Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has stunning architecture and history, along with a winding canal system that makes it look like Venice.
It has a relaxed atmosphere and a laid-back vibe, where you can go for a stroll and take in the sights. The city has lots of things to do and you can feel the history of the city on every corner.
You can easily spend a week in Bruges without getting bored as there are plenty of museums, attractions, restaurants and bars that you can visit during your stay.
There are plenty of shops in Bruges where you can buy souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home. The city also has many beautiful churches and buildings that are worth exploring.
It is a stunning and memorable city and it is well worth a visit. The problem is that it can be expensive. This budget guide to Bruges will help you plan your trip so you can enjoy your travels without breaking the bank.
This guide is perfect for those who are travelling to Bruges on a budget. We will show you what to do in Bruges, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether it’s a weekend in Bruges or a long term stay.
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The best time to visit Bruges
Bruges is a wonderful city all year round and there is always something to do. The summer months of June to August are particularly pleasant as the weather can be both warm and not too hot. Average temperatures can reach 21 degrees Celcius.
Yet Christmas in Bruges is very magical and the city’s streets are lit up with lights, decorations and traditional characters. It is a wonderful time to visit if you want to experience Christmas in Belgium.
The winter months are cold but it is still possible to enjoy the city. Snowfall can be mild and temperatures can reach as low as -2 degrees Celcius, so make sure you wrap up warm if you decide to go in the winter.
However, if you are here to have a budget holiday, going out of season may be best. The city is much quieter and you can find some great deals on accommodation.
It is also a chance to see Bruges the way it was meant to be seen, without crowds of tourists and shoppers clogging up the streets. Therefore, everything can feel more authentic. You will also find cheaper prices on flights and train tickets.
How to get around Bruges on a budget
Bruges is very walkable, so you do not have to worry about transportation costs if you are staying in the city center or close by. If you are staying further out consider taking a bus or train into the city center.
If you do need to take transportation, buses travel between the Station and City Centre every five minutes, making it easy to get from one place to another. The route takes you past major shopping streets, historical buildings and museums.
You can also rent bikes in Bruges, which is a great way to get around the city. Bikes can be rented at multiple locations throughout the city, including in front of the train station and near several hotels. You can rent bikes for a few hours or by the day. Prices can range from 10 – 15 euros a day.
Where to stay in Bruges on a budget
If you are visiting Bruges Belgium, you will find a number of accommodation options that you can choose from. If you are looking to take part in budget travel and are therefore after the cheapest option, consider staying at an Airbnb or hostel.
Hostels are cheap but not necessarily the best place to stay if you plan on staying out late (you will be sharing rooms and bathrooms with other guests). Hotels can be expensive but there are many budget-friendly choices if you book ahead of time or during the off-season.
The city center of Bruges is the most favourable area to stay in, as it is close to the city’s attractions. However, this will come with a higher price tag. If you are willing to stay a little further out of the city you will definitely save some money.
Consider areas such as Ezelstraat Quarter or the Sint-Gillis Quarter. Both are more affordable, quiet neighbourhoods that are still within walking distance of the city’s main attractions.
Budget things to do in Bruges
Bruges is a beautiful city and it is also one of the most expensive cities in Europe. To make sure you are getting the most out of your trip without spending too much.
Here are some travel tips for visiting this lovely Belgian destination on a budget. The below round-up of activities is either free or a few euros to enjoy.
Free Walking Tour
What better way to see the city on a budget than with a free walking tour? A free walking tour is a great way to get the lay of the land and learn about Bruges. These tours are led by local guides who are passionate about their city and love showing off its many charms.
You can take several types of tours depending on your tastes and interests such as a historical tour, a food tour or a nighttime ghost tour. These tours happen daily and with several time slots to choose from.
The walking tours are free, although you can leave a tip for your tour guide if you wish. If you are interested in taking one of these tours, do not forget to bring some water and comfortable shoes.
Self-Guided Walking Tour
As well as a free walking tour, you can enjoy a self-guided tour that you can do at your own pace. The self-guided tours focus on the historic centre, where a 60-90 minute route will take you around the city streets.
This is a great option if you do not wish to be part of a larger group and take the trail at your own pace. Download a map and you are off, it is also recommended that you do take your time so that you have more opportunities to explore each area fully.
Visit Burg Square
Burg Square is the main square of Bruges and was once a fortress. The square has amazing views and breathtaking architecture with the City Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood being key focal points.
Burg Square is a great place to tick off your travel bucket list and has many restaurants, cafes and shops to enjoy whilst you are in the area. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and soak up the atmosphere.
The square is also fantastic to get some shopping done or grab a bite to eat, so make sure you take advantage of this whilst in Bruges!
Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic church in Bruges. The church is famous for its relic, reported to be the blood of Jesus Christ.
The relic has been on display for hundreds of years and attracts many tourists each year. The church was built in the 12th century and has undergone many changes over time. The basilica has a beautiful interior and is one of the most famous sights in Bruges.
It is free of charge to enter the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the museum is only 5 euro entry per person. The museum’s collection is extensive and includes many objects of historical interest related to the basilica.
Visit Markt Square
The Markt Square of Bruges, also known as Grote Markt is a beautiful square that is the centre of Bruges.
The square is surrounded by historic buildings such as the Belfry Tower along with many restaurants, cafes and shops along its edges. There are also some statues around Markt Square including Pieter de Coninck en Jan Breydel that make it even more interesting to visit.
