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One of the most visited cities in Europe; Bruges is situated in Flanders, in the North region of Belgium. The city is famous for being one of the finest preserved pre-motorist cities in the entire European continent. Possessing utterly charming historic streets, dreamy canals that weave alongside pristine medieval churches and houses, and an atmosphere of serenity that is rare for such a popular location, Bruges is a beautiful city which is thoroughly unique.
Bruges offers a fantastic collection of intriguing cultural sites, breathtaking landmarks, and magical scenery, all within strolling distance of the stunning city centre. Year round, regardless of the weather, the city's features have a surreal allure. In summer, sunshine glints off the canals and verdant trees line their banks. In winter, light snow and fog add even more to the fairy tale landscape of spires, stone towers, and historic markets in the township.
For the particular highlights, the city offers some outstanding landmarks:
To get up close to the finest architecture of a city which is already blessed with unbelievable buildings, The Berg is a must visit. Just a few steps away from the centre of town, this public square is filled with 14th and 15th century buildings, as well as one of the most striking town halls in all of Europe. The Stadhuis, as it is known, is a stunning sight, with countless turrets and the visages of former Flemish counts and countesses framing the regular flower market that The Berg is home to.
Just a few steps away from the towering splendour of the Berg are the grand plaza of the Markt. A centuries old centre of commerce, the Markt is home to the 14th century Belfort. This towering Belfry has a 350 step trip to the peak of its tower, but the awe-inspiring panoramic view of the whole of Bruges is more than worth your time. Taking in the picturesque gabled houses, charming cafes, and the tranquil canals that stretch outwards from the city centre, the view from the Belfort is a chance for a photo opportunity of a lifetime.
The Groeninge Museum
A gorgeous building in itself, the elegant archways of the entrance leads into exquisite collection of over 6 centuries of artwork from Renaissance and Flemish masters. Masterpieces from painters such as Jan Van Eyck, Hieronymus Bosch, and Gerard David are all there for your viewing pleasure. There is even a selection of astounding primitive Flemish art pieces to be found amongst the eclectic collection perfectly displayed throughout the Museum's corridors.
In the sprawling Historic markets, as well as the charming stores that line the narrow, cobbled streets, the city has more than its fair share of luxury, unique items for the discerning traveller. Fine clothing and jewellery boutiques populate the winding alleys of the Streenstraat, but the specialty of Bruges are the gourmet chocolatiers, such as the confectionery delights on display at Dumon's on Wallstraat.
Fantastic restaurants and bars alongside the pristine architecture are all over the city, but the unmissable spots for lovers of fine food should be in the numerous, vibrant cafes that populate the grand city squares. Le Grand Cafe Belfort sits within a stone's throw of the city's most iconic landmarks, and is the perfect place to enjoy exquisite Belgian beer while indulging in fresh steamed mussels, gourmet deserts and delicious marinated meats.
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