Bruges, the Venice of the North

Markt richting Sint-Amandsstraat

The picturesque city of Bruges, located in the northwest of Belgium, is a city with a rich history, beautiful architecture, and a unique atmosphere. Often referred to as the "Venice of the North" due to its numerous canals and bridges, this charming city attracts thousands of visitors annually.

Top 12 Sightseeing Walking Route

First of all, let us take you on our free walking route through Bruges, where we'll explore the most beautiful and interesting sights this city has to offer. This walking route is approximately 3 km long.

  1. Grote Markt

    Address: Markt, Bruges
    Start your visit to Bruges at the historic Markt, the bustling heart of the city. This vibrant square is surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings, including the iconic Belfry, the Provincial Court, and the stately guild houses. Take your time to wander around, enjoy a Belgian beer at one of the many terraces, admire the view of the colorful facades, the impressive architecture, and visit the colorful flower market on Wednesdays. Belfort
    1. Belfry

      Address: Markt 7, Bruges
      This 83-meter-high tower is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. Climb the 366 steps to the top and be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of Bruges' charming rooftops, canals, and cobblestone streets. Along the way, you'll pass the impressive carillon chamber, where you can admire the 47 bells of the carillon.
    2. Historium

      Address: Markt 1, Bruges
      This interactive museum takes you back in time and offers an immersive experience of daily life in Bruges during the Golden Age. Using virtual reality, film, music, and special effects, you'll be immersed in the past and discover the city's history in a unique and engaging way. After your visit to the Historium, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Markt from the rooftop terrace.
    3. Provincial Court

      Address: Markt 3, Bruges
      An impressive Neo-Gothic building worth visiting. Originally built as a meeting place for the provincial government, it is now an important landmark in Bruges. The intricate brickwork and majestic staircase make it a photogenic architectural masterpiece.
  2. Stadhuis Brugge op De Burg
  3. Burg

    Address: Burg, Bruges
    Walk from the Grote Markt to the nearby Burg. This beautiful square is home to impressive buildings such as the City Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
    1. City Hall

      Address: Burg, Bruges
      The Gothic building is one of the oldest town halls in Belgium. This magnificent monument dates back to the 14th century and is adorned with numerous statues and intricate details. Inside, the Gothic Hall with its impressive vaulted ceiling and murals is well worth a visit.
    2. Basilica of the Holy Blood

      Address: Burg 13, Bruges
      This stunning double chapel is a must-see for both religious and non-religious visitors. The Basilica of the Holy Blood is named after the relic of the Holy Blood of Christ preserved here. Admire the beautiful interior and magnificent stained glass windows, and catch a glimpse of the relic during a daily ceremony.
  4. Rozenhoedkaai
  5. Rozenhoedkaai

    Address: Rozenhoedkaai, Bruges
    From the Burg square, take a stroll to one of the most photographed spots in Bruges, the Rozenhoedkaai. Here, you'll find an idyllic view of the canals and some of the city's most beautiful facades. Take your time to take photos and enjoy the view.
  6. Begijnhof

    Address: Begijnhof 24-28-30, Bruges
    Continue your walk to the Begijnhof, a peaceful sanctuary just a stone's throw away from the Rozenhoedkaai. The Begijnhof of Bruges, founded in 1245, is an oasis of tranquility amidst the city. Once the home of a community of beguines, it is now inhabited by Benedictine sisters and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the narrow streets, admire the whitewashed houses, the green grassy courtyard with beautiful trees, and visit the 13th-century church to find a moment of serenity. Visit the Begijnhof museum to learn more about the life of the beguines in the Middle Ages.
  7. Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk

    Address: Mariastraat, Bruges
    From the Begijnhof, it's just a short walk to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, an impressive Gothic structure and one of the highlights of Bruges. The 115-meter-high tower is the tallest brick building in Europe. The church houses several remarkable artworks, including the world-famous sculpture 'Madonna with Child' by Michelangelo, the only sculpture by the master outside Italy. Don't forget to admire the tomb of Mary of Burgundy and enjoy the serene atmosphere in this beautiful church.
  8. Brugge
  9. Bruges Canals & Canal Boat Tour

