Bruges has been one of my favourite cities since I was a little kid. The first time I went there was on a three-day middle school trip. Even though I had no clue whatsoever about the significance of all the buildings and I didn’t really take in what everything actually looked like, Bruges did leave an impression on me. I’ve gone back a few times since, the last time about three years ago. It’s high time for a visit again.
I’ve pretty much figured out what to see in Bruges by now, so I think I’m capable to compile a comprehensive list with suggestions.
Bruges is arguably the prettiest medieval city in the world, and is my number one town to visit out of my top 10 places in Belgium. Lined with gorgeous houses, crisscrossed by canals, and dotted with historic buildings and museums, the entire .
Visit Bruges Belgium: What to See?
Grote Markt and Belfry
The Grote Markt is the main square in Bruges and is overwhelmingly beautiful. This medieval square is fringed with gorgeous row houses and dominated by the belfry. The Belfry tower can be climbed for phenomenal views of the city.
Burg Square, Basilica of the Holy Blood and Town Hall
The Burg Square is Bruges’ second town square. Although smaller than the Grote Markt, this one is the administrative heart of the city. The square is home to a collection of major historic buildings, such as the stunning Town Hall, the Bishop’s Palace and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, one of the city’s absolute highlights.
Church of Our Lady
; its tower can be seen poking out of the skyline from far away. A major highlight in this place of worship is the ‘Madonna and Child’ by Michelangelo.
While the streets in the rest of the city center can be overcrowded with tourists, the secluded beguinage provides an oasis of peace and quiet. It has been the home of beguines for 700 years and some of them still live there. The pretty beguinage consists of white-colored houses surrounding a grassy garden that’s dotted with tall poplars.
St Salvator Cathedral
A spectacular church, the St Salvator Cathedral is one of the most striking buildings in the entire city. Its impressive interior consists of several paintings and beautiful wall tapestries.
The Minnewater is located at the edge of the medieval city center. This tranquil water reservoir is nicknamed ‘the lake of love’ for its incredibly romantic setting, a setting that is made up of bridges, weeping willows, green lawns, and countless white swans.
Bruges’ canals are a highlight in themselves. The city is crisscrossed with them; a boat tour is probably one of the most touristy things that you could possibly do, but it is a great way to see this UNESCO World Heritage city from a different perspective.
If, after all this, you’re still wondering what to see in Bruges, I would definitely suggest visiting one of more of the excellent museums. The St John’s Hospital is a former medieval hospital turned into an art museum. It now houses the Memling Museum, the Old Pharmacy and the Hospital Museum. The finest museum, however, is the Groeninge Museum, which honestly should not be skipped. This fabulous art museum is filled with paintings by Flemish Masters who used to live in Bruges, such as van Eyck and Memling.
For more detailed information you can visit the official tourist website.