17 places that are essential to see in the visit of Bruges in Belgium

If you are looking for a “fairytale city” to visit in Europe, Bruges in Belgium is undoubtedly one of your candidates.

The charm of this city in the region of Flanders is such that in parallel it has become one of those places where the large influx of tourists can “muddy” your visit.

But as it happens, for example, in Venice , that should not be an impediment to visit Bruges , that is, trying not to coincide your visit with a bridge or holiday season.

Channels of Bruges from the bridge of St. Boniface in Belgium
Channels of Bruges from the bridge of St. Boniface in Belgium

The medieval towers and the beaterios that you can find in several of them are common thread that unites them in that prestigious list of Unesc or, examples that you also find in Bruges .

Curiosities history of Bruges

The origins of Bruges go back to the 9th century, in the Viking age, and it was in the 12th century when the urban nucleus acquired the title of city.

During the Middle Ages Bruges had a great boom as a city where traders from all over Europe went to buy the famed Flemish cloth.

And specifically in the fourteenth century the Hanseatic League , commercial and defensive union of cities in Europe during the Middle Ages , became the great storehouse of the cities .

Corner of Bruges in Belgium
Corner of Bruges in Belgium

At the same time that the wealth of the city was diminishing as a result of the greater boom of the port of Antwerp , the Gothic architectural works and the Flemish painting took center stage.

Today tourism is the great industry of Bruges, a city that is known as the Venice of the north for its charming canals.

Excursions to Bruges from Brussels

Bruges is a city where you can easily get there by train from Brussels and easy to visit on your own.

But on your trip to Belgium you may prefer to sign up for a guided tour in Spanish , so here is information about the Tour to Bruges from Brussels ,

And if on this trip you are very limited in time, here is the information about the tightest Tour to Bruges and Ghent from Brussels .

Bruges in Belgium
Bruges in Belgium


During this visit in two and a half hours you will have a first approximation to the most outstanding places of Bruges from the tourist point of view.

Looking at your accommodation, here you can  search for a hotel in Bruges at  booking.com .

Caterers in Bruges
The food should also figure prominently in your city visit place Bruges .
Thus, during your visit you can taste various popular products such as chocolates and chocolates, mussels, waffles, beer or chips, but you can also find restaurants where you can enjoy refined gastronomic creations.
In this regard you will find this website useful to find offers of  restaurants in Bruges

Essential places to see in Bruges

Now, if you prefer to visit the city on your own, this information will be useful about the main places of interest that you should not miss during your visit to Bruges .

Corner of the Market Square in Bruges
Corner of the Market Square in Bruges


Along with the annex square of the Burg, the Market Square is the urban heart of the city of Bruges, and one of the places with greater atmosphere of the city.

The main building is the majestic Bell Tower , and in the center of the square two sculptures of popular heroes of a conflagration occurred in 1302.

The neo-Gothic building of the Provincial Palace also stands out .

Town Hall in the Burg square in Bruges
Town Hall in the Burg square in Bruges

City of Bruges

It is a Gothic building with a beautiful facade built in 1376.

That yes, it will catch your attention to see that the sculptures that are distributed by their niches are very current, from just 1989, because the originals were destroyed at the time of the French Revolution .

Gothic Hall in the City Hall of Bruges
Gothic Hall in the City Hall of Bruges

At Bruges Town Hall you must visit its impressive Gothic Hall and the Courtroom , where you will see a huge fireplace.

Basilica of the Holy Blood

In a corner next to the town hall, and in a two-story building that does not take you to imagine that there is a church there, you find the Basilica of the Holy Blood .

In this small church the relic of the Holy Blood is conserved , and in your visit you will be surprised by the great architectural wealth of the chapel that is on the top floor, built in Gothic style in the 15th century.

Highlights include paintings that cover ceilings and walls, which were restored in the last century.

Bell Tower of Bruges
Bell Tower of Bruges

Bell Tower

With 83 meters high, the Bell Tower (Belfort) is one of the most outstanding buildings in Bruges.

It is an example of the defensive towers that in order to warn of possible attacks had the cities of Flanders.

With 47 bells, to see the panoramic views of Bruges you will have to climb 366 steps.

Beguinage of Bruges

The beguinage (Beguinage ) is one of the most interesting and interesting places in the cities of Flanders.

In those houses were gathered the lay women who followed a pious life and celibacy.

The Beguinage of Bruges , another of the reasons why the city is a World Heritage Site , dates back to 1245.

During the visit to Casa de Beguina you can see what life was like in the Beguinage during the 17th century.

Houses of Charity in Bruges
Houses of Charity in Bruges

Houses of Charity in Bruges

Another curious corner of a city like Brujas are known as Casas de Caridad .

Built in the 14th century, it was the place where the artisans of the city provided shelter to the elderly, the sick, widows and, in general, to people who did not have a house to live.

They are grouped in pleasant residential areas that you find in the city, with gardens and houses with white facades, where there are small chapels.

