When imagining a weekend in Bruges words such as medieval, romantic and picturesque spring to mind. I visited Bruges during the summer of 2017 for Dan’s birthday and it was exactly all of those things. We ate (and drank) a lot, saw some incredible stuff whilst exploring and frankly had a wonderful weekend. So if you’re looking for tips for your own weekend in Bruges read on!
How To Get To Bruges
The easiest and quickest way to get to Bruges from London is via the Eurostar. It was a fairly inexpensive train journey, which took only three hours. From London St Pancras Station we jumped on the train to Brussels. Once there you have to change to a local train which takes you on to Bruges. The station is a little confusing, so do ask someone for help if you get lost.
What We Ate
We packed so much food and drink into this weekend trip to Bruges, that I don’t know where to start. Actually yes I do. Start with praline. You’ll find streets dedicated to chocolate in the city, many of which offer free samples. So don’t get overwhelmed and spend your entire budget in one shop. If you’re looking for the nicest chocolate, head to the chocolate shops where you can see the kitchens. I found this out during my initial research and it is not wrong at all.
For dinner in typical tourist fashion, we headed to Bruges’ Market Square. We had a great view of the Markt and the Belfort so the extra we may have been charged for dinner was so worth it. We dined on Moules Frites (well I did, Dan had pasta) and drank goblets of Gin and Tonics.
What We Drank
After our dinner in the main square, we headed to the gorgeous Bistro Zwart Huis for more drinks. It felt like we had stepped back in time and place to New York. With candlelit tables, soft Jazz music playing in the background. Plus walls adorned with musical instruments. This place is well worth a visit!
You can’t write a blog about a weekend in Bruges without mentioning beer. Myself and Dan aren’t huge beer drinkers, but we still gave it a go. Because you can’t visit without trying at least one Belgium beer can you? We headed underground to Le Trappiste, following a number of recommendations from friends. It’s a specialist beer bar located in an 800-year-old cellar with around 15 beers on tap. Plus plenty more in bottles. We opted for a four beer paddle and left it up to the bartender to choose our beers. Friendly staff, strong beer and a great atmosphere. It was the perfect way to start the birthday celebrations during our weekend in Bruges.
What We Did
For something a little different to do in Bruges, I’d suggest visiting the St-Anna Windmills. Located east of the city centre is just four of the remaining mills. We spotted just two on our walk-The Bonne Chiere Mill and the Sint-Janshuismolen. The latter we found out was built in 1770 and has been occupying its original site ever since.
We also took part in the slightly touristy activity and climbed The Belfort, which overlooks the Markt. This Unesco-listed site is a 13th-century Belfry and to reach the top you have to climb a whopping 366 steps. Just a tip, be prepared to wait in line for a while, especially during peak visiting months. I’d say we queued for about two hours, but once you get over the wait (and the exhaustion from the climb) the views are totally worth it.
On our final afternoon in Bruges, we took a walk by Minnewater Park on the way to the train station. Apparently, in English, this is translated to mean the Lake of Love and you can see why. Despite visiting in summer the colours and more reflective of autumn with it’s burnt orange and dark green leaves. You’ll find locals, runners and tourists dotted around the area, but it’s still a peaceful place to sit and relax before saying goodbye to the city.
If you’re thinking about booking a weekend in Bruges, do it now! You won’t regret it. And if you’ve visited this city before, what did you get up to? I’d love to hear about your trip to Bruges too. Just leave me a message in the comments!
Until next time.