Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is one of the best places to visit if you are looking for an adventure.
Its old city has narrow canals and cobblestone streets, while its central square is surrounded by historic buildings like the Belfry Tower. You will also find various museums dedicated to beer-making!
There are several coffee shops and restaurants in the city for when you are taking a break from sightseeing. There are many unique things to do in Bruges, the below is a round-up of some of the best.
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Things to do in Bruges
There are many things to do in Bruges Belgium, and you can easily spend a week here without getting bored. The best way to see Bruges is on foot, so get walking and explore the city’s many attractions.
With so much to see and do, you will easily be able to occupy yourself during your visit. With an excess of activities available—you will not find yourself bored or with unoccupied free time during your stay in this beautiful city!
If you only have a few days, here are some of the best things to do in Bruges.
Canal boat tour
Canals are another great way to explore the city, and a canal boat tour is a great way to do so. They are relaxing and allow you to see parts of Bruges that would be difficult to access otherwise on foot.
The boats are well-maintained, with comfortable seating and friendly staff who can answer any questions you have about the city.
Tours last approximately an hour, allowing you plenty of time to enjoy everything Bruges has to offer!
The boat tour is also a great way to experience Bruges at night when all of its lights are turned on. It is easy to see why people have been drawn to this city for centuries – it is beautiful!
Christmas market in Bruges
The Christmas market in Bruges is a must-visit. The Bruges Christmas market is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe and one of the best places to shop for your Christmas gifts.
It is so popular that it is considered to be one of the most visited attractions in Belgium during the festive period. Sample tasty dishes from Bratwurst to Gluwein – the Christmas market in Bruges is a great place to sample traditional Belgian food and drink.
The Bruges Christmas market also has plenty of sweet treats on offer from chocolate brownies to Belgian waffles!
In the heart of Bruges, you will find Markt Square. Located in this one location is everything from souvenirs to food. Do not forget your camera as there are many photo opportunities in this historic centre.
The market square is surrounded by historical buildings such as the Belfry Tower, with many restaurants and cafes along its edges. There are also some statues around Markt Square, including one of Pieter de Coninck en Jan Breydel —which makes it even more interesting to visit.
The Belfry Tower is open for visitors to explore on their own. 14 euros per person gets you in, but if you want to climb the 366 steps inside—proper shoes are advised! The climb will be worth it, as the panoramic views over the city are incredible.
Once used as a watchtower to spot fires and other dangers, Bruges’s Belfry is now one of its most prominent symbols and definitely worth seeing for yourself!
The tower once housed a treasury and municipal archives. Standing 83 meters tall and built in the 13th century during the Middle Ages, this impressive display of medieval architecture presents striking architectural features.
The museum also houses many other treasures from the Middle Ages, such as seals and coffers. A remarkable musical drum that operates a set of bells is worth seeing in person.
Bruges’ walking tours are a great way to explore the city. Whether you enjoy learning about history, indulging in food or just want some good old-fashioned ghost stories at night, there is something here for everyone.
The local guides who lead these tours are passionate about their city and eager to share its many attractions. They offer several time slots a day for you to fit around your busy day of exploring.
Halve Maan Brewery Museum & Tour
The history of the brewery dates back to 1856 when it was first founded in Bruges. The building has been home to a brewery ever since then, and over the years it has been passed down through generations. It is still owned by the same family now.
A tour of the Halve Maan Brewery will take you through all parts of the journey, from its cosy tasting room to its storage facilities. You will see firsthand how they make their delicious brews and learn about their history along the way!
A standard package tour will last 45 minutes, is 15 euros per person and includes one beer-tasting sample. Examples of the beers you can try are Straffe Hendrik Tripel or Brugse Zot Blond. Maan Brewery is now one of the main attractions of Bruges, drawing more than 100,000 visitors a year.
Visitors should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb 220 steps as they explore the beer-making process. At the end of the climbing journey, you will find a 360° view over beautiful Bruges.
Burg Square is the main square of Bruges, and in its past, it was a fortress. It has amazing views and breathtaking architecture—with the Burges City Hall and Basilica of Holy Blood being key focal points; these make for a great afternoon out!
Burg Square is a great place to discover the best of Bruges, with its many restaurants, cafes and shops. It is also perfect for shopping, so make sure you don’t leave without stocking up on souvenirs!
Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic church in Bruges, Belgium. It was built in the 12th century and has undergone many changes over time. The most famous thing about this church is its relic—reported to be the blood of Jesus Christ.
The relic has been on display for hundreds of years, and it attracts many tourists each year. The basilica has a beautiful interior and is one of the most famous sights in Bruges.
Entry to the Basilica of the Holy Blood is free, however, there is an optional donation box. To enter the museum part of the building there is a small fee of 5 euros. The museum’s holdings include many objects relevant to the basilica’s history.
This park is the site of a former monastery, and its gazebo still stands today. The ornate pond is accompanied by a fountain—the perfect place to stop and take photos! Visiting in spring when all blossoms are out would be ideal.
