Bruges (Brugge in Dutch) is by far the most popular travel destination in Belgium. Due to it’s picturesque canals it’s also know as the “Venice of the North”. The historic city center of Bruges is a prominent UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s closed for cars, making it very easy and convenient to explore on foot. The small yet vibrant city is filled with architectural and artistic treasures, folklore, boutiques, fine restaurants and of course many chocolate shops where you can taste Belgians finest chocolates. This Bruges travel guide will help you get the most out of your trip.
Travel to Bruges
Trains to Bruges
Bruges counts 2 trainstations: Brugge Railway station and Brugge-Sint-Pieters Railway station. The Brugge Railway station is located south of the city centre and is the main train-station where most travelers and tourists will arrive in Bruges. The smaller Brugge-Sint-Pieters trainstation is located north of the city.
Trains to Bruges are operated by the national railway company NMBS/SNCB. Single ticket fares vary according to your departing station. 10 trips railpasses cost 87€ and can be shared with your family and friends. Children under 12 always travel for free. Are you under 26? Then you can get a youth ticket that will let you travel for 6.60€ per single trip.
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Day trips to Bruges:
Do you already have accommodation in another city or are you short on time? No worries, Bruges is an excellent destination for a day trip from Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent. The train will bring you there in less then 1h30.
Budget saving tip 1: Plan your day trip to Bruges during the weekend and travel 50% cheaper. During the weekends, return tickets are sold at half price! They can be used starting from Friday 7 p.m. until Sunday evening.
Budget saving tip 2: Are you traveling in group, or planning to make several railway journeys in Belgium? Look at for a 10 trips railpass to share with your family and friends. It costs 87€ and is valid for 10 single trips, which means a single journey costs only 8.7€.
For more information about the trains in Belgium, check the Belgium Public Transport Guide
Travel to Bruges by Car
Bruges is located closely to the E40 highway, roughly an hour drive from Brussels and 1h20 from Calais. Therefor Bruges is the perfect destination for car travelers from the UK. However if you plant to visit Bruges by car, please keep in mind that cars aren’t allowed in the historic city centre and car parking in the centre of Bruges is limited and quite expensive. Check with your accommodation about car parking options.
There are 7 free park and rides outside the city centre, from where you can take the public transport to continue your journey.
Where to stay in Bruges
Being the number one travel destination in Belgium, Bruges has plenty of accommodation to offer. Backpackers, solo travelers and travelers on a budget are welcomed at one of the many Hostels in Bruges. There are numerous hotels and romantic B&B’s available as well. Pick one of the accommodation types that suits you or scroll down further for a map of the available accommodation in Bruges.
Top 3 cheap Hostels in Bruges
Bruges accommodation map
The best way to find your accommodation is Bruges is by viewing it on a map such as below. Fill in your arrival and departure date and zoom in to reveal all available hotels in Brussels.
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Getting around in Bruges:
The historical centre of Bruges is rather compact, and most of it can be explored on foot. When arriving at the Bruges train station, the Bruges public transport will bring you to your accommodation for 3€ or less. Of course much more expensive taxi’s (cabs) are available as well.
Bruges public transport
The local public transport in Bruges consists out of busses (coaches) that are operated by “De Lijn“. Download the official app in your appstore to make use of the cheapest fares.
- A single tickets cost 3€ in pre-sale.
- A single m-ticket costs 1€80 and is available on the official app of “De Lijn”.
- Daypasses cost 6€ in pre-sale and are available at Railway Stations, news paper stalls and grocery stores. Onboard they cost 8€.
The historic city centre is mostly car-free and due it’s sheer size it can be easily explored on foot. Most main attractions are located within a 15 mins walking distance from each-other. You can wander trough the streets on your own, using the Bruges Tourist Map above as a guidance, or you can take one of the many guided tours around the city.
Best things to see in Bruges
- Grote Markt
- Halletoren ( Belfry at the Grote Markt)
- Burg Square (De Burgh)
Best things to do in Bruges
- take a boat ride on the historic city canals
- visit “Historium”
- visit the “Groeningemuseum”
The Rozenhoedkaai is one of the most picturesque and “instagrammable” hotspots in the historic city centre of Bruges.
Just as in any city, the Bruges grand square (or grote markt in Flemish) is the heart Bruges. It’s the largest market square in Bruges, surrounded with beautiful historical buildings.
The Belfry (Halletoren)
The impressive Belfry of Bruges (Halletoren in Flemish), is an impressive 84m high and listed as an Unesco world heritage site. You’ll get the best view at it from the “Grote Markt”. The Bellfry will also be your best reference point for finding the “Grote Markt” when you’re wandring down the beautiful historical streets.
The Burg ( de burgh)
The Burg is a medieval square and former fortress in Bruges. Originally this Gothic square was surrounded with walls and entry-gates and can be considered to be one of the oldest parts of the historic city. Nowadays the square is surrounded by impressive historical buildings such as the Bruges City Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Old Civil Registry.
Jan van Eyckplein
A beautiful rectangular square located near the “Spiegelrei” with a statue of Bruges famous painter “Jan van Eyck”. Although still being in the city centre, the area is less crowded with tourists and offers a lovely view on the historical canals of Bruges.
The Groeningemuseum provides a varied overview of six centuries of visual arts with paintings of Jan van Eyck, Pieter Breughel and René Magritte. Discover the Flemish primitive masters in one of the world’s best collections.
Tickets cost 14€. The museum is open every day from 9h30 untill 17h00. Closed on mondays.
Bruges Tourist Map
The map below shows most of the main attractions in Bruges. You can save the map and then open it in Google Maps on your smartphone.