1. The Belfry
You’ll never get lost in Bruges. The Belfort or Belfry is one of the points of interest in Bruges that you can always see. Located on the Grand Market, the tower on top of the hall complex is one of the most recognizable points of the city. A climb to the highest point (via the stairs) is one of the best things to do in Bruges. From the inner courtyard of the halls, you start climbing the 366 steps that bring you to the viewing point at 83 meters (272 feet) altitude. From here you’ll get the best panorama over this gorgeous city.
2. Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood located on the ‘Burg’ is one of Bruges’ greatest things to see, and all because in the basilica you can find a bottle containing a drop of the blood of Christ. After the Second Crusade in 1149, the blood is supposed to be brought back from the Holy Land by Dietrich Alsace.
3. The canals of Bruges
The extensive network of channels flowing through the historic center of Bruges is called the ‘Brugse reien’. As the rivers flows along all the major sights in Bruges, a boat trip on these canals is one of the top things to do in Bruges. It may be very touristy, but given the reputation of the ‘Venice of the North’, a boat trip is something you must do while you’re in Bruges.
4. The chocolate museum
When someone asks me what there is to do in Bruges, there are quite a few answers… One thing everyone will find out about when walking in Bruges is that there are a lot of chocolate shops in this Flemish city. It’s clear that Belgium is famous for its delicious chocolate! A reputation that is being showcased with pleasure at the Chocolate Museum. By taking a tour here you’ll learn about the history of chocolate and how cocoa is processed into the delicacy we all love.
5. Belgian fries museum
From one treat to another. Belgium has more specialties than just chocolate. One of the activities in Bruges that you can do is visit the ‘Frietmuseum’. The Belgian fries museum claims to be the first and only museum devoted to the Belgian fries. You will learn about the history of the crunchy delicacy, the bond with Belgium and of course you can taste the Belgian fries here! This is one of the activities in Bruges that you should only do when it’s raining.
6. Brewery ‘De Halve Maan’ (the half-moon)
Is there a better way to finish your fries than with a fresh Belgian beer? In the Half-Moon Brewery, the centuries-old tradition of beer brewing is recorded in a museum that you can visit. A tour is followed with a fresh pint of ‘Bruges Zot’, one of the beers brewed here. If you’re wondering what to see in Bruges, and you’re a beer lover, then this attraction in Bruges certainly shouldn’t be skipped. Anyone looking for a wonderful location for lunch can also have great food here with views over the many canals of Bruges.
7. The Historium
The Historium is one of the museums you can visit if you wonder what to do in Bruges during rainy weather. Located on the ‘Grand Market’, this museum is a historic lesson for anyone who wants to experience the Golden Age of the city again. With the help of cinematic decors, music and special effects, you return to the medieval times of Bruges. The panoramic terrace on the second floor is one of the most beautiful photo locations in the city. From the top you look down at the impressive big market with the dominating Belfry, the beating heart of the city.
8. The beguinage
Whether you’re in Bruges for a day or a weekend, you’ll never get enough of sightseeing in Bruges. The white colored cottages of the ‘Begijnhof (Beguinage) Ten Wijngaerde’ are one of the places you just want to visit. Although there’s no beguines living here anymore, it remains a unique location in the surroundings of Bruges. It’s in fact the last preserved beguinage of the city. The setting near the ‘Minnewater’, a small lake surrounded by trees and a park makes the beguinage even more idyllic.
9. The St. John’s Hospital
The St. John’s Hospital in Bruges is one of the oldest surviving hospital buildings in Europe. Dating from the twelfth century, the sick, pilgrims and travelers were treated by the nuns and monks present. By visiting you’ll learn more about life in this hospital, but the old pharmacy and herb garden are worth a visit as well. In addition, there are many works of art of one of the most famous painters of the Flemish Primitives: Hans Memling. He lived and worked in Bruges during the fifteenth century.
10. Loppem Castle
Whoever spends a weekend in Bruges and thinks of all that there is to do in Bruges doesn’t have to limit theirselves to the historical center. In the vicinity of Brugge you will find the Loppem forest, in which you’ll also find a neogotic castle with ramparts. The forest is ideal for those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a walk in a delightful background.
11. Boudewijn Seapark
Another possibility to spend a weekend in Bruges with the children is by visiting the nearby Boudewijn Seapark. This theme park is located in the vicinity of Bruges and is the ideal day out with children. In addition, there is also a dolphinarium where dolphins show all kinds of tricks during a show.
Plan your trip to Bruges
Looking for things to do in Bruges? Above you already found eleven. But of course there is much more to see in the most beautiful city of Flanders!
Tickets and tours can also be booked online. Curious about what is on offer?
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.