Home Destinations 15 Best Things to Do in Bruges 2024 for Adults, Kids, or Couples

15 Best Things to Do in Bruges 2024 for Adults, Kids, or Couples

by Naoi Rei
15 Best Things to Do in Bruges 2024 for Adults, Kids, or Couples

In the heart of Europe sits a dazzling, old-timey gem—Bruges. Known for its dreamy waterways, stone-paved paths, and age-old structures, Bruges weaves an enchanting spell on anyone who steps foot in it. Whether you’re grown-ups longing for a romantic trip, a family hungry for fun outings, or a pair seeking a storybook escape, there’s a whole lot of things to do in Bruges that will etch lifelong memories.

1. Explore the Bruges Market Square (Markt)

Right at the heart of Bruges’ buzzing life is the Market Square, alive with eateries, shops, and timeworn buildings. Trekking up the Belfry tower gives you a sweeping glimpse of the town, while horse-drawn carriage rides from the square are a charming way to peek at Bruges. Come Christmas, the square transforms into a wintery wonderland with its festive stalls and skating rink.

2. Visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood

Home to a venerated relic believed to hold the blood of Christ, the Basilica of the Holy Blood is a beacon for pilgrims and the curious alike. Its breathtaking insides, decked with intricate designs and colorful glass, is a sight to behold. The basilica bathes you in peaceful vibes for contemplation and its distinct past lures scores of travelers each year.

3. Discover the Old St. John’s Hospital

As one of the oldest standing hospital buildings in Europe, Old St. John’s Hospital whispers tales of Bruges’ yesteryear health care and customs. It’s a museum now, letting you wander through medieval wards, peer at old healing tools, and marvel at works by Flemish painter Hans Memling, including his celebrated Shrine of St. Ursula.

4. Take a Boat Trip Along the Canals

The life-giving canals of Bruges serve up a different angle of the city. Floating down these water corridors, you sail by historic facades, beneath age-old bridgeways, and through quiet nooks. This peaceful ride is a hit with lovebirds yearning for a picturesque setting.

5. Delve into the Bruges Chocolate Museum

For those crazy about chocolate, the Bruges Chocolate Museum is your sweet spot. It tells the tasty tale of chocolate from its birth to its beloved status now. Hands-on exhibits and live chocolate-making make for a fun and yummy trip. Don’t forget to taste some top-notch Belgian chocolates while there.

6. Stroll Through Minnewater Park

Bask in the calm of Minnewater Park, often dubbed the ‘Lake of Love’. Ideal for ambling by the water or enjoying a picnic spread on the grassy knoll, this lovebird’s haven is also a hit with families seeking some quiet time together.

7. Admire Art at the Groeningemuseum

The Groeningemuseum is a cache full of Flemish and Belgian masterpieces, showcasing creations from centuries ago to recent times. Art lovers will revel in pieces from big names like Jan van Eyck and Marcel Broodthaers, placing the museum atop the list of cultural wonders in Bruges.

8. Climb the Belfry Tower

Feeling adventurous? Scrambling up the 366 steps of the Belfry Tower is one of the top things to do in Bruges. Reach the summit and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the town, making you fall even deeper in love with Bruges’ splendid skyline and design.

9. Relax at a Traditional Bruges Café

Diving into the local café scene is a must in Bruges. Snag a cozy corner in one of the city’s old-fashioned cafés, where you can sip a robust coffee or Belgian brew, all while enjoying the simple pleasure of watching the world go by.

10. Venture to the Beguinage (Begijnhof)

Setting foot in the Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a glimpse into the lives of the Beguines, women who formed a community halfway between the secular and the convent. It’s peaceful, with white houses and a courtyard blooming with daffodils in spring—it’s a serene retreat from the lively city buzz.

11. Experience the Bruges Beer Experience

Beer buffs, take note of the Bruges Beer Experience, where the secrets of beer crafting, Belgian beer tales, and tastings of exquisite brews await you. Interactive exhibits provide a blast for grown-ups, and the sampling tours are a delicious dive into Belgium’s prideful brewing heritage.

12. See Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child

A trip to the Church of Our Lady treats you to the sight of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child sculpture. Carved from marble and alive with emotion and detail, it’s the only one of his works to have ventured out of Italy during his life.

13. Wander the Windmills

Bruges’ northeast skirts are graced with historic windmills, some still in working order today. Standing tall against sweeping skies, these quaint mills are perfect for snapshots and offer a peek into Bruges’ farming roots.

14. Attend the Procession of the Holy Blood

Come to Bruges in May and don’t miss the Procession of the Holy Blood. It’s an ancient tradition of over seven centuries, featuring a city-wide pageant with biblical stories and the cherished Holy Blood relic.

15. Shop at Local Bruges Markets

Shopaholics rejoice! The markets of Bruges are your playground for unique finds and homegrown treats. From handmade lace to fresh veggies, these vibrant spots let you rub elbows with the local crafters and growers.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best time of year to visit Bruges?

The prime time to hit Bruges is from May to September when the weather is warm and all the attractions are ready to welcome you. Yet, December is also grand for immersing yourself in the Christmas markets and the city’s winter charm.

Is Bruges good for a family trip?

Indeed, Bruges is wonderful for a family holiday filled with child-friendly things like canal trips, interactive museums, and gorgeous parks just right for little explorers.

How long should you stay to see Bruges?

To really soak in all the things to do in Bruges, pencil in at least two to three days. That should give you enough time to check out the top sights, taste some local dishes, and drink in the city’s old-world feel.

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