Weekend Break in Bruges

057Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium, is distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. It is one of those destinations which are perfect for a few days/ weekend away trip. The travel is fast and super easy especially if you travel from London as it’s just few hours on the train from London Kings Cross on Eurostar and with prices starting around £35 you can be sure not to break your wallet. You can also find cheap flights from other UK airports and make it into an exciting mini break including Brussels on your way there/ back. You simply change the train in Brussels to Bruges. We had no problem finding our way round despite not speaking Dutch or French.

 

220We’ve stayed in a small charming hotel located by the by Het Zand which is a big city square just 10 min walk from the train station and few minutes walk from the centre of the Old Town. We had a lovely room on at the attic of the very old Flemish building overlooking the square and the canal.

You won’t need any transport around Bruges as everything is just a stone throw away. This magical medieval city looks very mysterious this time of year as there are no crows of tourists. Bruges looks truly enchanted with it’s beautiful architecture emerging from the mist from the canals.

 

043If you’ve seen In Bruges the movie with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson you will instantly recognize the landmark tower Belfry of Bruges. (If you haven’t see this movie yet, you will particularly enjoy it after or during your visit there as you will recognise all the places) Belfry tower is located in the centre of Bruges by Markt which is a large town square. It seems as if all streets of old town lead to this place. All over the Bruges you will find a wide array of atmospheric restaurants serving delicious food but the food that you have to try here is the mussels. Soak in the atmosphere of the city and enjoy them in one of the restaurants by the Markt with the view into the square and the Belfry tower. Have a seat outside as all restaurants have marquees and outside gas heaters so you can still feel cosy despite seating outside even in March.

178170Mussels are a must to try and they are delicious. The seafood in Bruges was delicious and very fresh. This is thanks to it’s own port, Zeebrugge which is an important centre for fishing industry in the region so if you are a foodie, you will love what Bruges has on it’s menu.

 

Belgian beer in Bruges is another thing that you must try. It is quite a challenge as of the vast variety that they have. Just the display of all different beer bottles in the Beer Museum by itself is impressive not to mention tasting some.

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Chocolate is another thing that you simply can’t omit on your visit there. Think of any flavour, texture, colour or shape – they will have it. One picture is worth thousand words so just look at those yummy creations.

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To get the unique view of the city take a tour on one of the small boats around the canals. Immerse yourself in the tales of the past which are told by boat guide. After checking out the curious network of medieval canals it’s time for a hot chocolate and in Bruges you will be spoiled for choice with cute atmospheric cafes, bars and chocolatier houses not only selling vast selection of chocolates but also serving it as a hot drink.

Bruges by night is another thing you cannot miss. With a short walk from the old town centre from our hotel we there was plenty of traditional Belgian pubs not to mention all the quirky bars and clubs.

Here is a short list of some of the places which we visited and which names we remembered… bear in mind that we did enjoy ourselves from one place to another just taking in the atmosphere of Bruges so we didn’t really write the names down or memorised all 😉

 

Café Vlissinghe at 2 Bleckersstraat is the oldest tavern in Bruges, established in 1515. The legend has it that Rubens paid for his beer with paintings here, and that Emperor Charlemagne had a stormy romance with the innkeeper’s wife. One thing is sure: history buffs will enjoy their time here.

http://www.cafevlissinghe.be/cafevlissinghe.be/home.html

La Trappiste at Kuipersstraat 33 is an atmospheric pub/ bar which is hidden in the gothic cellars of an medieval building – fantastic atmosphere and great selection of beers.

https://www.facebook.com/le.trappiste/

Wjinbar Est at Braambergstraat 7 is something for a wine and live music lovers. A cute little get located in an old narrow building, stretched over few floors with interesting well like architectural fature through the floor allowing you to view what is happening in the floor above/ below. Check out their website for the upcoming live gigs.

http://www.wijnbarest.be/

Pub ‘t Volkshuis at Braambergstraat 11 has more of an upbeat, club like vibe with louder music and younger crowds. Shows live sport events.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g188671-d7190523-Reviews-Pub_t_Volkshuis-Bruges_West_Flanders_Province.html

De Garre at De Garre 1 is a hidden gem and easy to miss/ a bit hard to find as it’s situated in a narrow side street. It is a popular and busy place but worth the wait to find a seat. Enjoy the local brew with aside of the cheese and cured meats and take in the atmosphere set in a medieval building.

http://www.degarre.be/

Cambrinus at Philipstockstraat 19 is great for a typical Belgian pub atmosphere. Great selection of beers and good food.

http://www.cambrinus.eu/default.htm

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We had a truly fabulous time in Bruges and I will definitely recommend a weekend break there. On our way back on Sunday morning we took the Eurostar train back to UK through Brussels where we spend a day wondering around and taking in the atmosphere of the Europe’s capital but that is a story for another time…

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