Bruges (Brugge in Flemish/Dutch) is a quaint little tourist town in northwest section of Flanders, the Dutch speaking portion of Belgium. Despite being dominated by tourists from all over Europe, Bruges still maintains its charm and will make you hesitant to leave. The city is roughly egg-shaped, with a series of canals cutting the city into a number of rings. Bruges retains most of its medieval architecture including buildings including the Church of Our Lady, with its grand brick spire, the Beguinage which is still inhabited by nuns and the very prominent Belfry of Bruges.
What to do
In addition to architecture, Bruges boasts a number of museums, art collections, restaurants, shops and bars. The city has become such a cultural landmark that it was named the “European Capital of Culture” in 2002. Be sure to check out some of the unique attractions Bruges offers, like the Half Moon Brewery and the Chocolate museum.
The easiest way to get to Bruges for most people is by train. The Bruges main train station is connected to most major Belgium cities. Trains arrive almost hourly from Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent. Bruges is also a stop for the Thalys train on the Paris-Brussels-Ostend line.
Travel within the city can easily be done by foot, but there is also a city bus system. The main train station is approximately 15-20 minutes by foot from the center of Bruges. Cycling is also a popular way to get around, as with most of the Low Countries, Bruges is very flat which make cycling very easy and relaxing. While the city does not ban cars from the city center, vehicles must yield to pedestrians and cyclists so one does have to worry too much about having to navigate through traffic.
Where to stay
Bruges has a number of hostels and hotels for those thinking of spending a few days there. Hostels include St. Christopher’s Bauhaus, Snuffel Backpacker Hostel or Lybeer Youth Hostel. If hostels aren’t your thing, there are a number of small independent hotels in the area, with most of them going for around $130 a night.
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