Updated August 2023
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This post is an ultimate guide to taking a Day Trip From Brussels To Bruges
An Unforgettable Day Trip From Brussels To Bruges
Bruges (aka Brugge in Flemish) is a picturesque city situated in Northern Belgium, and it makes for an excellent day trip from Brussels, being only 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Belgium's capital city.
Bruges is carved out by stunning canals, lined with cobbled streets and charming historic buildings. There's not loads to do in Bruges, but even just walking about this beautiful city and admiring the views is well worth the trip alone.
I also visited Bruges on a day trip from Brussels, so I can help you to plan your own incredible day trip to Bruges. Sit back and picture yourself on your next trip to Belgium!
This post covers How To Get To Bruges, Best Time To Visit Bruges, What To Do In Bruges For A Day, Bruges Restaurants and Bruges Accommodation.
This blog post will cover:
- How To Get From Brussels To Bruges
- Best Time To Visit Bruges
- What To Do In Bruges For A Day
- Delicious Bruges Restaurants For Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- 9 Beautiful Bruges Accommodation for all Budgets
- More Blog Posts You'll Love
How To Get From Brussels To Bruges
It takes around 1 hour 25 minutes to drive to Bruges from Brussels by following the E40.
There's lots of places to park your car within walking distance of Bruges city centre. The 'Interparking' company has three car parks (Zilverpand, Biekorf and Pandreitje), which are all within 5 minute walk of the Market Square. For one day parking at an Interparking car park costs €15.80.
The fastest train is 54 minutes (direct) from Bruxelles-Midi to Bruges. For a return day ticket, it will cost you around £30-35.
You can book your tickets via this link: www.raileurope.com
There is a direct bus from Brussels North station to Bruges, which takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
If booked in advance, you can get return day tickets for around £19. You can book your tickets via this link: https://www.flixbus.co.uk
Best Time To Visit Bruges
Bruges get very busy in the peak summer season. So, it would be a good idea to go out with this time. I visited Bruges in October and I'd honestly say its one of the best times to go. The weather was still good; we did need a jacket but the sun was shining. It also wasn't too busy, which made for an enjoyable experience.
Other good times to visit are spring (March-May), when the weathers starting to warm up and Christmas, when the square is filled with Christmas markets.
What To Do In Bruges For A Day
With only one day in Bruges, you won't be able to see everything but I've listed all the highlights below. It will take you on a whistle stop tour of Bruges and will give you a real taster of what this little Belgian city has to offer.
Wonder around Bruges Market Square
Bruges Market Square is a beautiful square lined with historic colourful buildings, many of which are now cafes and restaurants offering an amazing view of the Belfry Tower, which dominates the square.
Walk around and admire the history of this square, which has been used as a marketplace since 958. It's also relatively traffic-free, as no cars have been allowed in the square since it was renovated in 1995.
You could opt for a horse drawn carriage ride, if you want a more enjoyable and exciting way to see the city. For one carriage, it'll cost you €55 for a maximum of 5 people for a 30 minute ride.
Climb up the Belfry Tower
Whilst in Bruges Market Square, you could climb up the Belfry Tower. The Belfry tower is a medieval bell-tower and is one of Bruges best known landmarks. It stands at 83m tall and is a prominent part of the square.
To reach the top, you'll have to walk up 366 steps but you'll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views over the city. You'll need at least 30 minutes to climb up, admire the view and get back down.
It's worth mentioning that the staircase is narrow. However, there are opportunities to stop-off in some rooms on the way up if it's getting particularly busy and it also allows you to take a breather before continuing the climb up.
An adult ticket will cost €15 and you can buy tickets here.
Admire the scenery of Burg Square
You might be surprised to find out that Bruges not only has one square but two; the Market Square and Burg Square. Market Square is the larger of the two but don't be fooled Burg Square is just as important and what it misses out in size, it makes up for in grandeur.
Burg Square contains both the City Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which means it's not only architecturally beautiful but also, historically very important.
Also, make sure you walk down the charming Blinde Ezelstraat, which is located directly to the left of City Hall on Burg Square.
Learn about the history at Bruges City Hall
The Bruges City Hall dates back to the 14-15th century, making it one of the oldest city halls in Northwest Europe. It was from Bruges City Hall that the city was governed for over 600 years.
You can learn all about the history of Bruges and it's important connection with the sea at the Bruges City Hall. An adult ticket for the Bruges City Hall will cost €8 and can be bought here.
Visit the magnificent Basilica of the Holy Blood
Basilica of the Holy Blood is a 12th century chapel, which is tucked snuggly into the corner of Burg Square. This little chapel draws huge crowds who all flock here to see the holy relic; a vial of Christ's blood.
