The Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay) links the Belfry with the city’s network of canals, the true ‘veins’ of Bruges, and offers a unique and picturesque panoramic view. Hardly surprising, then, that the Rozenhoedkaai is the most popular photographic hot-spot in town! You can discover many more special places and hidden pearls during a boat trip on the canals. From the water, Bruges is even more enchanting. A classic that you really don’t want to miss.
The vibrant centre of the city has been dominated for centuries by the 83-metre high Belfry. Today, you can climb right to the top of this impressive tower. You will be rewarded with a spectacular view of Bruges and the surrounding countryside. The Markt (Market Square) is also home to the Historium, a top attraction that takes you back in time to the city’s medieval past. Ringed with colourful houses, the Market Square is also the regular standing place for the famous horse-drawn carriages.
The Burg is the beating heart of the city. From the 14th century town hall, which is the oldest in the Low Countries, Bruges has been governed for more than 600 years. This majestic architectural square also contains the Palace of the Liberty of Bruges, the former Civil Registry and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. No other location in Bruges bears greater testimony to the city’s former wealth.
From the 13th to the 15th century, Bruges was the most important trading centre in North-West Europe. Spanish merchants settled along the Spaanse Loskaai (Spanish Quay) and in the Spanjaardstraat. The Germans or Easterners – ‘oosterlingen’ in Dutch – took up residence in the Oosterlingenplein. In this old Hansa Quarter you can admire the mansions of the wealthy international merchants and the great trading nations of the day. You can almost still smell the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
In Bruges’ Golden Age – the 15th century – art was king. Leading artists of the day, like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, came to live and work in the city. Today, you can marvel at the masterpieces of the world-famous Flemish primitives in the Groeninge Museum and the St. John’s Hospital. Here you can come face to face with the great paintings that were created in the city all those centuries ago.
The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady), with its imposing 115.5-metre high brick tower, is not only a fine testimony to the skill of the Bruges master builders of yesteryear, but is also the second tallest brick church spire in the world. Inside the church visitors will be moved by the magnificence of Michelangelo’s white marble Madonna and Child.
Some places are so beautiful that they leave you speechless. The Beguinage is just such a place. This is where the beguines – emancipated women who lived pious and chaste lives without taking holy orders – once lived together in harmony. This walled oasis of religious peace, with it delightful inner garden, wind-twisted trees and white-painted gables, can charm even the most cynical of souls with its deafening silence.
This small rectangular lake was once the mooring place for the barges that sailed the inland waterways between Bruges and Ghent. Nowadays, together with the Minnewater Park, this stretch of water – whose name means Lake of love – is the most romantic spot in the city. The Minnewater Bridge offers magical views over one of the most idyllic places in Bruges.
This tall and stately culture temple on ’t Zand gives the square its own unique dynamism. In the soberly decorated auditorium, visitors can enjoy classical music and contemporary dance in the best possible setting. During the day, you can explore this remarkable building by following the Concertgebouw Circuit, an original and entertaining experience route that ends with a fantastic view of Bruges from the roof terrace.
Almshouses formed tiny villages within the city’s ramparts. That’s how these medieval residential courts – which are still occupied – are best described. Centuries ago they were built out of mortar and charity. Today their picturesque gardens, white façades and glorious silence are the city’s havens of peace par excellence.
The Groeninge Museum provides a varied overview of the history of Belgian visual art, with as highlight the world-renowned Flemish primitives. In this museum you can see, amongst other masterpieces, The Virgin and Child with Canon Van der Paele by Jan van Eyck and the Moreel Triptych by Hans Memling. You will also marvel at the top 18th and 19th-century neoclassical pieces, masterpieces of Flemish Expressionism and post-war modern art.
Saint John’s Hospital has an eight hundred-year-old history of caring for pilgrims, travellers, the poor and the sick. Visit the medieval wards where the nuns and monks performed their work of mercy, as well as the church and the chapel, and marvel at the impressive collection of archives, art works, medical instruments and six paintings by Hans Memling. Also worth a visit: the Diksmuide attic, the old dormitory, the adjoining custodian’s room and the pharmacy.
The most important of Bruges’ towers stands 83 metres tall. It houses, amongst other things, a carillon. In the reception area, visitors can discover all kinds of interesting information about the history and working of this unique world-heritage protected belfry. Those who take on the challenge of climbing the tower can pause for a breather on the way up in the old treasury and also at the level of the impressive clock or in the carillonneur’s chamber. Finally, after a tiring 366 steps, your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking and unforgettable panoramic view of Bruges and its surroundings.
Bruges’ City Hall (1376) is one of the oldest in the Low Countries. It is from here that the city has been governed for more than 600 years. An absolute masterpiece is the Gothic Hall, with its late 19th-century murals and polychrome vault. In the historic chamber next door original documents and artefacts are used to evoke the history of the city’s administration through the centuries. On the ground floor, the structural development of the Burg square and the City Hall is illustrated.
The 115.5 metres high brick tower of the Church of Our Lady is a perfect illustration of the craftsmanship of Bruges’ artisans. The church displays a valuable art collection: Michelangelo’s world-famous Madonna and Child, countless paintings, 13th-century painted sepulchres and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Useful to know: at the moment, large-scale renovation works are still being carried out, so the church is only partially accessible and many works of art cannot be viewed. The choir was renovated in 2015 and the remarkable church interior can now once again be admired in all its splendour.
In the spring of 2019 (subject to amendment), the Gruuthuse Palace can again be admired in all its glory. After a thorough restoration and refurbishment, you discover in this museum Bruges and what makes this city so special. The thread of the story is the Burgundian Town Palace itself, that got its current appearance in the 19th century. The rich Gruuthuse Collection with its tapestries, lace, sculpture, furniture and silver, of course, plays the leading role.
The ‘Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde’ with its white-coloured house fronts and tranquil convent garden was founded in 1245. This little piece of world heritage was once the home of the beguines, emancipated lay-women who nevertheless led a pious and celibate life. Today the beguinage is inhabited by nuns of the Order of St. Benedict and several Bruges women who have decided to remain unmarried. In the Beguine’s house, you can still get a good idea of what day-to-day life was like in the 17th century.
Bruges’ oldest parish church (12th-15th century) has amongst its treasures a rood loft with an organ, medieval tombs, Brussels tapestries and a rich collection of Flemish paintings (14th-18th century). The treasure-chamber displays, amongst others, paintings by Dieric Bouts, Hugo van der Goes and other Flemish primitives. Useful to know: restoration work is currently being carried out in the cathedral. This can influence the opening hours of the treasure-chamber.
The double church, dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Basil in the 12th century and a basilica since 1923, consists of a lower church that has maintained its Romanesque character and a neo-Gothic upper church, in which the relic of the Holy Blood is preserved. The renovated treasury, with numerous valuable works of art, is also worth a visit.
The St. Magdalene’s Church, built in the mid-19th century, was one of the earliest neo-Gothic churches on the European mainland. This style of architecture, first made popular in England, was brought to Bruges by British immigrants. That is how the neo-Gothic appeared in the streets of Bruges quite early. Inside the church you can make your acquaintance with YOT, an organization that explores the meaning of the Christian tradition in modern society.
