A timeless spectacle, medieval Bruges (Brugge) is a charming travel destination. Its architectural treasures are a feast to the eye, showing a city with a rich history. Beautiful canals and narrow cobbled streets capture your imagination and entice you to discover more and more. So here are the best 10 things to do in Bruges to keep you going!
Top 10 things to do in Bruges
1. Visit the Markt (Market Square)
Probably the most popular choice of things to do in Bruges, a visit to the Market Square is a must! There, you can watch the world go by as you sit in one of the many lovely cafés and restaurants. A colorful and open space, the Markt is the best spot to relax with a cup of coffee while the rat race scuttles around you.
2. Go inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood
After coming home from the Crusades, the count of Flanders returned with what was believed to be the blood of Jesus. Unopened to this day, the relic remains have been inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood since the 12th century. You have to go inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood while visiting Bruges!
3. Drop by The Groeningen Museum
Bruges is blessed with several fine art museums, in particular the Groeningemuseum. One of the best museums in Bruges, it has both Belgian and Dutch paintings, including works by Jan Van Eyck and Hieronymous Bosch. You could spend one day just admiring the works of art here!
4. Step in the Church of Our Lady
Michelangelo’s Madonna is the only one of his sculptures that has left Italy during the master’s lifetime. It is a beautiful marble statue brought to Bruges in 1506 and housed since then inside the Church of Our Lady. You definitely have to add it to your Bruges itinerary!
5. Pay a visit to Memling Museum
Nowadays part of St. John’s Hospital complex, the Memling Museum was originally built as a medieval hospital. Today, it’s one of the top tourist attractions in the city. Travelers can visit the Memling Museum to obtain a fascinating insight into Bruges’ ancient history.
6. Experience Zand Feasts
The always-popular flea markets are hosted during the Zand Festivals from July, August, and September. Crowds flock together to explore the arts, crafts, and souvenirs sold in vibrant bazaars. During summer, this definitely is among the most popular things to do in Bruges!
7. Climb up the Belfry of Bruges
One of Bruge’s greatest landmarks, the 83-meter-high Belfort dominates the main square of the city. The original tower, dating back to the year 1240, was destroyed by fire and subsequently restored. During your visit, you should climb the 366 steps to the top to get the most beautiful view of the city.
8. Explore the canals of Bruges
Often referred to as the Venice of the North, Bruges has a multitude of canal networks. Once part of an important trading route, the canals are now used exclusively for tourism. They are a perfect way to see Bruges from a different point of view, so make sure you add it to your list of things to do in Bruges!
9. Discover the Minnewater
Locally known as Lake of Love, this enchanting lake stands at the entrance to the city. Elegant swans adorn the water of the Minnewater, offering a beautiful setting for photography enthusiasts. Pop concerts take place in the nearby park throughout the summer, drawing audiences from near and far looking for fun things to do in Bruges.
10. Escape into the Beguinage (Begijnhof)
When the busy and overcrowded streets of Bruge’s city center are too much, there aren’t many things to do in Bruges that can offer the tranquility of the Beguinage Garden. This park was designed as a sanctuary for the Benedictine Sisters who still reside there today, and it’s the perfect place to escape the city.
Other things to add to your Bruges itinerary: search for old windmills, walk through Burg Square, and go see the Bruges City Hall.
The very best things to do in Bruges recommended by…
Olivia Peeters is a sustainable travel enthusiast from Belgium. She is happiest while sailing, hiking, cycling, or doing anything else outdoor.
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