A bumper guide to 3 days in Bruges, Belgium

CITY GUIDE: My tips for how to spend a weekend in bBruges, Belgium

During Eurostar’s Christmas sale, we spontaneously booked a weekend in Bruges. You’ll find this medieval city, the capital of West Flanders in Belgium, on most must-visit lists—and for good reason, it’s utterly beautiful and actually surpassed our expectations. Make yourself a cuppa and settle down for a photo-heavy post, folks.

It may be fairly compact but, as you’ll see, there are plenty of things to do during a weekend in Bruges (in fact, this comprehensive post has taken a month to put together!). As is my way, I drew up a military-precise plan so we didn’t miss a thing during our short stay. You can find our highlights and top tips below and I’ve also put together a free 3-day itinerary. Hope you find plenty to try out…

How to spend a weekend in Bruges, BelgiumHouse goals in Bruges, BelgiumThings to do during a weekend in Bruges, BelgiumTips for a weekend in Bruges, BelgiumMarkt Square, Bruges, BelgiumPlaces to eat in Bruges, BelgiumRide a horse and carriage through the streets of Bruges, BelgiumBrouwerij De Halve Maan tour, Bruges, BelgiumKerb appeal in Bruges, BelgiumPlaces to shop in Bruges, BelgiumA must-do in Bruges, Belgium: Markt SquarePastel-coloured houses in Bruges, BelgiumView from the Belfort (belltower), Bruges, BelgiumCanal boat tour, Bruges, BelgiumExploring old Bruges, BelgiumShopping for Belgian chocolate in Bruges, BelgiumWhere to drink Belgian beer in Bruges, West FlandersProper hot chocolate in Bruges, BelgiumGodshuis, Bruges, BelgiumBeautiful old painted houses in Bruges, BelgiumBruges Belfort, BelgiumTips for where to eat in Bruges, BelgiumBeautiful architecture, Bruges, BelgiumHow to spend a weekend in Bruges, BelgiumOld wooden windmills by the canal in Bruges, Belgium

Know before you go

  • 2-3 days is just enough time to see the main sights the city has to offer.
  • We spent about €130 per day, not including accommodation.
  • The Belgians speak excellent English, but of course it’s fun to learn some essential phrases (“thank you”, etc.). Language is tricky however, as the Belgians speak Flemish or French depending on where you are!
  • Since 2000, the historic centre of Bruges has been a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Besides beer and chocolate, Bruges is also famous for producing lace.
  • There are actually 2 types of Belgian waffle, the Brussels and the Liege.

Where to stay

We booked 2 nights at the Abiente Rooms, based on their excellent reviews. This guesthouse is in a quiet part of town and the location was perfect for us—5 minutes’ walk from the main square but not too far from the train station either.

Also check out Airbnb (get £30 off here), there are some beautifully characterful options and the prices are very reasonable.

Bruges itinerary: download this free printable!The beautiful Arsenaalstraat, Bruges, BelgiumOn a canal boat trip in Bruges, BelgiumCobbled streets of Bruges, BelgiumNarrow townhouses in Bruges, BelgiumMap made from traditional lace in Bruges, BelgiumSpending a long weekend in Bruges, BelgiumThe Holy Blood Basilica in Bruges, BelgiumExploring Bruges, BelgiumProvinciaal Hof, Bruges, BelgiumBoat trip on a weekend in Bruges, BelgiumWijngaerde entrance in Bruges, BelgiumShopping for chocolate in Bruges, BelgiumNarrow buildings by the canal in Bruges, BelgiumEating the best Belgian waffles in BrugesVisiting Bruges, Belgium in MarchTips for visiting Bruges, BelgiumSimple painted door numbers in Bruges, BelgiumWandering around in Bruges, BelgiumVisiting Bruges, Belgium for a long weekendStadhuis, Bruges, Belgium3 days in Bruges, BelgiumBuying beer in Bruges, BelgiumOne-Minnewater restaurant Bruges, BelgiumMy comprehensive guide to spending a weekend in Bruges, Belgium