This simple Gothic single-nave church, built in the 17th century, surprises with the opulence of its rich Baroque interior – the result of donations by wealthy local patrons. Admire the intricacy of the marble rood-screen, the rich wooden panelling with inset confessional booths, the canvases of Jan Garemijn and the largest single painting in all Bruges.
In this church, the only one in the city centre with a tower clock, many of the great Bruges artists have been buried. These include Hans Memling, Lanceloot Blondeel and Pieter Pourbus. The church originally dates from the 13th century, but was extensively rebuilt in the 15th century. The exterior is a fine example of the robust Brick Gothic style, while the interior has a more refined 19th-century Neo-Gothic look.
In the middle of the 13th century, the modest St. James’s Chapel was elevated to the status of a parish church. During the 15th century, this simple house of prayer was extended to its current size. The church is now famous for its rich collection of art treasures, donated by wealthy local people living nearby, and for its fine examples of funerary art.
In 1619, a Bruges lay brother, Pieter Huyssens, was commissioned to build a prestigious church that expressed the values and beliefs of the Jesuits. The result was the St. Walburga’s Church, which is the most richly decorated church in pure Baroque style in Bruges. Admire its dynamic facade, its many interior architectural details and the elaborately decorated church furniture.
An original experience route leads you on a voyage of discovery through this wonderful building. Learn about its day-to-day running and be amazed by its outstanding acoustics. Marvel at the eye-opening contemporary architecture, be surprised by the fine collection of modern art or even try your own hand at a little sound art. The icing on the cake is the roof terrace on the seventh floor, from where you are rewarded with a magnificent view over the city.
The Adornes domain consists of the 15th-century Jerusalem Chapel (a jewel of medieval architecture built by this rich merchant family), the Adornes mansion and a series of adjacent almshouses. In the multimedia museum, you step back in time to explore the life of Anselm Adornes and the Burgundian world in which he lived.
The Lace Centre has been housed in the renovated old lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. The story of Bruges lace is told in the lace museum on the ground floor. Multimedia installations and testimonies from international lace experts help to explain the various different types of lace and their geographical origin, and focus on the lace industry and lace education in Bruges. Demonstrations (2.00 p.m.-5.00 p.m., not on Sunday) and various courses are organized in the lace workshop on the second floor.
This authentic brewery in the centre of Bruges is a family business with a tradition stretching back through six generations to 1856. This is where the Bruges city beer – the Brugse Zot – is brewed: a strong-tasting, high-fermentation beer based on malt, hops and special yeast. In 2016 a unique underground beer pipeline, some 3 km long, was laid from the brewery to the bottling plant in the suburbs.
Discover in an interactive way everything you ever wanted to know about the raw ingredients of beer, the brewing process, food pairing, beer in Bruges, trappist and abbey beers, etc. Children follow the Kids Tour, which tells the story of the Bruges bear. Would you just like to sample some beers? The tasting room and its 16 different kinds of beer is open to everyone and has a great view over the Market Square.
The museum dips its visitors in the history of cocoa and chocolate. From the Maya and the Spanish conquistadores to the chocolate connoisseurs of today. A chocolate hunt gives children the chance to discover the museum. Chocolates are made by hand and sampled on the premises. In 2015, the museum opened a thematic Choco-Jungle bar at Vlamingstraat 31, just a 5-minute walk away.
Did you know that the technique of cutting diamonds was first applied in Bruges almost 550 years ago? The Bruges Diamond Museum tells this story in a series of fascinating exhibition displays. And there is a live demonstration of diamond cutting each day – a memorable experience, not to be missed! In the diamond laboratory, microscopes and other equipment allow visitors, both young and old alike, to discover the true beauty of diamonds in all their many facets.
Film set decors, music and special effects take you back to a day in 1435. The attraction reconstructs, amongst other things, the Water Halls, a huge storage depot that once stood for five centuries on the Market Square. Don’t forget to try the VR Experience, which uses the wonder of virtual reality to immerse you in 15th century Bruges. Or follow the brandnew Family Trail: an interactive route full of fun for kids. All rounded off with a visit to the Duvelorium Grand Beer Café and its panoramic terrace.
The museum contains the world’s largest collection of lamps and lights. More than 6.000 antiques tell the complete story of interior lighting, from the torch and paraffin lamp to the light bulb and LED. The small detour into the world of luminous animals and plants is particularly interesting. In this way you can discover, for example, the light mysteries of the glow-worm, the lantern fish and the small Chinese lantern.
In the Cloth Halls, you can admire a fantastic collection of world-famous graphics and statues by the great artist Dalí. They are all authentic works of art that are described in the Catalogues Raisonnés, which details Salvador Dalí’s oeuvre. The collection is presented in a sensational Daliesque décor of mirrors, gold and shocking pink.
At the historic Oud Sint-Jan (Old St. John) site, you can view more than 400 original works of art by the great Spanish masters Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. In addition to these permanent exhibitions, the 19th-century infirmary wards are also the setting each year for prestigious temporary exhibitions.
You might want to stroll, amble and saunter down the streets of Bruges all day long or even for a whole weekend. Nothing wrong with that. However, it won’t do you any harm if you look at the city from a different perspective. During a walking or bicycle tour a guide will show you numerous secret places. Maybe you prefer a boat trip on the mysterious canals. An unforgettable experience! And a ride in a horse-drawn carriage must surely be the perfect romantic outing. Perhaps you simply want to tour all the highlights as quickly and as comfortably as possible? Then a minibus is what you need, and expert commentary is what you will get. And how about a balloon ride or a daytrip on a Vespa scooter? The choice is yours!
The canals of Bruges - the ‘reien’ - are the arteries of the city. Nothing is as pleasant as chugging along in a boat on a sunny day as you sail past all the most beautiful places in the city. From the ‘reien’, it’s almost like you are seeing Bruges for the first time. Unexpected views, hidden romantic corners, secret gardens: you discover them all from your vantage point on the water. There are regular daily sailings from any of the five moorings in the heart of the city. A voyage lasts half an hour and takes you past all the most photogenic spots Bruges has to offer.
Why not opt for a romantic coach ride through the winding streets, over centuries old squares and charming bridges of the historic city centre? For half an hour, you can sit back and enjoy the rhythmic clopping of horse’s hooves as you take in all the most picturesque spots in Bruges. During your ride the coachman will give you an expert commentary and about half way you make a short stop at the Beguinage.
The mini buses of City Tour provide a guided tour that passes all the most beautiful spots in the city. Every half hour, they depart for a 50 minute drive along the most important highlights of the town. Individual headphones provide a private commentary (16 languages available).
Bruges by heart: on this exclusive walk (max 16 pax), a local city guide will take you along on a fascinating trail. You’ll discover hidden gems and secret places next to the must-see heritage and architectural highlights of Bruges. The tour also includes a breathtaking panoramic view from the Concertgebouw rooftop (only accessible on this tour). A truly unique experience!
Summer or winter, morning or evening, sun or rain… Rozenhoedkaai has the enthralling ability to always make a stunning impression. It should come as no surprise that this continuous to be one the most photographed spots in Bruges. Here anyone can create his or her picture perfect postcard of Bruges. Rozenhoedkaai’s sophisticated class makes it the ideal location to pause for a moment and together with your loved one enjoy one of Bruges’ most timeless sceneries.