    Address: Nieuwstraat 11, Bruges
    After visiting the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, take a leisurely stroll along the Bruges Reien, the picturesque canals that crisscross the city. A boat tour on the canals of Bruges is a must during your visit. The picturesque Reien, or canals, form a network through the city and offer a unique perspective on the architecture and daily life. Hop aboard a canal boat and let your guide take you to the most beautiful spots of Bruges while you enjoy the gentle ripples of the water and the charming bridges.
  10. Choco-Story: The Chocolate Museum

    Address: Wijnzakstraat 2, Bruges
    Belgium is known for its delicious chocolate, and a visit to Bruges is not complete without immersing yourself in the world of this sweet delicacy. Visit Choco-Story, the chocolate museum of Bruges, located within walking distance of the canals. Learn all about the history, production, and art of chocolate making. Of course, you'll also get to taste the artisan creations!
Musea Brugge Card

Tip: Musea Brugge Card

During your visit to Bruges, it is recommended to purchase the 72-hour Musea Brugge Card. This convenient card offers excellent value for money and grants you access to world-class museums and attractions, including the Belfry, the Groeninge Museum, the City Hall, and the Church of Our Lady.

The Musea Brugge Card allows you to explore the rich art, culture, and history of Bruges at your own pace. With this card, you don't have to pay separately for each museum, saving you not only time but also money. With the Musea Brugge Card, you'll make the most out of your visit to Bruges. Give your visit to Bruges a cultural boost and get the Musea Brugge Card for an unforgettable experience!

Guided Tours: On Foot, by Bike, or by Tour Bus

To make the most of your visit to Bruges, consider joining a guided tour. There are plenty of options to explore the city, both on foot and by bike. A local guide can take you on a route through the historic city center, where you'll learn more about the rich history, architecture, and culture of Bruges. It's a perfect way to soak up the atmosphere of the city while discovering the secrets and stories behind its facades.

City Tour Bus

Tour Bus

For those who prefer to explore the city in a different way, there are also minibusses available. City Tour Bruges takes you on a ±50-minute journey to famous and lesser-known spots in Bruges. The eye-catching minibusses of City Tour Bruges can be easily found at the Market Square. Each passenger is provided with headphones that provide explanations in as many as 16 different languages during the tour.

Other Interesting and Fun Attractions in Bruges

In addition to the attractions mentioned in the above free walking route, there are plenty of other interesting monuments and activities to explore in Bruges. Here are some suggestions to complete your visit:

  1. Beer Tastings and Brewery Visits

    Belgium is world-famous for its beers. There are numerous breweries and tasting rooms in the city where you can indulge in this rich local beer culture.
    1. Brewery De Halve Maan

      Address: Walplein 26, Bruges
      A family brewery, located in the heart of Bruges, that produces well-known Belgian beers such as Brugse Zot and Straffe Hendrik. During a tour, you'll learn about the brewing process and the brewery's history. After the tour, you can taste the beers in the café while enjoying the unique atmosphere of Bruges.
    2. Brewery and Distillery Bourgogne des Flandres

      Address: Kartuizerinnenstraat 6, Bruges
      Not far from De Halve Maan Brewery, you'll find the historic Brewery and Distillery Bourgogne des Flandres. This brewery, originating from the 18th century, is known for its distinctive beer with unique flavors and aromas. Here, you'll discover the brewing process and the history of this special beer. After the tour, you can enjoy a tasting of their beers and local dishes in the atmospheric bar.
    3. Beer Experience Bruges

      Address: Breidelstraat 3, Bruges
      An interactive attraction that lets you discover the rich beer history of Bruges and Belgium. You'll learn about the brewing process, ingredients, and beer styles through multimedia and interactive displays. After the exhibitions, you'll taste local and craft beers in the atmospheric bar with panoramic views of the Market Square. Moreover, this bar is also accessible without a ticket.
  2. Sint-Janshuismolen & Koeleweimolen

