Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Bruges, Belgium. #Top Attractions

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For your next holiday, make it a point to visit Bruges, Belgium. Get the most out of your vacation by exploring the best things to do in Bruges, Belgium, and the best places to visit in Bruges, Belgium below. As a Web 3.0 travel startup, Wondrous Drifter has big plans to shake things up in the field.

Basilica of The Holy Blood

Basilica of The Holy Blood
Basilica of The Holy Blood, Bruges, Belgium / It’s No Game / Flickr

It’s an actual Basilica with Holy Blood.

The Basilica of The Holy Blood or Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed is a renowned vial holding cloth dyed with the actual blood of Christ.

It is situated in the centre Belgian town of Bruges, in a medieval church in the 12th century. That’s how the legend goes.

As exquisite as the cathedral itself is, guests from different walks of life to see what all the commotion is now about, from people who are extremely religious to others who are just truly curious.

According to legend, Joseph of Arimathea washed Christ’s blood-stained cloth after the crucifixion and kept it.

Also during Second Crusade, the item was held secure in Jerusalem by King Baldwin III before Count of Flanders Diederik van de Elzas, Baldwin’s brother-in-law, handed it to him.

Furthermore, the Count then returned to Bruges with the relic, which is still sealed in the upper chapel of the Basilica.

In addition to the ornate vial’s gold highlights and angel-adorned crowns on either end, the contents inside are also magnificent. Guests are free to visit the chapel at any time to see the relic.

Also, Ascension Day’s Procession of the Holy Blood fascinates both residents and tourists.

In fact, the revered vial is paraded around the streets by the bishop, who is accompanied by locals who conduct historical reenactments of biblical events.

Even if you aren’t the religious type, the church is truly a must-see. Come and visit now.

Address: Burg 13, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Belfry tower

Belfry tower
Belfry tower, Bruges, Belgium / Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

Reward yourself  with fantastic views of the city when you climb this tower.

Belfry Burges is a structure that will surely captivate your attention.

The “Venice of the North” gets its nickname from this huge tower that overlooks the skyline.

It is thought that this building was constructed in the thirteenth century.

Furthermore, it is nestled in Grand Place, also known as Markt, in the city center.

In actuality, UNESCO has designated this landmark by its historical value.

Originally, the tower was made out of wood. After being damaged by multiple fires, it was reconstructed with two brick bases and four towers, each crowned with a white stone spire.

This structure is named after the Dutch town of Belfort, which is one of Europe’s oldest and most well-known belfries.

Only 70 people are allowed to see the Bruges belfry at any given time. Nearly 4,000 people visit the tower during the busy season.

Nonetheless, don’t be scared to go the 366 stairs; different preparations have been made to strengthen the structure!

Check out this famous landmark in your trip to Brugge!

Address: Markt 7, 8000 Brugge, Belgium


Beguinages, Bruges, Belgium / David Merrett / Flickr

The lovely Begijnhof in Belgium provides a peaceful haven in the center of the city.

These UNESCO World Heritage sites were constructed in 1245 to give religious shelter for poor and elderly women. Many of them were unmarried or widowed as a result of the battles that raged at the time.

While the Begijnhoff is from the 13th century, many of the structures that surround the central tree are from the 17th century. There is a handful from the nineteenth century thrown in for good measure.

The entrance, which is over a bridge across a lovely canal, transports you to another planet.

Naturally, the Begijnhof is now a Benedictine convent because life within was calm and guided by rigorous religious ideals. 

Even today, there are signs advising that visitors keep their voices low and make as little noise as possible.

When you see whitewashed cottages and tranquil grounds, you’ve arrived. A tour of the Beguine’s house (now a museum) provides insight into life in the thirteenth century.

Visit this site that’s been around since the 12th century.

Address: Flanders, Belgium

Bruges Canal Cruise

Bruges Canal Cruise
Bruges Canal Cruise, Bruges, Belgium / Karen Bryan / Flickr

Float to get the most stunning point-of-view of the city.

The city may be seen by horse-drawn carriage or on foot, but the best way to appreciate its stunning architecture is from the river. Canals wind their way through Bruges’ historic center and out into the rest of the city. 