In the south part of Bruges, surrounded by trees and the adjacent Minnewaterpark, you’ll find a small rectangular lake called 'Minnewater' or Lake of Love. The tragic romance of Minna and her warrior love Stromberg has evolved into local legend saying that you will experience eternal love if you walk over the lake bridge with your partner. This of course turns Lake of Love into an exceptionally romantic spot. Enjoy the scenery from the lake bridge, one of the benches along the lake or stroll through the calm Minnewaterpark.
The century old Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde with its whitewashed facades and tranquil convent garden leaves no one unaffected. While the entrance gates are open seize the opportunity to discover all facets of this peaceful haven. Admire the leaning trees and visit the small beguinage museum and tiny church. Keep your eyes open for perhaps you will encounter one of the nuns of the Order of St. Benedict, the present inhabitants of the beguinage. Should you find yourself in Bruges in springtime you certainly mustn’t forget the beguinage! At this time of year blooming daffodils grant the beguinage refined warmth.
The charismatic area of Bonifacius Bridge and Arentshof has the ability to enchant many a visitor. Its irresistible combination of striking history and warm romance may take your breath away. Arentshof, located along one of the picturesque canals, manages to create an entirely unique atmosphere with its tall trees, hidden benches, mysterious pieces of art and marvellous view on Church of Our Lady and Gruuthuse palace. It’s one of those places to watch the world go by: tourist boats pass and people wander around while the clatter of hoofs from the horse drawn carriages echoes throughout the day. Don’t be fooled further ahead, for the charmed ancient looking Bonifacius Bridge dates from early 20th century and is one of Bruges’ youngest bridges. While you admire the fairytale like canals with inclined houses and passing tourist boats a humble feeling will no doubt wash over you when looking up at the Church of Our Lady. In the evening carefully chosen illumination further enthralls this cherished lovespot.
No doubt the beautiful courtyard of the Gruuthuse palace, bordering on the canals, has a high wow-factor. The impressive 15th century city palace amazes with its medieval opulence and its splendor illuminates the entire courtyard. In the shadow of the Church of Our Lady you’ll find yourself enveloped by riches and wealth from times past. Wander around, discover surprising corners of the courtyard or give your feet a break by enjoying the scenery from one of the benches.
Bruges’ convenient compact size allows you to carelessly get lost and saunter hand in hand along one of the many lovely canals. The possibilities are truly endless, but Groenerei has to be one of the most beautiful locations belonging to Bruges. It offers a varied yet typical Bruges scenery with old bridges and historical buildings framed by a touch of nature. No matter where you go in Bruges you will no doubt fall in love with the cities arteries and afterwards fondly remember those walks along the canals.
The Queen Astrid Park is a classic just-around-the-corner-get-away-from-the-crowd place. Located right inside the city, near some of the most visited places of Bruges and yet quiet and calm. Surrounding trees and bushes make it a somewhat secluded park. The tiny lake and colourful kiosk are an ideal place to relax with your loved one.
As far as size goes Huidenvettersplein (Tanners Square) cannot compete with the Market and Burg, but the tiny square which is enclosed by restaurants is pleasantly adorned by the presence of artists. Thus there is no escaping the cozy and intimate atmosphere which surrounds the square. Let your creative mind admire the paintings, but also think of your feet and stomach by pausing at one of the many restaurants.
Standing in the middle of the square the renowned Bruges painter Jan van Eyck (1370 – 1441) proudly overlooks the domain that wears his name. Still, he has to share the limelight with the square’s alluring style for once this was the old harbour of Bruges where ships loaded and unloaded. Even though fierce traders and rich 'poorters' (citizens with city rights) no longer populate the square, it still holds a captivating appeal. While you’re discovering Jan van Eyck square, the little bear of Bruges approvingly looks over your shoulder. Stroll around, admire the pretty facades of the Old Tollhouse, Pijndershuis and Burgher’s Lodge or simply take pleasure in a short break along the canal. Jan van Eyck square is furthermore an ideal gateway to explore the tranquil St. Giles' quarter with its working-class neighbourhoods.
While the picturesque town center is endlessly fascinating we mustn’t forget Bruges’ city ramparts. The green lung encircles almost the entire town and offers a variety of interesting locations worth discovering. You can for example admire the four remaining windmills as well as several medieval town gates. The modern Conzett Bridge spans the entrance to the small marina and is just one of many bridges that frequently open for boats. The ramparts between the train station and Ezelpoort city gate allow you to leisurely stroll and enjoy nature. A tour along the ramparts is an ideal opportunity to process all your Bruges impressions.
Filip Claeys is one of those young rock’n roll chefs who has re-written the kitchen rule book. His fare is original, authentic and anything but mainstream. Provocative but with a sense of fun, as he likes to keep things into perspective. According to Filip, being a chef is the best job in the world. As simple as that. Passion that is reflected in two Michelin stars and a 18/20 score from Gault&Millau.
After having closed down his restaurant Karmeliet (which for years had been star chef Geert Van Hecke’s Michelin three star restaurant), the famed chef offered a glimpse of hope, thus countering that great loss: he would not stop cooking, but would rather continue doing so, although in a more subdued way. And he stuck to his word: Zet’Joe is smaller and less high-flown, but the refinement that is so characteristic of the chef came along with him.
Dining with a starred chef without too many unnecessary formalities. This is exactly what you can expect in Sans Cravate – the name says it all. Exceptionally fine dishes but without the usual fuss. Or a creative, contemporary kitchen with a distinctive personality. And personalities can cope without a tie. Chef Henk Van Oudenhove.
Den Gouden Harynck is an established culinary name for many citizens of Bruges. Although Chef Philippe Serruys received a classical training, he has also paid attention to contemporary culinary trends. But that doesn’t mean he has abandoned his roots, and he resolutely opts for natural, recognisable and carefully selected high-quality ingredients, which make all the difference.
It comes as no surprise that Auberge De Herborist has its own garden full of well-known, unknown, healing and edible herbs. And thanks to the abundant harvest the garden provides, Chef Alex Hanbuckers manages to put together an inspirational menu each and every time. Feeling moreish? Then book a place for a cooking lesson or a guided tour of the garden.
Right across from Kruispoort you can now enjoy the culinary skills of Timothy Goffin in one of the smallest restaurants in Bruges. The Chef learned the trade in numerous starred restaurants in Bruges (De Karmeliet, Den Gouden Harynck and Sans Cravate) before embarking on this new culinary adventure. An unpretentious location with the charming air of a living room restaurant.
Hertog Jan, the famed Michelin three-star restaurant, has moved to a listed and completely restored farm in Zedelgem. They created a bistro in their former home, bearing the appropriate name of L.E.S.S. – Love Eat Share Smile – and that happens of its own accord here. Chef Bart Praet
Right in the heart of Bruges, chef Patrick Devos owns an impressively historic patch. The four drawing rooms date back to a variety of style periods and are all absolute pearls. The garden terrace makes the venue utterly complete. In this unique decor, Patrick Devos serves a gastronomic, innovative and light cuisine. A blend of pure flavours, biological vegetables and a maximum harmony between wine and dish. The chef only works with the best quality produce, mainly from his own region. It is therefore only logical that the restaurant has built up quite a reputation over the years.
Hermes Vanliefde and Peter Laloo, the young ambitious men behind Rock Fort, do not like half-hearted attempts or watered-down versions of culinary creations. They resolutely set their own rocking culinary course and present innovative dishes with a sharp edge. Just a bit more dangerous than traditional cuisine. Both their cool approach and their unique interior are surprisingly informal, but they are anything but casual in the kitchen, and the proof is in the eating.