    Address: Kruisvest 1, Bruges
    Bruges has a rich history of windmills, and two of them are still operational and open to visitors. The Sint-Janshuismolen and Koeleweimolen, both located on the outskirts of the historic center, offer a unique glimpse into traditional windmills and their role in the city. The Sint-Janshuismolen dates back to 1770 and is still in operation, while the Koeleweimolen now serves as a museum where you can learn about the history of grain milling. Visit this picturesque location and enjoy a unique view of the city.
  3. Groeninge Museum

    Address: Dijver 12, Bruges
    The museum houses an impressive collection of Flemish Primitives, including works by Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. In addition to these masterpieces, the museum also features pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as modern art.
  4. Frietmuseum Brugge
  5. Frietmuseum Bruges

    Address: Vlamingstraat 33, Bruges
    Belgium is known for its delicious fries, and in Bruges, you'll find the only Frietmuseum (Fries Museum) in the world. This unique museum, housed in a beautiful 14th-century building, tells the story of the origin of the potato and the history of Belgian fries. You'll learn about the production process, different types of potatoes, and the history of the "frietkot," the typical Belgian fry stands. Of course, at the end of your visit, you can taste a portion of freshly fried fries at the museum's fry shop.
  6. Museum-Gallery Xpo Salvador Dalí

    Address: Markt 7, Bruges
    Inside the city hall, you can admire a fantastic collection of world-famous graphic works and sculptures by the renowned artist Salvador Dalí. Each piece is an authentic artwork described in the Catalogues Raisonnés of Salvador Dalí's oeuvre. The collection is presented in a sensational, Daliesque decor of mirrors, gold, and shocking pink.
  7. Sint-Salvator's Cathedral

    Address: Sint-Salvatorskoorstraat 8, Bruges
    The oldest church in Bruges and a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. It houses a rich collection of artworks, including paintings, tapestries, and valuable church treasures. Take your time to soak up the atmosphere of this historic cathedral and admire the beautiful artworks.
  8. Minnewater Park & Minnewater

    Address: Minnewater 1, Bruges
    A romantic and picturesque green oasis, located near the Beguinage. The Minnewater, also known as the "Lake of Love," is surrounded by trees and old buildings, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. The park is also home to numerous swans, the symbol of Bruges.
  9. Adornes Estate & Jerusalem Church

    Address: Peperstraat 3, Bruges
    This heritage complex is one of the best-preserved examples of medieval architecture and culture in the city. The estate consists of various buildings, including the Adornes Palace and the remarkable Jerusalem Church. The latter was built in the 15th century by the Adornes family, modeled after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The church is unique for its Eastern influences and contains exceptional artworks and tombs. A visit to the Adornes Estate and Jerusalem Church offers a unique glimpse into the history of Bruges and the influential families who lived there.
Grote Markt

Shopping in Bruges

The historic center of Bruges offers a variety of shopping opportunities. The main shopping streets are Steenstraat, Zuidzandstraat, and Noordzandstraat, all of which are car-free and stretch from Markt to 't Zand. These streets are filled with well-known brands, as well as some local shops offering unique products.

Local Crafts & Specialty Stores

For a more authentic shopping experience and to discover local treasures, a visit to the side streets and alleys in the center of Bruges is a must. Here, you will find charming boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and craft stores where you can find special souvenirs and handmade products. Don't forget to visit the many chocolatiers and confectionery shops, where you can indulge in the famous Belgian pralines and other treats. Bruges is also known for its lace, and in various stores, you can purchase beautiful handmade lace products ranging from clothing to decorative items for the home.


Getting to and from Bruges

If you are visiting Bruges by car, it is best to park in one of the secured parking garages on the outskirts of the city center. parkingParking Garage 't Zand and parkingParking Garage Station are popular options due to their proximity to the historic center and reasonable parking rates. From these parking garages, it's just a short walk to the historic center.

Bruges Train Station

Bruges is also easily accessible by public transportation, primarily via the train station. The train station is about a 20-minute walk from the city center, but there are also city buses that can take you to the center.


Cruise Ship Tourists

If you are a cruise ship tourist planning to visit Bruges, we recommend using the buses departing from the cruise terminal in Zeebrugge. The buses will take you to the heart of the city in approximately 30 minutes. Additionally, you can enjoy the Flemish countryside during the comfortable ride.

Bruges Tours

Free walking tour in the historic center of Bruges


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