A curious visit.

Channels of Bruges in Belgium
Channels of Bruges in Belgium

Channels of Bruges

If there is something that characterizes the city of Bruges are its channels, which encourage, as I said before, be known as the Venice of the north.

That is why your visit will be incomplete if you do not take a cruise through the canals of Bruges on one of the large barges full of tourists who visit them.

You have five jetties, and cruise times are from March to mid-November, from 10 in the morning until 5.30 hours after the last boarding.

Quay of the Rosary in Bruges
Quay of the Rosary in Bruges

Quay of the Rosary in Bruges

If there is a typical photo of Bruges , that is the one of the Muelle del Rosario (Rozenhoedkaai).

Very close to the Burg Square , in the place where one of the piers is most visited by tourists, it is a corner that shows a great charm for the scenes of the buildings on the banks of the canal.

Surely you will make a souvenir photo in the Muelle del Rosario .

Channels of Bruges from the bridge of San Bonifacio
Channels of Bruges from the bridge of San Bonifacio

Bridge of St. Boniface in Bruges

I’ll tell you it’s my favorite corner in Bruges.

It is hard to imagine that the corner of the Bridge of San Bonifacio is in the center of a city, but the scenes that you can see really justify the visit of Bruges.

This corner is hidden in the  Arentshof park , behind the church of Our Lady and next to the Groeninge museum .

The leafy trees and the stone bridge that crosses one of the busiest canals, together with the medieval stone houses, create a must see scene in Bruges.

Cathedral of San Salvador

The Bruges Cathedral is the oldest religious building in Bruges .

It goes back to the 12th century, and inside you will be struck by the medieval tombs, its large organ and the collection of paintings of the primitive flamencos of the fourteenth century.

Sculpture Virgin and Child by Michelangelo in Bruges
Sculpture Virgin and Child by Michelangelo in Bruges

Sculpture by Miguel Angel in Our Lady church

Did you know that in Bruges you can see a sculpture of Michelangelo , the famous artist of the Italian Renaissance ?

Indeed, in the church of Our Lady is a small sculpture of the Virgin and Child , known as the Madonna of Bruges , which was sculpted in 1504.

It was bought by a family from Bruges and now visits this church that has the tallest tower in the city, which is built with bricks and is 115 meters high.

Flemish primitives in the Groeninge museum in Bruges
Flemish primitives in the Groeninge museum in Bruges

Groeninge Museum

One of the attractions of a trip to Bruges is the possibility of seeing works of primitive flamencos .

Specifically, in the Groeninge museum you can see a very complete collection of flamenco painting that spans from the XV-XVI centuries, the time of the so-called Flemish primitives , to the most current works of the twentieth century.

To highlight the painting by Jan Van Eyck known as  The Virgin of Canon Van der Paele.

Works of art at the Hospital de San Juan in Bruges
Works of art at the Hospital de San Juan in Bruges

Hospital of San Juan

Another place where you can see works of Flemish primitives is the old San Juan Hospital , specifically, by Hans Memling .

But in the curious visit of this building of the thirteenth century above all you will see an exhibition that shows you how it was a hospital in the Middle Ages where he cared for the sick, poor and pilgrims.

In the visit you will walk through the great hospital room, but you can also enter the chapel, where one of Memling’s works is shown , and in the old pharmacy or the chapel

Lace Museum in Bruges
Lace Museum in Bruges

Lace Museum

One of the traditions of Bruges is that of bobbin lace , a reflection of which are the numerous establishments where you can buy lace, although already manufactured in an industrial way.

Now, if you are interested in going deeper into this tradition, you have the opportunity to visit the Museum of the Lace of Bruges .

There you will learn that lace is a tradition that goes back to the sixteenth century, and that Bruges and Venice are considered the cradles of lace .

In addition to seeing numerous objects linked to this tradition, you will have the opportunity to see live demonstrations of how bobbin lace is made.

Market Square from the Beer Museum in Bruges
Market Square from the Beer Museum in Bruges

Brewery Museum in Bruges

In a city as tourist as Bruges, there are many museums that have emerged with the most varied themes to take advantage of the pull of tourism.

So you have small museums dedicated to the history of the city ( Historium ), lamps, torture, diamond, potato chips and exhibitions dedicated to Dalí , Picasso and Miró .

Now, I want to point out the Beer Museum whose main attraction is that at the end of the walk through the exhibition, you can taste some beers on a terrace overlooking the Market Square .

A good place to see this central place of the city of Bruges.

Brugge shop in Bruges
Brugge shop in Bruges

Chocolate stores

Finally, if you are passionate about chocolates , Bruges is your city.

In your walk through its streets you will find more than 50 chocolate shops boutiques with very attractive windows where you will see a variety of chocolates and chocolate , to which surely you will not be able to resist.

Chocolate is one of the gastronomic traditions of Belgium , and of course in Bruges you have the best samples.