I have been meaning to get this post up much sooner, but I’m finding out that all of our constant traveling (can’t complain) is keeping me quite busy these days. A lot of time, energy, and work goes into planning our weekend getaways, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! My husband and I both feel so blessed to have the opportunity to live in Europe, and every weekend we are continually trying our best to see as much of it as humanly possible. But no more excuses, I’m working on getting up to date with all of our adventures including one of our most recent trips to Belgium.
Continuing from my last post on Brussels, our final stop in Belgium that weekend was to the sweet little village of Bruges. We felt like our busy day in Brussels was the perfect amount of time needed, and that we ought to get out of the hustle and bustle and venture into the countryside. We took a pleasant hour-long train ride into the city of Bruges. We have found that local trains are the easiest because there is no need to plan in advance. Just show up at the train station and you can get a super reasonable price.. In fact, I think we only paid about 10 euros total to get from Brussels to Bruges and back. It was such a steal!
My first impression of seeing Bruges for the first time was.. wow. Before coming, I didn’t quite know what to expect about visiting this place. All I had known was that it seemed like a quaint little town known for their chocolate and that was enough for me. But wow… Bruges was by far the cutest town I have ever encountered in Europe! The area is similar to Amsterdam in the fact that it is canal-based, but the historic architecture and adorable little cottages are what really won me over. It is such a beautiful and clean little city that radiates perfection. I knew right away that our decision to spend a day in Bruges was a fantastic one.
We didn’t really have any plans of what to do in Bruges, we sometimes find it fun to just explore and see where the day takes us. We took a five-minute walk from the train station and strolled down the streets admiring everything that we saw around us. Since we were there on a weekend, a lot of great free entertainment was going on. We literally saw everything under the sun happening here. We witnessed tango dancers, musicians, guys with fish-bowl heads, market shopping, and magicians. Bruges is a city that really likes to entertain so be sure to be there over a weekend so you can join in the fun at no cost at all.
If you follow the crowds of people, you will eventually make it to the downtown area of Bruges known as Market Square. This is where you will find the center of the city where all the action happens. We were in complete awe of the remarkable medieval-influenced architecture that surrounded the square. We couldn’t help but notice the large Belfry, a tower so massive that you can’t miss it! If you are looking for major attractions and things to do in Bruges then I would recommend coming to Belfry and climbing the tower. Another popular tourist attraction in the square is the Provincial Court Building where there is a great tour on the medieval history of Bruges dating back to the 12th century.
The rest of our time in Bruges was spent shopping down the many streets that align with Market Square. Along these streets we found some really great chocolate and ice cream shops as well as waffle stands (of course) that are worth checking out. However, when lunch time rolled around we were looking for a tasty yet inexpensive place to sit down and eat, and we could not find it. We probably wandered around for at least an hour and some of the eateries looked pretty good, but were outrageously priced for over 20 euros a plate.. for lunch! We finally found a little burger place that was decently priced and had some ok food. When it comes to restaurants Bruges seemed be overpriced and a little bit of a tourist trap, so be sure to know that before visiting.
When in doubt, eat the waffles!
Aside from the restaurant scene, Bruges was a terrific little gem on our tour around Belgium. If you’re looking for a low-key and delightful place to spend some time, then I completely recommend visiting. I probably wouldn’t spend more than 2 days or so there just because it is on the smaller side, but it is such a quaint town really worth seeing.
The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:
1. Architecture. The cutest city to look at.
2. Live Entertainment. Some of the best I have seen.
3. Market Square. Many great attractions.
*Cannot wait for Spain this weekend!