Bruges Day Trips from Brussels

Visiting Bruges is like being immersed in a fairy tale: here are the best options to visit the city from Brussels.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Bruges Day Trips from Brussels

The typical facades of Bruges | ©Oliver Depaep

The fame of Bruges even surpasses that of the Belgian capital; every year this small city in Flanders receives 3 million visitors and is the most visited city in the country.

The reasons: its canals, its cobbled streets, its medieval buildings and a charm difficult to describe in words.

The best option

Bruges Day Trip from Brussels

Discover Bruges on a private tour

Visit Bruges with an expert guide in history and get to know emblematic places such as the Lake of Love, the Grote Markt square or the Gruuthuse Museum. Enjoy a full day strolling and enjoying this dream city.

Bruges is a city that falls in love just by looking at it, but if you also have a guided tour of Bruges from Brussels in a small group, you will know its most important corners, its history and legends. The experience is far superior to visiting Bruges on your own.

You will go with a professional guide but you will have free time to explore the city at your own pace. You will be able to visit the main beach (Grote Markt), St. John's Hospital, the Rosary Quay and the famous Minnewater Lake, among other key points of the city.

Why I recommend this tour: This is one of the best value for money tours you can do to Bruges from Brussels. You will return having seen the city in depth and you can do it without rushing balancing free time with guided tours.

The most complete option

Bruges and Ghent Day Trip from Brussels

Visit the best of Bruges and Ghent in one day

The perfect excursion to discover the beauty of Bruges and take advantage of the day to visit Ghent. You will be accompanied by an expert guide but you will also have some free time.

Those who like to make the most of their time and return from their trip having seen as many places as possible, should know that the most popular is to combine the tour to Bruges with a visit to Ghent

Ghent is a city located 20 minutes from Bruges and often goes unnoticed before the fame of the first. However, there is a lot to see. It is known for being a university city with a lively cultural life and has nothing to envy to Bruges in terms of aesthetics. The tour is led by a professional guide, an expert in history, who will tell you all about the two most important cities in the region.

In Ghent, besides touring the historic center of the city, you will see places like: the Cathedral of St. Bavon, the Castle of the Counts of Flanders and the church of St. Nicholas, among others. And in Bruges, it will take you to the most outstanding monuments of the city (the Cathedral of Bruges and Basilica of the Holy Blood, the Lake of Love, the Burg Square...) giving you time to explore the historic center at your own pace before returning to Brussels.

Why I recommend this tour: If you are going to spend a few days in Brussels and want to know more about Belgium without having to make a tour of the country, this tour is your best option.

How much does a tour to Bruges from Brussels cost?

Bruges City Hall| ©R Boed
Bruges City Hall| ©R Boed

Prices vary depending on the duration or what is included, but you can find a day trip to Bruges from Brussels for 45 € in Hellotickets. This tour lasts a full day and in addition to Bruges, it will also take you to see Ghent.

If we take into account what it would cost us to visit the city on our own, paying for transportation and hiring a guide to do a city tour, the price is more than convenient.

I have written an article about the price of tours to Bruges from Brussels where you can compare the costs of joining an organized tour compared to the price of visiting Brussels on your own by train, bus or car from the renter.

Book your tour to Bruges from Brussels

How long does it take to get to Bruges from Brussels?

The canals of Bruges with the Belfry in the background| ©raider of gin
The canals of Bruges with the Belfry in the background| ©raider of gin

It takes about an hour and a half by road. Guided tours usually use either a regular bus or a minibus, depending on the number of people on the tour, so the preferred mode of transport is usually by road.

The convenience of traveling by bus is that many of the tours include a stop in Ghent before or after visiting Bruges (Ghent is about an hour from Bruges and does not involve making a major detour from Brussels).

Book your tour to Bruges and Ghent from Brussels

Best time to tour Bruges from Brussels

Day in Bruges| ©Natividad Plaza Gonzalez
Day in Bruges| ©Natividad Plaza Gonzalez

On weekends and holidays the city is full of tourists. If you can go during the week you will also find an influx of visitors (after all it is the most visited city in Belgium), but less.

If you go to Bruges in winter you will be cold, bring warm clothes enough to withstand it. The advantage of traveling to Bruges in winter is that you will find many fewer travelers than in high season.

However, if you prefer to enjoy a mild climate to visit the charming city of Bruges, I recommend spring and autumn. In summer it can be quite hot, although it is not very common to find very high temperatures (unless you catch a heat wave).

Book your tour to Bruges from Brussels

How long do the tours to Bruges last?

Clock| ©Cats Coming
Clock| ©Cats Coming

They usually last one day and although you could spend much more time in the city of Bruges, one day will be enough to get to know it well. The trip from Brussels is short, which will allow you to make the most of the day.

You will see the most important monuments and squares and you will have free time to stop for lunch, enjoy its restaurants and its little streets. There are tours that even include Ghent, which is a very good option if you do not have too much time during your trip to Brussels.

If you are not sure yet how much time you want to spend in the city, you can take a look at my article on the duration of the tours to Bruges to organize yourself better.

Book your tour to Bruges and Ghent from Brussels

Is it worth visiting Ghent during the Brussels tour?

Streets of Bruges| ©Paco
Streets of Bruges| ©Paco

Of course it is. Both cities are less than an hour away from each other and Brussels, making them the perfect triangle for your Belgium trip.

