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Bruges Architecture

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From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

1. From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

Discover 2 of Flanders’ most enchanting cities and follow your guide back in time on a day tour. Choose between a private and a shared option. Walk through both cities and see some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral of Ghent, Bruges' Old Town, and the Lake of Love. Ghent’s medieval architecture and vibrant atmosphere will impress you as you visit Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Mystic Lamb painting (option), and pass by the Castle of the Counts of Flanders the picturesque medieval harbor Graslei and much more. In Bruges, you will enjoy the peaceful Lake of Love and the old beguinage. With your guide, discover the city and its cobbled streets on foot and you also have the option to enjoy a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals.

Bruges: Boat Cruise and Guided Walking Tour

2. Bruges: Boat Cruise and Guided Walking Tour

Explore Bruges on a walking tour with a local guide. Learn about local history as you stroll through the heart of the city, then join a boat trip along the canals. Admire quaint homes and iconic landmarks from the water. Meet your guide in the Market for a guided tour of the city. Discover the narrowest street, the beautiful 12th-century basilica, and the golden statues on the impressive courthouse. Next, explore the old fish market surrounded by 126 columns. Your guide will show the highlights and a hidden garden of an almshouse. Then, embark on the second part of the tour. Board your boat at the quay for a cruise along the canals. Sail beside ivy-covered facades and under bridges as you learn about the beautiful sites from your captain. Admire the old trading houses at the former harbor and the Beguinage.

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

3. From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the center of Brussels and relax on the 100-kilometer journey to Bruges. Upon arrival, discover the charms of “the Venice of the North” and see why the entire historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Marvel at highlights such as the Lake of Love (Minnewater Lake) and the 13th-century Begijnhof complex, founded in 1245 to house lay religious women. Go to Walplein Square, where the shady trees and cafes provide a perfect place to relax. Visit Stoofstraat on the site of the city's former Red Light District, and see medieval monuments such as the 11th-century Old St. John’s Hospital. Look at the world's second tallest brickwork tower at the Church of Our Lady, and see other historic monuments such as Gruuthuse Palace, the Dijver Canal and the tiny piazza of Tanners Square (Huidenvettersplein). Go to one of the city's most photographed spots at Rozenhoedkaai, and admire the Belfry on Castle Square. Admire the facades of the Gothic-style Town Hall and the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood. Visit Market Square (Grote Markt) to see the Bell Tower (Belfort) and Sint-Salvator’s Cathedral. Then enjoy 1-hour's free time for lunch (at your own expense) and the chance to sample some of the city's delicious chocolates.  Next, drive to Ghent, where the inhabitants have been popularly known as "noose-bearers“ since the days of Charles V. Take a guided tour of the city's historic buildings, such as the Castle of Gerald the Devil and Saint Bavo Cathedral, where you can look at the painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Admire the Belfort (Bell Tower) and peculiar Gothic and Renaissance-style Town Hall. See one of the city's oldest monuments at St. Nicholas’ Church opposite the unusual facade of the Masons’ Guild House. Journey along the embankments of the medieval port of Graslei, and discover other highlights such as the majestic Castle of the Counts of Flanders, the charming Patershol neighborhood, the Great Butchers’ Hall, the Old Fish Market, and Friday Market Square.

From Bruges: Great War Flanders Fields Minibus Tour w/Lunch

4. From Bruges: Great War Flanders Fields Minibus Tour w/Lunch

Enjoy a trip of historical discovery on this full-day minibus tour that takes you through West Flanders, from Bruges to the Belgian town of Ypres. The city, nicknamed Wipers, was rebuilt according to a medieval blueprint after being completely razed to the ground in the early 1900s. It was also here that the Germans invaded Belgium during World War I; a strategic move to attack France from the north. You will see the remaining artifacts and places of the city as you discover restored trenches, stroll among war graves in Passchendale and Polygon Wood, clamber over craters and bunkers on the preserved battlefield, and visit key war memorials.  Behold the impressive sight of the imposing Menin Gate Memorial to the missing soldiers, complete with 55,000 names, erected on the spot where the soldiers left the city for the battlefront. As your day continues you will also see the iconic poppy fields of Flanders as you ride through the countryside in an air-conditioned mini coach, perfect for relaxing and taking in the picturesque scenery. It is possible to visit an ancestor's grave if requested ahead, and it is also possible to extend the tour for the Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate Memorial with transport back to your hotel in Bruges.  This must be requested in advance as well and will incur a fee of €20 to be paid on the day of the tour.

