Aptly nicknamed the Venice of the North (one of many in Europe), Bruges is a charming little town 90 kilometers east of Brussels. Given this proximity, Bruges makes for an easy one day trip from Brussels. Bruges is a popular destination in Belgium today. However, this town’s golden age was from the 12th to the 15th century after which it slumbered for a few centuries until it was revived again in the 19th century. This post covers how to do a day trip to Bruges from Brussels.
How to Get to Bruges from Brussels
All 3 train stations in Brussels run trains to Bruges. However Midi is the fastest and is under 1 hour. The journey costs around 15 euros for a one way ticket and can be bought at the train station itself. There are over 50 journeys between these 2 cities daily so you don’t have to buy a ticket in advance. Given that trains run a few minutes a day you can easily show up at the station, buy your ticket and be on your way. My recommendation is to start your day early to 1. avoid the crowds and 2. make the most of your day!
Once you get to the train station in Bruges, It’s a about a 15 minutes walk to the heart of the town. Look for the boards but it’s also hard to miss as there will be more people walking that way.
Check out the train schedule HERE.
What to Do in Bruges
Take a Boat Ride
One of the best ways to experience the city, especially if you are on a day trip to Bruges is to see it from the water. Bruges received the nickname “Vice of the North” for all the canals and waterways that course through the town.
Take in the Sites and Sounds of the Market Square
The main square in Bruges is really colorful and pretty. Grab a waffle or some fries and enjoy the surroundings. You can also go on a carriage ride around the city from here.
Look at or Climb the Belfry of Bruges
This medieval bell tower is one of the tallest structures in the center of Bruges. It was built around 1240 and houses over 40 bells. You can see views of Bruges from above if you are good to climb 350 steps!
Admire the City Hall
This beautiful Gothic building dates back to the 12th century and is said to be one of the oldest city halls in the region!
Basilica of the Holy Blood
One of the most significant monuments in Bruges and one of the best things to do on this day trip to Bruges is to visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood. This beautiful church was been around since the 12 century. It’s pretty small from the outside but really beautiful inside, especially the alter!
You will most probably run into Minnewater Lake on your way in to town and/or on your way out. This lake provides wonderful green space in the heart of the city and is full of trees around it and swans. There’s something very calming about Minnewater Lake!
Visit a Chocolate Store
Belgium is known for waffles, fries and….chocolates! There are a few great chocolate stores in Bruges but Dumon is a must visit!
One of my favorite things to do in any city or town is just to walk around and take it all in and Bruges is no exception! The views of the canals, the little bridges and the brick buildings are really pretty to see. Some of the buildings are so old that they date back to the time of the Black Death.
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Europe has a few places called the “Venice of the North”. Check out another beautiful Venice of the North HERE or below!