You can find everything from souvenirs to food here in this one location. A key point for your Instagram moment!
This intimate garden is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. It is one of the most popular places in Bruges to visit just for its beauty. The park has many different kinds of trees and other flowering plants.
There are also fountains throughout the park that create a relaxing atmosphere while you enjoy the scenery. This park was once the site of a monastery and still has a gazebo, as well as an ornate pond accompanied by a fountain.
The park is a great place to take photos and enjoy the scenery. It is also popular for romantic dates, as it has beautiful spots for couples to sit and relax together. The park is easy to reach by foot or bike. The best time to visit this park would be in spring when all of the flowers are blooming!
Another tranquil and free spot in the city is Minnewaterpark. A public green space that sits beside Minnewater Lake and the remains of a castle, Castillo de La Faille.
The park is the perfect place to have a picnic or just sit and enjoy the view. There are plenty of benches around the lake so you can take your time walking around and exploring.
Minnewater Lake has been named the ‘Lake of Love’ and it is easy to see why. The lake is surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, making it a perfect spot for couples looking for an intimate place to relax.
Places to visit in Bruges on a budget
The best way to enjoy Bruges is by walking around the city and taking in all the sights, sounds and smells. Exploring and sightseeing are free of charge of course but it is also a good idea to visit some museums and take part in tours if you want more of a cultural experience.
The museums in Bruges are very popular so it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance. The below round-up are affordable places to visit in Bruges.
Once used as a watchtower to spot fires and other dangers, the Belfry of Bruges is now one of the medieval city’s most prominent symbols. The tower once housed a treasury and municipal archives and today it is open to the public.
Standing 83 meters tall and built in the 13th century, it is an impressive display of medieval architecture. The Belfry Tower is open for visitors to explore on their own, the entrance fee is 14 euros per person. If you want to make the climb up the winding staircase inside the tower then be sure to bring proper shoes because there are 366 steps!
The climb will be worth it as the panoramic views over the city are incredible. You can also see many other treasures such as seals and coffers from the Middle Ages and a remarkable musical drum that operates the carillon.
Choco-Story is a chocolate museum located in the centre of Bruges city and is one of the most popular tourist attractions. A must-see for any chocolate lover, the museum contains various exhibits about chocolate.
The museum offers an introduction to the origin and production of chocolate, along with hands-on demonstrations. For 11 – 13 euros per person (depending on the time of year that you go), you can take part in a self-guided tour with an audio guide that lasts for 1.5 hours.
The museum is a three-part exhibit covering the history of chocolate, from its origin to modern times. The demonstration centre will teach visitors the secret of making beautiful chocolate and provide them with an opportunity to taste the exquisite delicacy that is Belgium chocolate.
If you are wondering what is Bruges famous for, then this is your answer!
Bruges Beer Experience
The Bruges Beer Experience is a must for beer lovers. The museum offers tourists an introduction to the history of rich Belgian beer and how it is made.
Furthermore, it features exhibits about how beer used to be made, its ingredients and styles of brewing.
Entry to the Bruges Beer Experience is 12 euros or if you want to add 3 tasting samples to your day, the price is 18 euros per person. If you love Belgium beer, be sure to visit The Bruges Beer Experience!
Cheap tours to do in Bruges
After you have had a day exploring the city for free, maybe consider taking a cheap tour or experience. There are several budget tours that you can take in Bruges.
This is a great way to learn and experience more about Bruges city and the culture of Belgium as a country. You can take a tour bus around the city, food tastings and also scavenger hunts!
Beer is a huge part of Belgium culture, so it would only be right to try Beer tasting in Bruges. This tour is the only beer-tasting experience in Bruges that works from one location. There is no walking from one bar to another.
So this is great if you are feeling a little tired after a long day of exploring. The experienced beer guide will educate you on beer brewing and you can sample six very different Belgian beers along the way.
The tour is located at St Christopher’s Inn The Bauhaus and costs 20 euros per person.
Bruges Waffle Workshop
Another Belgium delicacy is waffles! Have fun with a Bruges Waffle Workshop, you do not have to be a master chef or even enjoy cooking to appreciate the 1.5-hour hands-on workshop that lets you prepare, cook and eat Belgian waffles.
This family-friendly experience is perfect for foodies. Bonus – you get to eat as many waffles as you like! This tour is approx 35 euros per person, however, you will get plenty of waffles to eat meaning a saving on your food for the day!
Is Bruges worth visiting? We definitely think so! We hope that you enjoyed this Bruges travel guide and you will be able to use it to plan your own trip there.
Bruges is an amazing place to visit on a budget and is a great place to visit if you are looking for somewhere a bit different. You will find plenty of places to stay in Bruges on a budget and if you don’t mind staying outside of the city center then it is even cheaper!
There are also plenty of things to see and do for free, plus there are plenty of tours and museums that have a low entry fee. Bruges is a fantastic place to visit and we hope that our Bruges travel guide has inspired you.
Recommended budget tours in Bruges
- Historical Walking Tour: Legends of Bruges
- Evening Tour: The Dark Side of Bruges
- Bruges Beer Experience Entrance Ticket
- Bruges Waffle Workshop
- Unknown Bruges: A Self-Guided Audio Tour to the Heart of the Medieval Metropole
- Bruges Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Walking Tour
- Tickets for Choco-Story & Access to Self-Guided Tour in Brussels