bruges travel card

Pamper yourself with the DiscoverBruges discount card

bruges travel card

It’s free and personalised, and you’ll receive it upon check-in at your hotel. (just make sure they are a member of Hotels Regio Brugge vzw). With it you will receive discounts at many attractions and activities in Bruges and its surroundings

Discounted access to more than 30 activities in and around Bruges

bruges travel card

Attractions

These include a swimming pool, theme park, cinema, climbing the belfry tower and much more..

bruges travel card

Most art museums, beer museums, breweries, chocolate museums and many others.

bruges travel card

Cycling, touring, guided photoshoots and even seeing everything from above in a hot air balloon.

The DiscoverBruges card helped us to explore many sights in Bruges and experience a variety of activities we might otherwise have missed.

Christina Orilla

the complete list of participants

  • Lago Brugge Olympia
  • Lumiere Cinema
  • Bath & Barley
  • Boudewijn Seapark
  • Sea Life Blankenberge
  • Steam Powered Trains Maldegem
  • Choco Story
  • Diamantmuseum
  • Frietmuseum
  • De Halve Maan
  • Lumina Domestica
  • Salvator Dali
  • Musea Brugge ->Museum Card
  • Bruges Beer Experience
  • Foltermuseum
  • Kantcentrum
  • Domein Adornes
  • Musea Sculpta
  • Segway Brugge
  • Bruges Bike Rental
  • Bike & scooter Koffieboontje
  • Pink Bear Bicycle Company
  • Quasimundo Bike Tours
  • Boat Brugge-Damme
  • Bruges Ballooning
  • Photo Tour Bruges
  • City tour Brugge
  • Belgium Wine Tours

and now in more detail ..

Been to Belgium Logo

Discover Bruges City Card: Visit For Less Money

bruges travel card

The DiscoverBruges City Card is a visitor card designed to save you money on your visit to this stunning city. It is not going to save you bucketloads, but it is worth having if you are visiting lots of museums and doing lots of activities in Bruges.

It covers more than thirty different museums and activities in Bruges, so there is sure to be something worthwhile for you there!

Table of Contents

What is the Discover Bruges Card?

The Discover Bruges Card is a free card provided to anyone who stays in a hotel in Bruges for at least one night. It is provided to you upon arrival and offers you discounts on a huge variety of museums and activities within the city.

Bruges Attractions Included

With the Discover Bruges Card, you get discounted entry to a variety of museums, and attractions and also do certain activities. Here is a list of what you can get:

  • Homebrewery De Halve Maan
  • Choco-Story
  • Cinema Lumière Bruges
  • Belgian Fries Museum
  • Foltermuseum
  • Kantcentrum
  • Torture Museum Bruges
  • XPO Center Bruges
  • Gallery XPO Salvador Dali
  • Lumina Domestica/Lamp museum
  • Bruges Beer Experience
  • Bruges Diamond Museum
  • Lace Centre
  • Musea Sculpta
  • Lago Olympia
  • Seafront-Maritiem themepark
  • Boudewijn Seapark
  • Boat trip Damme-Bruges-Damme
  • Photo Tour Brugge
  • Bike rental
  • Balloon trip over Bruges

You will find all the details and a complete list of what options are discounted by how much here .

It is also worth noting that you can get four euros off the Bruges Museum Card, which gets you lots larger discounts on all the museums in Bruges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i know if my hotel is eligible for the discover bruges card.

You can get the Discover Bruges card from your hotel as long as they are a member of Hotels Regio Brugge. Ask them before booking to ensure they are eligible and that you will get one upon arrival.

How much money can you save with the Discover Bruges Card?

You can certainly save a reasonable amount of money with this city card, especially since it is free with your hotel stay. You can save between 50 cents and 5 Euros per attraction, depending on what you visit.

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Bruges   Travel Guide

bruges travel card

Courtesy of Barry O'carroll | EyeEm

bruges travel card

Why Go To Bruges

Swans swim its canals; medieval buildings shadow its cobblestones; willow trees weep over its lake; rich chocolates peer from behind its windows; pints of Belgian blondes sit on its cafe tables; and carillon chimes fill its air with music: This is Bruges (or Brugge in Dutch). This idyllic city in northern Belgium is more touristy and yet more quaint than the capital city of Brussels . Plan a trip to Bruges for a taste of medieval Europe in the 21st century, for a friendly small-town feel with world-class charms (the Historic Centre of Brugge , to name one) and, of course, for the beer, fries and chocolate. Whatever your reason for coming to Bruges, you'll be charmed.

Find Flight and Hotel Deals

Navigate forward to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

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Best of Bruges

Best hotels in bruges.

  • # 1 in Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges
  • # 2 in The Pand Hotel
  • # 3 in Hotel de Orangerie

Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges

Best Things to Do in Bruges

  • # 1 in Rozenhoedkaai
  • # 2 in Historic Centre of Brugge
  • # 3 in Markt

Popular Tours

Round-Trip Shuttle Service from Zeebrugge to Bruges

Round-Trip Shuttle Service from Zeebrugge to Bruges

(684 reviews)

from $ 27.58

Deluxe Bruges Shore Excursion from Zeebrugge Cruise Port

Deluxe Bruges Shore Excursion from Zeebrugge Cruise Port

from $ 72.82

Guided boat trip and walk

Guided boat trip and walk

(246 reviews)

from $ 48.55

Bruges Travel Tips

Best months to visit.

The best time to visit Bruges is from June to August, when the weather is mild, and the trees are green. Still, the weather year-round is characterized as chilly and damp – summer temps usually don't climb higher than the 70s. Spring and fall are considered shoulder seasons that see fewer tourists and cooler temperatures, with average highs hovering in the 50s. In the winter, temperatures drop but don't reach freezing, and the city offers a variety of holiday events, including its famous Christmas markets. Fall and winter also bring the greatest chance of rain, so keep an umbrella at the ready.

Weather in Bruges

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

Hop on a boat tour Canal tours are a great way to get an overview of Bruges. You'll easily find boat operators departing from jetties around the city offering 30- to 45-minute tours. The famous Rozenhoedkaai is a popular spot to hop on a tour.

Indulge in some chocolate Belgium is known for the sweet stuff, so be sure to pause for a chocolate break at a well-known chocolate maker like The Chocolate Line or Sukerbuyc .

Consider a daytrip to Brussels Brussels is an hour's train ride southeast of Bruges, making it an ideal daytrip.

How to Save Money in Bruges

Get a Discover Bruges Card If you stay at a Hotels Regio Brugge member hotel , you have access to a free card , which offers discounts on area attractions and shops.

Get a Musea Brugge Card This card grants you access to a variety of museums, including the Groeningemuseum , over a period of three days for 28 euros (or about $31).

Rent a bike Bruges caters to cyclists. You'll find that bike lanes dot the city and even head into nearby coastal towns.

Culture & Customs

Once a hub for artists of the Flemish Primitive style of painting, art is front and center in Bruges. There are numerous museums with artwork, as well as churches, convents and even a medieval hospital that each boast their own collection of impressive works.

Make sure to bring some euros with you, which is the currency of Belgium. When eating out, it's unlikely you'll need to tip, as it's included as part of the restaurant bill, and restaurant workers earn better compensation than those in the U.S. It's OK to leave a few euros for excellent service, but generally not more than 10% of your bill.

In Bruges, you'll find the locals speak Flemish natively, but many also speak English well.

What to Eat

Residents of Bruges love their beer, Belgian fries and chocolate – Bruges even has its own official city chocolate: the Bruges swan, or Brugsch Swaentje . Bruges offers plentiful chocolate shops, pubs and a handful of breweries, as well as attractions that tell the story of each of the country's celebrated foods, including the Bruges Beer Experience , Choco-Story and Frietmuseum. But the dining scene in Bruges is much vaster than these three staples.

Gruuthuse Hof , which has been open since the mid-1700s, is popular with tourists and serves traditional Belgian dishes like beef stew and duck, and waffles for dessert. For a casual meal, the De Halve Maan Brewery also has a restaurant on the premises with a limited menu if you want a bite with your beer.

If you're celebrating a special occasion or just in the mood to splurge, consider Le Mystique , which serves a blend of French and Flemish cuisine. The restaurant is historic as well, dating to 1869. Dishes with a Flemish touch include beef with braised chicory and seafood, including sea bass and oysters. Flemish cuisine is known for its fries and waffles, as well as beef stew, Belgian endive, and of course, Brussels sprouts. A meal at Bistro Refter is equally indulgent as it's headed by Michelin-starred chef Geert Van Hecke, who offers a contemporary take on Belgian cuisine with dishes like roasted cockerel, fish, steak and, of course, fries.

When it comes to safety, Bruges generally has a low crime rate, is clean and safe for traveling alone, though as in any tourist destination, be aware of pickpocketing and traveling by yourself at night. The State Department does encourage citizens to exercise extreme caution when visiting Belgium due to terrorist groups continuing to plot possible attacks there.

Getting Around Bruges

The best way to get around Bruges is on foot. The city is small – in fact, you can walk from one end to the other in about 30 minutes. Biking is the second-best way to get around. There's also a bus system, but it's most useful in getting from the train station to the city center rather than for exploring the city. Cars are not recommended, since Bruges' streets are narrow and webbed with canals. You can also hire taxis at several taxi stands. The closest major airport is Brussels Airport (BRU), so most visitors take the train into Bruges. The ride from the airport to Bruges is about 90 minutes; tickets start at 21 euros (or around $23). According to the tourism office, taxis from the airport to Bruges cost a flat rate of 200 euros (or about $222). The train station is located just southeast of the city center, about a 20-minute walk from the historic city center or a five-minute bus ride.

Entry & Exit Requirements

A valid passport is required for citizens of the United States to travel to Belgium. U.S. citizens can stay for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. At customs, you'll have to present a return airline ticket, as well as a passport that is valid for at least three months after the date of your departure. If you're planning to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, you'll have to obtain the proper visa before leaving the U.S. Keep in mind: The U.S. Department of State issued an advisory for travel in Belgium in December 2018 due to terrorism, warning travelers of potential terror attacks. The State Department recommends registering for the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) so that you'll receive alerts and be easier to locate in the event of an emergency. For more information, visit the State Department's  website .

Considered one of the most photographed areas of Bruges, Rozenhoedkaai , or Quay of the Rosary, is a picturesque spot where the Dijver and Groenerei canals meet.

Explore More of Bruges

Historic Centre of Brugge

Things To Do

Best hotels.

World Map

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A historic, calm canal in Bruges, Belgium surrounded by old houses and lush greenery

Bruges is one of the main reasons people visit Belgium . It’s one of the most famous medieval cities in Europe, boasting historic buildings, scenic canals, and attractive cobblestone streets. The entire historic center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first fortifications here were built in the 1st century BCE though the city didn’t prosper until the Middle Ages when it became an economic hub under the Hanseatic League. It was also home to the world’s first stock exchange (the Bourse), which opened in the 14th century.

Naturally, I found Bruges to be a very charming place to visit. It’s also expensive and touristy and there aren’t a lot of backpackers or budget travelers in Bruges due to the high prices.

That said, if you pass through Belgium, you’d be missing out if you don’t stop and visit Bruges for at least a night. Feast on waffles and chocolate, cruise the canals, and get your cultural fix while perusing the artwork at the Groeninge Museum. There is enough to keep you busy here for a day or two without busting your budget.

This Bruges travel guide can help you plan your trip, save money, and ensure you make the most of your time in this picturesque medieval town!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Bruges

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Bruges

Grote Markt, the main historic square with colorful brick buildings in Bruges, Belgium.