You can’t visit Bruges without taking a sail through the city’s famous canals. After all, Bruges is known as the “Venice of the North,” so a cruise should be on your bucket list.

The rocky skylines reflect in the lake, and beautiful skyscrapers are spread in different directions. Throughout the day and evening, boats depart from jetties across the city.

The captains are all full of information, anecdotes, and humorous stories about the city’s lifeblood: the water.

The city’s canals made it so wealthy in the first place. The canals are even mentioned in the city’s name. Brugge is supposed to be derived from the Scandinavian word “Bryggis,” which means “mooring place.”

The canals are now primarily used for tourist purposes, yet they are no less beautiful than centuries before. The tours usually take place from March through November. On colder days, bundle up warmly and bring a waterproof jacket with you.

Book a ride now and float through the Bruges Canal.

Address: Bruges Canal, West Flanders, Belgium

Bruges City Center

Bruges City Center
Bruges City Center, Bruges, Belgium / Miguel Discart / Flickr

One of the finest kept medieval European villages.

The Historic Center of Brugge has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. According to previous visitors, the historic center is one of the first locations you should visit in Bruges because it is one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval European village.

Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets or take a boat trip through the canals to see the Gothic and neo-Gothic structures that make up this historic city.

This area was formerly a bustling business hub and a center for the Flemish Primitive art style. Recent guests advised staying for two to three hours. They also recommended taking a canal cruise and unwinding with a pint of beer and a waffle.

The City Hall, which dates from the 12th century and has much unique gothic architecture, is one of the most incredible and significant things to do in Bruges. Oh, and the Main Hall is very stunning inside.

This district is located in the heart of Bruges and is easily accessible at any time.

Visit this World Heritage Site now and learn more about Bruges.

Address: Burg 15, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Bruges Markt (Market Square)

Bruges Markt (Market Square)
Bruges Markt (Market Square), Bruges, Belgium / Stig Nygaard / Flickr

A fantastic point to start exploring the city.

Since 985, this market square has hosted a weekly market. Visit on a Wednesday for the traditional market, or stop by one of the guild homes that have been turned into eateries around the perimeter.

Markt is Bruges’ commercial hub, flanked on one side by the Belfort, and serves as a potent reminder that Bruges was once the economic capital of Flanders.

That’s all fantastic, but the architecture stands out. The area is surrounded by rows of classic Flanders buildings, complete with stepped roofs and characteristic brickwork, accented by a few museums and the massive Belfort.

You may also take a horse-drawn carriage tour around the city. It’s a fascinating viewpoint and one of the best things to do in Bruges when your feet need a break.

The square is transformed into a beautiful wonderland for Christmas fans every winter. It has a Christmas market with an ice rink and plenty of seasonal stalls from November to January.

Don’t forget to visit the Markt when you come to Bruges.

Address: Markt, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Chocolatier Dumon

Chocolatier Dumon
Chocolatier Dumon. Bruges, Belgium / Olivia Mobbs / Flickr

This place is any chocolate lover’s dream.

One of Belgium’s most famous commodities has to be chocolate. And while you have more options in Bruges than you can imagine, there is one chocolatier in particular that you must visit: Chocolatier Dumon.

This chocolate shop, run by a family, has a fantastic range of chocolates that taste as delicious as they look.

Chocolatier Dumon is the idea of chocolatier Stephan Dumon, who has created a one-of-a-kind, ultra-trendy concept store on Simon Stevinplein. 

It’s a peaceful environment where chocolate enthusiasts can enjoy an Italian espresso with handcrafted chocolates and pure chocolate hot chocolate.

Chocolatier Dumon is one of Belgium’s most well-known chocolate brands, yet its little, lovely shop just off the Markt is a very realistic structure. As you descend into this tangle of chocolate shops, keep an eye on your head.

Come and see these great Belgian delights at Chocolatier Dumond now. 

Address: Aartrijkestraat 93 8820, Torhout, België


Choco-Story, Bruges, Belgium / Paulius Malinovskis / Flickr

It’s a museum about chocolate!

It’s no surprise that Bruges has its own chocolate museum, given that Belgium is synonymous with chocolate.

Choco-Story tells the story of chocolate and cocoa, shows how it’s created and gives visitors many chances to try the sweet delight. The museum, located in a tower built in 1480, is equally impressive.

