Visiting Brugge (Bruges) is a must-do for anyone in Brussels, looking for a relaxing adventure.
On the morning of June 17th, it was as if I woke up and instantly was thrown into the middle of the best chapter in a historic, medieval times fairy tale – from wandering through old windmills surrounded by giant trees, exploring quaint Belgian chocolate shops on every corner, and listening to the sound of horses’ hooves hit the cobblestone streets every few minutes, I felt like a princess all day long.
If you’re looking for a town where you can totally relax, enjoy delicious food and sweets, and absorb charming and profound history, Brugge is the place to go.
We started our morning fairly early after a good night’s sleep, at around 8am. We took the IC subway towards Brugge Central Station. This subway went directly there (we didn’t have to switch), which was perfect and easy. We purchased a return ticket, which costs €12.60 (if you are under 26 years old). This was much cheaper than we were originally prepared to pay, which was €14.60 each way, meaning we had a few extra bucks to spend on chocolate.
After we arrived at the station in Brugge, we hopped off the subway and slowly walked up a main street towards Rozenhoedkaai (the most photographed view in all of Brugge). Along the way, we stopped to check out Minnewater Lake, and Bonifacius Bridge. We discovered a flea market by accident, which made the morning even more perfect.
Meandering through the stalls and streets of Brugge was indescribable. The cobblestone ground and tall, narrow buildings add an atmosphere that is unlike any other town I have visited in Europe. Similar to Paris, there was something interesting to see on every corner of this small village.
I can’t count the number of times I exclaimed, “this place is so cute!” while walking through the streets. We headed towards Belfry Tower
, near the Grote Markt (Market Place) to get a view of the whole town, stopping every few steps to test taste sweet chocolate from individual stores. Eventually we arrived at the Tower, which cost €8.00 for students. 366 steps later, we were at the top, feeling the cool breeze flow through the open windows of the tower (much needed on this hot day!)
We returned to the bottom of the tower, almost speechless at the incredible view of the whimsical town of orange roofs, with canals and cobblestone streets twisting around each historic building. We grabbed a quick lunch and continued the adventure!
We walked to a bike rental shop
, and paid €7.00 to rent a bike each for 2 hours. We biked along the canal towards the town of Dames. The houses and buildings along the canal were different and unique, and riding along on a bike was the perfect way to check them out. The bikes gave us a walking break, and being next to the canal with a nice breeze was the perfect way to cool down. We biked through towering trees, providing a shady escape. Giant wind mills placed delicately on the top of some hills snuck out through the tree branches every so often. Each moment of this bike ride was so peaceful, and with the sounds of the canal, the wind, and the calming songs of the birds in the trees, I felt totally safe and carefree.
We happily got a little lost while heading back to return the bikes. It’s hard to look down and focus on a map with scenery so beautiful and unique around every corner. We made it back to the bike rental shop, and returned to our now refreshed, ready-to-walk feet.
We came across Dumon Chocolatier
, where their extensive list of hot chocolate caught our eyes. My mouth was watering just looking at the menu! We each ordered a different type of hot chocolate: chili, ginger, and hazelnut. A few minutes later, we were brought a hot cup of milk, with a solid chunk of Belgian chocolate melted onto a spoon. Swirling the spoon and chocolate around in the hot milk was hypnotizing, and I couldn’t wait to try it. The first sip was heavenly and smooth, and the rest of my cup did not last very long after that!
Obviously in the mood for more chocolate, we did some hunting, and picked out some boxes and bars to bring back home to family. There are so many flavors of chocolates – from standard caramel, dark, white or milk chocolate, to key lime pie, coconut, chili, fruit, and really any other flavor you can think of. There is something for every taste bud.
Feeling complete and accomplished, we wandered back to Brugge Station to catch a returning subway to Brussels. We returned around 8pm, after spending almost 10 hours in Brugge. It was a day with no expectations to begin with, but by the end of it, I was feeling that the day couldn’t have been any better.
Check out the places we visited, and the total cost of this day trip!
- Return ticket to and from Brugge: €12.60
- Rozenhoedkaai: FREE
- Minnewater Lake: FREE
- Bonifacius Bridge: FREE
- Grote Markt: FREE
- Belfry Tower: €8.00
- Flea Market: FREE
- Lunch: €8
- Biking to Dames: €7.00
- Taste Testing Chocolate: FREE-€0.50 per piece (varies in each store)
- Hot Chocolate at Dumon Chocolatier: €3.50
- Chocolate spending money: Up to you!