One of the top travel destinations in Belgium

Categories: Bruges Belgium

Bruges, the capital of West Flanders, is one of the top travel destinations in Belgium, along with Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. You can travel there by car or by international railway lines. The 120,000 inhabitants are spread over eight city districts.
Bruges - Old town with picturesque bridge in the evening light© TTstudio / Fotolia

Bruges was an important trading centre from early on, and even today the port is one of the most important in Europe. The wealth of the city manifested itself in the luxurious courtly rule of the Dukes of Burgundy in the 15th century. Even today, numerous buildings bear witness to the city's splendour.

Environmental influences cut off Bruges from the North Sea towards the end of the 15th century. As a result, the city became impoverished and lost its importance. Furthermore, Bruges came under French rule until 1713. It was not until 1907, when the city was reconnected to the seaport through construction measures, that a new upswing began.

The city centre is rich in historical buildings that make a stroll through the city an experience to remember. It is not for nothing that the city centre was declared a world cultural heritage site in 2000. Buildings like the Grote Markt, the Belfried or the neo-gothic Provinciaal Hof are popular motifs for enthusiastic holiday photographers.

Sacred buildings include the Basilica of the Holy Blood, the Cathedral of St. Salvator and the Church of Our Lady. During a walk through the old town you can also visit all four city gates and you can hardly get enough of the well-preserved buildings.

Whoever visits Bruges must also visit "De Halve Maan". This is the oldest brewery in Bruges that is still in operation. After a tour of the adjoining beer museum you can enjoy the delicious products of the house.

If you prefer art to beer, you will find what you are looking for in the other museums of the city. The Groeningemuseum has a collection of Flemish primitives and sculptures from several eras, and the Memling Museum has works by Hans Memling, who gave his name to the museum. Theatres, concert halls and cinemas complete the cultural offer.

Culinary delights can be enjoyed in Bruges in many different ways. You can buy Belgian fries at street stalls and pubs all over the city, restaurants with local cuisine and restaurants with upscale international cuisine.

The range of vegetarian options has been expanded in recent years, and there are many vegetarian restaurants in all parts of the city. Numerous cafes invite you to relax and nightlife is provided by clubs and bars.
Bruges - Row of houses in the old town of Bruges© Friedberg / Fotolia

Worthwhile destinations in the vicinity of Bruges are Ostend and the seaside resort of Bredene aan Zee, Ghent and, for those interested in history, Dunkirk in neighbouring France.

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