MARCH 2024

I always love doing a city trip in the beginning of the year, as that really is the time to enjoy a city while it is the most quiet. Last year we visited Ghent, which was a great succes, so this year we planned a trip to Bruges. We did a two days, one night trip to Bruges, which I personally found perfect. Of course, you can spend a much longer time in Bruges, the gastronomy scene is great and it is super picturesque. But in this blogpost I will explain which things to do and see in Bruges, if you are short on time.

Where we stayed

We picked Hotel Montovani as our hotel in Bruges. Hotel Montovani is super affordable, we paid about € 90 a night for a room with an children’s cot for Hugo, including a neat breakfast. Within 10 minutes walking you can find a free parking spot and in the same time you can be in the city center. So, perfect location and very cheap. If you are looking for a romantic or cozy stay, Hotel Montovani is not for you. The hotel rooms were very old fashioned, but I have to admit the bed was very comfortable and the WiFi worked.

Things to do in Bruges

Bruges is great for walking, everything is within walking distance and it is the perfect way to get a feel of the city.

Belfry: The Belfry is one of the icons of Bruges. If you pay the entrance fee, you are allowed to climb the tower which provides you with a picture perfect view over Bruges. We had already visited the Belfrey, so we didn’t on this trip, but it certainly is a recommendation for first-timers. The Belfry is located at the market square of Bruges, which also is a can’t miss spot.

Rozenhoedkaai: If you are not doing a boat tour, but still want those iconic views over the canals, the Rozenhoedkaai is the place to be. From this corner you get the best views over the canals of Bruges, with the Belfry in the background.

Basilica of the Holy Blood: We kept seeing people enter a corner door with stairs and were very curious what there was to see. It turned out to be the entrance in the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Apparently, this church is a very popular pilgrim spot as they have a cloth with Christ’s blood. Whether you are into that or not, you should at least visit for the incredible ceiling and the mysterious entrance. It is free to visit!

De Burg: The Basilica is located at De Burg, another beautiful square. I particularly loved the Brugse Vrije, a monumental 1700s courthouse. and the Bruges City Hall. Hugo and I both modeled with it, but you can see who is the better model 😉

Bonifacius Brug: The bridge of Boniface was my favorite spot in Bruges. It it is a little pedestrian bridge, just in front of the Church of our Lady. There is a little park next to it, which is super charming. Just make sure to get here early. We visited on a Saturday morning and between 10-11AM it starts getting really busy, we were just in time for pictures.

Saint John’s Hospital: The area surrounding the Saint John’s Hospital was super beautiful. The architecture is medieval and now it features a museum. There also were lots of cool restaurants with terraces, it seems like a great spot for summer time!

Maria Brug: Another great vantage view of Bruges. In this area you will also find very interesting shops.

Beguinage “Ten Wijngaerde”: Another example of 17th Century architecture. Apparently the nuns still inhabit this living complex. Make sure to be respectful when visiting and keep quiet. Just around the corner you will find the Minnewaterpark, which is great for relaxing.

Bruges Christmas markets: Apparantly, Bruges has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. We visited while the Christmas lights were still up and it looked fabulous!

Food & restaurants

We visited with a toddler, so we couldn’t visit each bar that we wanted, but Bruges is great for food and drinks, so I will definitely provide you with some recommendations.

Duc de Bourgogne: If you are looking for the restaurant with the best view of Bruges, you should go to Doc de Bourgogne. We went for drinks, but if you visit during lunch or dinner, they also serve food. The interior is old worldly, loved it!

De Gastro: We had dinner at De Gastro, which is one of the most popular restaurants in Bruges. I didn’t know if it was going to be toddler friendly, but it certainly was. The service is really quick, as they sell the tables twice. Make sure to book the later timeslot if you want to have a relaxed dining experience. Food was very good and waiters were lovely. It just was really, really busy…

Halve Maan: Halve Maan is the brewery of Brugse Zot. You can visit the brewery for a tour, but if you don’t have time for a tour you can also do lunch or dinner at the restaurant. They serve many dishes made with the typical beer and you can also have a glass of unfiltered Brugse Zot.

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