Visitors from all over the world come to this Belgian city to see its winding canals, admire its medieval architecture and taste its famous exports: beer and chocolate.
Bruges is full of history that’s evident just about everywhere you look. Sit in medieval squares, walk along canals, admire guild houses and climb bell towers. You’ll soon understand why this Belgian city is a World Heritage Site and the most popular destination in Belgium. Architecture and history are only a fraction of what the city has to offer. Indulge in culinary delights, famous beer and fine chocolates. While the best way to explore this compact city is on foot, you can also ride beside the Minnewater lake on a horse-drawn carriage or relax on a boat tour on the Canals of Bruges.
A walking tour of the city is best begun at the central Grote Markt, a pedestrianised square surrounded by historic architecture, located in the heart of Bruges. Explore the Heilige Bloed Basiliek (Basilica of the Holy Blood), Old St. John's Hospital, St. Salvator's Cathedral and the many charming bridges that cross the canals. Climb the Belfort for the most impressive views of the city. Admire Flemish art at the Groeningemuseum and learn about religious history at the Begijnhof, a 13th-century nunnery.
A visit to Bruges would not be complete without sampling some of the city's renowned beers. Try a glass of classic brown ale with moules frites (mussels and fries). If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to visit Choco-Story, The Chocolate Museum to learn about the history of Belgian chocolate and to sample this famed export.
Bruges is a year-round destination. Summer is the busiest time to visit when the city celebrates the warmer weather with weekend festivals. Dance to rock and reggae music during the Cactus Festival in July or listen to early music being played on classical instruments at the MAFestival in August.
In the cooler months, Bruges is a captivating sight, with a covering of snow on the centuries-old buildings. Seasonal attractions such as the Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival and the Bruges Christmas Market, both held from November to December, conjure fairy-tale images of a past time.