Ghent's city center is quite manageable and almost all of its points of interest are relatively close, making it easy to get around in a few hours.

Most tours to Bruges complete the day with a stop to discover the best of Ghent. If you want to learn more about this option to see if it is worth it or not, I have written a guide on Visiting Ghent on your Bruges tour. Check it out!

Visiting Bruges with children

Getting to know Bruges| ©Jaume CP BCN
Getting to know Bruges| ©Jaume CP BCN

Visiting Bruges with children on an excursion from Brussels is a great idea, especially if you do it on an organized tour where you can forget about having to hire everything on your own.

In general, the distance from Brussels is not very long, so the way is pleasant and not too heavy for the little ones. Once in Bruges, its cobblestone streets, fairytale houses and canals will make them feel like they are the protagonists of a Disney movie. They will love it.

Try to take them prepared for the cold if you go in winter, although the temperatures are not much different from Brussels, you may notice the humidity. Otherwise, ready to enjoy Brussels with the whole family!

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Where (and what) to eat and drink during your trip to Bruges

Brussels beer| ©Oriol Garcia
Brussels beer| ©Oriol Garcia

As a good Belgian city, Bruges is full of places that offer locals and visitors all kinds of traditional delicacies: its famous craft beers, its exquisite chocolates and waffles, incredible meats, fish and mussels served with fries, homemade soups...

The good thing about going to Bruges on an organized tour is that besides having free time to walk around the city at your leisure, you can choose what and how you want to eat there.

I have prepared a small practical guide with places to eat in Bruges so you don't have to worry about anything.

How to get to Bruges

Bruges illuminated at night| ©Olivier Depaep
Bruges illuminated at night| ©Olivier Depaep

If you are thinking of organizing a trip to Bruges, either on your own or on an organized tour, in this article I have detailed for you how to get to Bruges from Brussels.

By train

From the three stations in Brussels (Midi or Sud, Nord and Central) there are trains to Bruges approximately every 15 minutes throughout the day. Each journey costs about 16 euros and no reservation is necessary, so I recommend you see the city at your own pace and simply head back to the station to return to Brussels when you are satisfied with your visit.

By Bus

The bus takes longer than the train (about an hour and a half) and has fewer departures during the day, but, if you want to save money, you have tickets from 6 euros each way.

By rental car

If you prefer to have independence and move at your own pace and you have rented a car for your stay in Brussels you will have no difficulty getting to Bruges. Being the most visited city in the country is perfectly signposted by road and even more if you go from the capital.

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What to see in Bruges

Decorating the interior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood, Bruges| ©It's No Game
Decorating the interior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood, Bruges| ©It's No Game

All tours cover the main points of the city to make sure that the traveler does not miss anything relevant during his visit to the "Venice of the North". But if you have time to wander around at your own leisure, don't miss the following monuments and sights:

The Main Square

Known as Grote Markt, it is the heart of the city. In the center you will find a statue dedicated to local heroes and also the famous Belfort bell tower. Take your time to stroll around it, take pictures and explore some of its restaurants, although the latter are admittedly very tourist-focused.

The Burg Square

It is where you will find the Town Hall, the Palace of Justice and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. It is also one of the busiest places in the city.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood

It owes its name to the fact that inside it are kept, so they say, a few drops of the blood of Christ. You can visit it every day from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, but make sure that no ceremonies are being held before you go.

The Lake of Love

This is one of the most famous areas of the canals. You can access it if you take a boat ride, something that is recommended at least once to live the experience. A half-hour ride through the canals can cost you around 8 euros.

St. Savior's Cathedral

It is the oldest church in Bruges, has a tower of S.XII of 100 meters high and inside are kept different works of art. All visiting hours daily, but these change depending on the time of year and the day of the week.

The Church of Our Lady

Known for housing in its interior the marble Madonna of Michelangelo. It is a Gothic style building that is closed to the public on Mondays.

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Practical tips for your visit to Bruges from Brussels in one day

Enjoy strolling through the streets of Bruges| ©Dan Visan
Enjoy strolling through the streets of Bruges| ©Dan Visan

You will have plenty of time

The first time I went to Bruges I only had one day to see the whole city and that made me go from one place to another in a hurry and without enjoying it with the deserved tranquility. I had plenty of time.

The historic center of Bruges is manageable to visit it in one day, so do not get overwhelmed and walk calmly. If you go by train, also remember that there are continuous schedules, so you don't have to worry about ending your visit at a certain time.

Lose yourself in its narrow streets

Few cities have as much charm as Bruges. Once you have seen the main places, I recommend you to walk through its streets and canals in search of magical corners; you will surely find them. Do not leave behind the chocolate stores, cared to detail.

Contemplate the sunset at the Rosario pier

It is one of the best places in the city to do so. If you are also going to stay overnight there you will discover a different city with lots of nightlife, but in that case book in advance in restaurants or hotels.

Book your excursion to Bruges from Brussels

If you are interested in making an excursion to Bruges from Brussels, you will also be interested in

Manneken Pis, Brussels| ©Enrique Fernández
Manneken Pis, Brussels| ©Enrique Fernández

The Bruges excursion is undoubtedly the most popular excursion you can take during your trip to Brussels, but it is not the only one. In this article about the best excursions from Brussels and tours of the city you can find many more options including visits to nearby cities such as Antwerp or Amsterdam.

You will also find experiences to do without leaving Brussels such as beer or chocolate tastings and walking tours of the city.