The city of Bruges (Belgium) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly belongs to the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Europe. In this city, it is difficult to single out individual attractions, because all of it can be called one continuous attraction. Every day, intending to visit the most interesting sights in Bruges, about 10,000 tourists from Belgium and from other countries come here – this is a very large figure, considering that the local population is only 45,000 people.
What can be seen in Bruges in one day
Since the most important historical and cultural sights of Bruges are located close to each other, with a lack of time to explore them, you can set aside just one day. It will be much more convenient if you draw up an optimal route of movement in advance – this can be helped by a map of Brugge with attractions in Russian.
By the way, for 17-20 € (the amount depends on whether the hotel provides a discount – you need to ask for it at check-in), you can buy a museum card in Bruges. This card is valid for three days, and it works in most of the attractions of Bruges, which will be discussed later.
Market Square (Grote Markt)
For about seven hundred years, the Grote Markt square in Bruges is the center of the city and its main square. To this day, market pavilions stand and attract buyers, thanks to which it got its name “Market Square”. Beautiful historic buildings and simply colorful houses, numerous souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes located around the square all attract tourists who come here not only from all over Belgium, but also from all over the world.
All year, day and night, the square passes its own, bright and interesting life. Here you can order a portrait from a wandering artist, listen to the game of street musicians, watch the performance of dance groups from around the world.
Before Christmas, a large outdoor ice rink is equipped at the Grote Markt – everyone can visit it for free, you just need to bring skates with you.
It is from here, from the famous Market Square far beyond Belgium, that most of the excursions begin, during which guides offer to see the most famous sights of Bruges in one day.
Belfry Tower with Belfry
The first thing that attracts the attention of tourists who find themselves on the Grote Markt is the Belfort Tower, which is considered the historical and architectural symbol of the city of Bruges.
This building, reaching a height of 83 meters, has an interesting architectural solution: its lower level in the cross section is a square, and the upper one is a polygon.
Inside the tower there is a narrow spiral staircase of 366 steps, rising to a small observation deck and to the gallery with a bell. To visit the observation deck, it will take a lot of time: firstly, the ascent and descent along a narrow staircase cannot be quick; secondly, the turnstiles work according to the principle: “one visitor leaves – one enters.”
But then, those tourists who nevertheless climb to the observation deck of the tower can look at Brugge and its environs from a bird’s eye view. The view is literally breathtaking, however, the day for this you need to choose the right one – without clouds, sunny!
By the way, it is best to predict the rise so that you can be at the top without 15 minutes at any time of the day – then you can not only hear the ringing of the bell, but also see how the musical mechanism works and how hammers knock on the bells. The bells in the bell tower of Belfort 47. Mary is the largest and oldest, he was cast in the distant XVII century.
You can visit the Belfort tower and see from its height in Bruges any day from 9:30 to 17:00, paying an entrance fee of 10 €.
Town Hall (Stadhuis)
From the Belfort tower there is a narrow street, passing through which you can go to the second city square – Burg Square. By its beauty and attendance by tourists, it is not inferior to the Market one, and there is something to see in Bruges in one day.
On the Burg Square, the Town Hall building, in which the Bruges City Council is located, is especially elegant. This building, built in the 15th century, is a worthy example of Flemish Gothic architecture: light facades, openwork windows, small turrets on the roof, luxurious decor and ornament. The Town Hall looks so impressive that it could decorate not only a small town, but also the capital of Belgium.
In the years 1895-1895, during the restoration, the Small and Large Halls of the municipality were united in the Gothic Hall – there are now meetings of the city council, registering marriages. The town hall is open to tourists.
This building also houses the Brugge City Museum.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
On Burg Square there is a religious building, known not only in Bruges, but throughout Belgium – it is the Church of the Holy Blood of Christ. The church got such a name due to the fact that it stores an important relic for Christians: a piece of tissue that Joseph of Arimathea wiped blood from the body of Jesus.
The architectural design of the building is quite interesting: the lower chapel has a strict and heavy Romanesque style, and the upper is made in the airy Gothic style.
Before visiting this shrine, it is advisable to find information in advance about where and what is located inside the building. In this case, it will be much easier to navigate and get to see a lot of interesting details.
Every day, at exactly 11:30, the priests take out a piece of cloth with the blood of Jesus, placed in a beautiful glass capsule. Anyone can come up and touch her, pray or just watch.
Entrance to the basilica is free, but photographing inside is prohibited.
Time for visiting: Sunday and Saturday from 10:00 to 12:00, as well as from 14:00 to 17:00.
De Halve Maan Brewery Brewery Museum
There are such unique museums and attractions of Bruges, which will be visited not only interesting, but also delicious! For example, the current De Halve Maan brewery. For many centuries, since 1564, it has invariably been located in the historical center of the city on Walplein Square, 26. Inside there are several dining rooms, an indoor courtyard with tables, as well as a beer museum with a viewing platform on the roof.
The tour lasts 45 minutes; it takes place in English, French or Dutch. An entrance ticket costs about 10 €, and beer tasting is included in this price – by the way, beer in Belgium is original, but very tasty.
Excursions in De Halve Maan take place according to the following schedule:
- in April – October from Monday to Friday and Sunday every hour from 11:00 to 16:00, on Saturday from 11:00 to 17:00;
- in November – March from Monday to Friday at 11:00 and at 15:00, on Saturday and Sunday every hour from 11:00 to 16:00;
- The museum is closed on the following days: December 24 and 25, as well as January 1.
Brewing company Bourgogne des Flandres
In Bruges (Belgium), sights related to brewing are not an isolated case. In the city center, at Kartuizerinnenstraat 6, there is another operating brewery – Bourgogne des Flandres.