1. Take a canal tour

Taking a canal trip down the arteries of Bruges is the perfect way to capture the magic of the city. A half-hour boat trip takes you around secret gardens, picturesque bridges, and ornate medieval buildings. It’s a great way to learn about the city from a different angle. Several companies operate these tours with pretty similar open-air boats that fit 30-40 people and following similar routes. Tours cost around 12-15 EUR, or you can take this combo canal and walking tour for the best of both worlds.

2. Admire Grote Markt

This is the city’s beautiful and medieval central square, dating all the way back to 958 CE. It’s stunning to see, though I’d advise skipping the restaurants here as they are overpriced. Look out for Huis Bouchoute with its giant compass (which points towards the direction of the wind rather than true North), the Provincial Palace, and other museums, including Historium Bruges, the Bruges Beer Experience, and the Salvador Dalí Exhibition – Bruges.

During Christmas, this area is transformed into a gorgeous Christmas market with its very own ice-skating rink which is part of the city’s ‘Winter Glow’, the collective name for the winter activities and decorations. Bruges’ Christmas markets run from late November until the first week of January.

3. See The Burg

The Burg is a city square that was completed in 1376. It boasts Gothic stone décor including the city hall (Stadhuis) which also contains a history museum featuring a small exhibit on the history of the city and impressive vaulted gothic hall with 20th-century murals depicting important historical events. Entry is 8 EUR.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood is also located here (so-called because it supposedly houses a relic of Jesus’s blood). Inside the church, there are two distinct areas: the Romanesque-style lower chapel and the ornate and colorful upper chapel. Entry to the basilica is free, while admission to the associated museum is 5 EUR.

4. Feast on chocolate

With dozens and dozens of chocolate boutiques, a chocolate museum, a chocolate trail, and a chocolate fair, this city is a chocolate-lovers paradise. You’ll find more of the higher-end, refined chocolate in this city — but it’s worth splurging on. Pay a visit to Dumon Artisanal Chocolatiers, BbyB or The Chocolate Line which all whip up a variety of interesting chocolate collections, shapes and flavors in-house. Consider taking a chocolate-making workshop to make your own Belgian chocolates!

5. See the Belfort Belfry

This 83-meter-tall (272 feet) bell tower is one of Bruges’ best-known landmarks. It once housed the treasury and the municipal archives and was used for spotting fires and other threats. After (somewhat ironically) being destroyed by fire one too many times, the belfry was never rebuilt and now only the tower remains. The 47 bells in the tower are played for an hour on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am and over the summer in special concerts.

If you have 30 minutes to an hour to spare and there’s not much of a queue, it’s worth the climb up the 366 steps to the top to enjoy some spectacular and panoramic views of the city. It costs 15 EUR.

Other Things to See and Do in Bruges

1. visit the groeninge museum.

The Groeninge Museum, also known as the Fine Arts Museum of Bruges is one of the most popular museums in the city, exhibiting works from Bruges’ own Jan van Eyck (a 15th-century master). There is also a world-famous collection of paintings by the Flemish Primitives (artists active in the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands during the 15th- and 16th-century). Admission is 15 EUR.

2. Take a hot air balloon ride

While not exactly budget-friendly (prices are around 200 EUR per person) this is a really neat way to see the city from a new perspective. You can spot Bruges’ most iconic buildings and squares from above and scan the green fields as far as your eye can see. Some operators offer both morning and evening flight options too. It’s a cool option for anyone feeling adventurous or in the mood for some romance.

3. Sample the beer

Like the rest of Belgium, there’s a lot of good beer in Bruges. Visit the Brewery De Halve Maan, which dates to 1856, and tour the facilities, where an underground pipeline carries the beer to bottling plants in the suburbs (tours cost 16 EUR and come with a free beer). There’s also ‘T Poatersgat, an amazing underground cellar bar with around 120 Belgian beers on tap. Or try the house beer at Vlissinghe Café, the oldest pub in Bruges (it’s been around for 500 years!). Some beer tastings and tours even include food pairings with chocolate or waffles.

4. Explore by bicycle

Owing to its smaller size, Bruges is a great city to explore by bicycle. Be sure to get out into the countryside if you have the time as the landscape is very pretty and it will be much quieter. Rentals cost around 10 EUR for 4 hours and 13 EUR for a full day. If you want a guided tour, Quasimundo runs regular tours that cover all the highlights. Their tours last 2.5 hours and cost around 33 EUR.

5. Take a food tour

If you’ve got an unquenchable taste for Belgian beer and waffles, take a food tour. Discover Belgium has a variety of different food tours, including a beer and food pairing tour, a chocolate tour, and a gamified food tour where you have to solve puzzles while you learn about the food and city history. There’s also a classic food tour, where you’ll get an overview of the country and its delicious cuisine, visit several different places, and learn about the history and culture behind each dish. Tours range from 50 EUR and last around 4 hours. If you want to learn how to make some Belgian classics yourself, you can learn how to make waffles in this workshop — and eat all the waffles you want too!

6. Tour some of the quirkier museums

Bruges has several small, quirkier museums that are worth visiting if you have some spare time. The Diamond Museum takes you back 550 years to when the technique of cutting diamonds was first applied right here in the city (admission is 12 EUR). There’s also the Chocolate Museum or Choco-Story (14 EUR), where a tour comes with a delicious tasting session, and the much darker Torture Museum, filled with grotesque instruments of torture that were used during the Middle Ages (9 EUR). Last but not least, the interactive (and delicious) Frietmuseum is the only museum in the world dedicated to tracing the history and culture of the french fry (admission is 11 EUR and advance reservations are required ).

7. Meander around Minnewater Park

This beautiful greenspace is a great place for a stroll. The park is filled with weeping willow trees and swans bobbing around Minnewater Lake, or “Lake of Love” (though it’s more like a wider section of the canals than an actual lake). It’s said that the lake’s name is in reference to a pair of doomed medieval lovers, but that if you cross the bridge with your partner, you’ll experience eternal love. It’s worth stopping at the castle for a drink by the water as part of your walk.

8. See the windmills

Belgium has a long history of using windmills, and in the 16th century, there were over two dozen windmills in Bruges (windmills were used for cutting wood, pumping water, and grinding grain). There are a number of historic windmills from the 17th-19th centuries still standing, including the iconic 4 along the city ramparts where you can stroll or cycle along the canal, or relax on the grass. You can only visit one of the windmills, though: Sint-Janshuismolen. It still grinds flour and has a museum in the base where you can learn more about the windmill and grinding process (admission is 5 EUR).

9. Visit Historium Bruges

This interactive museum offers a unique way to learn about the city’s medieval history and everyday life through film and other multimedia exhibits. You can even do a virtual reality experience where you fly through the medieval streetscapes to see what the city used to look like hundreds of years ago. It’s an impressive merging of history and tech and an especially great place to visit for families with kids. Admission is 20 EUR or 25 EUR including the virtual reality experience. It’s recommended to book online beforehand to avoid the line.

  For information on other cities in Belgium, check out these guides:

  • Brussels Travel Guide

Bruges Travel Costs

Cobblestone-street with people walking down it in Bruges, Belgium.

Hostel prices – Dorms with 6-8 beds cost 25-30 EUR per night.. A private room for two with a private bathroom starts around 75-100 EUR. Free Wi-Fi is standard though most hostels don’t offer free breakfast or self-catering facilities. Expect hostel prices to double in the summer.

For those traveling with a tent, camping is available outside the city. A basic plot for two without electricity starts around 20 EUR per night.

Budget hotel prices – Budget two-star hotels start at 75-100 EUR per night. However, there are more options with three-star hotels, which cost between 110-175 EUR per night. Expect basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, TV, and coffee/tea makers.

Airbnb is available here as well, with private rooms starting around 65 EUR per night. You can find whole apartments for around 120 EUR per night. Be sure to book early otherwise prices can double and spots are hard to find.

Average cost of food – Belgian cuisine has been strongly influenced by its European neighbors over the centuries, specifically France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Food here is hearty with chocolate, waffles, fries, and beer being the most iconic cultural staples. Steak and fries, mussels (often with fries), smoked ham, stew, and sausages are just some of the common dishes you’ll find here. Portions are large and filling too (the saying goes that Belgian food takes the portions of German cuisine but adds the quality and delicacy of French cuisine).

Casual meals at cafes cost around 10-20 EUR while fast food (think McDonald’s) costs 8 EUR for a combo meal. Takeaway shops are everywhere, at which you can get a filling cone of fries for 3-5 EUR or a waffle for 3-6 EUR. Pizza is around 15-19 EUR while Chinese food is 16-19 EUR.

A main dish at a casual eatery, especially in the town square, costs around 25-30 EUR (if not more). If you want to splash out on a three-course meal, expect to pay at least 60-75 EUR.

Beer is 3-5 EUR, a glass of wine is 4-5 EUR, and a cocktail is 10-12 EUR. A latte or cappuccino is around 3-4 EUR while a bottle of water is 2 EUR.

If you want to cook your meals, there are some great markets throughout the city. Expect to pay around 40-60 EUR for a week’s worth of groceries.

Backpacking Bruges Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking Bruges, expect to spend around 65 EUR per day. This budget covers a hostel dorm, cooking your meals, taking public transportation and walking everywhere, limiting your drinking, and doing most free activities like free walking tours and visiting the markets.

On a mid-range budget of 170 EUR per day, you can stay in your own room, enjoy a few drinks, eat out most meals, take the occasional taxi to get around, rent a bike, and do more paid activities like visiting museums and taking a canal cruise.

On an upscale budget of 300 EUR or more per day, you can do whatever you want. The sky is the limit here.

You can use the chart below to get an idea of how much you need to budget daily. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Bruges Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Bruges, a city that seems designed for older travelers and couples, is not a cheap place to visit on a budget. If you want to save money, here are some suggestions to help you get started:

  • Walk everywhere – Walking is the best way to see and get around the city. Most of the city’s main attractions are within 15 minutes of each other. There’s really no reason to take a bus or taxi. Save a few euros and walk everywhere.
  • Take a free walking tour – Free walking tours are the best way to get the lay of the land, see the main sights, and connect with a local guide who can share their insider tips. Just be sure to tip at the end!
  • Get the Musea Brugge Card – This handy little card entitles you to free entry to 27 museums and attractions in Bruges as well as cruises on the canal. You can also get 25% off a variety of concerts, dance and theater performances, and bike rentals. If you are going to do many of the things listed on the card, this pass will save you money!
  • Visit the farmer’s market – On a Wednesday morning, the Grote Markt Square is taken over by a market that offers cheaper food and drinks than what you’ll usually find. Restaurants are expensive, so loading up on fresh food at the market will cut down your food expenses.
  • Stay with a local – Hospitality networks like Couchsurfing connect you with locals who can give you a free place to share and share their insider tips and advice. It’s the best way to save money and have a more local experience.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Bruges

There are only a few hostels in Bruges and limited choices for budget accommodation. Here are my recommended places to stay:

  • Snuffel Hostel
  • St. Christopher’s Inn Bauhaus Hostel
  • Lybeer Travellers’ Hostel
  • Cornerhouse Level Ten
  • Hotel Van Eyck

How to Get Around Bruges

Cobblestone-street with bicycles parked along the side of the road in Bruges, Belgium.

Public transportation – The local bus is operated by De Lijn. Single tickets cost 2.50 EUR and are valid for one hour. If you plan on using the bus a few times throughout the day, a day pass costs 7.50 EUR.

