How to Spend Your Day in Bruges?

If you were given a chance to picture this city as an aspiring Disney director you may want to shoot Cindrella here. Those horse carts, historic vibes, and picture-perfect vintage overview must have been the source of those fairytale film sets.

You need to have explorer’s mindset to render the image of a city. 

What makes Bruges a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?

To answer this question, I have to tell you something about the Bruges mentality. They believe in earthy luxury, forget about glimmer glamour, Its medieval streets radiate out from attractive squares, there are cobblestones with horses clomping by, and everywhere picturesque and historic buildings invite you to stop for a photo. It’s a total Instagramable location 😍

It’s easy to see how the storybook city of Bruges, Belgium earned its nickname ‘The Venice of the North.’ Boasting miles of canals that wind through the historic, colorful city, Bruges (also known as Brugge).

Bruges is a popular destination for day-trippers from Brussels and Ghent. Being just a one hour train ride from the capital, it’s well-worth the visit, and its compact size makes it easy to explore the main sites in just a few hours.

Top Attractions in Bruges | One Day in Bruges 

Starting the Show 

Start your day in Bruges, either with a guided walking tour, rickshaw ride, or cruise along the canals. This will give you a good overview of various spots in the city and will help you in drafting a plan for the day as in, which spots you’ll want to come back to later. 

Nothing could be better than a boat ride when it comes to the best vantage point to see the vibrant facades of shops and homes reflecting over the water, Try not to let go the chance of taking a tour on a horse-drawn carriage. Bruges is not one of those places where you’ll be racing around from site to site: instead, it is a place where you can just give yourself time to get socked in the beauty.

Market Square (Markt)

The Market Square (Markt) is the heart of the action. It houses medieval festivals, tournaments and even uprisings have since made way for the bustling shops, cafes and restaurants. 

Market Square is one of the best places to see the brightly-colored step-gabled houses and merchant quarters that are now restaurants and shops. The cobblestoned, mostly pedestrian area is designed for enjoying the city.

It won’t take long to find a spot serving up some rich Belgian chocolates, or happen across a store full of lace creations (which are kind of a big deal here).

Belfry Tower

One of the top things to do in Bruges is head up the Belfry Tower. Made famous in the movie ‘In Bruges’ starring Colin Farrell, the Belfry of Bruges has served as a treasury as well as observation point. After climbing a heart-stopping 366 steps, those fit enough to make it all the way up are treated to a panoramic view of the entire city below.

Minnewater Lake (Lake of Love)

Minnewater Lake (which literally means “Lake of Love”) and its accompanying park are great places to see in Bruges. The lake is really more of a wide spot along the canals that snake through the city, and it’s a lovely spot for people watching and enjoying the outdoors.

Minnewater has benches, weeping willows, and lots of swans gliding through the water. The whole atmosphere is quite romantic and makes the lake’s name seem appropriate. We enjoyed watching the painters who had assembled along the banks to capture the scene. The area is full of local musicians who keep playing various love tones. If you want to linger, grab a coffee or lunch at one of the outdoor cafes.


Church of Our Lady

The Church of Our Lady is a must-do for art lovers who visit Bruges even for one day. The exterior of the church is striking, featuring the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brick tower in the world. Inside, visitors will find huge wooden carvings, gilded bronze effigies on the tombs of dukes, and other ornate works.

The real attraction at the Church of Our Lady is Michelangelo’s Madonna with Child (or Madonna of Bruges). It’s the only one of Michelangelo’s works that left Italy during his lifetime. The statue was carved in 1501-1504 and brought to Bruges by a wealthy merchant. To protect it, the statue can only be viewed from 15 feet away, but that’s still close enough to see the mastery.


More to visit in Bruges

Once you’ve explored the popular Bruges tourist attractions, satisfy your sweet tooth by sampling some of the best food in Belgium. No trip here is complete without trying their famous waffles, and a fun way to do it is by booking this waffle-making workshop. You’ll learn how to make the breakfast staple, while loading up on toppings like whipped cream and fruit. 

If you’re more of a chocolate fan, head to the Choco-Story museum which teaches guests about the origin of chocolate and how it’s made, or try making your own pralines at this chocolate workshop.

Some of the final Bruges attractions you won’t want to miss are the windmills found on the outskirts of the city. Back in the 1600s there were nearly two dozen of them, which were used to make things like flour and corn. Four mills remain today, including Sint-Janshuismolen which has been grinding grain since 1770.

Key Points to be kept in Mind

Currency: Euro

About the translation: Bruges is referred to as ‘Brugge’ by the Dutch, which is why you might see signs with little different spellings.

How to Reach Bruges

There are frequent trains from Brussels (Capital City of Netherland) to Bruges. The train to Bruges from Brussels takes one hour, and it’s the same amount of time to drive. If you are planning to drive, do park your vehicle near the city centre as it might be so messy to drive through the narrow and picturesque streets of Bruges.


Bruges, a Flemish city among the most visited destinations in Northern Europe, those picturesque romantic canals and fairytale palaces define temptation. 

Have fun and plan not to skip Bruges in your Europe Trip 


  1. I absolutely loved Bruges when we visited a few years ago, and you post has taken me back there! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is a brilliantly structured and informative post, I love it! I've actually visited Bruges and can confirm it is absolutely stunning and worth the visit. If I ever go back I'll definitely check more places out from your list.
    Thanks for sharing 😊