To say you can eat well in Bruges is the understatement of the year. If you don’t feel like or cannot afford a Michelin-starred restaurant but still want a taste of the good life, then De Refter is the place for you. A contemporary restaurant owned by the Michelin three-star chef Geert Van Hecke, where you can get great food in a pleasant setting at reasonable prices. You couldn’t ask for more.
Bonte B offers pure and straightforward food and does so with style. That means cowhides, Swedish design and wooden floors, because simplicity is a virtue. But that doesn’t mean your meal will look simple, and on the contrary, every order looks like a painting that is almost too beautiful to eat. Chef Bernard Bonte.
Even before Floris opened its doors, there was already plenty of speculation in Bruges. After all, the chef, Floris Panckoucke, had managed to make quite a reputation for himself, and everyone was curious to see how you transform an old paint shop into a trendy eating place. In short, one of the latest discoveries of Bruges.
Are you dreaming of indulging in a meal in a gourmet restaurant, but there is no allowance for it in your budget? No worry: in the same building where Sans Cravate, a one star restaurant on the Michelin list, is located, you will from now on also find Hubert Gastrobar: a cool stylish eatery run by the same enthusiastic team, but where the atmosphere is slightly more relax. In other words, the better gastropub, where you can enjoy both lunch and dinner.
Dining at a Grand Hotel is possible if you choose Le Mystique, which is elegantly nestled inside Hotel Heritage, good for four stars and the necessary grandeur. Not surprisingly, the hotel, famed for its respect for its own ‘terroir’, is a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux.
In ’t Pandreitje Guy Van Neste has been cooking classic and refined dishes for years, using ultra-fresh high-quality ingredients that are meticulously prepared. This approach leads to culinary highpoints such as a lukewarm soup of Zeeland mussels, a perfectly cooked baby lobster, steamed turbot in an egg sauce or in clay and hay slow-cooked grain-fed pigeon. It’s truly flavoursome.
Tanuki is a little slice of Japan in the middle of Bruges. In its open kitchen chef Ivan Verhelle juggles with sushi and sashimi and seven-course meals are steamed in a quiet and serene setting. The delicatessen is located in a corner of the restaurant, where you can buy all sorts of sushi necessities and excellent soya sauces as well as Japanese tableware. The tableware is made up of five items, not six, as the Japanese believe that even numbers are bad luck.
Tête Pressée breaks all the rules. The diner only opens its doors in the afternoon, while single-serving portions of chef Pieter Lonneville’s gastronomic arts are available as takeaways in the neighbouring shop. The food is simple but brilliant, and of course you have to try the homemade tête pressée with pickles.
This classic restaurant is located directly opposite the Burg, a trusted name where traditional Franco-Belgian dishes and many regional specialities are served with a warm and homely bistro-style atmosphere. It makes perfect sense that Assiette Blanche was awarded Bib Gourmand status. Chef Stefaan Timmerman.
Chef Kristof Deprez of De Mangerie gives a timely subtle wink to the Far East without neglecting the Belgian classics. Classics that you will also receive in a new jacket. The sum of everything nice is a different and innovative mix of the best that the world has to offer. Some recipes are also available in meat- or fish-free versions. All that fancy cooking can easily be admired in the open kitchen from the warm, pleasant restaurant.
Franco Belge is located on one of the liveliest streets in Bruges and has been able to attract fans of gastro food from near and far from its very start. It is inspired by Franco-Belgian cuisine, but adds a special contemporary interpretation. You can also see this in its interior that has a comfortably warm, yet sleek feeling. In other words, a delicious story that sounds perfect.
Focus. That’s what it’s all about at Kok au Vin. Every day, we aim for the perfect balance on and off the plate. This translates into innovative creations and the true, pure flavours of local produce. We set great store by quality and hospitality. Or put differently: wonderful simplicity you can taste. Chef Jürgen Aerts
Right out of the city centre, on the road that leads to Blankenberge, the art-deco villa - which houses La Tâche - stands in all its splendour. Here chef Olivier Monbailliu creates French cuisine with Mediterranean influences. French classics with a Southern touch are the order of the day and this thanks to the house tapenades, high quality olive oils and herbs from the property's garden. The chef also cherishes a passion for wine, which is reflected in an extensive wine list, a mix of budget-friendly discoveries and the famous grand crus. The correct price-quality ratio is never lost sight of.
Lieven, run by the chef Lieven Vynck, is one of those newer spots that managed to become an established name in a short space of time. The exceptional and inventive interior plus the culinary arts of the chef equals fireworks. If you want a bit of privacy, then you can withdraw to De Living to enjoy a meal with a few select friends.
Those in Bruges who love traditional Belgian-French cuisine and also want to get away from the tourist centre have long found their way to this secret place. No foams or creams, but only honest classics lovingly prepared. And all this is a warm decor of crystal chandeliers, wooden floorboards and an open fire that gives onto the elegant orangery and indoor garden. The Zwaantje is a true family business and it shows. Father Geert Vanhee and son-in-law are in the kitchen while mother and daughter see to it that everything is in order in the restaurant. It is an approach that works.
Ganesha who watches over his guests with an approving eye, sturdy beams and pillars with subtle carvings that evoke the traditional India of yesteryears. This is Bhavani, an authentic restaurant for anybody who longs for the true aromas and tastes of India and dreams of intense curries, incomparable naan breads and finger-licking paneer. And the restaurant focuses just as much on the vegetarians as the non-vegetarians! Chef Guy Suresh Acharya
The refined Bistro Rombaux is located on an elegantly laid out street corner in the Bruges suburbs of Sint-Kruis. A modern place, distilled down to the essence, where full rein is being given to the good life. The menu offers some five entrées and main dishes, amply demonstrating that only the freshest quality ingredients have been selected, from squabs (young pigeons) and calf’s sweetbread to oysters and Atlantic cod. Enjoy your meal!
Would you give up a Michelin star to move to other premises and write a new and unique story? That is exactly what unconventional owner, Karen Keygnaert, did. It also means that Cantine Copine has decisively taken the path less trodden. Cantine Copine has just as much gastronomic quality as during its Michelin times, but is now a little more relaxed. Fantastic, no-nonsense food.
If you love seafood you’ll certainly love De Vistro by De Visscherie, the gastronomic fish restaurant. The restaurant has been famed since 1976 for its variety and quality of fish, located appropriately at the Fish Market. You can choose between traditional dishes or the fish of the day that keeps pace with culinary trends. The walls are decorated by paintings by the lady of the house. Chef Björn Verriest
On 27 April 1648 a permit was granted for the pub ‘Den Hollander’ to be established on this spot. In 1830, when Belgium had just gained independence, the establishment was renamed ‘De Koe’, a gathering place for the elite of Bruges. Thanks to its unique location on the Reien (the canals of Bruges), today it is the most photographed restaurant in the city. If you want to be a part of the picture, you’ll find an impressive vista and a classical restaurant decorated like a mansion. You can choose between a full-course meal or select the budget-friendly lunch.
