What to do in Bruges, Belgium | TOP 18 in 2 or 3 days

What to do in Bruges, Belgium? If you plan to visit Bruges for a weekend of 2 or 3 days, or even for a day, here are the 18 best activities and visits to make the most of your stay.

When the weather is rainy in winter, Bruges can seem too gray and less romantic than in spring, summer, or early autumn. However, it is a city with incredible charm, ideal for a weekend getaway or a day trip from Brussels.

1. Visit the beautiful squares of Bruges

Bruges has two must-see squares: the Grand Place (like in Brussels and also known as Grote Markt or Belfry Square) and the Burg Square. They are a minute’s walk from each other.

What to do or see on the Grand Place of Bruges (or Grote Markt)?

  • The Belfry of Bruges
  • The Provincial Court
  • Very pretty, colorful facades typical of the region

What to see on the Burg Square?

  • The City Hall of Bruges (or Stadhuis)
  • The Basilica of the Holy Blood of Bruges
grand place bruges belgium
The Grand Place of Bruges

2. Take a carriage ride

If you come to Bruges for its romantic atmosphere, a carriage ride is an ideal occasion to mark your couple’s trip! It is also an excellent activity in Bruges with children: discover the city without walking. The carriage departs from the Grand Place.

3. Admire the city from the Belfry of Bruges

The Belfry of Bruges is an iconic building of the city. It is located on the Grand Place. Built in the 13th century, it is 83 meters high and offers a lovely view of Bruges’ city center and even the surroundings.

view belfry visit bruges
View over the city of Bruges

4. Visit the Saint Saviour’s Cathedral in Bruges

It is the oldest cathedral in the city! Saint Saviour’s Cathedral was built in the 10th century. The height of its belfry tower is 79 meters. It is a 5-minute walk from the Grand Place.

The cathedral’s interior is worth a visit: a museum of Flemish art. In summer, you will appreciate the coolness of the cathedral, and in winter, its indoor temperature is warmer than outside.

5. Take a cruise on the canals of Bruges

Ah, the canals of Bruges! You can discover them on foot, but the best way is to take a boat tour and thus see the city from a different angle. Cruising on the canals is one of the best activities in Bruges.

Boat tours operate from the beginning of March to mid-November. You can see some boats outside this period, but they are rarer and depend on the weather.

The boat ride lasts 30 minutes. There are group cruises (about 30 people), but it is also possible to take a private ride.

You can embark at 5 different places:

  • Huidenvettersplein 13;
  • Rozenhoedkaai;
  • Wollestraat 32;
  • Nieuwstraat 11;
  • Katelijnestraat 4.

If you are visiting Bruges in the summer, consider booking tickets in advance, as this is one of the most popular activities: book tickets for a boat tour in Bruges.

boat ride to do in bruges
Cruise on the canals of Bruges

6. Walk along the Quay of the Rosary

The Quay of the Rosary is the city’s old salt port. It is located in the heart of the historical center of Bruges. Today, it’s one of the prettiest spots in the city. During your trip to Bruges, do not miss this mythical location in the city (see its location on Google Maps).

7. Discover the most romantic spots in Bruges

In addition to the Quay of the Rosary, do not miss other romantic and beautiful places in Bruges. To make sure you don’t miss anything, we have prepared this small list:

  • The Lake of Love in Bruges (or Minnewater, a 17-minute walk from the Grand Place);
  • Sashuis and Poertoren (magnificent views of the Lake of Love);
  • The bridges: Saint-Boniface, Peerdenbrug, and Vlamingbrug;
  • The little park De Dijver by the canal;
  • Sint-Janskaai;
  • Spiegelrei;
  • the angels of the Arentshof pavilion.
romantic bruges weekend
Romantic trip to Bruges

8. Travel to medieval Bruges at the Historium

What to do in Bruges with children? In the medieval period, Bruges was radiant! So, what could be better than seeing what life was like here during that time? It’s possible at the Historium of Bruges!

If you are visiting Bruges with your family, or if you simply love history, it’s a fantastic activity to do: book tickets.

9. Visit the Church of Our Lady in Bruges

An impressive religious building that is a must-see in Bruges! The Church of Our Lady in Bruges differs completely from the Saint Saviour’s Cathedral. The light that passes through the church’s stained glass windows is beautiful. Add this visit to your discovery itinerary. You will not regret it.

10. Visit the family brewery De Halve Maan

Belgium is known for its breweries. In Bruges, you can visit one of them: the De Halve Maan Brewery! It is located in the historic center of Bruges, a 15-minute walk from the Grand Place (see it on Google Maps).