Choco-Story has received mixed feedback from previous visitors. Recent visitors stated they had their fill of chocolate but advised that working through the museum’s exhibits would need a lot of reading. The demos at the end of the self-guided tour were very popular.

Adult tickets cost 9.50 euros, children’s tickets cost 5.50 euros, and children’s tickets cost 7.50 euros. Children under six can come for free.

Combo tickets are also available for the Frietmuseum (a museum dedicated to the history of Belgian fries and other potato products). Choco-Story is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or until 6 p.m. in July and August) and is conveniently positioned among other major attractions in the old city center.

Visit this fascinating chocolate museum now!

Address: Wijnzakstraat 2, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Church of Our Lady

Church of Our Lady
Church of Our Lady, Bruges, Belgium / Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

To those Michelangelo fans, you’ll find a piece here out of Italy.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwerkerk is Bruges’ most visited religious structure and the city’s highest tower (even higher than the Belfort’s).

This is because of its beautiful design and the fact that it holds several important works of art, including Michaelangelo’s Madonna and Child.

The sculpture was created in 1504 for Siena Cathedral in Italy and is noteworthy for being the only one to leave Italy while Michaelangelo was alive. All of that changed in 1506 when two Bruges businessmen purchased the artwork and eventually donated it to the church.

It attracts a lot of people nowadays. To see it in relative quiet, go early or late before or after the tour buses arrive and depart.

The 122 m tower is one of Belgium’s tallest, only surpassed by Antwerp’s magnificent cathedral.

The bronze and stone monuments of Charles the Bold and his daughter are also well worth visiting.

See this stunning church now in Burges.

Address: Mariastraat, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

De Halve Maan

De Halve Maan
De Halve Maan, Bruges, Belgium / Bernt Rostad / Flickr

The B in Belgium is for BEER!

The De Halve Maan Brewery is a family-owned enterprise that makes the Brugse Zot, a strong-tasting, highly fermented Bruges city beer with a history dating back to the 16th century.

In addition, the brewery has an underground pipeline that distributes its beer from the brewery to a bottling plant in the suburbs. You can swing over for a pint or join in on a brewery tour.

A pipeline with the number 3276m may be found right when you enter the building. This underground beer pipeline prevents beer trucks from breaking the road from the brewery to the bottling facility. 

De Halve Maan wanted to show respect for the city of Bruges, so he built the world’s first pipeline.

Except for the bottling, the tour takes about 45 minutes and shows you practically all the facilities used to make the beer. You are welcome to peer into the brewing room. With approximately 100.000 people each year, the beer brewery tour at De Halve Maan is the most popular in Belgium.

According to recent visitors, there are some steep steps, but the instructional 45-minute tour is highly recommended. Guests constantly praise the brewery’s rooftop vistas and the humorous, knowledgeable guides.

See and taste Belgian famed family-crafted beer now.

Address: Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge, Belgium 

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Diamantmuseum, Bruges, Belgium / Julien Chatelain / Flickr

They say diamonds are forever.

Belgium is home to three of the world’s most prestigious diamond museums. Accident? I don’t believe so.

The history of Belgium is intricately linked to the diamond industry. Diamond cutting was initially invented more than 500 years ago in Bruges.

While Antwerp is currently the world’s diamond capital, the idea of cleaning stones with diamond “dust” originated in Bruges.

Visitors are transported back in time to historic diamond workshops and reproductions of iconic diamonds manufactured at the museum, located in a 17th-century mansion. There are also numerous genuine jewels to be found.

One of the best highlights of this diamond museum, which also has a 252-carat diamond that is rough, raw, and greenish and recounts how they came up with  “diamonds are everlasting” as the De Beers tagline.  

See this museum dedicated to the ultimate luxury status symbol.

Address: Katelijnestraat 43, 8000 Brugge, Belgium


Frietmuseum, Bruges, Belgium / Taiwai Yun / Flickr

Did you know there’s nothing really “French” about the french-fry.

The world’s only museum dedicated to fries is located in Brugge, among Gothic buildings and outdoor cafes serving beer and waffles.

While some may refer to fried potatoes as “French” fries, it is commonly recognized that pommes frites originate in Belgium, and the Frietmuseum pays homage to this national food. 