The Huyze Die Maene has been a feature on the Markt square since 1302. In the 14th and 15th centuries the city rented the house for parties and receiving VIPs. Today the citizens of Bruges come to enjoy the view over the square while relishing a traditional Flemish dish, including shrimp croquettes, mussels, stews, meatballs in tomato sauce and baked sole and cod. It’s all delicious! Chef Jean-Dante De Loof
A new star is born, or rather a group of stars. Lisa and Emmanuel managed to charm and impress Bruges in no time. This young and resourceful talent is full of ambition and the most wonderful culinary ideas. They gained experience in a whole range of starred restaurants from De Karmeliet over De Jonkman and in Hertog Jan. A nice sum of stars that doubtless provides inspiration. At ‘t Jong Gerecht, chef Emmanuel Niess offers a wide range of dishes made fresh daily from seasonal products at very reasonable prices, Lisa presents an original accompanying wine and gives you a warm and friendly welcome. An address to keep in mind.
Kwizien Divien impresses with a contemporary, fair and affordable quality cuisine, ranging from pastas and salads, carpaccio of scallops, right through to pure fillet steak or glazed fillet of plaice. Shrimp croquettes, beef and brown beer stew and lemon sole make up the Flemish menu. And all that in a quiet street just off the Market Square. In the summer, you can even enjoy views of the Bruges Belfry Tower from your table!
Tucked away in one of those little Bruges streets, La Buena Vista really stands out. It looks like an old-fashioned Bruges bar, adorned with a southern touch. The fiery chef will present his dishes with great passion and then you can indulge in top-quality Spanish tapas. Sharing is caring. An experience on all fronts.
Do you like North Sea fish? Hurry on to The Blue Lobster, where, apart from the great classics, less known fish is also being served. The house specials, including bouillabaisse and North Sea lobster, feature on the menu as well as refined preparations such as weever and Japanese whiting. In short, this is the place to be for fish aficionados and those who look forward to broadening their culinary experience.
Half of Bruges regularly makes a pilgrimage to Zeebrugge to spend an afternoon or an evening in ‘t Werftje. In itself, this is a sufficient reason to take a trip to the seaside. Here you can eat outstanding classic fish dishes. These range from home-made shrimp croquette with a salad or quick bites, to huge seafood platters. Your fellow diners will include fishermen, dock workers, tourists and gourmets.
You can find Tou.Gou right on the Smedenstraat, one of Bruges’ major shopping streets. It is a place where you can go at lunchtime to enjoy a delicious and top-class lunch. In addition to the menu there are also the chef's daily suggestions and the display case where you can immediately stock up on many of these gourmet treats. These are treats to savour long after your visit.
Located on the illustrious Eiermarkt square, a favourite to any beer lover, this tranquil café immediately catches your eye. Bar des Amis is built in a traditional manner, complete with wooden bar chairs, a sturdy bar you can lean on all night long, and a great atmosphere that will keep you coming back.
Café Rose Red is a cheery café that is full of character. It is located in the heart of Bruges, a stone's throw from the Markt Square. A quiet side street takes you away from the tourist route and spirits you away into an authentic jewel in the town centre of Bruges. Their speciality is Trappist beer; hence they offer all the trappist beers that are recommended all over the world. Come savour this delectable nectar inside the café or on the pleasant terrace.
Huis Craenenburg has dominated Bruges’ Markt square for centuries. Margaret of York watched the tournaments from this establishment, and it is also where Maximilian of Austria was imprisoned. Today it is the place to be to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in an authentic Flemish atmosphere.
An established venue and the favourite bar of many inhabitants of Bruges. L’Estaminet is famous for its authentic interior, its delicious bar snacks and its perfectly pulled beers. Now and then the tables are moved to the side to make room for dancing, which goes on until the wee hours of the morning.
This is a new coffee house, but it has plenty of old-world charm. A paradise for coffee-lovers, who know their filter-coffee from their espresso and their latte from their cappuccino. Tea-lovers will also find an impressive range of choice, while those with a sweet tooth can opt for a white hot chocolate. Trendsetters may prefer an ice-cold coffee shake, whereas the true hedonists will undoubtedly go for a refreshing glass of cava.
A pleasant wine bar that is comfortably compact where after getting an expert’s opinion you can buy your wine by the glass or the crate. That's because not only can you sample renowned wines and promising newcomers here, you can stock up on them too. Anyone who's able to get a privileged place by the window will enjoy the passage.
In this jazz and blues bar you can have a snack, drink a glass of something, share some nachos and do all of this to cool jazz or bluesy tunes. If that's not enough, you can also make yourself comfortable in the fantastic courtyard garden. Enjoy the feel of the grass, right in the centre of the city. This place is a hidden gem!
A hotel bar that you will normally find half-full of Bruges locals. But this is a hotel bar like few others. Some people socialise there, others go in their sports gear to unwind after a weekly training session. Pop in for a moment then go back out to the fantastic terrace area. Or do whatever makes you feel at home on the other side of the world.
Bauhaus, Youth Hostel, Budget Hotel, café, restaurant and well-known in backpacker circles, is the meeting point for travellers in search of adventure. This creates a contagious atmosphere. The bar is where locals and foreigners find each other and where close friendships are forged from time to time.
Wednesdays: 8.00 a.m.-1.30 p.m. - Markt: food & flowers Saturdays: 8.00 a.m.-1.30 p.m. - Beursplein (from July 2018: back on ‘t Zand): miscellaneous Tuesdays to Saturdays: 8.00 a.m.-1.30 p.m. - Vismarkt: fish Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and bridge days from 15 March to 15 November + on Fridays in the period June-September: 10.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. -Dijver: antiques, bric-à-brac and crafts Daily: from 15 March to 15 November: 9.30 a.m.-5.00 p.m. & from 16 November to 14 March: 10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. - Vismarkt: artisanal products
Bruges has many shops which have just that little extra something. Use this Local Love city map to discover a great selection of authentic addresses beyond the well-trodden paths where locals enjoy visiting often. These range from established speciality businesses which have been run by passionate, local entrepreneurs for at least 5 years to original, creative Bruges makers. Each “Local Love” shop tells its own unique story.
For over half a century, quality coffee has been roasted here in the traditional manner. The store sells homemade blends as well as pure coffees. Javana imports its own coffee beans from Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic. Also available in coffee pads.
Choosing is losing. After all, 60 different artisan pralines, blocks and truffles will turn anyone's head. Fortunately, you can stop here for a coffee or a delicious chocolate milk drink to consider this for a while. And there’s more good news. All of these delicacies can be sent anywhere in the world! So, no need to get stressed!
The Diksmuids Boterhuis has been a concept since 1936. This tiny quality shop is packed with excellent cheeses, often sourced from small farmers all over the world, some 30 ‘tasty chèvres’, stone-baked farmer's bread, the very best Spanish hams (lomo, Serrano, iberico, pata negra, …) and much more.
This sweet shop first saw the light of day some 100 years ago, when 'spekke' (caramelised chew) was sold here, and in 1948, when the grandparents of the current owner took over, the range was considerably extended. Today, you can buy pure nostalgia here, including ‘Brugse nunnebillen’, ‘muiletrekkers’, ‘kletskoppen’ and ‘poeptjes’. All the all-time favourites are still available from this shop.
Sweertvaegher prides itself on tradition, craftsmanship and quality, and every two days, it unveils a completely new range. White chocolate is not one of their products, as Sweertvaegher does not consider it real chocolate. Expect decent quality that earned its reputation years ago, and homemade 5-gramme chocolates.
