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What to See in Bruges in a Day Trip From Brussels

With an excursion from Brussels you will fall in love with the charms of Bruges. I tell you what you will see with your guide and what you should see in your free time around this quaint little city

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

6 min read

What to See in Bruges in a Day Trip From Brussels

Detalle de la ciudad | Dan Cristian

Ready to fall in love with one of the most beautiful cities in Europe? Even if you have little time, one day will be enough to visit its most beautiful landmarks, if you know what they are, of course.

Here is a list of the essential things to see and do in Bruges to make the most of your day trip to Bruges from Brussels.

1. Stroll around the Grote Markt

Grote Markt | ©TravelingOtter
Grote Markt | ©TravelingOtter

It is the most classic picture of Bruges, it is depicted in thousands of postcards and as soon as you see it, you will know why: its beauty is incomparable. It is also known as Market Square, as it has been hosting a market since 958 and is World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.

Once there, the first thing that will catch your attention will be its north side, with several colored medieval houses lined up to decorate the square with the typical architecture of the area. Note also the central monument of the square, dedicated to two local heroes who fought against the French in the 14th century.

On its other sides, you will also see several palaces and classical buildings that are worth stopping to contemplate. Of course, you will also see its Torre Campanile, but I will tell you more about it later, as it requires a separate point.

This is a good place to stop for a bite to eat at their street food stalls when feeling a little hungry. Find a bench or a corner with a good view and enjoy the bite.

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2. Go to Burg Square

Burg Square | ©Dennis Jarvis
Burg Square | ©Dennis Jarvis

You can't miss this square: it's connected to the previous one via Breidelstraat, so take the opportunity to visit it after enjoying the Grote Markt.

Unlike Market Square, which stands out for its colorful, in this square, the facades are gray and contrast with the golden elements of its facades.

Right on this square are two of the main attractions of the city, which I also recommend 100%: the Town Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

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3. Step inside the city's town hall

Interior of Bruges City Hall | ©Michael D Beckwith
Interior of Bruges City Hall | ©Michael D Beckwith

One of the facades that stands out on Burg Square is that of the magnificent City Hall. You can visit its interior for only $ 2 and the truth is that it is a brief visit that is well worth it.

Its gothic hall and historic hall are the main elements of the visit of this imposing Gothic building that presides over the center of Bruges.

Its visiting hours start at 09:30 am and end at 5:00 pm, so if you want to discover its interior, do not leave the visit until late afternoon.

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4. Tour its canals by boat

Tour the canals of Bruges | ©Mario Sanchez Prada
Tour the canals of Bruges | ©Mario Sanchez Prada

Taking a boat ride will be an unforgettable experience during your stay in Bruges. There are tours in small classic wooden boats that will take you to enjoy the most beautiful and hidden corners of the city.

You will even have the opportunity to discover some of its bridges and pass under them. Undoubtedly, a good way to take a break from walking around the city while you relax and enjoy the city from a different perspective.

These cruises last about half an hour and cost less than $ 10 per person, so neither time nor budget will be an excuse not to jump in the water to get to know Bruges.

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5. Enjoy its exquisite gastronomy

Try the typical mussels with fries | ©Creusaz
Try the typical mussels with fries | ©Creusaz

Eating in Belgium is always a pleasure and Bruges was not going to be less: while you walk through its beautiful streets, you will recognize the sweet chocolate aroma that comes out of some of its stores.

During the tour, you will also see visitors and locals enjoying a good plate of mussels with fries or the typical Belgian soups in the most charming terraces of the city.

Join them and take advantage of your stay in Bruges to discover the best dishes in town. If you are afraid of falling into a tourist trap, I have prepared this guide with the best places where to eat in Bruges. Bon apetit!

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6. Behold the beauty of St. Boniface Bridge

Saint Boniface Bridge | ©Julien Chatelain
Saint Boniface Bridge | ©Julien Chatelain

The Saint Boniface Bridge is one of the many bridges that cross the city's canals. So why do we highlight this one? Because the corner on which it stands is literally postcard.

The cobblestone streets around it, the medieval houses around it, the tree branches sprouting around every corner, and the tranquility of this area make it a favorite of many.

If you haven't done it so far, take out your camera and enjoy capturing every angle of this wonderful corner.

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7. Visit the Cathedral of St. Savior

Aerial view of St. Savior's Cathedral | ©Julien Chatelain
Aerial view of St. Savior's Cathedral | ©Julien Chatelain

The Bruges Cathedral was erected in the 9th century and as if its years of history were not enough, both the facade and its interior are totally imposing.

You will find it in the center of the city, with incredible baroque stained glass windows starring its facade and with a height that stands out from the rest of the houses and buildings of Bruges.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Saturdays: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Sundays: 11:30 am to 12:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

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8. Stroll through Minnewater Park, ideal for family visits

Minnewater Park | ©Eduard Marmet
Minnewater Park | ©Eduard Marmet

Whether you visit Bruges with children or with friends or as a couple, visiting a park is always a good idea. And even more so if the park in question is Minnewaterpark the setting of this place is magical.

In addition to a well-kept green area, the park has a beautiful lake where several white swans will be the focus of attention of all walkers.

For a moment you will feel like protagonist of a Disney movie, and it is not for less. In addition, the park is not far from the center of the city and you won't have to go too far out of your way to get to know it.

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9. Enter one of its museums

Room of the Groeninge Museum | ©Dimitris Kamaras
Room of the Groeninge Museum | ©Dimitris Kamaras

Despite its modest size, Bruges hosts some museums that may be of interest during your visit. In addition to a popular beer museum and another dedicated to chocolate (cultural essence of the country) there are also some history and art museums.

Of all of them, the ones I recommend are the Museum Groeninge, a historical tour of Belgian art and the Historium Brugge, which stands out for its virtual reconstruction of the Golden Age of the city of Bruges.

In both cases I recommend book tickets in advance to avoid queuing at the ticket office when entering the museums.

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10. Visit the Bell Tower of Belfort

Belfort Bell Tower | ©Fred Romero
Belfort Bell Tower | ©Fred Romero

The impressive medieval bell tower that presides over the Grote Markt and practically the entire city dates from 1240 and although it has survived several fires and attacks, it still stands at its 272 feet high.

It has 366 steps that separate the ground from the best view of the city, so my advice is to summon your patience, take a deep breath and start the vertical path that will give you the best memory and the best picture of Bruges.

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