The small town of Bruges, Belgium located in West Flanders is one of the most well kept medieval towns in all of Europe. In 2000 the city centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city is full of beautiful buildings, delicious Belgian chocolates, Venice like canals and so much more. There are so many great things to do in Bruges. With so much to do in such a small town where to start when visiting? Here are the best places to visit in Bruges.
Best Places to Visit in Bruges
1. Visit Burg Square
Bruges is the type of town that surprises you at ever corner. One moment you are walking down a quaint cobblestoned street inside the old town city center and the next you are standing in a town square surrounded by stunning architecture. Burg square is one of those places that will leave you in awe. It is a great place for a picture / selfie and is filled with tons of history.
‘If we had tried to do this a few years ago’ jokes Till-Holger Bolchert. ‘the answer wouldn’t have just been ‘no’. You would’ve been exiled’
Bruges’ Triennial has not come easy. First founded in the 1970s, this artistic takeover of Bruges’ historic city-centre fell victim to political squabbles a decade later.
‘After that, the art scene collapsed here. Everything went to Brussels’ explains Michel Dewilde, a curator.
But since 2012, the Triennial has returned, and is now reshaping Bruges for a second time.
‘It’s not just about attracting tourists’ says Till. ‘It’s about giving something back to the local community, to give them something which genuinely helps them’.
Bruges, a picturesque European port, feels like a work of art in and of itself. A UNESCO world heritage site, the locals’ conservative attitude toward the city centre makes change difficult. Restarting the Triennial took a great deal of work.
Yet the results have been worth the effort. The installations add a new dimension to Bruges, bring surprise and pizzazz to the city’s orderly centre. It all makes the Triennial a great time to visit Flanders.
Dinant is not only one of Belgium’s most beautiful towns, it’s one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. Sandwiched between the glistening waters of the Meuse River and its citadel just south of the capital city, it’s famous for several natural attractions, including the Grotto of Dinant and the Caves of Han, some of the largest and most spectacular caves in Europe. Located in a wildlife reserve, they’re surrounded by lush flora and abundant fauna. In the town itself you’ll discover some especially remarkable architecture, including the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, while its mountaintop fortress offers jaw-dropping views. One of the best ways to experience it is to spend a day exploring, and then relax at one of the local cafes to enjoy the scene.
Frequently ranked among the most beautiful cities in Europe, Bruges’ medieval center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with charming cobbled streets and picturesque canals lined with Gothic churches, 17th-century mansions, chocolate shops and flower markets.
Europe is a continent full of diverse cultures, languages, food, and architecture all compacted in a relatively small area. Within a five hour drive you can travel across five different countries that speak different languages and eat different foods. After living and traveling all over Europe the last four years and visiting 28 European countries, I find myself enjoying the small towns in Europe much more than the mega cities like Paris and London.
Many of the small towns in Europe were spared destruction in the wars and still have impressive historical buildings without the modern skyscrapers in the background. If traveling to Europe, its well worth it to venture out of the popular large cities and explore the small towns to get a more authentic feel of the country.
The below destinations are my top 10 small towns in Europe that I have visited. If I missed any, let me know in the comments below since I’m always interested in learning about more small towns to visit!
10) BRAŞOV, ROMANIA
Braşov, Romania is located in Transylvania surrounded by rolling hills and mountains.
The UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges is known for making visitors redefine their concepts of romance and tranquility. DW’s Eesha Kheny took a trip to northwestern Belgium to experience this magic in person.
After an early flight into Brussels, I caught the next mainline train heading to the coast. There are multiple connections daily, making it an easy one hour train ride from Brussels to Bruges.
On the way, a sudden craving for Belgian waffles led me to make a quick stop in Ghent. A small yet bustling student city, Ghent is well known for its pedestrianized city center lined with medieval buildings and cozy cafes. After a delicious breakfast I climbed up the 91 meter (299 ft.) tall Belfry, one of three Ghent towers, for a bird’s-eye view of St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the rest of the city. Although the exterior of this massive cathedral is interesting, the real highlight is the unique 24-panel altarpiece painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck in 1432, which can be accessed for an admission fee of 4 euros (US $ 5).
………. Bruges – is the capital of the province of West Flanders and probably the most beautiful city of Belgium. They have their unforgettable atmosphere given not only by preserved medieval architecture reminiscent of former wealth, but also by a network of narrow canals. The historic center was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000, and in 2002 Bruges became the European Capital of Culture. Today, 117,000 inhabitants live here, but tourists arrive a few million a year. You will not see any billboards and high-rise buildings, the traffic in the center is very limited.