Bruges locals have been stocking up on their handmade pralines for 40 years here. Tasty classics such as pralines, ganaches, truffles and orangettes vie for attention with daring newcomers. For example, ginger truffles, chocolate caramel made with salt from the Camargue or cacao-dusted autumn nuts. Look out. You’ll need a lot of willpower to resist the aromas from the adjacent workshop.
One of Bruges’ cutest places for chocolate is hidden away just a stone’s throw from the Markt. Welcome to Het Chocoladehuisje. It’s small, but perfectly fin harmony. Here they make pralines, masks and truffles by hand. So, it's not a chocolate factory and there are as few machines as possible. You can see this... and taste it.
Tea connoisseurs feel right at home at Het Brugs Theehuis. It’s the place to go in Bruges for everything to do with tea. Here you can find retro thermos flasks, pastel-coloured double wall tea mugs, traditional cast-iron Japanese teapots and many homemade and unique tea blends.
Juliette’s Artisanale Koekenbakkerij bakes cookies using only the very best natural ingredients and grandma’s recipe. They’re free of all preservatives, additives and colorants. From speculaas to Bruges dentelles and gingersnaps, and then another thirty cookies.
This family store specialises in bonbons filled by hand and made of the finest purest chocolate, with no sugar added. Today they make no less than 83 different varieties, from truffles to cherry bonbons and chocolate sea shells. And you can also watch how they make their delicious treats in the shop.
Every bit as special is the brainchild of Stephan Dumon, the Chocolaterie Dumon. A unique and especially trendy concept store on Simon Stevinplein. A harmonious spot where you are able to enjoy both an Italian espresso and home-made pralines and chocolate milk made from pure chocolate.A little further away, on the Eiermarkt, the smaller, more classical little brother is doing lovely work. This is not one of the most photographed places in Bruges for nothing.
The tight, contemporary interior suggests otherwise, but the Chocolaterie Depla was established in 1958 and indeed by the father of Pol Depla who runs the establishment today. Although this chocolate business is right in the middle of the busy tourist centre, it has long been a favourite of a great many Bruges residents.Pol Depla is earning plenty of success by turning out inventive artisanal chocolate designs.
Curious tourists, expectant mothers and school kids with a healthy appetite – nobody wants to miss out on the colourful spectacle of sweets Zucchero has on offer. Candy is twisted in the most spectacular fashion here at 160° C. And thanks to the natural flavourings, these sweets lose nothing when it comes to taste.
In the middle of the city, the Lange Bakker is imperceptibly doing what he does best: baking traditional biscuits, sponge cakes and other cakes. His range includes lemon meringue, flan-brésilienne, mini-éclairs, mini-javanais and mini-misérables, profiteroles, chocolate-dipped ‘goat’s legs’, marshmallows, ginger snaps and Florentine biscuits. All this gorgeousness collected in one place. Enter at your own peril!
Anyone who can appreciate a fine piece of outstanding matured cheese should pay De Kaasbolle a visit. It stocks a huge range of cheeses, ranging from a creamy Lucullus, the house cheese, a Tartarin Cognac (fresh cow's milk cheese with Turkish raisins marinated in cognac), right through to an authentic Greek feta marinade.
You can tell the bread is made with love at Le Pain de Sebastien, a genuine artisanal bakery where you generally have to wait patiently in line, as the whole of Bruges seems to be crazy about Sebastien’s bread. You won’t find cakes and other confections here, as Sebastien focuses solely on what he is good at – baking bread.
This is the city's oldest chocolaterie, not so much frequented by the tourists as by the locals, not least because of their famous chocolate grapes, filled with marzipan or hazelnut praliné, which are an all-time favourite. This is also true of chocolate Bruges Cobbles, a nod to the infamous cobblestones which the Bruges streets are paved with, and which are steadily gaining in popularity.
Fans of Christmas from all over the world flock to De Witte Pelikaan where it is Christmas every day. There are Christmas trees everywhere, loaded with handmade glasswork, special Christmas baubles and both affordable and eye-wateringly expensive ornaments. If you don’t find it here, you won't find it anywhere.
It's peace and quiet all round in the fairy-tale universe of Ark Van Zarren. British and French flowery romance prevail here which is so sweet that it instantly turns you into a better person. You can find Ark Van Zarren on a quiet street on Dijver and this modest quest is more than worthwhile.
D'Haenens, a shop where everyone sees the light! Boasting 4,000m² of showroom spread across three enchanting levels and an impressive display window, D’Haenens has been in the business for 40 years. If you're on the look-out for Baroque Venetian chandeliers, energy-efficient LED lighting or a sleek design, look no further!
Martine Van Melckebeke criss-crossed Belgium and the world to make the greatest discoveries in dusty lofts. This is how she managed to acquire special and unique pieces of furniture. These are rustic items, for both inside and outside, which give instant character to any house. They range from fire hearths to ornaments and lighting. So, they are not very convenient to move, yet they are so irresistible.
Depot d’O is a cabinet of curiosities, a place full of crazy interior objects. Finds that you can absolutely do without, but are particularly irresistible nevertheless. For example, there’s a turtle mask from Papua, a penguin made of concrete, an industrial light of Jielde or a vintage Eames rocking chair, you’ll find it all here!
Those who are after vintage know that it is no mean feat to pick up authentic items. Luckily, there’s Gallery Vanlandschoote which stocks a wide selection of items, from Charlotte Perriand chairs, ‘golden’ lights, right through to coffee tables of the West-Flemish Amphora.
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, masters in the art of calligraphy write to their hearts’ desire in this open studio. Meanwhile, on the first Sunday of every month a poet, dramatist or musician puts on a performance, making this the perfect gathering spot for the creative souls.
Solid wood furniture that excels by its refined lines. No grandmotherly cabinets, therefore, but a sleek design. Solid and yet graceful Ethnicraft furniture, charming Passe Partout seats and elegant Vincent Sheppard chairs. Or a sophisticated mix that feels both contemporary and timeless.
Noteboom has been an established value in Bruges and beyond for over a century. For four generations, Noteboom has been dressing the Bruges socialites. A family business in the best of traditions. Today, the store sells designs by Tara Jarmon, Gerard Darel, Gant and leatherware by Longchamp.
There’s second-hand shops and there’s … Think Twice, the second-hand Valhalla. Here, you can pick up a leather jacket for a song, or a cool knitted dress, or that one pair of perfect boots with the right level of wear-and-tear. Pop in from time to time because the range changes constantly!
A trendy city boutique run by cool guys who conjure up both crazy window displays and wayward trend collections. More so than the finger on the pulse, Leeloo is always just one step ahead of the rest of the world. Retro was here before it was trendy. So, high time you stepped inside and got with it.
Would you go for a tailor-made suit with your initials embroidered inside, or prefer to try the expertly cut alternatives of Scabal first? It can all be done at Dominique Meire, the boutique that stocks the finest fashion brands. Old favourites that have proven their worth over and over again.
With 50 years of experience, you are sure to find the perfect handbag, suitcase, rucksack or ergonomic briefcase here. Perhaps you’re looking for an umbrella, a pair of gloves and a wallet? You can find designs here by Le Tanneur, Nathan-Baume, Samsonite, Rimowa, Hedgren, Saccoo and more.
