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Things to see in Bruges

Attractions

Church of our Lady

After the iconic Belfry Tower, the 122m-high (400ft) Church of Our Lady is the most imposing building in Bruges – and also one of the most beautiful. Inside this epic church, visitors can admire an incredible collection of art including Michelangelo’s world-famous Madonna and Child, as well as the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold.

Address: , Mariastraat, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 448 711.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0930-1700, Sun 1330-1700.

Website: http://www.visitbruges.be/en/onze-lieve-vrouwekerk-church-of-our-lady
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Belfry of Bruges

An absolute must for visitors to Bruges is a climb to the top of this 83m-high (272ft) tower, where efforts are rewarded with a stunning panorama of the city and surrounding countryside. On your way up, marvel at the incredible clock mechanism and a carillon of 47 bells, which used to organise life in medieval Bruges and warn the citizens of an enemy advance.

Address: , Markt 7, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 448 743.
Opening times:

Daily 0930-1800.

Website: http://bezoekers.brugge.be/nl/belfort
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Bruges City Hall

The Bruges City Hall dates from 1376. Its gothic council chamber on the building's first floor is open to the public and features spectacular ceilings decorated with medieval carvings. An adjoining chamber houses displays of documents and works of art.

Address: , Burg 12, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 448 111
Opening times:

Daily 0930-1700.

Website: https://www.visitbruges.be/en/stadhuis-city-hall
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

De Halve Maan Brewery

Belgium is renowned for its beer, and this family brewery (the name means ‘Half Moon') has been producing a range of traditionally made tipples here since 1856. The only brewery left in the Old Town, it offers multilingual tours daily, ending with a chance to taste. The views from the top of the brewery are worth the ticket price alone.

Address: , Walplein 26, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 444 222.
Opening times:

Sun-Wed 1000-1800, Thu-Sat 1000-2300.

Website: http://www.halvemaan.be
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Historium Bruges

Short of developing your own time machine, this multimedia museum is the best way to experience Bruges during its golden age. Passing through a series of themed rooms you can smell, see and hear about all aspects of life in the 15th century, when the city was one of the most powerful in Europe.

Address: , Markt 1, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 270 311.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.historium.be
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Kantcentrum (Lace Centre)

Dedicated to Bruges's best-known industry, lace, this museum is housed in restored 15th-century almshouse. It offers lace-making demonstrations Monday through to Saturday, with additional courses for those that want to find out more. Once you’re finished, the adjacent Jerusalem Church is a quirky pit stop and is free for lace museum customers.

Address: , Balstraat 16, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 330 072.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0930-1700.

Website: http://kantcentrum.eu/
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Located in Burg Square, the basilica boasts two beautiful chapels: St Basil's Chapel, which dates back to the 1100s, and the Holy Blood Chapel, where you’ll find the supposed sacred blood of Jesus Christ. The holy claret is stored in a rock-crystal vial that was taken by Thierry of Alsace after the Second Crusade to Jerusalem in the 12th century. It’s put on show daily. The basilica also has a small museum displaying ecclesiastical exhibits, which you have to pay to enter.

Address: , Burg 13, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 336 792.
Opening times:

Thu-Tue 0930-1230 and 1400-1730.

Website: http://www.holyblood.com
Admission Fees:

No (admission fee for museum).

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

St John’s Hospital

St John’s has some of Europe’s oldest surviving hospital buildings and it dates back to the 13th century. It’s far too antiquated to be suitable for Belgium’s modern health service, so it has been converted into a museum that commemorates its 800 years of helping the sick. Displayed under the fantastic wooden ceiling are primitive instruments and cringe-worthy diagrams of ancient medical techniques, which make you glad to be in the 21st century.

Address: , Mariastraat 38, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 448 743.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0930-1700

Website: http://bezoekers.brugge.be/en/sint-janshospitaal-saint-johns-hospital
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Choco Story

Dedicated to one of Belgium’s most-famous traditions, Choco Story is a must-visit for chocoholics. Tracing the story of the cocoa-based treat from the times of the Maya and Aztecs to modern manufacturing processes, visits here include chocolate-making demonstrations and a shop in which to indulge the tastebuds.

Address: , Wijnzakstraat 2, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 612 237.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.choco-story.be
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Groeningemuseum

What the Groeningemuseum lacks in size, it certainly makes up in stature. This renowned art gallery holds six centuries worth of work, showcasing a comprehensive collection of Flemish, Belgian and Dutch art by such luminaries as Jan van Eyck, Hieronymous Bosch and Marcel Broodthaers.

Address: , Dijver 12, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 448 743.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0930-1700.

Website: http://bezoekers.brugge.be/en/groeningemuseum-groeninge-museum
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Tourist Offices

In & Uit Brugge

Address: , Het Zand 34, Bruges, 8000
Telephone: +32 50 444 646.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1000-1700; Sun 1000-1400.

Website: http://bezoekers.brugge.be/en

Just west of the city centre, In & Uit Brugge is a one-stop shop for reservations, tours and advice. There is also an information desk in the Historium (Markt 1), with the same opening hours.

Tourist passes

The Brugge City Card (www.bruges.it) offers free admission to 27 museums, free canal boat tours and a handful of other discounts. Passes are available for 48 or 72 hours.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

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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.

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.

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.

 

Ensor

Ensor is a family hotel, located in Bruges’ Old Town, in a quiet area alongside a typical Bruges canal. With 12 rooms, it’s a small but comfortable hotel. The hotel is just a short walk into town and not far from the train station either, so the location is convenient as well. Described as a budget hotel, if needed you can attempt to email directly and lower the rates.