Best Hotels in Bruges, Belgium
A charming warren of cobbled streets, vast churches, canals lined with gorgeous old warehouses, a spectacularly lovely main square and chocolate shops. Lots and lots of chocolate shops. Many of the best places to stay in Bruges are located around the historic centre, so it's a very accessible city and perfect for a short break.
In Bruges it's hard not to take a postcard worthy photograph. In the town's medieval centre there are no modern buildings to jump into your shot at the last minute, or cars to dash through. In fact here you're more likely to have your photograph spoiled by a horse and buggy. For this is one of Europe's best preserved pre-motorised cities.
Bruges is so lovely that everyone knows about it, so the best way to appreciate this beautiful town is to stay midweek, and not during summer. Bruges is beautiful all year round, and it's more pleasant when you're sharing it with fewer visitors.
Visit the Markt, and climb the Belfort - there's not much to see inside, but the view is worth the 366 stair climb. Take a ride on the canals and see the Begijnhof. Or take a horse and trap ride to the Minnewater.
Visit the tiny Basilica of the Holy Blood in the Burg, and admire the Stadhuis and Brugse Vrije, which are the Gothic town administration buildings.
See the Flemmish art in the Groeningemuseum, then visit the Arentshuis next door and see the wonderful WW1 etchings by Frank Brangwyn.
Try some moules and frites, waffles, a locally brewed beer, and of course, as much chocolate as you can manage. And if you really want to try the local beers, visit the beer museum where there are a huge range to choose from. There's also a frite museum and a chocolate museum...
Bruges is floodlit by night, so you can walk around for hours seeing everything you've seen in the day but with an even more romantic tint. There are plenty of canal side cafes and bars from which to watch the world go by, and cosy tearooms if the weather turns nasty.
Bruges gets a lot of visitors, so in some parts of town prices feel hiked, but there are plenty of budget options when it comes to eating and drinking, and many of the pleasures of Bruges come from strolling round town, seeing what you see.
As with all popular tourist destinations, the best places to stay in Bruges get very booked up during the peak periods and summer months. So plan ahead and book early, or even better come off season when you can almost believe you've got the place to yourselves.