From Paris: Day Trip to Bruges with Seasonal Canal Cruise

5. From Paris: Day Trip to Bruges with Seasonal Canal Cruise

Escape Paris for the day and cross the border to the capital of the West Flanders region of Flemish Belgium. The full-day tour, with round-trip transfers from central Paris, will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North.” Enjoy a guided walk of the historically rich center, admiring the gothic-style City Hall, the ornate Renaissance architecture of the Place du Bourg, and the 12th-century Basilique du Saint-Sang (Basilica of the Holy Blood), among other attractions. Free time will be allocated for lunch at a local restaurant, where you can enjoy Belgian specialties, such as traditional moules frites (mussels and French fries) and an extensive selection of Belgian beers. A visit to the Groeningemuseum, home to Flemish master painters, such as van Eyck and Hieronymous Bosch is a popular way to spend an afternoon in Bruges. Alternatively, shop for handmade lace and Belgian chocolates in the city’s boutique stores. During the summer season, choose the guided option to enjoy a boat cruise along some of the most famous canals of Bruges, built as far back as the 12th century.

From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Bruges

6. From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Bruges

Embark on a day out to Bruges from Amsterdam and discover the World Heritage Site. See the romantic Lake of Love, walk around the Burg Square, and enjoy some free time to taste the Belgium beers. Depart from the center of Amsterdam in a comfortable and airconditioned bus. Learn from your guide all about the historic center of Bruges and why it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Start your tour with an introduction to the history of Belgium and Bruges. See the Lake of Love and the Begijnhof, founded in 1245. Visit the historic city center, learn more about Belgium’s world-famous beers and see the Church of Our Lady. Admire one of the most charming areas, around the Dyver canal. Continue your walk to Walplein Square, the Stoofstraat, Gruuthuse Palace, Burg Square with its Gothic Town Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and the Grote Markt with the Belfort. The tour finishes in the Grote Markt, in the heart of Bruges. Get recommendations on where to eat, drink and shop during your 3 hours of free time in the city. Sit back and relax as you head back to Amsterdam, where the tour ends.

From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Bruges in Spanish or English

7. From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Bruges in Spanish or English

From Amsterdam you will go to Bruges by bus. During the tour you will have an introduction to the history of Belgium and cities near the route like Utrecht and Breda, both connected with Spanish history. This journey takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes.  The city of Bruges was declared a World Heritage City in 2000 and is also known as the Venice of the North. Enjoy a guided tour and visit the most attractive and interesting places of this city. Begin at the Minnewater or Lake of Love. During the tour, see important places of the city such as the Markt Square dominated by the Belfry, the Brug Square and Town Hall, the Church of Our Lady where you can appreciate one of Michelangelo's masterpieces "The Madonna of Bruges," among others. At the end of the guided tour, the guide will indicate a collection point and time to return to the bus, after free time in the city. Have free time to eat, take a walk, or go shopping. Later, you will return to the starting point of this excursion, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.

