First Choice: Belgium

Belgium: Beer, chocolate and waffles; can anywhere be more perfect? This beautiful country is situated in the west of Europe between France, the Netherlands , Germany and Luxembourg and boasts some of the most magical cities I’ve ever visited. If you are looking to step into a fairy tale than look no further then Brugge.

View from Martin’s Brugge balcony

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge is located in the northwest of Belgium in the Flemish region and the historic city centre has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2000. The cobblestone streets and quintessential dutch architecture make Brugge seem like something out of a dream. Rated as one of the most romantic places in the world, Brugge is perfect for couples as well as those looking to indulge in some strong beers and brush up on their French speaking skills.

Things to Do

Brugge for me was one of those places where I could sit outside with a coffee or a beer and just people watch all day. I didn’t end up in any museums here because I was too busy strolling in and out and every chocolate shop and admiring the beautifully crafted buildings. The town centre is small enough to explore on your own and stumble upon things to see and places to eat, but in my opinion this place is all about the visuals and feeling like you’ve stepped back into medieval time.

The Markt Square and Belfort to the right

  • Belfort – Listen to the 43 bells toll from within the old Belfry while walking around the Markt Square or even climb the 366 steps to the top for amazing panoramic views of Brugge.
    • Address: The Markt Square
    • Cost: Free to listen, £10 to climb to the top
    • Hours: 930am to 6pm, closed on some public holidays.

The many restaurants lining the Markt Square

  • The Markt Square – Explore the heart of Brugge and pop into one of the many bars and restaurants here, prices range so do a full lap around to see what locations fit your budget. During the cold months, fires roar in the hearths of these old buildings so cosy up with a warm espresso or enjoy the outdoor patios during the summer time with a nice cold beer.
    • Average price of an imported pint of beer: £3
    • Average price of a domestic pint of beer: £4
    • Some notable Belgium beers to try: Westmalle & Duvel

Staduis

  • Stadhuis (City Hall) – The Brugge City Hall dates back to 1376 and houses original documents depicting the progression of Brugges governing as well as magnificent 19th century murals and Gothic architecture to match.
    • Address: Burg 12, Brugge
    • Cost: £4 per adult
    • Hours: 930am to 5pm, closed on some public holidays.

Boat Tours

This is probably one of the best ways to see Brugge as the city is built on canals that meander amongst the historic buildings and foliage. Relax as you take in the scenery on these half hour tours that take you back in time.

  • Address: Various pick up/drop off points around the city centre
  • Cost: £8 per adult
  • Hours: March to Mid-November from 10am to 6pm with last departure being 530pm.

Where to Stay

Martin’s Brugge ($$)

  • Location, Location, Location. I could not get over how perfectly placed this hotel was that I stayed in while in Brugge. Just one block away from the Markt Square, Martin’s is a well appointed modern hotel located right in the centre of everything. The best feature though was the balcony in our room that backed up to the Belfort, I could have sat there all day listening to the bells and the horse carts going by over the cobblestones.
    • Address: Oude Burg 5, City Centre, Brugge, Belgium
    • Cost: Approx. $106USD per night for a charming double room

Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce: A Luxe Worldwide Hotel ($$$)

  • If you’re looking to be transported to another time for your entire visit to Brugge, than look no further than the Relais. Located on the canals edge, this enchanting property features stained-glass windows and beautifully decorated rooms to match Brugge’s rich history.
    • Address: Wollestraat 41-47, Historical Centre of Brugge, Belgium
    • Cost: Approx. $230USD per night for a standard double room

What to Eat

Do I need to say more than waffles covered in chocolate and strawberries?

-Katherine

“The world is a book, and he who doesn’t travel reads only one page” -St.Augustine


Girl on the Wander

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