Capital of Belgium and home to really great beer!... Distinguished by its picturesque canals, old cobblestone streets and medieval buildings that surround the many bars, museums & shops within.
Bruges is quite a self-explanatory place to visit really, everything is within walking distance and it's not difficult to navigate your way around the city. Having said that, with so many little streets to explore it can still be quite easy to miss out on some of the little hidden gems Bruges has to offer - if you didn't know about them beforehand. Here are some highlights from Bruges that we enjoyed on our trip, along with some photos of the city...
The Markt (Market Square) of Bruges:
The Belfry of Bruges (272ft tall):
Our first stop was 2be bar (Wollestraat 53, just a 3 minute walk from Market Square). Enter and walk past the beer wall (on your left hand side)...
...and into the bar for a huge selection of Belgium beers on tap... Here's just a few I can recommend you trying: Gouden Carolus Classic, Paix Dieu, Troubadour, Kwak, Affligem... and they even have coconut or cherry flavoured beer for the ladies who might fancy something a little fruitier.
Find yourself a spot in the garden with a peaceful view of the canal.
Next we went on to find and try De Garre which is the house beer for the famous pub under the same name, De Garre! The pub is well concealed down a long alley that you'd quite easily miss and walk straight past without realising. The entrance to the alley can be found on Breidelstraat street just off Market Square (behind the bell tower). It is to next to a shop called "LA CURE GOURMANDE".
They serve this delightful beer with a portion of cheese as well, which is pretty awesome!
Horse and carriage ride through the streets of Bruges:
We were given some fascinating historical facts about Bruges from our rider as we past by certain buildings and areas. It was a decent way to finish off an afternoon of beer tasting. The horses are all in great shape and beautiful condition, they are well looked after and given plenty of breaks with food and water by their riders.
We paid Ribs 'n Beer a visit one of the evenings. It was approx. 18 euros for an unlimited supply of the tastiest ribs I have ever eaten, along with a great choice of different flavoured sauces including smokey BBQ, beer & chocolate and hot & spicy. I'd highly recommend this place if you have a big appetite and a fan of ribs (& beer)!..
Reppin' Brother & Gent with my brother on our very manly tandem... on our way to find the 2017 Urb Egg location.
Urb Egg is basically an annual pop-up beer café that moves to a different location in Bruges each year, and is only open for 4-5 months between May and September. They had a fantastic selection of beers on tap and the location for Urb Egg 2017 was in Stationspark next to a nice quiet canal. It was great! I went for a Quadrupel Straffe Hendrik at 11% which was delicious and now one of my favourites.
The buildings in Bruges often feature a crow-stepped gable. This would have provided convenient access to the roof ridge in earlier times for people such as chimney sweepers and roofers, since cranes were non-existent.
Although I wouldn't say that Bruges was the most awe-inspiring city I've visited, it definitely provided a cheerful and peaceful environment that was perfect for gathering your thoughts and watching the world go by (whilst drinking beer)... which is one of my favourite things to do.
Places to see: The Markt (Market Square), The Belfry of Bruges, Old St. John’s Hospital, Medieval architecture and step-gabled buildings along with many canals and parks.
Places to eat: Ribs 'n Beer. Say no more!
Things to do: Drink beer of course. Explore the many bars and pubs such as 2be, De Garre, Delaney’s, and Urb Egg to name a few. Take a boat ride down the canals or a horse and carriage down the cobbled streets and learn about the history of this city. Rent a tandem (or just a normal bicycle) and ride around the peaceful perimeter of Bruges. Eat waffles and ice cream. Climb the bell tower. Drink more beer.
Things to be careful of: Don't underestimate the strength of a Belgium beer!
Thanks for reading.