Bruges: Full-Day Guided Tour from Brussels in English

8. Bruges: Full-Day Guided Tour from Brussels in English

Depart the Belgian capital in the morning and transfer to the charming town of Bruges. Upon arrival, see why the entire historic center of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Go to the Lake of Love to see a calm oasis in the heart of the city. Marvel at the 13th-century Begijnhof,  covered in a carpet of daffodils in the spring. Continue to the quiet, paved square of Walplein, and stroll down the narrow Stoofstraat. See sights such as the 800-year-old St. John’s Hospital, and the imposing façade of the Church of Our Lady. Learn the history of the opulent palace of Gruuthuse, and walk alongside the banks of the Dijver Canal. Other highlights include the charming canal-side houses of the Rozenhoedkaai, the tiny square of the Huidenvettersplein, and the site of the 1st count’s castle on Castle Square.  Then, enjoy 2 free hours for lunch and explore the city as you please. Taste some of the exclusive chocolates of Bruges and pop into some of the legendary lace shops. Transfer back to Brussels, with an approximate 6:00 PM arrival time.

Bruges: Historium Bruges Story and VR Ticket

9. Bruges: Historium Bruges Story and VR Ticket

Travel back in time to the Middle Ages! The Historium – Bruges’ most visited attraction – lets you step back in time. Get a glimpse of how lively Bruges was during the Golden Age in various ways. In the Historium Story you'll follow the love story of Jacob, Jan van Eyck’s apprentice, as you wander through this spectacular attraction with film, backdrops and special effects. In the interactive Historium Exhibition you will find additional information about Mediaeval Bruges or you can get started on the wacky Family Trail. Time travel back to the year 1435 in the Historium Virtual Reality and sail virtually into the port of Bruges! You will see how the Waterhalle and Belfort tower looked in the past and can fly over the Market Square to the former St. Donatian’s Cathedral. It is a truly exhilarating experience.

Bruges Private 2-Hour Walking Tour

10. Bruges Private 2-Hour Walking Tour

You’ll be welcomed by your guide at an agreed central Bruges location to begin your private tour that’s priced for up to 20 persons. During the 2-hour guided tour of Bruges’s UNESCO-listed historic center, you'll take in the most important attractions of the city. The following is a sample itinerary, departing from ‘t Zand Square, at the Concert Hall: Head along the main shopping street in the direction of the Market Square. Along the way you'll pay a visit to the St. Savior Cathedral. Visit the Market Place with the imposing 83-meter-tall belfry and continue to Jan Van Eyck Square, once the center of Hanseatic Bruges. From the 13th to the 15th century this area was the economic and financial hub of Flanders. See the impressive houses that are a reminder of the leading role Bruges played as a commercial center in those days. You will pass the city theater, the Saaihalle (1399), Huis ter Beurze (the first stock exchange), and the Toll House. A little further along you'll arrive at the Burg, one of the most charming squares in town. See the stunning Gothic City Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Liberty of Bruges, once the city’s courthouse, and today the Municipal Archives. Walk through the Fish Market, Tanners Square and the very picturesque Dijver. Pass St. Mary’s Church and a little farther on, you’ll make a brief stop at St. John’s Hospital (one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe). The walk ends at the Minnewater and the Princely Béguinage.

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Frequently asked questions about Bruges

What top attractions are a must-see in Bruges?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Bruges?

The best day trips and excursions from Bruges are:

Ypres

Other Sightseeing Options in Bruges

Want to discover all there is to do in Bruges? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Bruges

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 465 reviews

Definitely positive experience. Considering that a couple of days are more than enough for Brussels, a day in Bruges and Ghent is a must. The tour is very well structured and the guide (Fabio) highly prepared and helpful. Taking into account the short time for the visit (because one day for these two beautiful cities is very little - in my opinion they have much more to offer than Brussels), Fabio allowed us to admire and appreciate all the main attractions in a very short time two cities describing them impeccably in very understandable English. The only thing I could point out is the little free time for the independent tour of the two cities (just over an hour for each), but otherwise everything was perfect. 5 stars deserved.

We loved our tour to Gent and Bruges, it was very interesting and thanks to our guide Andrea we’ve learnt very much about the history of these to towns!! It was a lovely tour ☺️

Beautiful place, the super comfortable bus and the guides gave us a good tour and the best tips for eating and exploring the city.

I had great time and great experience. The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. The entire trip was very beautiful.

Really worth it. If you don't have an extra day to stay in Ghent this trip is a must! places that take you in era.