horse drawn carriage tour from here too. If you wish to, you can also do a medieval experience at the Historium in this main square, going back in time through Bruges’ history to the 15th century.
The Church of Our Lady
The steeple of this church stands tall above the city’s skyline, and whilst it’s an incredibly beautiful building and it costs only a few euros to get in, we went mainly because the Madonna of Bruges is there – the only piece of Micheangelo’s work to make it outside of Italy during his lifetime. And made entirely of marble, it is incredible.
There are of course other places to see, including the windmills on the outskirts of the city, and other museums such as the choco-story if you fancy them!
P.s. I have been absent for a while, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, I’ll be sure to share why soon, it’s been one helluva summer… and incredibly sad for me, but I’m happy to be back doing something I love…
And lastly just a little appreciation for the tools that are twinning…