Bicycle – Renting a bicycle is a great way to get around town since it’s compact. Hourly rates start at 4 EUR, while full-day rentals start from 13 EUR. There are a handful of bike rental shops, including Fietspunt Station and Ben’s Bike Bruges where you can rent a city bike and even an e-bike.

Taxi – Taxis are expensive here. The base rate is 23 EUR, then it’s an additional 2.70 EUR per kilometer. Skip them if you can as they will destroy your budget. The city is small too so you really shouldn’t need one.

There are no ridesharing services like Uber here.

When to Go to Bruges

Summer is the best time to visit Bruges. This is when the weather is nicest and the city is in bloom. The average temperature in August is 20°C (68°F), and it rarely gets much hotter than that. Since Bruges is on the coast and has a maritime climate, summers are mild and winters are cold and windy.

Spring and fall are the shoulder seasons, with cooler temperatures and fewer visitors. In April and May, temperatures are under 10°C (40s and 50s°F). Temperatures in the fall range from 8-12°C (47-54°F), and it gets rainy around this time, too. If you don’t want to deal with the summer crowds, this is a good time to visit. Just pack a raincoat and sweater.

Most people avoid visiting in the winter as the temperatures drop to near freezing. But if you want this magical city all to yourself, especially when there are Christmas markets, Bruges is worth a wintry visit!

How to Stay Safe in Bruges

Bruges is very safe to visit. Violent crime is incredibly rare here so travelers should feel safe. However, since it is a touristy city, pickpocketing and petty theft can occur. Always keep your valuables secure and out of reach when out and about, especially in crowds and on public transportation.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here for all those reasons. However, the standard precautions you take anywhere apply here too (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). There are numerous solo female travel blogs that can provide more specific tips.

Scams here are rare, however, if you’re worried about getting ripped off you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

If you experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Bruges Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Bruges Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Belgium and continue planning your trip:

The Best Things to Do and See in Brussels

The Best Things to Do and See in Brussels

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Dubbed the “Venice of Nordic”, the city of Bruges (Brugge) tops the list of the most beautiful places in Belgium. Anyone who has ever been to Belgium must definitely visit this place that ‘In Brugge’ movie was filmed. Bruges has a romantic beauty with many mossy ancient bridges across on small canals and beautiful medieval European architecture. Bruges is a dream destination not only for couples but also for many solo travelers. Here you will see the signature beauty of Bruges in many beautiful and small ancient buildings, enjoy delicious food, walk or cycle through the alleys of the old town. So, is Bruges worth visiting and what to do in Bruges? Let’s check out our Bruges travel blog (Bruges blog, Brugge blog, Brugge travel blog) with the fullest Bruges travel guide (Bruges city guide, Bruges visitor guide, Brugge travel guide, Brugge city guide) for a perfect Bruges on a budget for the first time from best places to visit, top things to do, where to stay, what to eat… to find out the answer!

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Bruges travel blog: Getting to and around Bruges

Means of transportation from major tourist cities in Belgium such as Brussels, Ghent to Bruges is extremely convenient. You can easily catch the train, bus or blablacar to getting here for just under EUR 10/way. Note that for young people under 26 years old when traveling by train will be discounted with GoPass only €6/way when traveling from anywhere in Belgium. If you go to Belgium from other cities, you can also take a plane, train or bus. I usually find deals on RyanAir and GoEuro, see more here .

bruges travel card

  • Ghent and Bruges Day Tour from Brussels

The best way to discover Bruges is to walking around the roads and alleys and visiting many chocolate shops everywhere. You can also rent a bicycle to cycle around, go to the nearby beach in the summer or further to the Northeast to explore the windmill fields. If you prefer to be more luxurious and romantic, you can take a boat along the canals of Bruges, passing the In Brugges filming spots located next to the beautiful, luxurious restaurants. Tourists in Bruges often go to these locations to take photos and check-in which are very crowded. Riding by horse-drawn carriage around the city is also an interesting experience.

bruges travel card

  • Bruges Day Tour from Brussels

Brugge travel blog: When is the best time to visit Bruges?

Bruges is always crowded with tourists, so you should avoid going to in June, July, August and Christmas (December) when traveling here. This is also true for other extremely hot tourist destinations in Europe such as Venice, Santorini, Pisa, … The good time to travel to Belgium is in the spring (March, April) when the climate has warmed, or in autumn (September, November) when the weather in Bruges is very beautiful. I came here at the end of November and throughout the city, especially in the evening, magically decorated for Christmas. At this time, tourists in Bruges are not too crowded, so you can enjoy all the magical atmosphere characteristic of Bruges, and also do not disturb the locals.

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Bruges travel blog: Best places to visit, top things to do in Bruges

bruges travel card

Bruges is a tiny city in the small Kingdom of Belgium, but there are countless things to do and experience here. The sights and attractions not to be missed are concentrated around Burg Square (City Hall, The Golden Palace of Justice, Brugse Vrije Museum, Basilica of the Holy Blood); and Grote Markt Central Square (Historium Bruges Museum, Belfry bell tower). Some of the other impressive attractions that only Bruges has are its beer museum and mossy old bridges.

Wandering in the old town

Or you don’t need to have a specific plan to go anywhere. You can wander here all day without getting bored, walking along the canal, watching the architectural works create a scene even more beautiful than a picture.

bruges travel card

Burg Square

bruges travel card

Burg Square is one of the most beautiful architectural places in Bruges, located right next to the central square. Visit the magnificent City Hall (free admission to the museum on the first floor), the Golden Palace of Justice next door (€ 4 for people under 26), Brugge Vrjie museum , Basilica of the Holy Blood (known as the place where Jesus’ blood is kept).

bruges travel card

Grote Markt Central Square

Belfry bell tower is one of the tourist attractions in the square, because from here you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city of Bruges. However, the entry tickets are quite expensive and the view is not beautiful on bad weather. In front of the tower are two famous shops selling fries of the city, worth a try. Grote Markt is surrounded by many restaurants, and cafes with the price quite expensive, but in return, you can watch the flow of people crossing the square and the colorful old houses.

bruges travel card

If you want to learn more about Belgian history, culture, art, you should visit the Historium Museum , the Groeninge Museum (art museum), Frietmuseum (potato fries museum), … If you like learning about the history of Bruges, you should go to Historium museum. There are three floors of interactive electronic exhibition showcasing the city from its inception, experiencing its golden age and long history to this day. Bruges was once one of the major ports – the largest trading center in Europe before. The city is also famous for its embroidery.

bruges travel card

Joining free walking tour

Bruges is one of the most expensive cities in Belgium because it is the best tourist city in Belgium and locals mainly earn their income based on tourism services. In order to discover Belgium quickly and save the optimal cost, I joined in Can You Handle It walking tour. Tour itinerary: Old bridges – Queen Astrid Park – Old House – Fish Market – Burg Square – Chocolaterie de Burg – Grote Markt – food street of Sint Amandsstraat. When you join this tour, you immediately receive a 15-20% discount when you visit the Beer Museum and buy chocolates in Marleen shop (read more about Marleen below). This is one of the best of the dozens of free walking tours I’ve ever experienced. This tour also departs in other major tourist cities in Germany and Belgium (Ghent, Cologne, Stuttgart). In Cologne, I also took this tour and still stay in touch with my guide who is very cute. See details here: http://cyhitours.com

bruges travel card

Brugge travel blog: Where to stay in Bruges?

Bruges is one of the cities attract the largest number of tourists of Belgium. Therefore, even the cost of a hostel or guesthouse in this city is extremely expensive compared to the average price of the region. Couch-surfing and AirBnB are also always full during the peak tourist season (June to August – a time when it is estimated that the number of tourists is greater than the locals here). Some of the hostels I’ve used to stay at an affordable price, nice bars and very good atmosphere are St Christopher’s Inn Hostel at The Bauhaus and Charlie Rockets . From Charlie Rockets, you can also take a free walking tour around the city that departs several times a week.

bruges travel card

Charlie Rockets Youth Hostel : Formerly the largest cinema in Bruges, Charlie Rockets is now one of the best hostels in Bruges decorated in an impressive vintage style (wallpaper newspaper, European-style chandelier, live music stage, …). In the lobby, there is a magnificent bar, a billiard room with 5 large tables, inside of all 19 rooms equivalent to 76 beds. Dorm bed price starts from € 18/night. The double room price is € 55/night, including breakfast. Choose stay here, you will be given a Bruges card to get ticket discounts at many attractions and restaurants around Bruges. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

bruges travel card

St Christopher’s Inn Hostel at The Bauhaus : If you are a true backpacker that love Belgian beer, you should experience 1 night at Bauhaus. The hostel bar has over 25 Belgian beers, including the region’s rarest specialties such as Trappist and Brugge Rot. The location of this hostel is convenient for traveling. Although the building and lobby are somewhat ancient, the interior room is designed in a modern style, ensuring comfort. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

bruges travel card

Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.

Botaniek Hotel , a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $114/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

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Hotel Dukes’ Palace Bruges , a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $174/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

bruges travel card

Hotel Jan Brito , a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $139/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

bruges travel card

Hotel De Medici , a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $147/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

bruges travel card

Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges , a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $138/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

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Hotel Navarra Brugge , a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $124/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com ).

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Check out more top and best hotels in Bruges on Agoda.com or Booking.com .

Bruges blog: What and where to eat in Bruges?

Although not as famous as France or Italy, but it would be a big mistake if you miss the opportunity to enjoy Belgian cuisine. In this small country, you will find a harmonious combination of French, German and Dutch cuisines.

Fastfood: The famous Belgian fast food is waffle (combined with a variety of creams and fruits, just looking will make you mouthwatering !) And chips (deep-fried in Belgian style, big and crunchy fries, served with ketchup or mayo).

bruges travel card

Big meals: Definitely salty foods to try are moules, beer stew beef served with bread or chips and mustard (Carbonade Flamande) at ‘t Vagevuur restaurant (Address: Sint-Amandsstraat 23, 8000 Brugge, Belgium / Hours: 10:30AM–10PM) . I got a free glass of wine only with meal of EUR 15.

bruges travel card

If you want to discover more about Belgian cuisine, you should avoid eating in the main square of Grote Markt because the restaurants here are extremely expensive. Another restaurant with cheap Western food is Pasta Presto (Address: Sint-Amandsstraat 17, 8000 Brugge, Belgium / Hours: 11:30AM–8:30PM; Monday, Sunday: Closed) that serving take-away fast food such as pizza, spaghetti, hamburger, …

bruges travel card

Belgian chocolates: Belgian chocolates are plentiful, the best to buy is in chocolate shops but it is cheaper to buy in supermarkets, just buy the famous brands such as Côte d’or, Godiva or Neuhaus is OK.

In Bruges there is also a chocolate road (Chocolaterie de Burg). Here you can taste a dozens of different hand-made chocolates such as Choco Beer (chocolate filled with beer), Speculoos Cookies (chocolate biscuits), Florentine (dark chocolate or caramel-filled milk and almond specially made from Bruges), … I bought chocolate at the Marleen shop (Address: Burg 15, 8000 Brugge, Belgium) because of the affordable price, discount after take the walking tour and they even give me try it before I buy.

bruges travel card

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Bruges you can refer to

  • Bruges Day Trip From Amsterdam
  • Bruges Day Tour from Paris
  • Highlights of Bruges 2-Hour Rickshaw Tour

bruges travel card

Are you looking for more top things to do in Bruges: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Bruges 1 day itinerary — How to visit Bruges in a day & What to do in bruges in one day trip ? And Belgium guide here .

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Bruges 1 day itinerary — How to visit Bruges in a day & What to do in bruges in one day trip?