Things to do

  • See Markt and Burg Squares, including Stadhuis (city hall)
  • Take the obligatory photos at Rozenhoedkaai
  • Explore Minnewaterpark and walk around the Lake of Love
  • Climb the Belfort (10€) for panoramic city views
  • Go on a brewery tour at Brouwerij De Halve Maan, Walplein 26 (9€)
  • Learn about chocolate at Choco-Story, Wijnzakstraat 2 (8€) and visit a potato and fries museum! Frietmuseum, Vlamingstraat 33 (7€) (a combined ticket costs 13€)
  • See how people used to live and work at the Museum of Folk Life, Balstraat 43 (4€)
  • Explore ‘secret Brugge’—a warren of beautifully-preserved, old streets in the city’s north-east
  • Walk the Bruges Vesten (Ramparts) and/or canals, taking in the old city gates and mills (Sint-Janshuismolen, Koeleweimolen, etc.)
  • Visit one of Europe’s oldest hospitals, Old St. John’s Hospital, Mariastraat 38
  • See a relic of Christ’s Holy Blood, allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea, at the Basilica of the Holy Blood, Burg 13
  • Peek at the remains of St. Donatian’s Church underneath the Crowne Plaza Hotel (just ask at reception)
  • Buy traditional handmade lace from Kantcentrum, Peperstraat 3 or ‘t Apostelientje, Balstraat 11

If you visit in summer you can also:

Basilica of the Holy Blood, Bruges, BelgiumVisiting Bruges, Belgium for a weekendFrench Bulldogs in Bruges, BelgiumDream houses in Bruges, BelgiumSelf-guided canal walking tour in Bruges, BelgiumThe oldest pub in Bruges, Belgium—VlissingheHistorium Brugge, Bruges, BelgiumMarkt square, Bruges, BelgiumThe Chocolate House, Bruges, BelgiumBoat trip in Bruges, BelgiumWindmills by the canal in Bruges, BelgiumPerfectly painted houses in Bruges, BelgiumChocolate shops in Bruges, BelgiumBeautiful historic old neighbourhoods in Bruges, BelgiumBoat tripping in Bruges, BelgiumShopping in Bruges, BelgiumViews from the top of Bruges' Belfort (belltower), BelgiumEating in Bruges: Ellis Gourmet Burger, Bruges, BelgiumBurgers in Bruges, BelgiumMulti-coloured Markt, Bruges, BelgiumEating in Bruges: Gran Kaffee de Passage, BelgiumBoating on the canal, Bruges, BelgiumWindmollen pub, Bruges, BelgiumOld stone cottages in Bruges, BelgiumThe famous Rozenhoedkaai viewpoint, Bruges, Belgium

Places to eat and drink

Things you simply have to eat in Belgium include: chocolate, waffles with whipped cream (“wafel met slagroom”), fries and beer (of course). Our favourite places were:

  • Chez Albert, Breidelstraat 16 | The best waffles in town!
  • Gran Kaffee de Passage, Dweerstraat 26 | An excellent value lunch deal and friendly staff.
  • Bones, Sint-Jacobsstraat 7 | Utterly delicious all-you-can-eat ribs.
  • One-Minnewater, Arsenaalstraat 55 | Traditional Belgian dishes, such as stew cooked with beer.
  • ‘t Brugs Beertje, Kemelstraat 5 | Cosy pub serving over 300 types of Belgian beer.
  • The Chocolate House, Mariastraat 1 | Delicious hot chocolate to-go (and a cute shop to buy gifts and souvenirs to enjoy later).

Told you it was comprehensive! Prior to our trip, finding posts about things to do was tricky so I hope this helps if you’re spending a weekend in Bruges soon.

We just booked a weekend in Budapest (FINALLY) in May—back soon with more from Hungary, or Paris if I ever finishing editing the 1,000s of photos from our visit in February…

MY WEEKEND IN BRUGES TIP: how to spend 3 days in BelgiumCanal-side buildings in Bruges, BelgiumTips for a visit to Bruges, BelgiumBrewery tour at the Brouwerij de Halve Moon, Bruges, BelgiumBurg square in spring, Bruges, BelgiumBruges canals, BelgiumA famous godshuis in Bruges, BelgiumView from the Belfort in Bruges, BelgiumHistorium Brugges in Bruges, BelgiumOld painted cinema sign, Bruges, BelgiumMarkt, Bruges, BelgiumGoing on a boat trip on the canals of Bruges, BelgiumFolklore Museum, Bruges, BelgiumVisiting the folk museum in Bruges, BelgiumVisiting Museum voor Volkskunde, Bruges, Belgium

A weekend in Bruges: tips for 3 days in the city

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6 Replies to “A bumper guide to 3 days in Bruges, Belgium

  1. Thank you so much for your beautiful pictures of Bruges.! We were there in June and really had a great time!

  2. Wow thank you so much for all your information, I went here 35 years ago but would like to go back with my husband annie

  3. This post is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing so many beautiful photos and great sight-seeing tips! I am heading to Bruges this weekend and now I really can’t wait!! Thank you!

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