Bruges is a magical place. I’ve heard a lot about it from other people who have traveled there and loved it. I was pretty excited to get to visit the city this spring and it did not disappoint. We had two friends visiting from the U.S. and so we went on a mini road trip to Amsterdam and Bruges this spring. I love having visitors because I get to show them where I live and I usually also get to see something new myself. The trip was a blast and I’m excited to share my favorite parts with you.
1. Take a canal boat tour
Taking a canal boat tour was a great way to see Bruges. You get to see sides of buildings and views that you couldn’t get from just walking around. Plus you also hear some history and fun facts from the driver of the boat. You can find boat tours leaving from the area across from the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce Hotel.
2. Have a drink (or three!) at Bar De Garre
There are a lot of bars and breweries to visit in Bruges, but my favorite is De Garre. Tucked away down a tiny alley, this bar was packed with tourists and locals. It dates back to the 1700s, which you can feel from its historic decor.
While there is a fairly large beer menu, I would recommend the Garre Tripel. It’s so strong that you are only allowed three glasses before being cut off, but personally I couldn’t taste it as it actually tasted sweet. The staff will also bring you a plate of cheese that pairs very well with the beer. This was probably my favorite thing that I did in Bruges and I hope to be back at De Garre someday soon!
3. Visit at The Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce HoteL At night
The Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce Hotel is one of the most photographed spots in Bruges. It looks beautiful during the day, but make sure to take the time to see it at night. Stop at a kiosk, grab a Belgian beer (I recommend a Kriek or Framboise Lambic for my fellow fruit lovers), and take in the beauty of Bruges.
4. Have a beer-infused dinner
Belgium is known for beer, so why not have a beer-infused meal while you are there? I loved our affordable three course Belgian meal from t’ Gulden Vlies. The restaurant is small and has an intimate vibe.
I had cheese croquettes for a starter, which were fantastic. For my main, I had the salmon with a beer-infused sauce, and it was phenomenally prepared. The chocolate mousse for dessert was also very good, although the only part of the meal that didn’t include beer.
5. Buy some chocolate (from the grocery store)
When in Bruges, you will see many chocolate stores and probably be tempted to go in. I know I did, although I usually don’t do things like that. I got a very, very small (like three tiny pieces small) mixed bag of chocolate for around 3 euro. And you know what? It wasn’t even good. Do yourself a favor and just go straight to the grocery store, that’s where you’ll get the best chocolate and value for your money. My personal favorite is the Cote D’or Bouchee, they are fantastic. Make sure you enjoy your purchase as your wander through the mesmerizing streets of Bruges.
There are many other things you can do in Bruges, but these are my personal recommendations as someone who isn’t easily enthralled by museums and churches. Let me know how your trip goes!