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Grote Markt

Grote Markt: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

1. 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.

Bruges: Full-Day Guided Tour from Brussels in English

2. 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: Sherlock Holmes Smartphone App City Game

3. Bruges: Sherlock Holmes Smartphone App City Game

Immerse yourself in the exciting world of Sherlock Holmes by collecting clues as part of a fun smartphone game. Solve the murder of a fictional character with your colleagues, friends, or family, and explore the highlights of Bruges, including the Church of Our Lady. After downloading the app and entering the code, embark on a unique adventure full of brain teasers, puzzles, and lots of British humor. Become a high-class detective for a day and work alongside Sherlock Holmes. Take as long as you need to tackle this criminal case, stopping to explore the area whenever you wish to. Restart the game when you're ready and have a blast as you discover iconic sites, such as the Grote Markt. Whilst this game does not focus on interacting with your surroundings nor informing you about it, it is the perfect activity to explore this amazing city in a fun and interactive way. Get ready for a walk through the most beautiful places in the city.

Medieval Bruges: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

4. Medieval Bruges: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

Get off of the well-trodden tourist trail and venture into the heart of medieval Bruges on a self-guided tour. Wander down picturesque streets and go back in time with a mobile audio guide and an old city map from 1562. Discover the Sint Anna Quarter, Market Square, Huis Ter Beurze, along with hidden gems. Pass by main sites like Market Square where the tour starts, but be prepared to come across lesser-known landmarks. See the remnants of the 12th-century city walls and a medieval tower. Venture over 700-year-old bridges and into little alleys, forgotten squares, secret inner gardens, and hidden monuments. Along the route, find out what Bruges was like in its glory days as a medieval metropole. Explore one of the city’s most authentic neighborhoods, the Sint Anna Quarter, and learn what the area – and its high unemployment rate in the 1800s – has to do with Bruges La Morte. Follow the map to reach Café Vlissinghe, the oldest continuously operating bar in Bruges, and the Museum of Folk Life. The tour ends at the old Bonne Chière windmill where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view over the medieval metropole. On the way, find out the little corner of Bruges where the stock exchange was invented, and why St Gilis canal was renamed the Golden Hand Canal. Learn what medieval sanitation was like in the olden days and the origin of sayings like "shitfaced". Pass by haunted houses and uncover their ghost stories. See where the witches of Bruges used to gather. Understand it was like to live in a medieval wooden house and work in the old harbor. Get to know why the city had an Italian Quarter, Spanish Quarter, Easterling Quarter, and English Quarter.

Other Sightseeing Options in Grote Markt

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

What people are saying about Grote Markt

The tour is very nicely organized and all went well according to plan and to what was promised. Our guide Fabio was really great - he is truly interested in sharing his knowledge, and was helpful and efficient in all aspects of the tour.

The audio tour was excellent. Lots of great facts and locations which we would never have found on our own. Insightful and entertaining. The App worked really well using GPS to keep you on track. Really great value for money.

Perfect addition to my trip to Brussels. Guide was informative, the coach comfortable and warm. Bruges was picturesque and after the two hour tour there was ample time to explore the town on my own.

Loved the trip and Alvaro our tour guide was awesome! Great information along the way. The duration of the trip was perfect. Bruges is a must see we will absolutely be back!

the town is enchanting and the guide helped me to book activities like the canal cruise for the free time.