Belgium Travel Info
Bruges Travel Guide

Bruges Travel Guide

Welcome to Bruges, one of the most charming and picturesque cities in Belgium. Known as the “Venice of the North” due to its intricate network of canals, Bruges is a popular travel destination for visitors from all over the world. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the car-free streets make it easy to explore the city on foot.

As you wander through the streets of Bruges, you will be struck by the city’s architectural and artistic treasures. The Gothic architecture of the churches and buildings is a sight to behold, and the many museums and art galleries offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the city.

Bruges is also known for its vibrant folklore, unique boutiques, and fine restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal or a unique souvenir, you’re sure to find it in Bruges. And of course, no visit to Bruges would be complete without trying some of Belgium’s famous chocolate. The city is home to many chocolate shops where you can taste the finest chocolate creations.

This Bruges travel guide is here to help you make the most of your trip. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just a good time, Bruges has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags and come explore the charming city of Bruges in Belgium!


Autumn in Bruges
Autumn in Bruges

Best time to visit Bruges

Bruges is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer is the most popular time to visit, with warm weather and many outdoor festivals and events. However, the crowds can be overwhelming, and prices tend to be higher. Spring and fall offer milder weather and fewer tourists, making it a good time to explore the city at a more leisurely pace. Winter can be cold and rainy, but the city is transformed into a winter wonderland during the holiday season.

Travel to Bruges

To get to Bruges, you can fly into Brussels Airport or take a train from major European cities like Paris or Amsterdam. From Brussels, you can take a train or a bus to Bruges, which takes about an hour. The train station in Bruges is located just outside the city center, but it’s easy to get to by bus, taxi, or on foot.

Travel to Bruges from the UK

With the Eurostar train, Bruges is only 3h25mins away from London. The “Any Belgian Station” ticket includes the journey on the Eurostar from London St-Pancras to Brussels Midi and the local train from Brussels Midi to Bruges.

Travelers with their own motorized vehicle can either take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais or choose for a ferry crossing to France or The Netherlands.

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.

Departure stationArrivalEst. time
GhentBruges30 mins
Brussels-CentraalBruges1h05
Brussels-Zaventem AirportBruges1h30
Antwerpen-CentraalBruges1h30
Charleroi AirportBruges2h30

Day trips to Bruges

If you’re short on time or already have accommodations in another city, Bruges is the perfect destination for a day trip. Easily accessible by train from cities like Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, you can be there in less than 1 hour and 30 minutes.

To save on budget, plan your day trip to Bruges for the weekend. Return train tickets are sold at half price, starting from Friday evening at 7 pm until Sunday night.

Another budget-saving tip is to travel in a group or plan multiple train journeys in Belgium. Consider purchasing a 10 trip railpass for 87€. This pass can be shared with your family and friends and allows for 10 single trips, making each journey cost only 8.7€.

For more information about the trains in Belgium, check the Belgium Public Transport Guide

Travel to Bruges by Car

Bruges is conveniently located near the E40 highway, making it just a one hour drive from Brussels and 1 hour and 20 minutes from Calais. This makes it an ideal destination for travelers coming from the UK by car. However, cars are not permitted in the historic city center and parking can be limited and costly. Be sure to check with your accommodation for parking options.

Car parking in Bruges

There are 7 free Park & Rides on the outskirts of the city center, where you can park your car and take the bus or walk to the city center.

Where to stay in Bruges

As a top travel destination, Bruges offers a wide range of accommodation options for all types of travelers. Whether you’re a backpacker, solo traveler, or on a budget, there are plenty of hostels to choose from. For those looking for a more luxurious experience, there are plenty of hotels and romantic bed and breakfasts. Browse the options below to find the perfect accommodation that suits your needs, or check out the map for more available options in Bruges.

Hostels in Bruges

Hotels in Bruges

Best rated Luxury hotels 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.
(If you can’t see the map, please turn of your ad-blocker)

Booking.com

Romantic B&B’s in Bruges

This is a placeholder tab content. It is important to have the necessary information in the block, but at this stage, it is just a placeholder to help you visualise how the content is displayed. Feel free to edit this with your actual content.

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€.

Discover Bruges

The historic city centre of Bruges 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 and do in Bruges

Bruges is a city that’s full of history and culture, with many attractions to explore. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Bruges:

Explore Bruges’ Canals

Exploring Bruges’ Canals One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Bruges is by taking a boat tour of its canals. These tours offer a unique perspective on the city’s architecture and landmarks, as well as its famous swans. The canals are also a popular spot for walking and cycling, with many paths and bridges to explore.

Rozenhoedkaai:

The Rozenhoedkaai is one of the most picturesque and “instagrammable” hotspots in the historic city centre of Bruges.

Grote Markt:

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

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.

Bruges Tours & Excursions

Practical Tips for Visiting Bruges

  • Language: The official language spoken in Bruges is Dutch, but English and French widely spoken.
  • Currency: The currency in Bruges is the Euro.
  • Safety tips: Bruges is generally a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take basic safety precautions.

Conclusion

Bruges is a beautiful and charming city that’s rich in history, culture, and culinary delights. Whether you’re interested in exploring its medieval landmarks, sampling its famous chocolate and beer, or simply wandering its picturesque streets and canals, there’s something for everyone in Bruges. So why not plan a trip and experience the magic of this hidden gem for yourself?