This medieval city of West Flanders in Belgium has been drawing tourists on day trips from Brussels for years. The quaint canals, cobblestone streets and Markt Square offer picturesque scenes everywhere you turn, plus waffle shops, chocolate stores and boutiques for shoppers. The best way to experience Bruges, though, is an overnight visit. By staying overnight in a Bruges hotel, you will get to experience Bruges after the day trippers have all gone home.
If you are looking for unusual places to stay in Bruges, there’s even a barge hotel you can sleep in! Use this guide to find the best places to stay in Bruges, including the best area for tourists, and Bruges accommodation options for every budget. Keep reading to decide where to stay in Bruges, Belgium.
We will cover off all types of Bruges accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Bruges hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Bruges, the best Bruges hotels, best places in Bruges to visit, the best places to stay in Bruges, hotels near Bruges attractions, Bruges neighborhood guide and many more. Airbnb is also a great option for short or long stays.
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Bruges City Centre – Where to stay in Bruges for first timers
The most popular area for visitors to Bruges is the city center, sometimes referred to as “in the Ring” because of the Ring Road circling the city center. Some of the best hotels in Bruges can be found here, as it is where most tourist attractions are located.
The city center is fairly small, about two miles across, so any hotel will be in walking distance of what you want to see. The hub of all activities in Bruges is Markt Square, easily found by the 83-meters tall belfry in the square. Many hotels in Bruges city centre are family friendly and kids will love all the green space along the river to run and chase the ducks. This UNESCO World Heritage Center is the best area for tourists in Bruges.
Best places to stay in Bruges City Centre
Sint-Anna Quarter – Where to stay in Bruges with Family
In the northeast corner of the Ring lies the Bruges neighborhood of Sint-Anna, just across the canal from the city center. This residential area is only 20 minutes from the city center and Grote Markt, but much different in terms of atmosphere. The streets are lined with 17th century cottages and town homes, and this is also where you’ll find the famous Cafe Vlissinghe, which has been serving patrons for over 500 years.
The center of the neighborhood is St. Anne’s church, which also dates to the 17th century. This is a great family friendly place to stay in Bruges, especially for longer visits or travelers seeking a more local experience.
Best places to stay in Sint-Anna Quarter
’T Zand – Where to stay in Bruges on a budget
At the western edge of the city center, you’ll find t’Zand, named after a street just inside the ring. This area is best known for a Saturday market. The location just outside the city center means there are budget friendly accommodation options, still less than ten minutes walk to Grote Markt. In addition to many cafes and restaurants along t’Zand road, you can also visit King Albert Park for a taste of green space in Bruges. Music lovers often stay in t’Zand for the proximity to the Bruges’ concert hall.
Best places to stay in ’T Zand
Ezelstraat Quarter – Where to stay in Bruges for cheap accommodation
The northwest corner of the Ring is where you’ll find the district of Ezelstraat, named after the main street running through here. The street runs from an inner canal near Grote Markt to the outer canal and Ezelpoort, an interesting tourist attraction. Ezelpoort means Donkey’s Gate, and is a lovely park area closed to traffic, with a historic city gate. This is another great area to find budget friendly accommodation, and the stroll back towards the city center is lined with interesting shops and cafes.
Best places to stay in Ezelstraat Quarter
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Quarter – Where to stay in Bruges for tourists
Named for the Church of Our Lady, and the corresponding museum, this is the art corner of Bruges. With parts dating back to the 13th century, and a tower over 115 meters tall, the church is an impressive piece of architecture. Inside is a world-famous Michelangelo sculpture of Madonna in marble, along with many valuable paintings and sculptures. It’s also very close to Groeningemuseum, known for its collection of Flemish primitives. This area also has breweries and chocolatiers to fuel your self-guided art tour of Bruges.
Best places to stay in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Quarter
Ghent – Where to stay near Bruges
Yes, visitors to Bruges can also stay in Ghent. Strange as it sounds, the University city of Ghent is less than 30 minutes by train to Bruges, so it’s a great option for budget friendly hotels near Bruges. While there are cheap hotels in Bruges, Ghent is less touristy and therefore more affordable.
While we won’t start a Ghent vs Bruges debate here, many travelers find Ghent preferable and more “authentic,” and you will definitely find more nightlife in Ghent while Bruges gets pretty quiet in the evenings. There’s really no need to choose between Ghent and Bruges, as they are so close that you can easily commute between the two.
Best places to stay in Ghent
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Ghent