It is worth mentioning the sporting events that take place around the Flanders circuit, which starts in Bruges, from the culture just to mention the film In Bruges (Bruges), in which the city plays a significant role and which beautifully describes its atmosphere.
According to this beautiful town hall, the town hall was built in Brussels, Ghent and Leuven. This town hall was built by the town hall in Brussels, Ghent and Leuven.
Your chance to win a two-night stay in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, courtesy of Visit Bruges and P&O Ferries
The countdown to the 2018 Bruges Triennial has begun! From May 5th to September 16th, the three-yearly contemporary arts trail will transform the city into a ‘walkable gallery’ based on the theme ‘Liquid City’. It provides a rare opportunity to witness surprising art installations and impressive architectural creations by international artists throughout the public spaces in the historic heart of this medieval city (visit triennalebrugge.be).
Getting lost in Bruges is almost impossible, but the only map you might need is the city’s new Local Love map (visitbruges.be/en/locallove). Showing a fine selection of hidden gems, you can visit off-the-beaten-track spots popular with locals. Shops with a ‘Local Love’ label are unique and authentic with delightful original gifts and goods.
You simply can’t have the full Bruges experience, however, without a visit to one of the many tea shops and coffee bars. Or why not visit the city’s traditional beer cafes?
Liza Foreman explores an underrated Belgian city full of destinations for design-and-fashion lovers.
Antwerp has long been associated with the acclaimed Antwerp Six fashion designers, but there is much more to the city than this. Director of the city’s Fotomuseum Elviera Velghe tells BBC Designed: “It’s a creative hub with wonderful architecture, including the gorgeous Port House by Zaha Hadid, shops with a story, cosy streets with coffeehouses, antiques stores like the Kloosterstraat, or magnificent museums like M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art).” Here are some of the top destinations for design and fashion enthusiasts.
Giant collages of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s photographs covered the walls of FOMU’s warehouse galleries for its recent exhibition Mirror. The museum, which opened its doors in 1965 and moved, in 1986, into this repurposed Vlaanderen warehouse, is now showing something closer to home. Collection In Transit documents the upcoming move of FOMU’s archives into the new Lieven Gevaert Tower, which will be Europe’s first low-energy photo depot.
Housed in the ModeNatie, the same building as the Royal Academy’s infamous Fashion Department, MoMu is a well-respected, dedicated fashion museum. It opened its doors in 2002.
Where to find accommodation in Brussels during your stay? Neighbourhood by neighbourhood, here are the best places to stay in the Belgian capital!
Finding accommodation in Brussels, the “capital of the European Union, beer and fries”, is not really that hard. What is likely to be difficult is choosing among all the diverse accommodation that the Brussels Capital region can offer to its visitors. Located in the centre of Europe, the capital of Belgium is a travellers’ paradise where people come for its lively atmosphere, its multiple riches – history, culture, gastronomy, etc. – and also of course, to discover the charms of Belgian beer.
The name Brussels is used to refer simultaneously to the Brussels-Capital region, the City of Brussels and the Community institutions of the European Union which sit there. The city of Brussels as such is made up of 177,863 inhabitants, however, the Brussels-Capital agglomeration – Belgium’s economic lung – includes nineteen municipalities with a total population of 1,197,732 inhabitants (2017) over 161 km². There are a variety of choices available for staying in Brussels: guesthouses and hostels, cheap hotels, more refined hotels, private accommodation for rent (on Airbnb, Wimdu) …
Anne Vanneste left France some six years ago to return to her native Bruges in Belgium, where her she and her family own a historic brewery. In need of a place to live, she embarked on the adventure of transforming an all but abandoned space on the brewery compound into a bright new home.
“This house has probably been transformed a million times,” said Anne Vanneste, a 36-year-old naval architect, showing the new version of her centuries-old, double-gable home in the villagelike center of the city, where her mother’s family has been running De Halve Maan, (the Half Moon), the city’s oldest continuous brewery, since the 1850s. In addition to her stake, Ms. Vanneste runs the brewery visitor center.
She and her family spent about $800,000 on a gut renovation to convert the brewery complex’s low-ceiling, second-story storage space into a contemporary home.
The 400-hundred-year-old building, with a 600-year-old basement, now contains a 2,700-square-foot apartment with two bedrooms, one bathroom and several outdoor spaces.