In order to get to know Bruges, you will have to dedicate 3-4 days. The city offers more options, such as an “artistic” walk along the largest canal of the city (Bruges Art Route), a visit to the Gate of Ghent or to the quiet monastery of Begijnhof. For the ones seeking something more intellectually stimulating, the Salvador Dali exhibition seems like an ideal option. Attractions and activities in Bruges might not be that many, but you will certainly not find yourselves in the position of wondering “What do we do now?”!
The next suggestion is a relaxing idea for…decentralization! Yes, you read that right…it is time to leave the city center, get away from the tourist crowds and escape the ordinary, taking a relaxing walk to the windmills. They are next to the big canal, on a path that starts at the Kruis Gate and ends up about 1km north. Along a leafy green route, you will come across four charming mills, one of which is operational and open to the public. Go up and down the hills, photograph them from every possible angle and lay down on the clean grass, and just enjoy many peaceful moments. After a walk like this, you will have recharged your batteries for good. You can see the route HERE.
Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1.5 hour
Open: Outdoors: Always Indoors: Tuesday-Sunday 09:30-12:30 / 13:30-17:00 Closed: Monday
The know it all says: Along the canal there used to be 30 mills of which only 4 have remained!
Through a route of about 900m along the Steenhouwers & Groenerei canals you will meet the picturesque Meebrug, Peerdenbrug & Bonifacius bridges. While crossing them you will feel the city’s charm, as the images of the cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and stone-built bridges will take you on a journey to the Middle Ages. In this, of course, also contribute the historical buildings, beautiful canals and the soft “touch” of nature! Follow the route in the morning as well as the evening and you will see that it is an entirely different walk. Each of the day’s moments has something special to offer, something that will make you want to repeat it again and again. You can check out the route HERE.
Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
The know it all says: The first person that you meet crossing the Bonifacius bridge will be the one you marry! Be very careful…!
The “Gate of Ghent” is located close to the Minnewaterpark and it is one of the four entrances of the city that exist from the medieval period until today. The gate was part of the walls and apart from being a fortress it was also used for the import/export of goods. Nowadays, it is the only tower to which access is permitted, as it operates as a museum. Inside the visitors can learn historical and semantic facts about the gates, the walls as well as the forts of medieval Bruges, while from the roof they can admire part of the city from above. The museum is quite edifying and, in combination with the low price and moderate tourist traffic, it makes for a unique experience. The area around it is perfect for walking, biking and other activities. The only disadvantage is that it is only open on weekends..
Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Weekends 09:30-12:00 & 14:00-17:00 Closed: May 5th, December 25th, January 1st
Cost: Adults aged 26+ 4€, persons aged 16-26 and 65+ 3€, Children 0-16 Free
The know it all says: Gentpoort and Kruispoort were the most robust of the 7 gates that existed in the city!
Inside a green area, surrounded by similar houses, you will find this 12th-century monastery, which is still open. Begijnhof, aside from its uniformity, stands out for its history and the serenity that prevails inside and around it. In the churchyard, there are trees, flowers and signs that prompt the people to adapt and maintain the peaceful atmosphere, without shouts, laughs and photographs. In the monastery operate a church and a museum, where you have the chance to learn, through a representational way, about the history and life of the monks throughout the ages. It may not offer something special, but a walk is a must, so you can experience the serene landscape and fill up on delightful images. Visit it around 9 in the morning so you avoid large crowds. After 11 the place is full of tourists and loses part of its peacefulness.
Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Open: Outdoors: Every day 06:30-18:30, Museum: Every day 10:00-17:00, Sunday: 14:30-17:00
Cost: Free, 2€ for the Museum
The know it all says: It hosts the extraordinarily beautiful gilded statue of Mary, which dates back to 1240!
What is better than a photography lesson combined with a pleasant tour of the city? Andy offers an alternative experience that is worth living, if you love photography. Through 4 tours per day you have the chance to meet a different, non-tourist side of the city. And if you are not an expert in using your camera…do not fret. During the walk you will be given lots of useful advice on how to make the best use of it and find your own style. But, in case you are a professional photographer, the owner will show you the best angles, so you can fill your album with magical photographs. The accomplice in this tour is none other than the city’s natural beauty! Besides, Bruges is by itself a Postcard that looks like it came out of a fairytale.
Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Daily Tour at 10:00, 13:00, 16:00 & 20:00
Cost: For a group of 5+ people 50€, for a private tour 200€
The know it all says: Τhe city is considered to be one of the most romantic in Europe!
If you are a fan of religious spaces then a visit to the oldest and biggest cathedral of the city is a good choice. You will recognize it by the red doors and tall bell tower. The large and bright church has a memorable interior space, with statues and colorful stained glass windows, while its most impressive feature is the glass floor, above the old tombs. In the positive attributes are also added the quiet that is kept inside as well as the free entrance*. It would be best to visit it during the opening, in order to avoid the groups and large crowds. Finally, we should highlight that during the day it looks like a plain church, but in the night it is transformed, thanks to the floodlights that shower it with their yellow light.
Suggested visit time: 30-45 minutes
Open: Monday-Friday 10:00-13:00 & 14:00-17:30, Saturday 10:00-13:00 & 14:00-15:30, Sunday 11:30-12:00 & 14:00-17:00
Cost: *Free (It is in one’s discretion to donate any amount.)
The know it all says: 8 tapestries have been saved, which date back to 1700!
If you have time and are in the mood for some art, then the exhibition of the eccentric artist Salvador Dali is a pleasant experience. It is housed in Belfort and it is a charming space that hosts artworks of the famous Spanish painter. The collection includes mainly sketches and sculptures, many of which are as eccentric as the artist himself. The halls are spacious with low lighting, while the audio guide explains the history and origin of many pieces. The exhibition is not recommended for children, not so much for the inappropriate elements presented in some artworks, but for the intricate meaning that Dali wants to express through his art. Another factor that might also be discouraging is the admittedly expensive ticket. Nonetheless, if you are an art enthusiast, it is a good chance to get in touch with the unconventional artist.
Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Open: Every day 10:00-18:00
Cost: 12+ years old 10€, Children 0-12 years old Free, Students/College students 8€
The know it all says: In the shop there are original sketches of Salvador Dali that are for sale.
Travelen.eu is regularly updated on ticket costs and operating hours, but you should always visit your choice of destination’s official site for confirmation.