Cédric and Eddy Van Belle have amassed an unusual collection of antiquities, machinery, and art inside the Saaihalle, a 14th-century structure.

From Andean potatoes to Belgium’s distinctive paper cones of crispy, hot Pommes Frites, their museum explores the history of the fry. There’s an Inca-era vase with potatoes, dioramas of Peruvian farmers and potato-peeling European soldiers, antique ads, a large selection of potato cutters, and a mobile of dangling tubers from around the world.

Visitors can descend to the ancient cellar, where a cafe serves Pommes Frites, croquettes, and beef stew after working up an appetite.

Check out this museum dedicated to Belgium’s national food.

Address: Vlamingstraat 33, Bruges, Belgium

Groeninge Museum

Groeninge Museum
Groeninge Museum, Bruges, Belgium / Dimitris Kamaras / Flickr

A museum that focuses on the great artists of the city.

The Groeninge Museum is the city’s most important museum, with a collection that concentrates primarily on artists who have lived in Bruges throughout the centuries since the Middle Ages.

Given its long history, Bruges is a culturally rich city, which you may celebrate by viewing the Groeningemuseum’s extensive collection of Flemish Primitive and Renaissance masterpieces.

The art gallery, which contains works by Flemish masters including Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, Hugo van der Goes, and Gerard David, is a great way to spend a wet day.

The gallery contains many magnificent pieces, but those with a morbid love of art will be thrilled to find that it also contains numerous horrific and gruesome works, such as a picture from 1498 depicting a man being flayed alive and St George being tortured. 

The market square building offers spectacular views if you need a respite from it all.

Come visit this unique museum now.

Address: Dijver 12, 8000 Brugge, Belgium


Minnewater, Bruges, Belgium / Jim Linwood / Flickr

Uncover the myths behind the “Lake of Love.”

A tiny rectangular lake known as Minnewater or the Lake of Love may be found in the south portion of Bruges, surrounded by trees and the nearby Minnewaterpark. The tragic romance of Minna and her warrior love, Stromberg, has become a local legend, according to which if you go over the lake bridge with your spouse, you will experience eternal love.

However, there is no need to feel pressed. Whether a couple declares their undying love during the walk, the Lake of Love is a very romantic location. Take in the scenery from the lake bridge, one of the lakeside benches, or a stroll through the peaceful park.

According to the first of the myths, the Minnewater lake, or ‘Lake of Love,’ was generated by natural forces and afterward adapted to the needs of the city’s residents, rather than being romantic as it may appear.

Minne’ is a Germanic word that means elf or sprite, and this version of the story has a lot more magic; it has to do with Bruges’ medieval and rural atmosphere.

Magical beings in the same region inhabited a forest before the lake was created. In search of water, the elves cast magic that made Minnewater Lake and supplied water to the city’s canals.

Uncover the truth behind these myths now when you visit Minnewater.

Address: Minnewater, 8000 Brugge, Belgium


Rozenhoedkaai, Bruges, Belgium / gallery / Flickr

See this famed place in Burges.

Rozenhoedkaai, or Quay of the Rosary, is a lovely place where the Dijver and Groenerei canals meet and is considered one of Bruges’ most photographed areas. Relax in the gorgeous canals, quaint bars, historic buildings, restaurants, and hotels.

Rozenhoedkaai is a canal-side street surrounded by historical buildings. The immaculate canal reflects the blue sky and these historical monuments, giving it an attractive appearance. Tourists go here to take pictures and even have a romantic date because of its magnificent beauty.

According to visitors, it is also an excellent place to go for a canal cruise in the evening.

The changing seasons only contribute to the beauty of the river, which is open to visitors throughout the year. One of the intriguing facts about the street is that it was renamed Rozenhoedkaai in the 18th century because there were rosary booths on it.

The beautiful canal and historic architecture make the street a popular tourist destination.

Float through the waters now and see this beautiful site.

Address: Rozenhoedkaai, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

St. John’s Hospital

St. John’s Hospital
St. John’s Hospital, Bruges, Belgium / . Ray in Manila / Flickr

Visit one of the world’s oldest hospitals turned museum.

