Sunday’s I Want To Go To There: Bruges, Belgium

2010
06.06

Bruges - WikiCommons

Yet another canal city this week. The thing is that I’m (not so secretly) obsessed with canals - I can’t resist their romantic charm, the calming sound of water running underneath my feet and the quaint atmosphere. I promise next week’s post won’t feature any reference to canals. At least I’ll try. (did I tell you I love canals?)

Located in north-western Belgium, Bruges is one of the key cities of Flemish Belgium. The historic town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the prominent medieval architecture, who luckily remained unsoiled.  The best display of this  architectural legacy is in Burg Square, where you will also find the 14th century Town Hall.

It goes without saying that the best way to explore the city is to hop on a canal tour boat, especially as not every canal runs next to a street, making some spots unreachable by foot. Great discoveries are to be planned in this activity.

Back in the city centre, you can climb up the 366 steps of the Belfry to get an excellent bird’s view of the grand Grote Markt. Cover your ears when a new hour comes by though, as the ringing bell might be a little too close for comfort. Notice the step gables on the surrounding building’s facades, a classic feature of Flemish architecture.

For some quiet time, why not plan a little picnic at the Begijnhof (Convent Garden).

For postal-card pictures, make your way to the unquestionably prettiest stretch of canal in town, Steenhouwersdijk - Groenerei.

Although Bruges is famous for its lace industry, most of what you’ll find in souvenir shops is ropey. Do visit Kantcentrum to get authentic pieces (Peperstraat 3A, B-8000) and encourage the local arts and crafts industry. Of course, a visit to Belgium would not be complete without some sort of chocolate related activity. To accomplish this, pay a visit to the Choco-Story Museum (Wijnzakstraat 2, Sint-Jansplein, 8000). You will learn more about the entire evolution of cocoa into salivating chocolate, plus you can witness a chocolate-making session, from which you will certainly get free samples. Hello chocoholics heaven.

One thing to beware of: the weather. Even by Belgium standards, Bruges plainly has sucky weather pretty much all year round. Make sure to carry an extra layer with you.

Bruges - WikiCommons

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