Here they are allowed to view the beer preparation process, an interesting interactive tour is conducted. There are audio guides in different languages, in particular, in Russian.
There is a good bar at the exit, where after the tour the adults are offered a glass of beer for adults (the price is included in the ticket price).
At the end of the tour, everyone can get an original souvenir reminiscent of Belgium and its delicious beer. To do this, you need to scan your ticket and take a picture. After the payment in the amount of 10 € is made at the box office, the photo will be printed in the form of a label and glued to a bottle of “Burgun” 0.75. A souvenir from Belgium is wonderful!
A ticket for an adult will cost 10 €, for a child – 7 €.
For tourists visiting the brewing company is open every day of the week, except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00.
Minnewater Lake is an amazingly pretty and incredibly romantic place in Minnewaterpark. Everyone who comes here for a walk is immediately greeted by snow-white swans – a whole flock of 40 birds lives here. The inhabitants of Bruges consider swans to be a symbol of their city, many local legends and traditions are associated with these representatives of birds.
It is best to visit the park and lake in the early morning, when there is not yet a large influx of tourists. At this time, here you can make a photo with a description to remember Brugge and the sights – the pictures are very picturesque, like postcards.
Near the central part of the city (from the Market Square you can ride a carriage, or you can walk on foot) there is a quiet and cozy place – Beginage, a noble refuge’s home.
To get to the territory of Beginage, you need to go through a small bridge. Behind it is a small chapel on the north side and a large on the south side, and between the chapels stretch quiet streets with small white houses decorated with red roofs. There is also a modest park with huge old trees. The whole complex is surrounded by canals, in the waters of which swans and ducks constantly swim.
Currently, all Beginage buildings have been placed at the disposal of the convent of the Order of St. Benedict.
The territory closes for tourists at 18:30.
What else can you see in Bruges in one day, if time permits
Of course, having arrived in Bruges, I want to see as many sights of this ancient city as possible. And if in one day it was possible to see everything recommended above, and at the same time there was still time, in Bruges there is always where to go and what to see.
So what else to see in Bruges, if time permits? Although, perhaps it makes sense to stay here for another day or two?
On Dijver 12, near the famous Bonifacius Bridge in Bruges, the Groening Museum was founded in 1930. Tourists for whom “painting” is not just a word must definitely go there and see the collections presented. The museum has many samples of Flemish painting dated to the 14th century, and especially the 15th-17th centuries. There are also works of Belgian fine art dating from the 18th-20th centuries.
The Groeninge Museum operates every day of the week, except Mondays, from 9:30 to 17:00. Tickets cost 8 €.
Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk)
There are attractions in the city of Bruges that make it famous not only in Belgium, but throughout the world. We are talking about the Church of Our Lady, located on Mariastraat.
The architecture of this building harmoniously mixed the features of the Gothic and Romanesque styles. The bell tower, literally resting against the sky with its apex, gives a special impressive building – this is not surprising at a height of 122 meters.
But the famous church of Our Lady is made by Michelangelo’s sculpture “Virgin Mary with a Baby” located on its territory. This is the only statue of Michelangelo, exported from Italy during the lifetime of the Master. The sculpture is located quite far, besides it is covered with glass, and it is most convenient to look at it from the side.
Entrance to the Church of Our Lady in Bruges is free. Nevertheless, in order to approach the altar, admire the beautiful interior decoration, and also see the famous creation of Michelangelo, all tourists over 11 years old need to buy a ticket for 4 €.
You can go inside the Church of Our Lady and see the statue of the Virgin Mary from 9:30 to 17:00.
St. John’s Hospital (Sint-Janshospitaal)
The hospital of St. John is located near the Cathedral of Our Lady, at Mariastraat, 38. This hospital is considered the oldest in all of Europe: it was opened in the 12th century, and it worked until the middle of the 20th century. Now there is a museum, and several thematic rooms are equipped.
On the ground floor there is an exposition telling about the healing of the 17th century. Here you can look at the first ambulance, visit the premises of an old pharmacy with portraits of its owners hanging on the walls. There is a collection of accessories for the pharmacy and the hospital at that time in the museum, and most of these medical instruments inspire modern man with real horror. Nevertheless, this part of the museum belongs to places of great interest to those who are interested in the Middle Ages.
On the same floor there are six of the most iconic works of the famous Belgian artist Jan Memling, who lived in Bruges.
On the second floor, an exhibition entitled “Brueghel’s Witches” is periodically held, telling about how the image of a witch changed over time in Western European art. Here, if you wish, you can take original 3-d photographs in witch costumes, and there are costumes for children too – there will be something to see in Bruges with children!
The museum at the former St. John’s Hospital is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 to 17:00.
Walking around Bruges, visiting its various sights, one should not forget that there are beautiful cozy parks here. At Koningin Astridpark it will be great to relax on comfortable benches, admire the old tall trees, observe the ubiquitous ducks and swans, and look at the pond with a sculpture. And also – to recall the well-known film “Get to the bottom in Bruges”, some scenes of which were shot in this city park.
There is a wonderful place on the eastern outskirts of Bruges, in Kruisvest, where you can relax from the landscapes of a medieval city almost in rural idyll. A river, the absence of cars and crowds of people, a landscape with mills, a natural hill with which you can admire Brugge from a distance. Of the four mills here, two are operational, and one can be viewed from the inside.
And do not be afraid that far to reach the mills! You need to go from the city center in a northeast direction, and the road will take only 15-20 minutes. On the way from Bruges, sights will meet literally at every step: ancient buildings, churches. You just need to be careful, not to miss a single detail and read the signs on old buildings. And on the way to the mills there are several beer bars not indicated on the tourist maps of the city – they are visited only by local residents.
Sights of Bruges on the map in Russian.
The best video from Brugge to date – must watch!