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The Travel Hack

Things to do in Bruges: My Bruges Weekend Itinerary

By: Author Monica

Categories Belgium

Things to do in Bruges: My Bruges Weekend Itinerary

Hello and welcome to my Bruges Weekend Itinerary with lots of things to do in Bruges. In this travel blog post I’ve documented our whole Bruges itinerary so you can replicate it or use it for inspiration for your weekend in Bruges!

Bruges had been on my ‘Dream Weekend Away’ list for years. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Ghent and Ostend in Belgium and I loved them both but Bruges had slipped through my fingers a couple of times.

Here’s what I got up to during my weekend trip and some of my favourite things to do in Bruges.

Friday – Travelling to Brussels

Flying to Bruges

We flew from Manchester to Charleroi Airport on Friday at 8.30pm with Ryanair. This was a really convenient flight because it meant we didn’t need to take any time off work or rush to the airport (perfect if you like to travel but have a 9-5 job!).

Flying into Charleroi Airport was a cheaper option with flights at around £70 return. The airport is an hour from Brussels but I think the saving is worth it.

To get from Charleroi Airport to the centre of Brussels you can take the Brussels City Shuttle for €14. This shuttle leaves around 20-30 minutes after a flight lands so you have just enough time to get through security and grab your luggage. You also don’t need to worry about your flight being delayed because it runs on the flight schedule rather than a bus schedule.

It was almost midnight by the time we arrived so we stayed in Brussels for the night at the gorgeous Pullman Hotel.

Pullman Hotel Brussels

This hotel is basically in the bus and train station so it’s super convenient if you plan to travel to other areas in Belgium.

Our room was spacious, stylish and luxurious and we were welcomed with Belgium chocolates and beaming smiles (despite the time!)

Breakfast the following morning was a feast of pain au chocolat, fresh fruit and warm bread.

I can’t recommend this hotel enough for train station convenience and cosy luxury.

Saturday – Our first day in Bruges

By 9.30am we were out of the hotel and straight onto the train to discover all the things to do in Bruges!

The trains in Brussels are well-organised and simple to use. If you do get stuck, just ask one of the guards who all seem to speak English and will direct you to the correct platform.

Our train tickets from Brussels Central to Bruges cost €14.10 each way and takes just under and hour.

We headed straight to our hotel at the lovely Lace Hotel . From the outside and from the reception the hotel didn’t seem particularly special. I was apprehensive as we walked along the dark corridors to our room and I was worried it would be a disappointment after the lovely Pullman. And then we opened the doors to this…

Lace Hotel Bruges

Huge wooden doors opened into a grand room with an enormous four-poster bed and a beautifully ornate and decorative ceiling. Enormous windows and a balcony looked out onto a quaint street where bicycles meandered past and flowers bloomed in every window.

The fact that reception has been so plain somehow made the room seem even more special. It was like a hidden gem tucked away on a side street where you’d never guess that such splendour was hiding.

Once we’d managed to tear ourselves away from the room we took to the streets for a walking tour of Bruge. I love taking a walking tour when I arrive in a new city – it helps you get your bearings, see all the highlights and find out some unique things to do in Bruges.

I was using this Bruges City Guide which has three self-guided walking tours you can choose from. I chose ‘Bruges, Proud World Heritage City’.

While I do like to aimlessly wander and get lost in a new city, I feel like a self-guided walking tour is your best bet in Bruges. There are so many narrow, winding streets that it would be so easy to get lost or end up walking in circles.

Bruges.jpg

Lunch time: Have you ever seen two people more excited about chips and mayo?

Beer in Bruges

Beer O’Clock

Duvel in Brussels

And again…

Brugse Zot

….and again.

Buildings of Bruges

That evening we went for dinner at Kok-au-Vin . This is an amazing little restaurant and seems to be a local gem in Bruges.

We had the tasting menu which included 4 courses and a different wine to go with each.

kok au vin

After dinner we went for drinks at Bistro Warthuis , a really cool jazz bar in an old listed building dating back to 1482. The first floor is a large but cosy bar serving food and drinks and downstairs is a lively cocktail bar.

bistrozwarthuis

We then spent far too long trying to figure out if the Belfry is wonky. It turns out that the Belfry leans about 1 metre to the east but by this stage in the evening I’m sure we were too!

Sunday and more things to do in Bruges

The next morning we did what ever tourist in Bruges seemed to be doing – we took a boat ride. This is one of the most popular things to do in Bruges! At first we were rolling our eyes at the corniness of it but it was actually a lot of fun. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective and a relaxing way to get around.

Boat trip in Bruges

Lunch was slightly classier than the previous day with mussels and champagne enjoyed in the sunshine. Of course, we had to have those Belgium fries too.

I’m sorry but I don’t remember the name of where we ate but there are so many restaurants serving mussels and champagne!

IMG_0512

Next stop was a beer tour around De Halve Maan brewery.  It was really interesting to find out the history of the brewery and how beer drinking has changed over the years. And, of course, there were samples to enjoy after the tour. This was the perfect stop before heading to the train station to come home.

Beer tour in Bruges

I’d like to say a massive thanks to Visit Flanders for hosting my stay in Bruges. I had such a fantastic time and can’t recommend it enough for a weekend away. I was also given a Brugge City Card  which gets you in to many attractions, museums and galleries. They cost €40 for 48 hours and I used mine for the boat trip, the beer tour and the Belfry museum.

And to quickly summarise, here are the best things to do in Bruges during a weekend trip…

Things to do in Bruges

  • Stay at Lace Hotel – A true hidden gem with splendid and unexpected charm
  • Take a self guided walking tour – You can download a map from Visit Bruge – and make plenty of time to wander and get lost
  • Enjoy a craft beer in the Market Square
  • Have dinner at Kok au Vin – Try the tasting menu for something really special
  • Have drinks at Bistro Warthuis jazz bar
  • Check out the Belfry and climb to the top
  • Take a boat tour
  • Have mussels, fries and champagne for lunch
  • Take a beer tour around De Halve Maan brewery
  • Eat Belgian fries with mayo

bruges travel card

Steven Andrews

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

Hi Monica, I can see in the above pictures that how much you had enjoyed in Bruges, Thanks for sharing your memorable traveling experience with us and for sharing some useful traveling insights for us.

3 Days In Bruges | A Weekend Itinerary - Adventure Bagging

Thursday 23rd of August 2018

[…] story: I’ve wanted to visit Bruges ever since I read Monica from The Travel Hack’s boozy Bruges weekend post back in 2014. What could be better than sitting in the main square, sipping Belgian beer in the […]

Saturday 16th of June 2018

Awesome report of your trip to Bruges. I just love the city!

Monday 6th of February 2017

Bruges is an exceptional place, definitely a must see in Europe.

Andrew Lishak

Monday 10th of October 2016

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LZoApHKemwY ever seen the film In Bruges which was done In Bruges. There talking of a follow up film

Traveltomtom<span>.</span>

Bruges Travel Guide | Why You MUST Visit in 2024

bruges travel card

Even though we only live a 2.5 hour drive away from Bruges, we had never visited this beautiful city before. Bruges is a feast for the eyes and the mouth. There is so much to see, you won’t even get time to put your camera away. Plus, with over 60 chocolate stores, Bruges is a true chocolate city. Let us help you plan your next Bruges citytrip. We tell you everything you need to know before visiting Bruges.

This Bruges Travel Guide is written by Traveltomtom team member Ashley .

Bruges is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Belgium, also known as the Venice of the North. Back in the days it was one of the richest and biggest towns in Northern Europe, and over the decades it managed to preserve its rich history and charm.

Bruges Horse Carriage

Bruges is a beautiful medieval, fairytale and picturesque place to visit in the North of Belgium, in the province of Flanders.

Bruges By Night

It’s the capital and the largest city of the province of West Flanders. The historic city center is a prominent UNESCO World Heritage Site, which makes Bruges a popular tourism destination in Belgium. Eight to nine million tourists travel to Bruges every year.

It feels like you step back in time when visiting Bruges. The medieval city center, cobble stones streets and old buildings have a lot to do with that. The horse carriages that take tourists to the highlights of Bruges really add to that medieval feeling.

Stay connected when traveling to Belgium and get yourself a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for Belgium to safe on high roaming costs! Check out my article for the best way to get connected when traveling to Belgium in 2024.

UNESCO World Heritage

Bruges Saint Johns Hospital 1

In 1998 the Beguinage was the first site to be recognized as a World Heritage Site in Bruges. One year later the Belfry was added to the World Heritage list. The entire historical city center followed in 2000.

Large parts of the medieval heritage remained practically intact. That alone was reason enough for UNESCO to designate the entire city center as World Heritage Site.

Something that played a big part in the recognition of UNESCO is the fact that Bruges is the birthplace of the Flemish primitives. Nowadays the world-renowned works of Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and other prominent Flemish Masters can be admired at the several museums throughout the city.

How to get to Bruges

Bruges has a pretty easy to reach location, as it is located fairly close to a few airports but also to the coast and the Zeebrugge harbor.

Bruges is easily accessible by car, as it is located close to the E40 highway, which runs right through Belgium from West to East. Bruges has several car parks just outside the city center, where you can leave your car. Our recommendation is to park at the P&R Station. It only costs €5,50 per day to park your car here. And it’s located right next to the bus station too, so you can easily catch your ride to the center of Bruges.

When you travel to Bruges by plane, both Brussels Airport and Brussels Charleroi Airport are an option. From Brussels Zaventem Airport you can easily travel onwards to Bruges by train. There is a direct hourly train service from the airport to Bruges.

Related: Buying a Sim Card for Belgium at Brussels Airport in 2024 !

Another popular regional airport is Brussels South Charleroi Airport. From here, bus company Filbco offers direct shuttle bus services to and from the station of Bruges, with a frequency of 9 trips a day.

Bruges has a large train station, and daily direct services between Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven and Brussels that runs every hour. Bruges is very well connected by train.

International Coach services

There are various coach companies that operate bus services to Bruges from the main international transport hubs and from cities abroad.

With all travel options mentioned above, the central station is involved, either for parking your car or for travelling to Bruges by train or bus. From the Central Station there is a free shuttle service running every day between 7.20AM and 7.00PM. This shuttle runs every 20 minutes according to a fixed timetable. The shuttle has several stops in the city center and is a great way of getting around.

Triënnale Bruges

Bruges Triennale Piece

Triënnale Bruges brings contemporary art and architecture to the historic core of the city of Bruges every three years in a unique setting as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s an excellent opportunity to extend a visit to Bruges with this art and architecture exhibition.

In October 2021, Bruges was the setting for the Triënnale. Thirteen national and international artists and architects presented their art installations to the general public. The theme of the 2021 Triënnale was TraumA. Using artistic and architectural interventions, TraumA brought out the less attractive aspects and allowed them to become part of the image of the city. TraumA balanced between the present and the hidden. With a trail of sculptural, architectural and organic creations, it met a celebration of the versatility and mobility of the city. Between private and public. Between dream and nightmare.

Burg Square Triennale Piece

Throughout the city there were 13 art objects to be found and all of them had their own story to tell. You could explore them yourself by downloading the map from the Triënnale website . It showed you the location of all 13 objects. An amazing free thing to do in Bruges.

There were also daily guided walks from the market square every day at 2.00 pm for about 2 hours, and take about two hours and the costs of these walks were €12,50 per person.

The Triënnale Bruges will be back again in 2024 and then theme will be focussing on the future. Let's see what the Triënnale will bring to Bruges in 2024, but surely it will be another reason to travel to Bruges.

