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What to see in Bruges in one day

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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Small medieval jewel of Flanders, Bruges, Belgium is a charming little town that lends itself perfectly to a day visit. Brick houses, steeples and old bridges are just some of the distinctive features of this town, which is only an hour by train from Brussels. There is no doubt that contributes to the charm of Bruges the splendid historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, divided into two centers of medieval origin, the Burg and the Markt. There are also many gastronomic attractions, such as chips, chocolate (of which Bruges was elected capital!) And beer.



Index

  1. One day itinerary in Bruges: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Bruges: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Bruges: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Bruges: Morning

1 - Visit to the Church of Our Lady

The town is not very large and the center can be easily visited on foot. First we recommend an excellent bagel breakfast at Sanseveria Bagelsalon, Predikherenstraat 11, with an average cost of 10 Euros. After breakfast, head towards the Church of Our Lady, which can be seen from afar thanks to its 122-meter high tower. The building is also known as the "Church of Michelangelo" precisely because, inside, it houses the "Madonna of Bruges" by Michelangelo, a sculpture in Carrara marble made by the Italian artist. Of extraordinary beauty, the work of art is protected by bulletproof glass and is the only work of Michelangelo present in Belgium, as well as the only one to be moved away from Italy when the artist was still alive.


2 - Burg Square

Head to the Burg, one of the main squares in the city. The name of the square is named after a fortified castle that once stood here to protect the citizenry from attacks by the Vikings. Here also stood the church of San Donaziano, the main sacred building in Bruges. For these reasons, Burg has represented for many years the administrative and religious heart of Bruges, although to date nothing remains of the two buildings. In their place stand the Stadhuis, a fourteenth-century Gothic building that is the town hall of the city, a Renaissance-style building that now houses the Historical Museum of the 'Brugse VrijÈ (the former Civil Registry) and another baroque-style building Proosdij (Provost House), former residence of the Provost of Bruges. Near Burg there is also the Basiliek of Heilige Bloed (Basilica of Spilled Blood), so called because it houses a vial containing what is claimed to be the blood of Christ.


In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,2 km / 14 min
  • Places visited: Church of Our Lady (4 Euro, free with the Brugge City Card), Burg (4 Euro, free with the Brugge City Card)
  • Private tour aboard Rickshaw
  • Where to have breakfast: Sanseveria Bagelsalon, Predikherenstraat 11

One day itinerary in Bruges: Afternoon

1 - Markt and Belfort

Five minutes from the square is the Markt, the Market Square, which in medieval times represented the commercial center of Bruges. One of the points of greatest tourist interest, today, is surrounded by characteristic houses with pointed spiers, which in other times housed the headquarters of the guilds and general markets. Here is also the Belfort, symbol of Bruges, the civic tower of medieval origin that dominates the historic center. If you feel like it, you can climb the three hundred and sixty-six steps that lead up on top of the bell tower. Here you can admire the clock mechanism, but also the carillon with 47 bells and, of course, a splendid view of the city and its surroundings. For lunch, why miss the opportunity to taste the famous French fries? We recommend Friterie 1900, at number 35, which offers them seasoned with sauces to choose from from a long list. Average price, per person, of 8 Euros.


2 - Begijnhof and canal boat tour

Once you have regained your energy, go to the Begijnhof (beguinage), a complex of white houses that surround a beautiful garden with trees, once inhabited from the Beguines of Bruges and today by the nuns of the Order of St. Benedict. Founded in the 11th century by Margaret of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders, it was a semimonastic community of single women and widows who dedicated themselves to God. UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is today an oasis of peace and tranquility, just like in the past . In Nieuwstraat , right in the center, you will find the departure point for many boats they offer a tour of the canals of the city. Lasting about thirty minutes, this excursion is truly unmissable and will allow you to observe the main attractions from another point of view.


In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,5 km / 30 min
  • Places visited: Markt (free), Belfort (10 Euro), Begijnhof (free), boat trip on the canals (7.60 Euro)
  • 2 hour guided walking tour
  • Where to have lunch: Friterie 1900, Markt 35

One day itinerary in Bruges: Evening

1 - Minnewaterpark and Dinner

If the boat trip is still not enough to awaken your romantic side, we propose another activity that will surely make your heart melt. This is a visit to the Minnewaterpark, with the lake of the same name. It's a extremely romantic place, with the bridge that crosses it, dating back to 1720, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view over the roofs and towers of the city. It is the ideal place to end your visit to Bruges, thanks to the atmosphere of tranquility that reigns there. Even if its name means "Lake of love", its origins are far from poetic! The lake was born as a consequence of the canalisation of the Reie river and, originally, it served as a river port and water reservoir for the surrounding canals. The place is not only famous for its beauty but also for hosting a large colony of swans. Their presence is linked to an ancient legend: it seems that in 1488 one of the city administrators, belonging to the court of Maximilian of Austria, was executed by the population of Bruges. The coat of arms of the executed family represented a white swan, which is why, as a punishment, the emperor ordered the citizens guilty of the murder to introduce and take care of these birds at the lakes and canals of the city, for eternity. Leaving the lake but always remaining tied to the swans, go to dinner at 't Zwaantje (young swan) in Gentpoortvest 70, to taste typical local specialties spending, on average, 30 Euros.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,3 km / 15 min
  • Places visited: Minnewaterpark and lake (free)
  • Dinner + Medieval Show
  • Where to dine: 't Zwaantje, Gentpoortvest 70

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Il climate of Bruges it is of the Atlantic continental type: the rains are frequent, the winters are cold (due to the Baltic wind), the summers are cool. The recommended clothing is therefore quite heavy, with windproof and rainproof jackets.
  • Buy the Bruges City Card. Valid for 48 hours, at a cost of 38 Euros, it allows you to enter numerous places in the town.
  • If you decide to extend your visit, take a look at our offers for a stay in Bruges

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

  1. Groening Museum. It offers an insight into six centuries of art in the southern Netherlands, but is only recommended for those with an art lover.
  2. Memling Museum. It is a museum dedicated to the hospital and the old pharmacy that occupied the complex. Definitely an interesting visit, but it would take too much time on the day tour.
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