While Bruges has plenty of pubs to choose from, the city's woeful lack of clubs makes for a pretty tame night out, so don't go packing your dancing shoes.
Most of the action takes place around the Old Town, where a gamut of traditional-style bars sell heroic selections of beer. If you want to hang out with the hip crowd, then head to the haunts around Kuipersstraat and Zilverstraat.
Tickets and information for all cultural events can be obtained from the In & Uit tourist office.
Bars in Bruges
't Brugs Beertje
If you’re struggling to pronounce the name of this place now, then you’ve got no hope after working your way through some of the bar’s 300 beers. Festooned with nostalgic beer adverts, this warm and welcoming watering hole is a veritable shrine to Belgium’s national drink and what the friendly staff don’t know about their bevies ain’t worth knowing.Address: , Kemelstraat 5, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 339 616.
It’s rather difficult to find 't Poatersgat (The Monk’s Hole), but those that persevere will find steps that lead to a spacious, candlelit cellar bar. Once you get past the gloom and the slight whiff of damp hanging in the air, this atmospheric spot is perfect place to spend a few hours – especially as you make your way through its 120 beers.Address: , Vlamingstraat 82, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 495 226 850
One of the best bars in Bruges, De Garre is tucked away down the narrowest street in the city. This medieval-style bar serves a potent beer named (you guessed it) De Garre, which is so strong the bartenders will only serve you three. Each glass comes with a portion of cheese that does absolutely nothing to soak up this eye-blurring brew.Address: , De Garre 1, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 341 029.
A small bar with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly starr, Muttley’s is a choice bar if you’re looking primarily for beer and alcohol, as they do have limited food, mainly snacks. A unique find, Muttley’s has music playing but at a volume that does not make conversation difficult.
Address: , 't Zand 3, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 479 391 478
Clubs in Bruges
It might look fairly slick, but Bras Cafe is notorious for raucous themed nights, fancy dress and cheap drinks promotions. Marginally more respectable than neighbouring Ma Rica, this lively, good-natured club is a place where inhibitions are best left at the door. Expect partial nudity, drunkenness and debauchery.Address: , Het Zand 10 ('t Zand 9), Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 344 565
Housed in the former Bank of Bruges, De Coulissen is the city’s only real nightclub and a popular hangout for cool cats. The antithesis to Bruges’ other so-called clubs (where beer swilling and bad dancing is the aim of the game), De Coulissen has a touch of class and a roster of quality DJs who spin quality, left-of-centre tunes until the early hours.Address: , Jakob Van Ooststraat 4, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 486 105 141.
Ma Rica Rokk
In the absence of a proper clubbing scene, many revellers wind up in Ma Rica Rokk where floors are sticky, drinks are cheap and girls aren’t always as old as they claim. The music centres around commercial dance, which can be enjoyed after making the most of the bar’s ‘crazy hour’. Definitely not the most salubrious dance floor you’ll ever stick to.Address: , Het Zand 6, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 332 434
Live music in Bruges
Bruge’s primary contemporary music venue hosts rock bands, world music events and international DJs in a concert hall that can be varied in size to accommodate from 100 to 1,000 gig-goers. The organisation that owns the venue also organises the 3-day Cactus Festival in the Minnewater park each July.Address: Sint-Andries, Magdalenastraat 27, Bruges, 8200
Telephone: +32 50 332 014.
Comptoir Des Artes
Known as Bruge’s home of the blues, Comptoir offers a lively atmosphere for a few beers. With comedy Mondays and live music scheduled regularly, Comptoir Des Artes offers more than just food or drinks. Often filled with locals, this spacious bar with seats and tables around the room, but the best spot is at the bar itself.
Address: , Vlamingstraat 53, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 494 387 961
Concertgebouw (Concert Hall)
Bruges' top music venue is the Concertgebouw on 't Zand Square and regularly presents classical music, opera, ballet and a range of contemporary performances. The main auditorium seats 1,300, while there is also a smaller Chamber Music Hall with a capacity of 350.Address: , 't Zand 34, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 476 999.
Run by musos for musos, Joey’s is a dimly lit, down-to-earth bar that doubles up as an intimate live music venue. Performances are sporadic, so it’s pot luck whether you’ll catch a band or not. However, if you don’t get to hear any live acts, the easy-going atmosphere, friendly bartenders and potent cocktails will be something of a consolation.Address: , Zuidzandstraat 16/A, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 341 264.