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Bruges from the heart city walk

Bruges Canals 1

There’s no better way than to explore a city by foot. Just start walking and get lost is always our way to discover a city.

Want to get to know Bruges while walking through the city and discovering some hidden gems and secret places? Then the Bruges from the heart city walk is definitely your thing. We decided to join one of their exclusive guided walks, where a local city guide will take you along a fascinating trail. It includes all of Bruges must-see heritage and architectural highlights.

Bruges Minne waterpark

The guided walk takes about two hours and starts at the Market Square where you will meet your guide. After two hours it ends on the rooftop of the Concert Hall where you can enjoy amazing panoramic views of Bruges after you saw the best places to see in Bruges.

Bascilica Of The Holy Blood bruges

The Bruges from the heart city walk can be done every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and will cost you €12,50 per person. It’s the money well worth spending as you get a lot of insight information on Bruges and it will show you everything you came to Bruges for!

Places to visit in Bruges

There is so much to see in Bruges with its medieval character and the many old buildings in the city. It’s definitely the place to be if you’re into history, but let’s not forget the art. You can indulge yourself in history, art and architecture in Bruges, you’ll run out of time if you want to see and do it all. Here are some cool places to visit.

Groeninge Museum

Gruuthuuse Museum bruges

The Groeninge Museum is your place to be when you’re into art! This museum offers a varied overview of the history of Belgian visual art, six centuries of Belgian art in one location, with work by Flemish primitives such as Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Gerard David. Work by masters who came from the Low Countries and often worked in Bruges and completed assignments there in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The collection of the Groeninge Museum is one of the most beautiful collections in the world, containing many landmark works from the history of European art.

Gruuthuse Museum

Gruuthuuse Museum bruges 1

The Gruuthuse Museum displays 500 years of Bruges history in historic objects. What once was the city palace of the lords of Gruuthuse is now an absolute highlight of Bruges! Walking through the museum you will go through three crucial periods in the rich history of Bruges. First you get the time of the Burgundian prosperity, then the less well known 17th and 18th centuries and lastly the historical reinvention of Bruges in the 19th century.

The museum makes these three periods come to life in over 600 collection items which all tell their own story.

Saint John’s Hospital

Saint Johns Hospital bruges

Saint John’s Hospital is one of the oldest preserved hospitals in Europe, dating back to the mid-12th century. You can visit the medieval wards, the church and the chapel, as well as the impressive collection of archives, art works, medical instruments and seven works of arts by Hans Memling. The oak wood rafter on the Diksmuide attic above the hospital ward is one of the oldest and most monumental in Europe. Make sure you also visit the hospital pharmacy with authentic interior from the middle of the 17th century.

You want to know all about the history of Bruges? Go back in time and experience the bustling city of Bruges in the Golden Age. The Historium Story features the exciting tale of Jan van Eyck’s apprentice. In the Historium Virtual Reality you can take an impressive virtual flight past the 15th century architecture, including the Water Halls. At the second floor of the building you’ll find the panoramic terrace with beautiful views of the Market Square. For some real impressive views you can climb the Historium Tower for unique 360° views.

Bruges Beguinage

Nowadays the Beguinage is inhabited by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict and several Bruges women who have decided to remain unmarried. The Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde with its white colored house fronts and tranquil convent garden was founded in 1245. It has to be on top of your list when visiting Bruges. It’s a soothing, quiet and nice environment. And, the Beguinage hosts one of the 13 Triënnale pieces.

Best photo spots in Bruges

Make sure you bring your camera when visiting Bruges, because once you start exploring the cobbled stone streets, winding canals and hidden alleys, you’ll discover one amazing photo spot after the other. You won’t even get time to put away your camera as the city is literally full of photogenic places.

Quay of the Rosary

quay of the rosary bruges 3

By far the most popular photography spot in Bruges, a centuries old Instagrammable hotspot. Back in the days rosaries were sold here, today it offers one of the city’s loveliest views. It is called The Bruges Postcard View, and believe me, you won’t stop taking photos.

It’s the perfect shot with medieval buildings, the canals, the boats and the Belfry as the perfect backdrop. Make sure to visit this place by day and by night as it is worth photographing this place all times of the day.

Dumon Chocolate shop

Chocolatier Dumon

The story of Chocolatier Dumon starts back in 1992, just outside of Bruges. Nowadays they have seven stores in three countries, most of them in Belgium and three of them in Bruges. Their shop at Eiermarkt is a fairytale shop and invites you to come in and have a look, or taste. The building is completely different from the buildings right next to it, but that makes Dumon stand out from the rest.

Boniface Bridge

Boniface Bridge bruges 1

When visiting the Boniface Bridge you wouldn’t tell that this is one of the youngest bridges in Bruges. In fact, during our guided walk through Bruges we were asked how old we thought the bridge was. We were all way off with our answers. It is actually one of my favorite places in Bruges, as it is tucked away a bit, yet still a very busy and popular place. Its picture perfect from both sides of the bridge. From one end you get the little canal and the overhanging half-timbered houses, but from the other side you get the impressive and stately Church of Our Lady in your backdrop. Perfect either way!

Bruges canals

quay of the rosary bruges 1

Wherever you walk in Bruges, there is no escaping the many canals. One is even more photogenic than the other. The Boniface Bridge we mentioned before is a great way to start if you want to capture the canals.

Market Square

Bruges Market Square

It’s the beating heart of the city, with the Belfry at one end of the square and a row of colorful stepped gables at the other end. In between it’s a coming and going of people all day long. Check out the imposing Provincial Court or hop on for a carriage ride. The Market Square is the place where the coachmen wait, another picture perfect!

Belfry of Bruges

Bruges Market Square Belfry

It’s the landmark of Bruges, the most striking tower in Bruges dates back to the 13th century. It’s 83 meters high and is protected as a world heritage site. You can climb the Belfry, all 366 steps, and if you do, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view over the city.

It provides the perfect picture from every angle of the Market Square, or from the Quay of the Rosary. Want to climb the Belfry? Costs are €14,00 per person.

Burg Square

Ask someone from Bruges, and they will tell you that the Market Square is the heart of Bruges, but the Burg Square is the soul! For centuries this square has been the center of power in the city, and the 14th century gothic building still serves as town hall. The buildings in the square represent a variety of architectural styles. The Gothic Town Hall is probably the most beautiful building in Bruges.

It’s at this square where another Triënnale object can be found, with the Town Hall as perfect backdrop.

Fun things to do in Bruges

When you think of Bruges and Belgium, it’s often the classic Belgian beer, fries and chocolates that come to mind by many people. And don’t worry, there are many classics in Bruges, that’s why we’re listing our favorite Bruges classics right here.

Brewery ‘De Halve Maan’ – world’s first beer pipeline

Bruges Brewery 1

It’s the worlds first brewery to have established a beer pipeline. Due to growth and logistical challenges in the center of Bruges, a unique underground beer pipeline, 3 km long, was laid from the brewery to the bottling plant in the suburbs.

This authentic brewery in the center of Bruges is a family-run business with a long lasting tradition dating back six generations to 1856. It’s the place where the Bruges city beer, Brugse Zot, is brewed. There are daily tours at the brewery, and best part, at the end of the tour you’re offered a free glass of Brugse Zot blond beer.

Bruges Beer Experience

Bruges Brewery

After having visited the brewery you might as well be interested in the Bruges Beer Experience. Discover everything you ever wanted to know about the ingredients of beer, the brewing process, food pairing, beers in Bruges, trappist and abbey beers, all in a very interactive way. This tour will make you want to sample some beers for sure. The bar offers 16 different kinds of beer and is open to everyone. Being located at the Market Square it has some great views too!

Choco Story – Chocolate Museum

Choco Story bruges

Get to know everything about the history of cocoa and chocolate. Walking through this museum you’ll walk through 4000 years of chocolate history. At the end of the tour you will get to the demonstration center, and believe me, it’s the best part of the museum. They demonstrate how to make chocolates here, when we visited they demonstrated how pralines are made. At the end of the demonstration you get a sample bag with several pieces of chocolate, delicious!

Fries Museum

It’s quite a small museum actually, but when visiting the country that’s famous for its fries, you have to visit the Fries Museum when visiting Bruges! The museum tells the history of the potato, Belgian Fries and the various sauces and dressings that go well with the most delicious and famous Belgian comestibles.  

In the basement you will find an actual fries shop where you can get a discount by showing your entrance ticket.

If you want to visit both the Fries Museum and Choco Story, make sure to buy a combined ticket for the two of them, and save some money.

Fries for lunch

Belgian Fries

Talking about fries, eating real Belgian fries is of course a must do and should not be skipped! Throughout Bruges there are many shops where you can get your fries, so pick one and enjoy them!

Buy Belgian chocolates

Belgium is proud of their chocolate, and rightly so! Belgium is the third largest exporter of chocolate and Bruges can also call itself a real chocolate city with more than 60 chocolate shops. Plenty of choice to bring some delicious chocolate, pralines or bonbons.

Bruges by boat

Bruges Canals

Last, but certainly not least, have you really visited Bruges if you haven’t seen it from the water? A visit to Bruges isn’t really complete without a boat trip on the Bruges canals. Discover the city from a surprising and different perspective. There are five boarding locations where you can embark one of the boats. The tour takes about half an hour and the captain will take you on a tour of the most beautiful spots on the water. These boat trips run from early March to mid-November. Tickets are €10,00 per person.

Traveltomtom’s recommendations

We’ve spent two days in Bruges, which is a good amount of time to explore the city. If you want to visit all museums you might need a bit longer, as those visits can take a lot of time. To make your visit easy and fun we have come up with a shortlist of Traveltomtom’s top recommendations for Bruges. Use it to your advantage.

Quatre Vins

Bruges Quatre Vins

Our number one recommendation, restaurant Quatre Vins. No classic menu, no starters or mains, nothing like anywhere else! All dishes are to share, for diner they recommend 5-6 dishes for a normal meal. They determine the order in which the dishes are served. So even though you know what you ordered, every dish is a surprise. A very relaxed atmosphere, amazing dishes that are a work of art on your plate, and an amazing location just off the Market Square. Just for this restaurant I would go back to Bruges!

Tom’s Diner

Bruges Toms Diner

We wouldn’t be Traveltomtom if we didn’t recommend this one, Tom’s Diner. A modern and hip hotspot on the edge of the center of Bruges for more than 22 years. No-nonsense cuisine with a touch of rock ‘n roll. A great setting in a historical building. Our recommendation would be their wide choice of tasty and original tapas.

Hotel Marcel

Location is key when searching for accommodation. And location-wise you can’t go much better than Hotel Marcel in Bruges. Located just 150 meters from the Market, so right in the middle of it all. Hotel Marcel offers authentic hospitality and Bruges coziness in a modern jacket. Breakfast is included and basic but very good. Freshly baked bread, croissants and chocolate croissants, juices and fresh fruits, and best of all soft boiled eggs brought right to your table. A unique hotel in Bruges, well priced and top location.

Concert Hall Circuit

Bruges Concert Hall Circuit

Totally unexpectedly one of the nicest things to do in Bruges, and therefore it made it to this shortlist. Discover the Concert Hall, it’s art and architecture during a surprise-filled visitors trail. It’s a playful discovery trail with lots to see and do for all ages. You go behind the scenes of the famous Concert Hall, get to see their music venues and also get to make some music yourself.

Bruges Concert Hall Views

Be in for a surprisingly fun and interesting tour, which eventually ends on the rooftop of the building with a lovely view over the city.

