I think that it’s fair to say, I’ve only had a quick fling with Belgium. I spent a weekend there 4 years ago; mainly in Brussels for the weekend, and it is a country that I’d love to return to.
I met many Belgian people on my travels, and they enhanced my travel experiences, so I feel I will need to make a trip there fairly soon.
There are so many things to see and do in Belgium, one of them being to take a trip over to Bruges, as it is a short 1 hour train ride away, or roughly the same by car to the North West of the city.
We decided to do just that, and I am glad we did. I was in love. The city was smaller than Brussels, was rather sweet and quaint, and we wished that we were staying longer than a few short hours.
If you decided to go to Bruges, here are some things you can see and do:
Indulge in Waffles and Chocolate
There is no surprise that food is at the top of the list for me, I can happliy graze all day. Belgium is famous for its waffles, and they are everywhere. We found some pretty sweet ones, for less than 4 euro (at the time of visiting in 2011). I reccommend you go on an empty stomach, and be prepared to be rather full at the end.
Bruges also has a number of incredible chocolate shops, where you can often get free tasters, or take part in a tour, or chocolate making class.
Take a tour of the Canals
The canal that runs through Bruges is beautiful, and you can hop onto to any number of the boat tours, and see the sights float by you, at a relaxed pace. If you happen to have a Bruges city card, this will be included as a transport option.
Ride the cobbled streets on a horse and cart
Like Vienna in Austria; the horse and cart is a great, alternative method for seeing the city. You’ll be able to pick one up from the Markt (central square in the city) easily enough, and can be transported by a four-legged tour guide through the cobbled streets.
Stop and reflect at St Salvator’s Cathedral
St Salvator’s Cathedral is the main church in Bruges, and is incredibly beautiful from the inside, with notable pieces of artwork and a grand organ. You should pay a visit here (entry is free, but you can donate to the work of the church, if you wish).
Travel Tip: Don’t speak French
In Belgium, languages spoken are English, French, and Dutch (Flemish). Most people will speak to tourists in English, but if you want to test out your lanague skills go ahead, just don’t speak French in Bruges. I was told by a shop owner than it is considered to be ofensive in that part of Belgum.
I really loved this little city. It very much reminded me of Vienna, and I wish I had much more time to explore its delights, so it will be back on my list to revisit one day.
You can easily get to Bruges by flying, or by taking the Eurostar from London, then connecting with a local train.