Bruges is a beautiful city full of stunning architecture and wonderful sights. A city of cobbled streets, colourful houses and charming canals. On European train holidays to Bruges, you can take in the sights and sounds of the best-preserved medieval city in Europe. From the elegant Burg Square to the Belfry of Bruges, these are the gems not to miss in the Venice of the North.
The historic bell tower in the centre of Bruges is also known as the Belfort. Standing in the market square since 1240, visitors today can climb its 366 steps for a small fee. The view out over Bruges is beautiful, and well worth the climb. The tower has 47 bells which ring every 15 minutes, and like many historic European towers isn't straight, leaning around a meter to the east.
Spend an afternoon floating on the city's large network of canals. The most popular tour leaves from Burg Square, but if you want to see the most of the city look for the smaller boat tours. The smaller boats are able to reach areas larger ones can't, perfect if you want to see some of the landmarks not accessible from the streets. Because of the low height of the city's older bridges, only these tourist boats are allowed on the waterways. This makes them much quieter than the bustling canals of Venice, and a lot less hectic.
The Bruges Beer Museum has a modern take on the museum experience. On entry you are given an iPad mini as your tour guide. QR codes throughout the museum allow you to explore based on your interests, and learn the brewing process from start to finish. The entry price includes beer tasting at the end of the tour so can enjoy the final result.
Belgium is the renowned for its chocolate, and as such home to the wonderful Choco Story Museum. Here you can learn the Belgian chocolate making process, and the history of coco production dating back to the Mayans. At the end there is a fantastic demonstration by chocolatiers and some samples to take away. Entrance to the Choco Story Museum will also grant you a discount to the neighbouring Friet (chip) Museum. A world first, the Friet Museum will educate you on all things chip related, and teach you the secret to making the perfect Belgian potato fry.
The more well-known of Bruges' two medieval squares, Burg Square is home to many of the city's larger tourist spots. These include the Gothic Town Hall, Bishop's Palace, The Chambers and the Holy Blood Basilica. The square takes its name from the castle which once stood there, built to defend the city against Viking invasions. The benches located at the edges of the square are the perfect place to spend a few moments enjoying the atmosphere of Bruges, and admiring the beautiful architecture.
Visit Bruges with Great Rail Journeys and experience the many delights of the city for yourself.