Get lost in the streets of Bruges, just start walking, exploring and discovering, you’ll be amazed and want to keep going to see if there’s more to come, and yes there is! Bruges stimulates all your senses, be in for an experience like no other.

Market Square bruges

A thank you is in order here for Visit Bruges and Flanders Tourism for inviting Traveltomtom team member Ashely to Bruges and organizing this Bruges trip down to the last detail.

Market Square Horse Carriage

This blog was written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley . She was invited to visit Bruges on behalf of Traveltomtom, and wrote this blog about her adventures in the city of Bruges.

Enjoy your trip to Bruges!

TRIBRU24 | SO-IL: Common Thread

In Belgium, various museum passes are available either countrywide or for specific cities. For those exploring Bruges with its rich array of museums, the Musea Brugge Card offers an economical choice, granting free admission to the city’s major museums.

  • Unlimited free access to 13 museums during 72 hours
  • Most famous artworks are covered, including Van Eyck, Magritte and Memling
  • You can buy Musea Bruges Card online
  • (Optional) You can book visiting date and time on museums after you buy Musea Bruges Card.

Museums you can use Musea Brugge Card

  • Apotheek Sint-Janshospitaal (Pharmacy Saint John’s Hospital)
  • Belfort (Belfry)
  • Brugse Vrije (Liberty of Bruges)
  • Gezellehuis (House Gezelle)
  • Groeningemuseum

Gruuthusemuseum

  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk Museum (Museum of the Church of Our Lady)
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk ter Potterie (Museum of Our Lady of the Pottery)
  • Sint-Janshospitaal (St. John’s Hospital)
  • Sint-Janshuismolen (St. John’s House Mill)
  • Stadhuis (City Hall)
  • Volkskundemuseum (Folk Museum)

(subject to change)

*At most museums and attractions in Belgium, children under 12 years old have free entrance.

How to buy Musea Brugge Card

You can buy Musea Brugge Card at Musea Brugge Official Site . Choose your card according to your age.

Buy at Museums

You can also buy Musea Brugge Card at all participated museums (except for the Museum of the Church of Our Lady and the Museum of Our Lady of the Pottery).

Buy at the Official Museum Shop

You can also buy Musea Brugge Card at the Museumshop of Musea Brugge (Dijver 16) located in the city center.

How to use Musea Bruges Card

(optional but recommended) reserve your visiting date and time online.

It is recommended to make reservation of your visiting date and time if you plan to visit popular museums and monuments, such as Belfry (Belfort) . 

To reserve your date and time with Musea Brugge Card, you first need to buy the Card online on the Musea Brugge Official Site . Next, choose the museums you would like to visit and pick the date and time. When you are asked to select the type of ticket, select the “ Time Slot for Musea Brugge Card (free of charge)”.

Musea Brugge

Activate your Musea Bruges Card by scanning it at the first museum you visit . From this moment, you have access to all museums during 72 hours.

No, most museums are closed on Mondays . Please check the museum website in advance to make sure the museum is open.

From the date of use. Your Musea Brugge Card is activated and start counting 72 hours when you scan it for the first time in a museum.

You must follow the reserved start time on your ticket. If you arrive earlier or later, be prepared to wait before being allowed entry into the museum.

For those visiting the Belfry (Belfort) , due to its popularity, it is crucial to maintain the scheduled start time. If you arrive earlier or later than reservation time, your entry to the Belfry might be cancelled.

Musea Brugge Card purchased online can be activated up to 1 year after purchase.

Musea Brugge Card is not refundable.

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Bruges City Card - Bruges Forum

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Brilliant value - on their website it lets you know everything you can use it for- We had the 48 hour one and didn't see all we wanted to - another added bonus is you can buy a 3 day bus pass for something like 6 euros - You can use the pass for entry at attractions once

What is the Brugge City Card?

Simply put: the Brugge City Card (BCC) looks like a credit card and is a discount pass which enables you to visit a lot of museums and attractions in Bruges for free.

What’s included in the Brugge City Card?

On collecting the card you will also receive a free visitors guide (available in Dutch, French, English, German, Italian and Spanish) with detailed information on the city.

Mind: if you intend to stay in Bruges there is no real need to buy the extra 3-day bus pass, as Bruges is very small and walkable. It is however interesting to buy it if you're hotel is a bit outside the town center or if you wish to visit other cities in Flanders (bus pass is valid in the entire Flanders region on bus, metro and tram).

How does the Brugge City Card work?

The card is activated when you first use it. When you visit a museum or attraction you present your card at the entrance where it will be validated. This also means you’ll have to wait if there is a queue.

You can visit each place only once with your BCC. Moreover, the card is also personal, your name will be written on the card when you purchase or collect it at the tourist office.

Where can I buy the Brugge City Card?

The BCC is for sale at one of the tourist offices in Bruges or you can buy the card in advance on the official website http://www.bruggecitycard.be

There is a small tourist office inside the train station which is open from Monday to Friday from 10h00 – 17h00 and on Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 – 14h00.

The large tourist office is located inside the Concertbuilding on ’t Zand square and is open every day from 10h00 – 18h00.

If you decide to buy the card in advance you’ll pay with a credit card and receive a confirmation e-mail which you’ll have to print and present at one of the tourist offices to collect your card.

Brugge City Cards are never send via post. You’ll always have to collect it in person.

Is the Brugge City Card reimbursable?

No. Products and services included in the card cannot be exchanged for cash. Once ordered, the card can not be reimbursed, not even in the event of damage, loss or theft.

The current prices are:

48 hours adults: 35 euro p.p.

72 hours adults: 40 euro p.p.

48 hours -26 years: 32 euro p.p.

72 hours -26 years: 37 europ.p.

For a full overview of what you can visit check the official website http://www.bruggecitycard.be

The event list can be viewed on http://foto.brugge.be/events_brugge/events.html. If you see a blue BCC logo it means you’ll get a reduction on that show or event.

Best thing to do is have a look at the official website and decide for yourself which places you absolutely want to visit. Then add up all the entrance prices and see if it's higher than the price for a city card.

If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me.

Kind regards,

As of 25 November opening hours of our tourist office will change.....will update you all later about those changes.

Forgetting a lot today.......

BCC prices will also change in 2013, they'll be more expensive. Sooooo, if you're coming in 2013 you can buy your BCC in 2012 and collect it in 2013, and save some money already.

bruges travel card

Correct, but that pass is only for the municipal museums. The BCC is for all museums (private and municipal) and also includes a free boat tour, as well as some other benefits.

Unlike the BCC you can visit the municipal museums multiple times with their three day pass.

The three day pass is for sale at the tourist office In&Uit on 't Zand square or in one of the participating museums, check them here: http://www.brugge.be/internet/en/musea/index.htm

In addition the following discount tickets are also available for the private museums:

* combination ticket Choco-Story and Diamond museum, for 12 euro per person

* combination ticket Choco-Story, Lumina Domestica and Belgian Fries museum, for 16 euro per person (all three museums) or 11 euro (2 museums)

You can buy these tickets at one of the museums or at In&Uit tourist office.

Best regards,

We have just spent 3 days in bruges. The city card is very good value for money, we had an 48hr card. You get free entry to 26 museums, a boat trip, city guide book and reduced rates to other places of interest. You can walk everywhere too so no need for bus passes! A beautiful city thats well kept and clean. lots to see and do.

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We'll worth the money. We were unsure but the guide book helps you make the most of what is available.

Tip: use the walks in the guide

I am travelling to Bruges on Thursday and was wondering if the card is still valid and whether it is best to purchase before we travel or when we arrive?

BCC 48 or 72 hours: can be bought online ( http://www.bruggecitycard.be ) or at one of the tourist offices

3-day Museum Pass: can be bought at the museums in Bruges, participating museums on http://www.museabrugge.be

There is no real difference between buying the BCC in advance or in the office. When buying online you will have already paid and provided your details, but you still need to go to the tourist office to collect your card.

Buying online saves you one of two minutes, but not much more.

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It probably makes sense for the Belfort , but is it really necessary to book a time slot with Musea Brugge Card for Groeningemuseum , Gruuthusemuseum, Stadhuis... The detailed agenda would be difficult to follow...so is it really necessary in early December?

Also, is there any chance of canal tours running at this time of the year (if the weather is not bad)?

6 replies to this topic

' class=

I can't answer on the museums as I haven't visited them recently - as to the canal boats at that time of year there is no hard and fast answer. Officially they are finished but if the weather is nice, and there is sufficient demand, they will operate. It may not be from all locations but as you walk around anywhere near the route just keep an eye on the canal and see if you spot any signs of boats.

bruges travel card

The canal boats generally only operate at weekends during the winter months - and, even then, not every operator and very much subject to weather conditions and demand.

Hope this helps!!

Thank you! We won't have the bout tour...but at least we also won't have the summer crowds!

bruges travel card

I was wondering if it might not be more interesting for you if you would buy a Museumpas.

You just have to check if most of the places you want to see are included in the pass.

The website is in Dutch or French

https://www.museumpassmusees.be/nl

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Bruges Hotels and Places to Stay

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Bruges Canal Tours: Everything You Need To Know

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During our recent family trip to Europe, Abby and I took a  day trip from Brussels to Bruges , a beautiful town in Belgium. We both wanted to go on one of the legendary Bruges canal tours. I’m so glad we did! This fairytale European city needs to be on your bucket list! 

Where is Bruges?

Bruges is a serene small Flemish town just northwest of  Brussels . Visiting Bruges is a perfect day trip from Brussels and is easily accessible by train.

Bruges is known as an idyllic small European city steeped in historical charm. It’s home to gorgeous canals and many fascinating landmarks. Furthermore, The city also has many great restaurants, pubs, and street-side vendors.

Visiting Bruges, Belgium

If you are visiting Brussels for a few days, taking an extra day to go to Bruges is well worth the time. Its gorgeous canals winding along against ancient stone buildings have led Bruges to be called the “Venice of the North.” 

In this blog post, I want to provide information about taking a Bruges canal tour, highlight the city’s history, and discuss some landmarks you’ll likely see on these Bruges canal tours.

Getting to Bruges from Brussels

From Bruges, you just need to hop on the Belgium intercity train. You can board directly from one of the main Brussels train stations, including Bruxelles-Nord (Brussels North), Bruxelles-Central (Brussels Central), and Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels South).

The Brussels to Bruges train runs all day, and the ride is just over an hour.  

The Belgium train website has a  dedicated page for the Brussels to Bruges train route , which is a great resource. You can buy tickets from that page as well. 

The route trip Brussels to Bruges train tickets are a standard € 32.00 for adults. However, there are a lot of discounted ticket options listed as well, and most are € 17.50 or less. 

The Bruges Canal Tours

Once you arrive in Bruges, you should have a game plan for your canal tour. It’s helpful to know a little bit about the city's layout. 

Bruges rests within a mesh of several canals that penetrate and encircle the city. These canals ultimately allow boat access to the North Sea, located about 20 kilometers north of the city. The town’s access to the North Sea made Bruges a vital shipping hub for centuries. 

The canals lining the town are relatively inaccessible as they are flanked everywhere by houses and other structures. Because of this, there are only a few places, other than bridges, where you can see the canals.  

Therefore, the best way to see these picturesque canals is on a boat tour!

Planning Bruges Canal Tours

There are five landing stages along the canals. These are the only places you can embark on a canal tour. The routes and prices are generally the same across the different tour operators. There are several canal tour operators, each with their own open-air boats.  They pretty much all follow the same route, so in my opinion, the best Bruges canal tour is the one with the shortest line.