You can see this holy relic every afternoon from 2-4pm and Friday from 10.15am-11am.. The Basilica is free to enter, but it will cost you €5 to enter the museum.
Stop off for some Belgian waffles
Belgium is famous for its waffles and chocolate, so you need to try this delicacy whilst you're here. After all that sightseeing, you deserve some freshly baked Belgian waffles with all your favourite toppings.
A couple of places which get rave reviews for their Belgian waffles includes Chez Albert, House of Waffles and Oyya Waffles and Ice Cream and Lizzie's Wafels. All of which are just a stone's throw away from both Market square and Burg square.
Take some Perfect Pictures or go on a Canal Tour at Rosary Quay
The Rosary Quay (a.k.a Rozenhoedkaai) is one of the most photographed spots of Bruges and offers a picture-perfect view of the Dijver canals with the classic medieval buildings in the background.
You can also get a boat tour of Bruges from here allowing you to admire the city from the canals. The boat tour lasts 30 minutes and costs around €12 for an adult ticket.
Relax at Minnewater Lake
Minnewater Lake (a.k.a the Lake of Love) is a 15 minute walk from the Bruges Market Square. It's a beautiful lake with a park and an old castle and the perfect place to escape the busy Bruges crowds.
Learn about the beer making process at the De Halve Maan Brewery
Belgium is obviously very well-known for its beer and quite rightly so, it's pretty delicious!
You can learn about the beer making process at the last brewery in Bruges Old Town, De Halve Maan brewery. This brewery dates back to 1856 and has been ran by six generations of the one family.
An adult ticket for a standard guided tour will cost €15.00 per person and will last around 45 minutes. Afterwards, you'll even get to taste a Brugse Zot Blond, Brugse Zot Double or Straffe Hendrik Tripe beer.
It's also worth noting there is 220 steps to walk during the tour of the brewery. So, best to wear some comfortable footwear.
Try a selection of beers (and snacks) at 2be Brugge
After learning about the beer making process, you may as well properly sample the products!
To try lots of different beers, you should visit 2be Brugge. I LOVED this bar when I visited Bruges! Perfect for a little break from all the sightseeing.
As soon as you enter down the alleyway to where this bar is nestled, you'll find a wall full of beer. A pretty good introduction to a bar in my opinion.
2be Brugge offers an amazing selection of beers and not to mention, incredible views of the Dijver canals. They also do a daily selection of four beers and snacks, which I'd recommend you getting - it's what we opted for and it was really good!
Delicious Bruges Restaurants For Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch
- Soup (£) - Perfect place in the city centre of Bruges to grab lunch. This quaint little restaurant serves up fresh, local, homemade soup and paninis.
- That's Toast (££) - A lovely restaurant with great reviews serving all day breakfast, great barista coffees and freshly made slow juices.
- Sanseveria Bagelsalon (££) - Cosy cafe serving up breakfast options and New York style bagels with a gourmet twist.
- Balthasar Brugge (££) - Trendy restaurant for breakfast, lunch or a coffee and a sweet treat. Reviews claim that they serve the best waffles, if that's not reason to visit alone, I don't know what is!
- Books & Brunch (££) - A secondhand bookstore that serves breakfast and lunch options, allowing you to eat delicious food and read a good book at the same time.
- Bistro Den Amand (££) - A delightful little bistro hidden away on a charming car free square, serving up seasonal traditional dishes.
- Le Chef et Moi (££) - A fine dining restaurant with French and traditional cuisine. It has a limited menu but the dishes are prepared to a very high standard.
- Bij Koen & Marijke - In't Nieuw Museum (£££) - A cosy and rustic steakhouse located about 15 minutes away from the main square.
- Parkrestaurant (££££) - Set in a beautiful 19th century townhouse, this romantic restaurant serves up traditional Belgian meals.
- Couvert (££££) - This intimate and cosy restaurant serves up traditional Belgian and French dishes.
Beautiful Bruges Accommodation for All Budgets
Why not turn your day trip into an overnight stay (or two!) and see Bruges at night. It would be a lot quieter as all the day trippers will have left and you won't have to rush about getting all the sightseeing done in one day.
It would even give you the opportunity of visiting Ghent on the way back to Brussels or take a trip to Antwerp.
All the options below were chosen with peak season in mind and two people sharing.
Budget (£0-£75 per night)
Mid (£75-£150 per night)
High-end (£150+ per night)
This post is all about a Day Trip From Brussels To Bruges.
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