For over twenty years, l’héroïne has been the meeting place for the cream of Belgian fashion. This is where you will discover brands, including Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, A.F. Vandevorst, Annemie Verbeke and Just in Case. Wouters & Hendrix provide the necessary accessories.
At Lunabloom, you can only find nice things: for little girls and big girls, and also - a small selection - for boys. A unique address without any falseness to it and the perfect excuse to trade in your ugly bread box for a shiny new one with a retro look. Caution: mummies, too, have been known to get carried away in there!
‘Dress yourself happy’ is the motto of Twee Meisjes (Two Girls) and this can be done effortlessly here, both online and offline. Fortunately, if you have second thoughts about your purchase, you can still rectify your mistake in the webshop. There’s no high-end luxury here; instead, you will find fun, affordable fashion with a vintage twist. As guileless as Twee Meisjes.
Quattro has been established for over 30 years and is the place for women who like better-quality fashion. You can find both Belgian and international collections here and the style is resolutely elegant and feminine with a cool edge. This is the perfect place for people who are stylishly young at heart.
The one-stop men’s shop in Bruges, where fashion-conscious men find exclusive and top-quality collections, both business and casual. Upon request, a private appointment can be made, after hours, to get the expert guidance during a private shopping session. Or why not go for a tailored suit?
Luc Decuyper re-soles and restores your shoes using only traditional techniques. The shoes are re-stitched according to the established codes of practice, which means that invariably, they will be even more comfortable once they have been restored. He learned his trade at Delvaux and in other famous establishments.
At De Reyghere, the whole world comes together. This is the place for the latest alternative city, regional and country guides, hotel and restaurant guides for value seekers, road maps, atlases, topographic maps, travel literature and photo books. Wherever you want to go, this is where you start.
Since 1934, Brugse Boekhandel has been located along the Dijver. This is where you will find a wide range of children’s and youth books, an impressive collection of lace books and a comprehensive range of books on Bruges. You will find everything you ever wanted to know about the city in this store.
If you like browsing and scouring shops for hours for that one special book, that obscure LP or CD, that ground-breaking comic or absurd DVD series, you can do so at Den Elder to your heart’s content. Den Elder is a veritable treasure trove of second-hand books, comics, records, CDs, DVDs and so much more. Souvenirs have never been so affordable.
A trendy bike boutique that is chock full of authentic, original and handmade luxury bikes. So, this is not your run-of-the-mill bicycle shop. Here you can take home a unique model or a rare accessory, ranging from designer cycling helmets and cool capes to Montmartre handlebars.
Embroiderers, lace makers and other creative souls can browse to their hearts' content in this shop, which is nothing short of a treasure trove. It sells countless needlework kits, lace material and all the accessories. After all, nothing is as pretty as a self-made souvenir ….
The Cartoonist has brought together 25 well-known newspaper cartoonists and organised an exhibition to promote their work and the newspaper cartoons. In the Bruges and Brussels galleries and the online store you can discover a unique range of newspaper cartoons, books, prints, postcards and mugs as well as activities such as cartoon studios, workshops and readings.
Contemporary art and architecture in the historic centre of Bruges - Liquid City In 2018, the Triennial will return to Bruges for the second time. Held once every three years, this artistic route, with surprising installations by celebrated artists and architects, is spread right across the city centre. The Triennial explores the future of a city like Bruges, and hopes to serve as safe point of reference. Bruges as a fluid city, open and committed, a motor of social, cultural and political change. Or Bruges as a breeding ground for innovation and renewal. Just like the city's medieval citizens, who first gave Bruges its shape and form, today's residents also share common dreams for the further development of life in Bruges in the 21st century and beyond. The 2018 Bruges Triennial seeks to stimulate interaction and lay new and solid foundations for the future of the city. A liquid city, quite literally surrounded by water, but also liquid in a metaphorical sense, as a city in constant and flowing artistic movement, sometime storm-tossed, sometimes peaceful and calm, but always vibrant. Everyone and everything will be set in motion...
The Beaufort arts triennial is taking over the Belgian coast again. Top artists will be presenting their work in places such as the beach, the dunes and the seafront. It is all about taking a different look at the coast and art. This is something that tens of thousands of people do with enthusiasm. In this 6th edition, the focus is on the free-thinking quality of the coast, something that both James Ensor and Marvin Gaye appreciated. After all, everyone who lives on the coast wants to discover what is beyond the horizon. Since time immemorial this has led to an open and unique vision of the world. During the Middle Ages, it led to a blossoming commerce and later in the 20th century this quality enticed the ‘beau monde’ to the coast. Directly opposite this is a special local feature: the fisherman working away and braving the North Sea. This is a unique contradiction that brings adventure, surrealism and anarchy, or nourishment for the artists from Beaufort.
This procession that dates back to at least 1304, takes place in Bruges every year on Ascension Day. Although there have been many changes over the centuries, the heart of the event is the reenactment of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Procession of the Holy Blood was added to the representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
On 23 April 1918, St. George’s Day, the British fought a large-scale naval action along the Belgian coast, hoping to destroy the heavily defended German submarine pens in the harbours at Zeebrugge and Ostend, from where U-boats were wreaking havoc among British ships in the North Sea. Relive the history of this day in the exhibition 14-18, the battle for the North Sea, in the Provincial Court on the Market Square, which at the time was the nerve centre of the German operations. You can experience the stifling conditions on board a U-boat and the tension of the nocturnal British raids.
Each year, more than 100,000 people visit the Kookeet culinary festival, which this year celebrates its eighth edition. The recipe for success? For three days, top Bruges chefs and one guest chef serve up gastronomic gems at democratic prices. The visitors can put together their own menus at their own pace. The participating Bruges chefs are all top names in their field and have one or more Michelin stars, a mention in Bib Gourmand or a high score in Gault&Millau.
Throughout the year, you can enjoy free, live carillon concerts in Bruges on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. From mid-June to mid-September, evening concerts also take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. The inner courtyard of the Belfry is a good place to listen.
A festival of top-quality jazz concerts and jam sessions by some of Europe's leading musicians. This edition focuses on transnational, intercultural meetings. With artistic cross-fertilization between different continents and different generations, musical fireworks are guaranteed!
TO BRUGES From the UK you travel to Bruges by ferry or by Eurotunnel: Hull (UK) – Zeebrugge (B) with P&O Ferries. (crossing: 1 night). Take the N31 from Zeebrugge to Brugge. Estimated distance Zeebrugge – Brugge is 17 km or 11 miles (30 min driving). Dover (UK) – Dunkerque (F) with DFDS Seaways (crossing: 2h00). Take the motorway E40 to Brugge. Estimated distance Dunkerque – Brugge is 76 km or 47 miles (1 h driving). Dover (UK) – Calais (F) with P&O Ferries or DFDS Seaways (crossing: 1h30). Estimated distance Calais – Brugge is 120 km or 75 miles (1h30 driving). Folkestone (UK) – Calais (F) via Eurotunnel (35 min). Estimated distance Calais – Brugge is 120 km or 75 miles (1h30 driving). IN BRUGES A 30 kph zone is in force throughout the entire city centre. This means that you are forbidden at all times to drive faster than 30 kilometres per hour. Parking in the city centre for an unlimited period is cheapest in the public cark parks in front of the railway station and under the ’t Zand square. Both car parks are within easy walking distance of the market square, or else you can use one of the city buses operated by De Lijn. The bus transfer (max. 4 people per car) from the station car park to the city centre and back is included in the price of the parking ticket. Bruges is a compact city, made for people. The use of motorized transport in the historic city centre is discouraged. There are a number of outlying car parks within easy walking distance of the centre where you can park free of charge. A little further away are the park-and-ride cark parks, also free, from which you can reach the centre by bike or public transport. A blue zone has been created around the city centre. You can park free of charge for a limited period in this blue zone (max. 4 hours) between 9.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Always remember to use your parking disc! Above ground parking in the city centre is also possible for a limited period (max. 4 hours) between 9.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m., but is paid (1 hour: €1.80; 2 or 3 hours: €2.40; 4 hours: €9). Payment can be made via an sms/text message, using the 4411 app or by cash or bank card at one of the parking ticket machines. The correct number plate of your car must always be entered into the machine in advance. If you are staying overnight in Bruges, ask your hotel or guesthouse about parking options in the vicinity.
