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Shopping in Bruges

Bruges is hardly a Mecca for shoppers; the city might have a healthy mixture of independent and high street retailers, but the choice fails to rival that of nearby Brussel or Antwerp and prices are high, thanks to the hordes of tourists visiting the city. There are a range of designer boutiques, high street brands and local markets scattered throughout the city, not to mention numerous chocolatiers selling their delicious wares around the Old Town.

Bruges is also famous for its production of lace goods, which can be found in specialist shops and local markets. There are about 80 lace shops in the city.

Key areas

The main shopping areas in Bruges are situated between 't Zand and Markt Square, Steenstraat, Geld Montstraat and Jakobstraat are the main retail arteries of the city, with other streets lined with shops leading off from these.


On Wednesday morning, there’s a great food market in the Markt Square, while ‘t Zand Square is a great place to pick up bargain clothes on Saturday. The Fish Market across the canal from Burg Square trades from Tuesday to Saturday and there’s a brilliant flea market on the Dijver Canal at the weekend.

Shopping centres

The big chain stores are concentrated on Steenstraat, while Noordzandstraat features numerous boutique outlets.

Opening hours

Opening hours for shopping in Bruges are generally 1000-1800.


Bruges claims to be the world capital of chocolate and it’s hard to argue otherwise. The city is home to a plethora of chocolatiers (good examples include ‘t Kanthuisje at Breidelstraat 5 and Chocoladehuisje at Wollestraat 15), which lure many a sweet-toothed tourist in with their seductive displays. You get a whiff of nostalgia as your chocolate is weighed and packaged, although locals will tell you that the stuff you get in the supermarkets is just as good and a fraction of the price.

For an authentic taste of Bruges, visit the Old Town’s only working brewery, De Halve Maan (Half Moon), where you can pick up bottles of the local brew. An admirable selection of Belgium beer can also be found in the city’s off licenses or at 't Brugs Beertje (Kemelstraat 5).

If you’re looking for souvenirs, don’t miss the fabulous Quartier Bricolé (Langestraat 50). Renovated in 2008, this quirky shop promotes traditional Flemish craftsmanship and sells locally made knickknacks. The city’s markets are also good for arts and crafts, including the lace goods that Bruges is famous for manufacturing.

Tax information

Sales tax in Bruges is 21% and can be refunded to non-EU citizens by shops affiliated to Global Refund. Participating shops will issue a Global Refund cheque, which should be stamped at customs.

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Featured Hotels


Hotel Navarra

A grand hotel in a compact city, the Navarra is housed in a gorgeous, listed building in the heart of Bruges. There are 94 comfortable rooms in total, not to mention a fabulous swimming pool and sauna, which is the perfect tonic after a day of sightseeing. If you’ve brought your wheels to the city, the hotel’s on-site parking will ease the burden.

Hotel Fevery

Small, friendly and family-run, the Fevery is in a quiet spot just 10 minutes from the central market square. Rooms are simply furnished, but homely and good value. The fact there are only 10 of them keeps the service personal, ensuring the vibe stays like that of a suburban bed and breakfast, rather than a slick city hotel.

The Pand Hotel

Quite possibly the best place to stay in Bruges, The Pand is a small, luxurious hotel in the heart of the Old Town. Sumptuous but not showy, this former 18th-century carriage house has a friendly, laid-back ambiance and one of the best champagne breakfasts in the city. Festooned with the owner’s personal collection of antiques, there are 26 individually designed rooms to choose from.


Another wallet-friendly option, the Passage is a youth hostel, budget hotel, and restaurant split between two Old Town buildings. Scruffy and old fashioned but charming nonetheless, the Passage offers dorm beds, cheap doubles, and reasonably priced food. The staff are helpful and Bruges’ main attractions are just a short stroll away.

Hotel de Orangerie

Opulence abounds in the 20 large and lavish rooms of this lovely boutique hotel, housed in a former 15th-century monastery. Those facing the picturesque canal have some of the best views in town. If you can tear yourself away, the lounge bar has a warming open fire in winter, or you can enjoy afternoon tea in the elegant winter garden.

NH Brugge

This hotel has an interesting history, as it was a monastery from the 17th century, but is now a classified building. With a buffet breakfast, a restaurant, bar, free Wi-Fi, and room service, guests will be delighted with their stay and wish for more. Located in the “Venice of the North”, a UNESCO World Heritage site, NH Brugge is a convenient and enjoyable place to stay.