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About city Gallery Where to stay

Bruges is the most important city of the Belgian West Flanders and, despite its modest size, plays an important role in the life of the country. Today, the city is home to around 117,000 people, and on top of that it’s visited by around 2 million travellers every year – tourism is its main source of revenue.

During the last several centuries, the image of Bruges remained quite stable – the city managed to maintain its elegant medieval beauty almost unchanged. Quiet cobbled streets, the leisurely flow of channel waters, countless embossed building façades, ancient churches – all have something dreamlike and illusory, and the city itself seems as if it was painted by an ingenious artist.

Market square in the center of Bruges
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Market square in the center of Bruges

Many cities are nicknamed “the Venice of the North”, and Bruges is one of them. Its three large canals gently flow into one, making the city even more pictorial. At some point, large sea ships used to sail these canals, while today they’re mostly filled with recreational cutters and small boats that belong to the locals.

In terms of composition, Bruges resembles most medieval cities – it’s oblong and parcelled into many winding streets and canals. The city centre has two squares that contain all of the main sights. This part of the city can be circumnavigated in half an hour by foot, although we would advise against picking up the pace too much, as Bruges isn’t suited haste – every turn of the corner may surprise you with something incredible.

The best place to start your explorations is the Grote Markt, or Market Square. Here you’ll find one of the city’s most important monuments – the 83-metre-high Belford Tower. If you manage to climb its 366 stairs, you’ll get to see an excellent view of the city.

Bruges
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Bruges

The Burg Square is located not far from the Market Square. Here you’ll see many beautiful historic buildings, arguably the most unique of which is the Town Hall, built in 1376-1421 and considered to be one of the most beautiful of its kind in the whole of Belgium. The neighbouring Basilica of the Holy Blood has quite the relic – a vessel containing a few drops of the Saviour’s blood. Also, don’t forget the Church of Our Lady, which has a 122-metre-high steeple and the Madonna of Bruges sculpture by Michelangelo.

The principal means of transportation in Bruges is the bicycle – you can rent one in any hotel. The city’s canals can be navigated by motor boats, while those who want a truly spectacular bird’s-eye view of Bruges can have a ride on an air balloon.

Bruges is considered to be the homeland of the praline confectionary and the European capital of chocolate, as the city is home to the continent’s largest and most famous museum of the substance – the European Museum of Chocolate – and many small candy stores that sell the most magnificent chocolate figurines. Every year, Bruges hosts the Chocolate Festival where you can watch expert chocolate makers demonstrate their craft and try to impress the chocolate-loving crowds with their singular chocolate experiments.

A chocolate shop in Brugge
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  A chocolate shop in Brugge

Bruges has many cafés and restaurants that serve the city’s traditional dishes like roast pheasant or partridge, eel steak or rabbit. We insist you try all of these, accompanied by some Belgian beer, of which you’ll find here hundreds of varieties.

By the way, everything on sale in the famous 2BE Beer Wall, from alcohol to sweets, is of Belgian origin. Here you can taste and buy many different varieties of traditional beer and even visit a beer museum.

Tourists are also very fond of the Fritmuseum, which hosts French-fry tastings and tells the story of how they used to be made. Another interesting place to visit is the Diamond Museum where you can see how these precious stones are polished.

Where to stay

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