This intimate garden is one of the most popular places in Bruges to visit just for its beauty. It is also popular with couples, as it has beautiful spots where people can sit and relax together. The park is easy to reach on foot or by bike. The park is full of trees and other flowering plants.
The fountains create a pleasant atmosphere for people who want to relax while enjoying the scenery. The park is also very popular with families. The children can play on the playground while the parents relax and enjoy their surroundings.
Bruges Beer Museum
The Bruges Beer Experience is a must for beer lovers. Tourists visiting Belgium should definitely check out The Bruges Beer Museum! Entry to the Bruges Beer Experience costs 12 euros per person or 18 euros if you want tasting samples added to your ticket.
The museum offers an introduction to the history of rich Belgian beer and how it is made and provides drinkers with some unique opportunities.
Furthermore, it features exhibits on how beer used to be made including educational material on its ingredients and styles of brewing.
Minnewater Lake is the “Lake of Love,” so named because it provides an escape from city life. Another tranquil spot in this bustling metropolis, Minnewater lies beside Castillo de la Faille, a castle that was built long ago but still stands today.
Minnewater Lake is surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, making it a perfect spot for couples looking to spend time together away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The park is an excellent place for a picnic or just sitting and enjoying the view.
Choco-Story is Bruges’ most popular tourist attraction. It is a chocolate museum located in the centre of town and gives visitors an opportunity to learn about all thing cocoa!
For approx 13 euros per person, you can take part in a self-guided tour with an audio guide lasting one and a half hours.
The museum is a three-part exhibit covering the history of chocolate, from its origin to modern times—all told through interactive stations and displays!
The vivaciously decorated museum contains many exhibits that explain the history of chocolate. The demonstration centre will teach visitors the secret of making beautiful chocolate and provide them with an opportunity to taste exquisite delicacies made by top Belgian chocolatiers.
The museum offers an introduction to the origin and production of chocolate, along with hands-on demonstrations that showcase how each speciality is created. If you are looking for things to do in Bruges when it rains, heading over for a tour around the Choco-Story would be ideal.
Saint Salvador Cathedral
The cathedral of Saint-Sauveur is a large church and one of Bruges’s most prominent landmarks. It was built in the 10th century and is the oldest church in the whole of Bruges.
The cathedral has a beautiful facade that can be seen from many parts of town as it towers 79 metres high.
The Groeningemuseum is a fun museum in Bruges that is also a modern art gallery. There are many types of exhibits at this museum; some include paintings and sculptures by Belgian artists as well as other European artists.
The museum contains several rooms where you can find different styles of artwork, including Renaissance paintings and Dutch tapestries. There are also displays of art from other places around the world including Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania.
If you are after things to do in Bruges at night, you will be in luck. The nightlife in Bruges is full of pubs and clubs where you can enjoy dancing and drinking. There are also some outdoor areas where you can enjoy live music and drinks.
There are many restaurants and cafes in Bruges that stay open late for those who want to grab a bite or drink after a long day of sightseeing. Some great bars to recommend include Bar Rose Red, Le Trappiste and Duvelorium.
Bar Rose Red is an intimate setting with red-painted walls and red roses hanging from the ceiling. The quirky decor, delicious flowing wine and cosy atmosphere make it a great spot to rest of your tired legs and enjoy a drink.
Le Trappiste is a specialist beer bar located in an 800-year-old medieval cellar, just 300 meters from the main Market Square. With 25 beers on tap including regular guest beers, 150 bottled varieties and 20 or so special brews each month, there is something for everyone’s taste at Le Trappiste!
Duvelorium has a stunning view of Bruges Market Square from the terrace. It is the perfect spot to catch your breath after exploring the city and winding down for the evening. It has an extensive drinks list and a cosy but vibrant atmosphere.
Bruges is a fun city that will provide endless experiences where you will be able to create fond memories. Whether you are looking for a family vacation spot or want a romantic getaway with your significant other, Bruges has it all.
The city is filled with history and culture that will leave you wanting to come back again soon. You will never get bored in Bruges because there is always something to do. The city is filled with tourist attractions and activities that you can explore during your stay.
Whether you want some fun on the water or have an interest in art, there are plenty of options for everyone. Bruges is a great place to visit and you will be surprised by how much there is to do.
The city has many hidden gems that you can explore on your own, or with a tour guide if you want some help getting around.
Recommended tours in Bruges
- Historical Group Tour of Bruges with Native English Speaker + Chocolate Tasting
- Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals: Best of Bruges Private Tour
- Belgian Chocolate Workshop in Bruges
- The Waffles -n Beer Workshop
- The 10 Tastings of Bruges With Locals: Private Food Tour
- Private Evening Tour: The Dark Side of Bruges
- Beertasting Brugge
- Private Balloon flight over Bruges for 2 persons exclusively.
- Private Culinary 8 tastings Tour: Tour of Burgundy
- “Shades of Brugge” Photo Tour (3hr private tour/workshop)