Bruges Travel Guide - World Capital of Chocolate 

Bruges (or Brugge, in Dutch) is the capital of the Flanders region, and is one of Belgium's most popular tourist attractions.

Bruges boasts many monuments and cultural attractions as well as breathtaking medieval architecture, which has earned its historic city centre a place as a UNESCO world heritage site.

From the medieval opulence of the Burg Square to the idyllic tranquillity of the Beguinage, Bruges is a wonderful place to explore on foot or by canal boat. It also has its fair share of more exciting happenings, with an impressive calendar of City Festivals running throughout the year and covering everything from world music to pop and cinema events.

Bruges is also the self-proclaimed 'World Capital of Chocolate', and this is no idle boast! With 49 chocolate boutiques, a chocolate museum, chocolate trail and a chocolate fair, chocolate lovers can browse, sample and buy to their heart's content.

A diverse selection of food is always available in Bruges' bistros, cafes and restaurants. The city also has a varied nightlife, with many bars serving excellent Belgian beers as well as a variety of clubs and live music venues.

Bruges also has excellent travel connections into and from Europe with a number of ferries from the UK sailing there. 

You can cross the channel with DFDS Seaways ferry to France and then make the short drive to Bruge -it's just 47 miles. If travelling from the North of England, DFDS Seaways ferry to Holland from Newcastle provides an excellent way to travel to Bruges, and is less than a 3 hour drive from the ferry port in Amsterdam.

Things to do and see in Bruges

Relaxing canals in Bruges Bruges offers a wide variety of attractions and activities. Here are some highlights:

The Canals

A canal boat tour is a great way to relax and see the city. Originally used by commercial vessels to transport goods into Bruges, the canals are now exclusively used by tourist boats.

The Beguinage

With its whitewashed buildings, beautiful gardens and museum, the Beguinage is a haven of tranquillity in the middle of the city. Today the Beguinage is used as a monastery for Benedictine nuns.

The Bruggemuseum

The Bruggesmuseum is a general title, referring to five different museums and galleries. Between them, they hold a wealth of art works and each collection tells the history of Bruges from a different point of view.

Chocolate Museum

Choco-Story follows the history of one of Belgium's most famous exports. Journey from the world of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs through to the modern day production of truffles, bars and hollow figures. One for the chocoholics!

City Festivals

The centre of Bruge is home to many different festivals over the course of the year, from the world music sounds of the Bruges festival to the film experience of Cinema Novo.

Shopping in Bruges

Shopping in the historic town centre

Bruges is home to many shops, offering a wide range of goods in the unique atmosphere of the city centre.

The main highlight of Bruges's shopping facilities is its devotion to Belgium's most famous export - chocoholics will find 49 Belgian chocolate boutiques in which to browse and indulge. De Kaarsengieterij is also popular with visitors - a candle shop selling handmade candles with the option to order personalized candles for gifts or souvenirs.

The city centre also offers several shopping malls including Zilverpand and Alberthal, and there are also regular market days including a fish market and a flea market.

Eating out in Bruges

Eating out in Bruges

Bruges offers a wide variety of bistros, cafes and restaurants. Here are some of the highlights of what's on offer:

De Vuyst

Friendly tea-room and bistro offering home-cooked food.

De Florentijnen

Elegant haute cuisine restaurant serving fine food and wines.

Taverne Curiosa

Tavern and restaurant based in the cellar of a 16th century house. Serves freshly cooked meat and fish dishes as well as a wide selection of beers and wines.

De Torre

Restaurant and tearoom with seating by the canal, serving traditional Flemish food and ice cream.


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