It is a perfect opportunity to discover the brewing process and an ideal moment to taste a local beer. You can learn more on the brewery’s website.

11. Eating delicious Belgian chocolate

In addition to beer, Belgian chocolate is known all over the world. If you visit Bruges for a weekend, you can discover Belgian chocolate in several ways.

First, in a chocolate workshop or a specialty shop. For example, Chocolates and Happiness or The Chocolate Line. These are two tasty places in the historic center of Bruges to buy chocolate.

The Chocolate Line has two shops in Bruges, one central and one further from the city center, where the workshop and its store are located.

Next, you can also visit the Bruges Chocolate Museum: Choco-Story (buy tickets here). You can learn a lot about the history and the making of chocolate.

chocolate bruges
Eating chocolate strawberries!

12. Enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the Beguinage of Bruges

The Beguinage is one of the must-see places to visit during a trip to Bruges. If you are looking for a peaceful place and a calm atmosphere, visiting the Beguinage will do you a world of good.

Peace, serenity, gentle silence: these words can describe the Beguinage of Bruges. It’s a charming place for any traveler in search of this atmosphere. It is located not far from the Lake of Love in Bruges.

Begijnhof Bruges walk
Begijnhof

13. Visiting the Bruges Frietmuseum (Fries Museum)

If you go to Bruges and Belgium generally, you must taste Belgian fries! It’s surprising, but visiting the Frietmuseum can also considerably mark your trip to Bruges. This museum is fun and allows for a good time while having fun (book tickets for the Frietmuseum)!

14. Discovering the windmills of Bruges in the Kruisvest park

What to do in Bruges off the beaten path? Both relatively central and lesser known, there is the Kruisvest Park. It’s a relatively calm place in Bruges compared to the historic center’s alleys, which can sometimes be crowded during the high tourist season.

You can walk or even picnic here while admiring the pretty windmills Sint-Janshuismolen and Nieuwe Papegaai (see it on Google Maps).

see windmill bruges trip
Windmill

15. Strolling in the Minnewater Park

Minnewater Park is the park located by the Lake of Love in Bruges. A place to discover during a romantic weekend in Bruges!

After the walk in the park, you can sit in the cafe Kasteel Minnewater (photo below) to enjoy a beautiful view of the park. Payment is made in cash, and you must order at the counter. Once you know, you can quietly enjoy the picture and the idyllic place!

visit bruges minnewater park
Minnewater Park, Bruges

16. Admiring the collections of the Groeninge Museum in Bruges

Visiting the Groeninge Museum is a must for all art enthusiasts. Here, you can admire a beautiful collection of Flemish primitives.

A great discovery of Flemish painting over several centuries! Find all the practical information for this visit here.

17. See the gates of Bruges

What else to do in Bruges? At the 4 corners of the historic center of Bruges, you can see the magnificent medieval gates of the city:

  • Gentpoort;
  • Kruispoort;
  • Ezelpoort;
  • Dampoort.

Even if they may not impress us today with their size, they still bear witness to the fortifications of Bruges in the Middle Ages. Once you know it, you can imagine what the city of Bruges was like at that time in history.

18. Learn to make authentic Belgian waffles

If you are looking for an unusual activity in Bruges, this one is for you. Discover the secrets of making Belgian waffles! Learn more here: Waffle-making workshop with a Belgian beer tasting.

How long does it take to visit Bruges?

The ideal duration to visit Bruges is a 3-day weekend with 2 on-site nights. You will see that time flies by. The atmosphere of the city will carry you away. This is especially true in summer when the days are long, and the boat rides are delightful.

If you are short on time, visiting Bruges in one day from Brussels is possible. Several companies organize this excursion, including round-trip transportation to Bruges from Brussels. See price here.

How to get to Bruges from Brussels?

The train is the most convenient solution. There are direct trains that run between Brussels and Bruges every 15 minutes. Plan a little over an hour for this train journey.

Plan at least 1h30 or 2 hours of travel time by car to reach Bruges from Brussels.

Where to stay when visiting Bruges?

In Bruges, there are many lovely guest houses. For example, Guest House La Civiรจre d’or is in the historic center of Bruges.

Among the best hotels is the Hotel Augustyn Brugge. It is ideally situated for visiting Bruges on foot.

Find more places in our article:ย Where to stay in Bruges.

what to do in bruges belgium walk

If you stay in Bruges for more than 4 days, you can discover more information on the city’s tourist sites on its official website here. There you might find other visit ideas.

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