NATIONAL RAIL There are from one to four direct services each hour between Bruges and the important train junctions at Antwerp, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven and Brussels. INTERNATIONAL RAIL The station at Brussel-Zuid (Brussels South) is the Belgian hub for international rail traffic. Numerous high-speed trains arrive in Brussel-Zuid daily, coming from Paris (Thalys/Izy and TGV), Lille (Eurostar, TGV and Thalys), London (Eurostar), Amsterdam (Thalys and, from spring 2018, Eurostar) and Cologne (Thalys and ICE). There are three trains an hour from Brussels-South Station, which stop at Bruges on their way to Ostend, Knokke or Blankenberge. The travelling time between Brussel-Zuid and Bruges is approximately 1 hour. Please consult the Belgian rail website (NMBS) for more details.
TO BRUGES >>>Via Brussels Airport-Zaventem It is easy to travel from Brussels Airport-Zaventem to Bruges by train. Every day there is a direct hourly service to Bruges. In addition, many other trains from Brussels Airport-Zaventem regularly stop at Brussels-North, Brussels-Central or Brussels-South railway stations. From these three stations there are daily three trains an hour stopping at Bruges on their way to Ostend, Knokke or Blankenberge. Taxi rides to and from Brussels national airport are available from Bruges taxi services at a fixed rate of € 200.00 (price adjustments are possible throughout the year). >>> Via Brussels South Charleroi Airport This popular regional airport receives multiple low cost flights every day from various cities and regions in Europe. The flibco.com bus company (www.flibco.com) provides several direct shuttle bus services to and from the station in Bruges on a daily basis. The Bruges taxi services drive to and from Brussels South Charleroi Airport at a fixed rate of € 250.00 (price adjustments throughout the year are possible). >>> Via Ostend-Bruges Airport The railway station at Ostend is just a 15-minute bus ride away. From here, there are at least three trains to Bruges each hour between 6.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m., with final destinations in Eupen, Welkenraedt, Brussels Airport-Zaventem, Antwerpen-Centraal or Kortrijk. The train journey to Bruges takes about 15 minutes. Please consult the website of Belgian Railways for more information about timetables and fares. Taxi rides to and from Bruges with the Bruges and Ostend taxi services are charged at the fixed rate of € 70.00. Prices may be adjusted in the course of the year.
Several international coach companies organize connections to Bruges from important international transport hubs and foreign cities. The bus stops for these services are on the Sint-Michiels’ side (Spoorwegstraat) of the main railway station. TO AND FROM TRANSPORT HUBS From Brussels South Charleroi Airport flibco.com runs several direct services each day. Ouibus organizes direct services from and to Lille-Europe HST station. The journey times are arranged to match the times of the Eurostar trains and the TGV. Flixbus operates a daily service to and from Prague and Cracow, with stops at Frankfurt Airport (terminal 2) and Cologne Airport. Flixbus also has regular services to and from Paris, with stops at Lille-Europe HST station, Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. TO AND FROM FOREIGN CITIES Ouibus runs several direct services each day to and from Lille. Flixbus organizes services to and from London, Dortmund, Essen, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Prague, Cracow and Paris, stopping at different French and German cities along the different routes. Eurolines also has regular connections to and from Bruges with London and Amsterdam (via Ghent and Utrecht). It is recommended to always book your seat in advance (for some companies it is obligatory).
Official taxi ranks can be found at the Bruges railway station (front and back near the Spoorwegstraat), along Bargeweg (canal island), on the Market Square, in the Vlamingstraat (opposite the City Theatre), in Kuipersstraat (next to the library), in Boeveriestraat (near 't Zand) and in Zeebrugge along Zweedse Kaai (along Kustlaan at the port entrance where the cruise ships dock), at the Zeebrugge railway station (Zeebrugge-Dorp) and in Baron de Maerelaan (Station-Strand).
A bus travels between the Station and the city centre and back every 5 minutes. It’s the relaxing way to get to and from the city centre. A ticket allows you to change bus services as many times as you want for a period of 60 minutes. The ticket price is € 3.00. STATION TO CENTRE Bus Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 23 bring you into central Brugge and stop within walking distance of the main shopping streets, historic buildings and museums. The city centre stops are ’t Zand (all the above lines except 11), Sint-Salvatorskerk (Lines 1, 4, 6, 13, 14 and 16), O.L.V. Kerk and Dijver (Lines 1, 6, 11, 12 and 16), Markt (Lines 4, 13 and 14) and Stadsschouwburg (Lines 4, 13 and 14). CENTRE TO STATION The service to Brugge Station goes via the stops Stadsschouwburg (Lines 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 25), Markt (Lines 2, 4, 13 and 14) and ’t Zand (Lines 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 23 and 25). Please note! Between 1 pm and 6 pm every Saturday and on the first Sunday of every month, Lines 2, 4, 13 and 14 pass via the stops O.L.V. Kerk and Dijver and not via Markt.
European emergency number: tel. 112. This general number is used in all countries of the European Union to contact the emergency services: police, fire brigade or medical assistance. The number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Medical help » Doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nursing officers on duty: tel. 1733 » S.O.S. Emergency Service: tel. 100 » Hospitals: A.Z. St.-Jan: tel. +32 (0)50 45 21 11 A.Z. St.-Lucas: tel. +32 (0)50 36 91 11 St.-Franciscus Xaveriuskliniek: tel. +32 (0)50 47 04 70 » Poisons Advice Centre: tel. +32 (0)70 245 245 Police » General telephone number: tel. +32 (0)50 44 88 44 » Emergency police assistance: tel. 101 » Working hours Monday to Friday: 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. and Saturdays: 9.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. you can contact the central police services at Kartuizerinnenstraat 4 Daily: from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. you can contact the railway police in the main NMBS train station » After working hours you can access the police station on 3, Lodewijk Coiseaukaai from Monday to Thursday, between 7 am to 9 pm and continually from 7 pm on Friday to 9 pm on Sunday. For urgent matters, the police station has a 24-hour telephone service.
Belgium can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Bruges enjoys a mild, maritime climate. The summers are warm without being hot and the winters are cold without being freezing. During spring and autumn the temperatures are also pleasant and there is moderate rainfall throughout the year, with the heaviest concentrations in autumn and winter. So remember to bring your umbrella!