Bruges Canal Tour Boarding Locations

Boarding takes place at the following locations. Each tour operator will leave from a different location, so be sure to check their website.

  •  Michielssens, Huidenvettersplein 13
  •  Coudenys, Rozenhoedkaai
  •  De Meulemeester, Wollestraat 32
  •  Gruuthuse, Nieuwstraat 11
  •  Stael, Katelijnestraat 4

Scroll around the above map of Bruges to get a lay of the land!

The Bruges Canal Tour boat trip takes around 30 minutes. The boats typically operate between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, with 5:30 often being the last tour. Tours generally operate most of the year, except in January and early February.  

However, tour availability will vary by operator and may change based on events like municipal construction projects, canal restoration initiatives, and severe weather.

Bruges Canal Tours Tickets

Unlike the  canal tours in Amsterdam  and the  Seine River cruises in Paris , you cannot book Bruges canal tour tickets in advance. You buy your tickets directly from the tour companies at the landing stages. As of writing this, the Bruges Canal Tour price for adult tickets is € 12.00, and children’s tickets are € 7.00.

You may need to wait in line at the landing stages to purchase tickets. The canal tours are very popular and will get busy. Bruges has an active cruise ship industry (Norwegian, Holland America, Windstar, Celebrity), and the town will fill up with  cruise  passengers on day excursions.  

The extra traffic means lines for the canal tours will get longer after about 11 am. Before 11 am is the best time to ensure you have shorter lines. It also gives you the rest of the day to explore Bruges.  

TIP: Get in line for your canal tour as early as possible in Bruges. 

Private canal tours are also available. Several companies offer tours with different types of boats. Contact the companies directly to find out more.

There are a couple of great s mall-group Bruges canal tours available through Get Your Guide . They also include a Bruges walking tour. These are a great option if you want to be able to buy Bruges canal tour tickets in advance.

Other Things to Consider

During the canal tour, the boat guide will comment on the significant landmarks and history of the area. During our  day trip to Bruges , our canal tour guide did a great job narrating the tour and pointing out interesting areas, landmarks, and historical sights. Most guides can speak multiple languages and will do their best to tailor the language to the passengers’ needs. 

The boats are cash-only. Be sure to bring a few Euros to tip your tour guide.

If you want to take pictures, try to be at the front, back, or side of the boat. Most of the boats have a line of seats down the middle, but people may block your pictures if you sit there.  

The boats are open-air and uncovered, so be sure to wear your sunscreen! Also, the tours can get pretty chilly, depending on the time of year, so bring a jacket. We love the  Amazon Essentials packable jackets  for our travels.

It’s always helpful to know the history and significance of a city prior to visiting. So, I want to take some time here to talk more in-depth about Bruges and, of course, the canals. Then, I will share some of the incredible landmarks that you will see from your Bruges canal tour. 

The History Of Bruges And Its Canals

Bruges has witnessed a remarkable evolution over the centuries. Its history encapsulates the ebb and flow of urban development, from its Viking origins to a flourishing medieval center, economic decline, and eventual modern-day revival.  

The city’s tremendous ability to adapt to changing circumstances and preserve its cultural heritage is a testament to the strength and perseverance of the Danish people across time.

Origins of Bruges, Belgium

The origin of Bruges can be traced to the 9th century when Vikings established a fortress on the banks of the Reie River. The name “Bruges” is believed to be derived from the Old Dutch word “Burg,” meaning fortress. The city gradually developed into a bustling medieval trade center due to its strategic location and access to the North Sea.

The Golden Era of Bruges

Bruges experienced its golden era during the late medieval period, particularly in the 14th and 15th centuries. The city became a major commercial and cultural hub, attracting merchants, artists, and scholars across Europe.  

Bruges's thriving wool and textile industry and sophisticated network of canals contributed to its prosperity. It was home to the influential Bourse, one of the earliest stock exchanges in the world.

Bruges Economic Decline

Despite its flourishing period, Bruges faced economic challenges in the 16th century. The silting of the Zwin, a vital waterway for trade, led to a decline in maritime activity, impacting Bruges’ economy.  

Additionally, geopolitical shifts and the rise of other European trading centers contributed to the city's gradual decline in prominence.

Modern Times and Revival of Bruges

For several centuries, Bruges endured a period of relative obscurity. However, in the 19th century, efforts were made to preserve its medieval architecture, and the city gained recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.  

The 20th century saw a revival in Bruges’ fortunes, with tourism becoming a key driver of its economy. The city’s well-preserved medieval structures, including the Belfry of Bruges and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, attract millions of visitors annually.

What Do You See on the Bruges Canal Tours?

During the Bruges canal tours, your tour guide will highlight many fascinating landmarks. Each place gives you a window into the long history of this amazing city.  

Like many European cities, it’s steeped in lore that spans epochs, and seemingly every bridge or building has a colorful and long legacy.  

Here is a list of many sites you will probably see on the Bruges canal tours. 

Founded in 1245, the Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde boasts serene white-colored house fronts and a tranquil convent garden.  

This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the residence of beguines—emancipated laywomen leading pious and celibate lives. Today, the beguinage is home to the Order of St. Benedict nuns.

Saint John’s Hospital

With an eight-hundred-year history, Saint John’s Hospital has cared for pilgrims, travelers, the poor, and the sick. Explore the medieval wards where nuns and monks practiced mercy, the chapel, and a remarkable collection of archives, artworks, medical instruments, and six paintings by Hans Memling.  

Church of Our Lady

The Church of Our Lady showcases Bruges’ artisans’ craftsmanship through its 115.5 meters high brick tower. The church has valuable art, including Michelangelo’s renowned Madonna and Child, numerous paintings, 13th-century painted crypts, and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Abby and I visited after our canal tour, and it was incredible! 

Groeninge Museum

Offering a diverse overview of Belgian plastic arts history, the Groeninge Museum features Flemish Primitives, 18th and 19th-century neoclassical pieces, Flemish Expressionism masterpieces, and post-war modern art.

Ambachtshuis Huidevetters

Built by hide tanners, this craft house near Rozenhoedkaai has two wings. The north wing, demolished in 1629, was replaced in 1630 under the guidance of Bruges architect Jan De Smet. The building was restored in 1912. It has been used as a fishmonger and stockfish farm since the mid-19th century.

Belfry & Carillon

Bruges’ tallest tower, the Belfry, standing 83 meters tall, houses a melodic carillon with 47 bells. Climbing its 366 steps rewards you with a breathtaking panoramic view of Bruges and its surroundings.

Fish Market

Originally located at Markt Square, the fish market was moved here in the 18th century due to complaints about the stench. Since the Middle Ages, buyers and sellers have come together at the Bruges fish market. Fresh saltwater fish, once a luxury, is still sold every morning from Wednesday to Saturday.

These small whitewashed almshouses, dating back to the 14th century, are scattered around Bruges. Wealthy townspeople or guilds established almshouses to house poor older adults or widows. Over 46 blocks have been preserved, with 43 still occupied.

Burghers’ Lodge

Situated on Jan Van Eyckplein, the Poortersloge (Burgher’s Lodge) served as a meeting spot for the Society of the White Bear in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Later, it became the city’s Academy of Arts (1720-1890) and the State Archives (1912-2012).

Visiting Bruges: The “Venice of the North”

Visiting Bruges to take one of the Bruges canal tours is a fantastic way to add something special to your trip to Belgium. Its quaint stone houses, romantic canals, cobbled streets, cookies, waffles, and chocolate make it a bucket-list destination to take friends and family of any age.  

The iconic canals are a dream for photographers. Travel to and around the city is simple and inexpensive. And as you can tell by this post, Bruges canal tours should be on your list. I recommend this trip to everyone!  

Visit the European Travel section of my blog for more adventures in Europe, and you may also enjoy the related posts below.

Our Magical Brussels To Bruges Day Trip

2 Days in Brussels: What We Did

Hotel Indigo Brussels City

European Travel Essentials

How To Plan A Trip To Europe For Your Family 

There are few things more magical than a canal tour of Bruges, Belgium! In this travel blog post, I share everything you need to know about Bruges canal cruises!

Price of public transport in Brussels

Price of public transport in Brussels

Find out and compare the prices of the different tickets and transport cards of Brussels , and choose the most convenient one for you.

The transport system in Brussels is not as efficient as the metro in Madrid for example or as extensive as cities such as  London . On a positive note, a one-journey is not very expensive and the travel cards are relatively cheap.

Below you will find a list of tickets and travel cards that are all valid for the Brussels Metro , local city buses and trams .

Price of a one-way journey ticket

A one-way ticket in Brussels is valid for an hour once you have validated it on a metro, bus, or tram machine. During that time, you can change between lines or form of transport.

  • One-way ticket : € 2.40 ( US$ 2.60)
  • Five-journey ticket : € 8 ( US$ 8.60)
  • Ten-journey ticket : € 15.60 ( US$ 16.80)

Remember to always validate your ticket otherwise, you could get fined.

Travel cards

If you are staying in Brussels for a few days, you might prefer to buy a travel card that is valid for one or several days . These travel cards are valid for a day not 24-hours like other cities. This means that if you validate a ticket in the afternoon, it will expire at midnight that same day.

  • One-day travel card: € 7.80 ( US$ 8.40)

Where to purchase a transport ticket?

All transport tickets and travel cards can be bought in any metro station or at a city newsstand .

You can buy a one-way journey ticket from any bus or tram driver if you catch the tram or bus without having a ticket, but these have a small supplement.

You may also be interested in

Although they are perhaps among the most expensive taxis in Europe, there still might come a moment when you need to take one. Find out taxi fares in Brussels here.

Getting to Brussels

Thanks to its location and standing as the capital of the EU, Brussels is one of the best-connected cities in Europe. It's pretty easy to get to by air from all major cities and has enviable rail connections with its neighboring countries.

bruges travel card

The Best Ways To Travel From Charleroi Airport To Bruges

  • Last updated May 16, 2024
  • Difficulty Advanced

Steffi Montoya

  • Category Travel

how to travel from charleroi airport to bruges

Are you planning a trip to Bruges and flying into Charleroi Airport? Wondering what's the best way to get from the airport to the charming city? Well, look no further! In this guide, we will explore the top transportation options and share tips on how to make the most of your journey from Charleroi Airport to Bruges. Whether you prefer convenience, affordability, or speed, we've got you covered. So buckle up and get ready to embark on a seamless and enjoyable adventure from the airport to the unforgettable city of Bruges.

What You'll Learn

Charleroi airport overview, transportation options from charleroi airport, taking a bus to bruges from charleroi airport, getting to bruges by train from charleroi airport.

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Charleroi Airport, also known as Brussels South Charleroi Airport, is a popular gateway for travelers visiting Belgium. Located around 46 kilometers south of Brussels, this airport is often used by budget airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air. If you're flying into Charleroi Airport and planning to visit the picturesque city of Bruges, there are several transportation options available to you.

Shuttle Bus:

One of the most convenient ways to travel from Charleroi Airport to Bruges is by taking a shuttle bus. The Flibco shuttle service operates regular buses between the airport and Bruges, with a journey time of approximately two hours. The buses are usually timed to coincide with flight arrivals and departures, making it easy to catch a shuttle to Bruges. The bus ticket can be purchased online in advance or at the airport upon arrival.

Another option is to take a train from Charleroi Airport to Bruges. However, please note that there is no direct train connection from the airport, so you'll need to take a shuttle bus or a taxi to the nearest train station. The Charleroi-South train station is located about 6 kilometers from the airport, and regular buses or taxis can take you there. From Charleroi-South station, you can catch a train to Bruges with a transfer in Brussels. The total journey time can vary, but it usually takes around three to four hours.

