Country: Belgium Language: Flemish Currency: Euro (€)
Bruges is an enchanting city with many canals, cobbled laneways, historic architecture, delicious beer, and chocolate! The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the medieval architecture takes you back in time as you wander around the city. Indulge in everything Belgium, from frites and beer, to waffles and chocolate!
CTW Must See
The Market Square (Markt)
Markt Square is a square located in the heart of Bruges. It has been used as a marketplace since Medieval Times. Each Wednesday, the square fills up with market stalls selling fruit, veggies, and other local products. In 1995, the square was completely renovated, creating a car-free, more pedestrian-friendly historic center. The main features of the square are the grand and striking Belfry and the Province Court. The Belfry of Bruges stands 83 meters tall. Climbing 366 steps to the top affords a superb view of the city. The Province Court, the monumental white building dominating the east side, was used for government meetings until 1999, but it is now a ceremonial building on display for visitors.
Burg Square, not far from Markt Square, is one of the oldest sections of Bruges. They say people settled in this area in the 2nd century! Within the square, you’ll find the Town Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and the Old Civil Registry. The Town Hall is a notable building, and one of the oldest in Belgium. The gothic-style building was completed in 1421 and played a major role in the history of the government in Bruges. The Basilica of the Holy Blood has two levels and was completed in 1157. The levels of the basilica are in two completely different styles; the lower level is in Romanesque style and the upper level is in grand Gothic style. The former is austere with minimal decoration while the latter is filled with color and detail. The basilica facade is tucked into the corner of the square, but is not to be missed.
Jan Van Eyck Square
This small square located on the outskirts of Bruges’s historical center, is named after the Renaissance painter, Jan van Eyck. The square doesn’t hold much historic significance, but the charm it displays deserves a visit. It is serene, visually appealing, and provides a romantic and peaceful escape from the rest of the city.
Church of Our Lady
Dating back to the 13th century, the Church of Our Lady is an impressive church found among the canals of Bruges. It is the tallest building in Bruges, at 115 meters tall, and the second tallest brick building in the world! Inside the church, you’ll find a marble sculpture by Michelangelo of Madonna and Child.
Minnewater Lake, or Lake of Love, is a tranquil part of Bruges that sets the tone for lovers everywhere. If you are arriving from the train station, Minnewater Lake will be your first Bruges destination. The peaceful lake connects to Bruges’s canals and still holds some of the city’s old defense towers. Throughout the year, the lake hosts a series of festivals and social events.
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With close proximity and accessible transportation, it's easy to visit multiple European cities in the same trip. See our guides on other popular European destinations to keep your adventure going!