Country: Belgium
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Peak Season: July-August
Shoulder Season: March-April, September-November
Median Temperature: 9.80 C / 49.64 F
Main Languages: Flemish, French, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, taxi, bicycle rental, horse-drawn carriage
Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $150.00/day
Tourist Passes: Brugge City Card
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Behold Belgium’s (and the probably Europe’s) most well-preserved medieval destination: Bruges. This lovely Flemish city is famed for its chillingly unadulterated (albeit restored) 13th to 15th century buildings and canals concentrated within the historic center. Bruges is famous for fostering intricate talent in the guise of its Flemish architecture and tailoring industry, which took off since its golden age. People who visit Bruges have only good remarks to say about the city: it’s one of the most idyllic places to live in, and not to mention the cleanest, due to the strong patronization of bicycles instead of motorized vehicles. Truly, Bruges lives up to its reputation of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bruges, in stark contrast with otherwise heavily modernized Brussels, is fittingly described as a “small town” adorned with beautiful canals, earning its title of being “Venice of the North.” The increasing fanfare these days for timeless cities is being resonated by the city’s intensive patronage of Bruges’ famous Belgian cuisine and beer.

Bruges may not endear everyone; however, with only a few tourist destinations even coming close to what Bruges has accomplished to preserve its pristine medieval setting, one would find it hard to resist coming back here just for the sights and sounds of old West Flanders. A perfect setting for passionate lovers and hopeless romantics, Bruges does not fail to impress.

Packing List

  • Converted currency and credit cards (widely accepted); remember to bring a pocket guide to see the best deals in town—in countries like Belgium, it’s better to trust the book, not your instincts
  • Layers of warm clothing for the cold weather and a trusty umbrella (rain showers are unpredictable); walking shoes are essential since you won’t be boarding public transportation due to the city’s small size
  • Bottled water and a sturdy, well-cushioned backpack; a few tourists only spend a day or two in Bruges in a Belgium itineraries; the city is a generally safe destination, so don’t worry about staying in a hostel
  • Essential medication and toiletries—you may encounter trouble getting prescription medication from the pharmacies, so pack ahead of the departure; insect repellants can be handy during nature trips
  • A decent camera, plenty of film and batteries; portable media and books will keep you company at times, but don’t tug too much electronics (or any unnecessary load, for that matter)—pack light

Things to Do

  • Exploring the UNESCO-recognized historic center, which emanates 13th century Gothic architecture; the cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages rectifies its historicity
  • Partaking in the Brugge Chocolate Festival (Choco-Laté) held every April, which celebrates the city’s strong affinity for the sweet treat; a variety of chocolate shops are also open year-round
  • Visiting the lowly-yet-significant Basilica of the Holy Blood; the chapel contains what is said to be a phial containing a cloth drenched in the blood of Jesus Christ, seized from Jerusalem by crusaders
  • Sipping a beer at De Halve Maan Brewery; unanimously contended as the best beer maker in Bruges, the tour will let you in on the traditional brewing process with great views of the city
  • Walking around pleasant Minnewater, otherwise known as Lover’s Lake; the greenery and the small bridges make for a romantic treat—there are plenty of secluded areas to choose from


  • Ascertain French as the primary language even though Brussels employs the use of both —the country is inherently Dutch and locals speak English; remember to pronounce the city as Brugge (brooger)
  • Dress like someone coming from a party—the Flemish French are mindful of how their guests dress; remember to always dress sharp and avoid causing a commotion on the dinner table—wait your turn
  • Smoke or litter in public—Bruges is much like a town in terms of how locals go by their daily business; though lenient, they expect tourists to be mindful of the environment and observant of public decorum
  • Hesitate to ask the locals for directions—a few street signs may get awfully confusing; remember to make the most out of the day and night—the crime rate in the city is low compared to Brussels
  • Be too giddy in bars—locate a table before ordering your drink, since sharing tables isn’t the custom here, as is standing; be polite with the bar patrons and bartenders and don’t forget to leave a 10% tip