Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges, in the West Flanders has a lot to discover. The city is small and medieval but rich in culture, architecture, beer and chocolate. Bruges is a fairy tale city for those who love princesses and romantic stories. The canals make the beauty of the city, surrounding the environment with little boats which are the delight of the tourists. The Old Town holds some unusual attractions, like for example the Basilica of Holy Blood or the ‘Diamantmuseum’. These are only two spots that the city of Bruges has to offer you. The tips ahead want to highlight you about the places you can’t really miss in the lovely Belgian city.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges is the place that keeps the blood of Jesus Christ, collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought to Belgium from the Holy Land. The Basilica is open to visitors, not only Catholic people but also to history lovers and explorers. The building is simply mesmerizing, as well as its inside areas, with its many decorations and historical value. The Basilica consists of two structures: the one in the lower level and a Gothic upper level. Queues are usually the daily basis routine of the basilica but if you feel like waiting for the opportunity of kissing and touch the Holy Blood, this might be the chance.
Museum-Gallery Xpo (Salvador Dalí)
If you are an art lover or just curious about the famous artist Salvador Dalí, you should not miss the permanent exhibition on his tribute. The museum is in one of the most iconic and prestigious buildings in Bruges, the Belfry. By going to visit the exhibition you can expect to have an audio-visual spectacle about Dalí’s life and his work. There are also aquarelles, sculptures and drawings to be observed and cherished.
The Belfry Tower
The Belfry tower is located in the market square of Bruges and it is listed as one of the top things to do in the city. You need to climb 366 steps to get to the top and get closer to the 47 bells tower. Once you are upstairs, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Venice of the North. Without wanting to spoil you about the surprises held by the iconic tower, you might notice that the building is leaning to east a whole meter. Challenge yourself to take a symmetrical picture of the 83-meter edifice.
Boat trip on the canals
It is easy to wonder why having a boat trip in Bruges is so typical. All of the crossing waterways of Bruges are usually full of boats and different offers come just by the corner. Prices are competitive and journeys usually last 30 minutes each. You can fully enjoy the experience with a warm blanket, if cold, and some of the Belgian beers taste. Floating on the canals provides an entirely different view from the city and makes you feel like in a fairy tale. If you are going to Bruges with your significant other, this might be the perfect way for a romantic date.
Diamantmuseum: prepare your eyes to shine
“Diamonds are the girls’ best friends”, claimed the fascinating Marilyn Monroe. Being a diamond lover in Bruges must be astonishing. Antwerp is the place in Belgium where you have most of the diamond shops. However, in Bruges, you can admire it in the ‘Diamantmuseum’. Within the museum program, you can assist a diamond polishing show where you will see the pieces of jewellery being polished.
Being in Belgium without rain might be one of your biggest achievements when visiting the country. Locally well known as ‘grey hell’, Belgium can be problematic for tourists who want to fully enjoy the views with no rain. In the city of Bruges, if the weather allows it, you can consider going for a walk among the city’s windmills. There are four windmills located alongside the old moat and medieval city gates. The surroundings of the windmills are good for picnics and each windmill has a small museum inside.
The best lace is in the city
Belgium is not only known for chocolate, beers, fries or diamonds. Lace is another area where they excel. In Bruges Old Town you will come across multiple shops of lace in several displays. The art and textile pieces take countless hours to create and are incredibly intricate.
Chocolate, beer and French fries
In Belgium, you always find small places to buy and eat frites: either French fries, boulettes, frikandel or bitterballs. You have, definitely, to try one of these specialities as well as waffles, chocolate and if you are into it, one of their thousand beers. Duvel, Omer, Cornet or Jupiler are some of the options you can try and enrich your palate with the variety of flavours. As for the chocolate, it doesn’t really matter what you taste, it’s Belgium!
If you are planning a visit, Bruges has accommodation for all pockets. You can rent an AirBnB, stay in a hotel, hostel or bed and breakfast. Couchsurfing is also one of the options you can try for a quick trip. The truth is that if you haven’t visited Bruges, you should consider adding it you your next excursion list.