13 Best Things to Do in Bruges (Belgium)


Bruges is one of those cities you don’t often hear about, and people don’t exclusively plan for, unless they have an extra day to squeeze it in; however, it is a gem of a city, and it should not be missed.

Bruges has a rich history, mostly attributed to the medieval era. It boasts many historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and the most scenic canals. The entire historic center of Bruges is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and rightly so; it’s a beauty to remember for ages.

It was the awkward, yet lovable, chemistry between Colin Farrell and his hitman partner, Brendan Gleeson, in the movie ‘In Bruges’ that made me want to visit this place. Colin, a young guy who loves city life, complains that Bruges is a shithole, while his partner loves the history and the museums. The movie’s weird comedy, set against the brilliant backdrop of Bruges, convinced me to visit. So I did. And it’s definitely not a shithole.

There are a lot of tourist attractions to see and many cool things to do in Bruges. People normally visit Bruges for a day trip, which should be enough to see the major attractions. However, if you love to take back deeper memories of the places you visit, consider staying for at least 2 to 3 days.

Admire the beautiful canals

Bruges has the most beautiful canals that I have seen. Add to that the beautiful buildings on the backdrop; everything seems as if it’s perfectly photographed (or AI-generated, nowadays). Walking through the canals around the historic city center tops my list of best things to do in Bruges.

Take a boating tour along the canals


I have taken many boat rides in different cities, and it’s apparently my favorite thing to do in the places I visit. But there was something uniquely beautiful about boating in Bruges. 

A 30-minute cruise along the canals, listening to the guide proudly sharing the marvelous history of Bruges and getting dumbfounded over how such a small city was a powerhouse in the medieval era. And to top that off, the ride is extremely photogenic.

The tour costs 12 EUR, and the ride lasts for about 30 minutes. Morning could be a good time as the sun will not be out with scorching heat, and the number of people on the streets will be just enough to create a lively, yet calm, atmosphere.

Explore the Market Square

This medieval market square is the heart of Bruges. It hosts a Grotes Market at one end and the Belfry tower at the other. The Grotes Market is held every Wednesday, where you can explore and buy fresh produce if you happen to be in Bruges.

It is clearly one of those places where you can just sit on one of the benches and enjoy the time passing by.

See the Belfry Tower


This 83-meter high Belfry tower is one of Bruges’ major landmarks. The top of Belfry Tower is the perfect place to enjoy the panoramic views of the market square and the city. You should climb 366 steps of a circular stair to reach the top. This costs 14 EUR. Try going in the morning or evening so you can skip the queue.

Visit Historium Bruges

Located in the market square, Historium is a unique and interactive experience to understand the history of Bruges. I visited specifically to see Bruges of the medieval times in virtual reality. While I absolutely loved the experience, I would more convincingly recommend it to you if it were a bit less expensive. It cost me 25 EUR to get a combined ticket with a virtual reality experience, along with a unique experience of watching an enthralling film on Bruges’ history which slightly blended with the real elements of the actual physical surroundings.

If you are not into museums and have some extra money to experience something exciting, then definitely go for it.

Spend time in the Burg Square


Burg is a cute square that houses major buildings with Gothic-style architecture. It houses an important landmark, The Basilica of the Holy Blood, that attracts Christians from all over the world. It supposedly stores the relic of Jesus’s blood. The church has a beautiful interior and it’s free to enter.

The beauty of this square is adorable and you can easily spend some time here sitting in the plastic chairs and enjoying the atmosphere. You could also feast on waffles that are sold at one corner of the street.

Try the Belgian waffle

A trip to Belgium is incomplete without you feasting on the waffles. And there are different varieties of them to suit your taste. There’s nutella, there’s vanilla flavored, there’s the traditional – so feel free to experiment with different tastes. One traditional waffle costs around 3 EUR, and there are also many shops that sell the combo of “Coffee and Waffle” for 5 EUR.

Buy Chocolates for your closed ones

In addition to waffles, Belgium is known for its chocolates, and is often referred to as the chocolate capital of the world. In Bruges, you can find a lot of shops that sell all kinds of chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth. You could mainly visit the family owned chocolate shops to dive in and have the local taste. Also, don’t forget to try the Hot Chocolate. It costs around 5 EUR and it tastes really good.

Take a lot of pictures at Rozenhoedkaai


Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay) is likely the most photogenic spot in Bruges. It’s a point where the canal takes a turn, creating a dreamy arc that blends perfectly with the brown houses on the opposite side, instantly making you fall in love with this place. It is also the starting point for many boating tours.

Location: 8000 Bruges, Belgium

Visit the Church of our Lady


A tall church that is visible from many places in Bruges, providing a great backdrop to the canals, is a great place to visit and admire. Just 100 meters from the church is Bonifaciusbrug (Boniface Bridge), which is regarded as the most romantic bridge in Bruges. It captures the city’s essence perfectly, creating a mystical atmosphere with beautiful views everywhere you look.

Location: Mariastraat, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Visit the St. Salvator’s Cathedral

Located in the midst of a busy street, St. Salvator’s Cathedral is a great place to visit. The Cathedral is really huge and has an interior to admire. It can provide a quick escape from your harried tourist self, allowing you to engage in peaceful admiration of the architectural grandeur of this place.

Location: Steenstraat, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Explore the Minnewater Park

Speaking of serenity, don’t miss meandering through the serene Minnewater Park. The park runs along the Minnewater, also known as the Lake of Love. The calmness of this place, the swans floating by, and a famous tragic story of medieval lovers that is commonly known among the locals give this place a romantic charm. It is said that if you cross the Minnewaterbrug (Lake of Love Bridge) with your partner, your love will receive eternal blessing.

Location: Minnewater 1/15, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Bike around the city

Because of its small size, biking is the second-best way to explore Bruges (walking being the first). There are bike rentals available in many parts of the city. The rental price is 10 EUR for 4 hours and 13 EUR for an entire day. If you are on a relaxing trip to Bruges with no rush, consider spending some time on a bike, exploring the medieval beauty of Bruges.

Practical tips for your trip to Bruges

  • Walk everywhere. The city is very walkable, and you don’t have to worry about public transport. You could only use public transport to get to the city from the train station or airport and back. Buying a ticket is easy; you just need to tap your bank card on the ticketing device in the bus to pay for your ticket, and that’s all. It automatically deducts the money for a one-way trip.
  • Many people come to visit Bruges for a day trip, so the afternoons will be the most crowded. The crowd gets less in the evening.
  • There are many kinds of food available to meet all your needs. A normal döner or pizza in an average restaurant costs around 7 to 10 euros. Beers cost 3 euros. You can sample a variety of beers in Bruges. Try to take advantage of the happy hours offered by many bars and restaurants. The place where I had most of my food was Everest Snack Bar and I highly recommend it.
  • There are many supermarkets around the city center, so you can also opt for buying affordable takeout and eating outside, overlooking the canals.
  • The prices of museums and different attractions are quite touristy and expensive in Bruges. If you plan to do a lot of those activities, consider getting a Bruges city card for the time of your visit; it will help you cut down on expenses.

Have you been to Bruges already? Let me know in the comments how you liked the city!


I love traveling and I love writing about it. It's my sincere hope that through my content, you will find some helpful information and inspiration for your own travels. :)

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