Sint Janshospitaal (St John’s Hospital) is one of Europe’s oldest remaining hospital buildings, dating back to the 12th century. It was the city’s primary hospital until the early twentieth century. It now operates as a museum dedicated to re-creating the appearance of a medieval hospital and pharmacy.

Pilgrims, travelers, and the ill were cared for by sisters and brothers at St. John’s Hospital, which has a history of almost eight centuries. 

The medieval wards and the adjacent church and chapel include an outstanding collection of documents, art, medical tools, and six Hans Memling pieces. 

A 17th-century pharmacy can be found in the adjacent monastery. The monastery’s cloister, pharmacy, and guard room are located in the courtyard and are accessible by a covered alley to the right of the main entrance. The abbey is located on the first floor.

The Diksmuide attic is another attraction at this museum. Visitors can find one of Europe’s oldest and most gigantic roof support structures here.

Experience visiting this historical hospital now.

Address: Mariastraat 38, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

St. Salvador’s Cathedral

St. Salvador’s Cathedral
St. Salvador’s Cathedral, Bruges, Belgium / Suvodeb Banerjee / Flickr

Bruges’ most significant cathedral.

When Belgium became an independent kingdom in the 19th century, St Salvator was transformed into a cathedral.

It was enlarged and improved to reflect its new status and make it appear as significant as its neighbor, the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk.

An expansive blend of architectural styles from the Scheldt and High Gothic periods results from the building’s long history. It also features Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque architecture.

Weapons from the Knights of the Golden Fleece’s chivalric order can be found inside the cathedral. Other notable items on display include a collection of Old Dutch paintings, shrines, reliquaries, and sculptures from the church treasury.

Whether or not you are religious, the parish is worth visiting merely to see the stunning neo-gothic architecture and the collection of Flemish artwork on show in the treasure chamber.

Visit the main cathedral of the city now.

Address:  Sint-Salvatorskoorstraat 8, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Torture Museum

Torture Museum
Torture Museum, Bruges, Belgium / 35mmMan / Flickr

Travel back in time when the use of torture devices was a norm.

A collection of medieval torture devices can be found underneath one of Brugges’s oldest stone buildings, dating from the 10th or 11th century.

The Brugge Torture Museum is housed in a historic stronghold built to defend Bruges. The structure became known as “the Old Stone” during the 14th century when it was used as a medieval prison. More than 100 different torture devices are currently shown in the museum, all in historical sequence.

As visitors go through the halls of the former prison, they are transported to a time when torture was commonplace and public executions were frequent. The devices on show date from the thirteenth through the eighteenth centuries. It’s an incredibly dark voyage full of fascinating knowledge. 

Many gadgets have mannequins demonstrating how they were used, creating an unsettling environment. The wooden horse, the chair of torture, and the caretaker’s daughter, a device designed to crush the stomach, are among the exhibits.

Everyone who enters the building is left with a lasting impression. It depicts the brutal reality of life in the Middle Ages, when crimes, heresy, or even a single accusation of wrongdoing could land you in exile.

Come and see this unusual museum now.

Address: Wollestraat 29, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

Windmill Walk

Windmill Walk
Windmill Walk, Bruges, Belgium / Andrew Bowden / Flickr

Did you know Bruges was once a fortified city?

You will only find traces of evidence that once, the city possessed 7 km of walls, built for security in 1297 by the French King Phillip the Fair.

Though the city walls were mainly demolished in the nineteenth century, a few gates remain, including the Gentpoort, which contains a portion of the city museum, and the moated Ezelpoort.

As fascinating as all of this is, what’s even better is that the old city walls have been replaced by a magnificent promenade around Bruges Old Town. Views of the four intact city gates and windmills may be seen along the path, so it’s known as Windmill Walk.

To the north of the city, there were formerly approximately 20 windmills; currently, just three remain. The most notable of them is Sint Janshuismolen, which grinds flour today. You are welcome to come in and observe the procedure.

It’s a lovely way to see some of the city’s historical sights in a semi-rural setting. It’s also one of the most extraordinary free things to do in Bruges, which is terrific in a city where expenses can quickly add up.

Take a stroll through Windmill Walk now.

Need more convincing to travel to Bruges, Belgium, right? Hop over to why visit Bruges, Belgium, at least once in your lifetime here.

Address: Kruisvest 3, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

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