For those who prefer a more direct and convenient option, taking a taxi from Charleroi Airport to Bruges is also possible. Taxis are available outside the airport terminal, and you can either pre-book a taxi or take one on arrival. However, keep in mind that this is the most expensive option, with fares varying depending on the time of day and distance traveled.

Car Rental:

If you prefer to have more flexibility and independence during your trip, renting a car at Charleroi Airport is an option worth considering. Several car rental companies operate at the airport, offering a range of vehicles to suit your needs. The drive from Charleroi Airport to Bruges takes around one and a half to two hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Whichever mode of transportation you choose, it's important to plan your journey in advance and consider factors such as travel time, cost, and convenience. Taking a shuttle bus or a train are usually the most popular and cost-effective options for traveling from Charleroi Airport to Bruges. However, if you prefer a more direct and personalized experience, a taxi or car rental may be more suitable for you.

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Charleroi Airport, also known as Brussels South Charleroi Airport, is a popular arrival point for travelers visiting Belgium. If you're planning to travel from Charleroi Airport to Bruges, you'll be pleased to know that there are several transportation options to choose from. Here are the most convenient and reliable ways to reach your destination:

The most straightforward way to travel from Charleroi Airport to Bruges is by taking a shuttle bus. There are several companies that operate regular shuttle services between the airport and various cities in Belgium, including Bruges. The journey takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It's advisable to book your ticket in advance, either online or at the airport, to ensure availability. The shuttle bus typically drops you off at a central location in Bruges, making it easy to reach your accommodation.

If you prefer to travel by train, you can take a shuttle bus from the airport to Charleroi-South station, which is only a 15-minute drive away. From the station, you can catch a train to Bruges. Trains operate regularly, and the journey duration is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on connections. It's important to note that there may be multiple transfers along the way, so be sure to check the train schedules and plan your journey accordingly. Once you arrive at Bruges station, you can take a taxi or walk to your final destination.

For a more direct and convenient option, you can hire a taxi to take you from Charleroi Airport to Bruges. Taxis are readily available at the airport, and the journey typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It's advisable to agree on a fare with the driver before starting the journey to avoid any misunderstandings or overcharging. Although this option is more expensive than the shuttle bus or train, it offers the convenience of a door-to-door service.

If you prefer the flexibility of having your own transportation, you can rent a car at Charleroi Airport and drive to Bruges. The airport has several car rental agencies, and you can easily find one that suits your needs. The journey from Charleroi Airport to Bruges takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It's important to familiarize yourself with the Belgian road rules and have a valid driver's license before renting a car. Additionally, consider parking options in Bruges as parking spaces can be limited in the city center.

When planning your travel from Charleroi Airport to Bruges, it's essential to consider factors such as cost, convenience, and the duration of the journey. Whether you choose the shuttle bus, train, taxi, or car rental option, each provides its own advantages. Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences and requirements. Whichever transportation method you choose, you can look forward to exploring the picturesque city of Bruges upon arrival.

Exploring Asia Solo: Tips for Adventurous Travelers

Traveling from Charleroi Airport to Bruges? Taking a bus is a convenient and affordable option. Let's dive into the details on how to navigate this journey!

Exiting Charleroi Airport:

  • Once you have collected your luggage and cleared customs, head to the arrival hall. You'll find the bus stop situated just outside the terminal building.
  • Look for the bus stop labeled "Brussels South Charleroi Airport" or "Charleroi Airport". This is where you'll board the shuttle bus that will take you to the Charleroi train station.

Taking the Shuttle Bus:

  • The shuttle bus service between Charleroi Airport and Charleroi train station operates frequently throughout the day, with departures that align with flight schedules.
  • Purchase your bus ticket either online in advance or directly from the ticket machines at the bus stop. It is advisable to buy your ticket in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle.
  • The bus journey from Charleroi Airport to Charleroi train station takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Arriving at Charleroi Train Station:

  • Once you reach Charleroi train station, head towards the bus terminal situated in front of the station. Look for the bus platform with buses heading towards Bruges.
  • Make sure to check the bus schedule and departure platform beforehand to save time. Keep in mind that the last bus to Bruges usually departs around 10:00 PM, so plan your travel accordingly.

Boarding the Bus to Bruges:

  • Queue up at the designated bus platform for buses heading to Bruges.
  • When the bus arrives, make sure it displays "Bruges" or "Brugge" as the final destination on the front or side of the bus.
  • Depending on the bus operator, you might need to purchase your ticket directly from the driver or beforehand through their website or ticketing app. Check the specific requirements for your chosen bus line.

Enjoying the Bus Journey:

  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic ride from Charleroi to Bruges. The journey typically takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and any stops along the way.
  • Some buses might offer comfort amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and power outlets, so you can stay connected or recharge your devices during the trip.

Arriving in Bruges:

  • The bus will drop you off at the Bruges bus station, located near the city center.
  • From there, you can easily explore Bruges on foot or use other public transportation options to reach your final destination.
  • If you have booked accommodation in advance, check with your hotel or guesthouse for directions or nearby landmarks.

Taking a bus from Charleroi Airport to Bruges is an efficient and budget-friendly way to start your journey. By following these instructions and planning your travel in advance, you can reach the charming city of Bruges with ease. Have a wonderful trip!

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If you are planning a trip to Bruges and you are flying into Charleroi Airport, one of the most convenient ways to reach the beautiful city is by train. The train journey from Charleroi Airport to Bruges is a comfortable and efficient option, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the scenic views as you make your way to your destination. In this blog post, we will guide you on how to travel from Charleroi Airport to Bruges by train.

Step 1: Depart from Charleroi Airport

Once you have landed at Charleroi Airport, you will need to make your way to the train station located on the ground floor of the terminal building. The train station is easily accessible and well signposted within the airport, so finding it should not be a problem.

Step 2: Purchase a Ticket

Before boarding the train, you will need to purchase a ticket. The ticket machines at the train station accept both cash and card payment, and instructions are available in multiple languages, including English. Make sure to select Bruges (Brugge) as your destination when purchasing your ticket.

Step 3: Board the Train

After purchasing your ticket, proceed to the platform to board the train. Trains from Charleroi Airport to Bruges are operated by the Belgian National Railway (SNCB/NMBS). The train journey lasts approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on the connections and the type of train you take.

Step 4: Enjoy the Scenic Journey

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the picturesque Belgian countryside as the train takes you from Charleroi Airport to Bruges. Take the opportunity to catch up on some reading, listen to music or simply admire the scenery passing by. The train journey is a fantastic way to get a glimpse of the beautiful landscapes of Belgium.

Step 5: Arrive in Bruges

After a pleasant train journey, you will arrive at Bruges Station. From here, you can easily access the city center by foot or by using public transportation. If you choose to walk, it will take you approximately 15-20 minutes to reach the heart of Bruges. Alternatively, you can take a tram or a bus to your desired location within the city.

In conclusion, traveling from Charleroi Airport to Bruges by train is a convenient and scenic option. Remember to purchase your ticket at the train station in the airport, board the train, and enjoy the journey to the beautiful city of Bruges. Happy travels!

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' class=

Brilliant value - on their website it lets you know everything you can use it for- We had the 48 hour one and didn't see all we wanted to - another added bonus is you can buy a 3 day bus pass for something like 6 euros - You can use the pass for entry at attractions once

What is the Brugge City Card?

Simply put: the Brugge City Card (BCC) looks like a credit card and is a discount pass which enables you to visit a lot of museums and attractions in Bruges for free.

What’s included in the Brugge City Card?

On collecting the card you will also receive a free visitors guide (available in Dutch, French, English, German, Italian and Spanish) with detailed information on the city.

Mind: if you intend to stay in Bruges there is no real need to buy the extra 3-day bus pass, as Bruges is very small and walkable. It is however interesting to buy it if you're hotel is a bit outside the town center or if you wish to visit other cities in Flanders (bus pass is valid in the entire Flanders region on bus, metro and tram).

How does the Brugge City Card work?

The card is activated when you first use it. When you visit a museum or attraction you present your card at the entrance where it will be validated. This also means you’ll have to wait if there is a queue.

You can visit each place only once with your BCC. Moreover, the card is also personal, your name will be written on the card when you purchase or collect it at the tourist office.

Where can I buy the Brugge City Card?

The BCC is for sale at one of the tourist offices in Bruges or you can buy the card in advance on the official website http://www.bruggecitycard.be

There is a small tourist office inside the train station which is open from Monday to Friday from 10h00 – 17h00 and on Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 – 14h00.

The large tourist office is located inside the Concertbuilding on ’t Zand square and is open every day from 10h00 – 18h00.

If you decide to buy the card in advance you’ll pay with a credit card and receive a confirmation e-mail which you’ll have to print and present at one of the tourist offices to collect your card.

Brugge City Cards are never send via post. You’ll always have to collect it in person.

Is the Brugge City Card reimbursable?

No. Products and services included in the card cannot be exchanged for cash. Once ordered, the card can not be reimbursed, not even in the event of damage, loss or theft.

The current prices are:

48 hours adults: 35 euro p.p.

72 hours adults: 40 euro p.p.

48 hours -26 years: 32 euro p.p.

72 hours -26 years: 37 europ.p.

For a full overview of what you can visit check the official website http://www.bruggecitycard.be

The event list can be viewed on http://foto.brugge.be/events_brugge/events.html. If you see a blue BCC logo it means you’ll get a reduction on that show or event.

Best thing to do is have a look at the official website and decide for yourself which places you absolutely want to visit. Then add up all the entrance prices and see if it's higher than the price for a city card.

If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me.

Kind regards,

As of 25 November opening hours of our tourist office will change.....will update you all later about those changes.

Forgetting a lot today.......

BCC prices will also change in 2013, they'll be more expensive. Sooooo, if you're coming in 2013 you can buy your BCC in 2012 and collect it in 2013, and save some money already.

bruges travel card

Correct, but that pass is only for the municipal museums. The BCC is for all museums (private and municipal) and also includes a free boat tour, as well as some other benefits.

Unlike the BCC you can visit the municipal museums multiple times with their three day pass.

The three day pass is for sale at the tourist office In&Uit on 't Zand square or in one of the participating museums, check them here: http://www.brugge.be/internet/en/musea/index.htm

In addition the following discount tickets are also available for the private museums:

* combination ticket Choco-Story and Diamond museum, for 12 euro per person

* combination ticket Choco-Story, Lumina Domestica and Belgian Fries museum, for 16 euro per person (all three museums) or 11 euro (2 museums)

You can buy these tickets at one of the museums or at In&Uit tourist office.

Best regards,

We have just spent 3 days in bruges. The city card is very good value for money, we had an 48hr card. You get free entry to 26 museums, a boat trip, city guide book and reduced rates to other places of interest. You can walk everywhere too so no need for bus passes! A beautiful city thats well kept and clean. lots to see and do.

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We'll worth the money. We were unsure but the guide book helps you make the most of what is available.

Tip: use the walks in the guide

I am travelling to Bruges on Thursday and was wondering if the card is still valid and whether it is best to purchase before we travel or when we arrive?

BCC 48 or 72 hours: can be bought online ( http://www.bruggecitycard.be ) or at one of the tourist offices

3-day Museum Pass: can be bought at the museums in Bruges, participating museums on http://www.museabrugge.be

There is no real difference between buying the BCC in advance or in the office. When buying online you will have already paid and provided your details, but you still need to go to the tourist office to collect your card.

Buying online saves you one of two minutes, but not much more.

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