Roughly 3 hours by car from both Paris and Amsterdam, Bruges offers the perfect Belgian escape – canals, chocolate, and cobblestone streets. The original Gothic constructions that make up Bruge’s historic core are UNESCO protected, and with reason. Every corner is idyllic, and you’ll leave your Belgian getaway having consumed your heart’s content in beer, chocolate and frites! Read on for my guide to a perfect 24 hour getaway in Bruges.
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10am-1pm drive: Whether you’re coming from Paris or Amsterdam, the drive will take you roughly 3 hours. The scenery becomes increasingly picturesque the closer you get to Bruges, so be sure to have your phone or camera ready. Otherwise, Bruges is super quick and easy to get to by train from Brussels.
1pm check-in: Time to drop off the car and check into your accommodation, because the next 24 hours will be spent on-foot! If you're looking for somewhere cozy to stay, the Hotel Sablon is a gorgeous, recently renovated boutique hotel located right in the center. Some of the room’s tiny balconies offer views of the city, and the whole place feels very Belgian-chic (if that’s a thing).
1pm-3pm brewery: Next, head over to Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan – brewing here was first recorded in 1564, and De Halve Maan has been officially brewing as a company since 1856. To learn more about De Halve Maan story, the brewery offers 45 minute guided tours (available in English, Dutch & French) for €12 per person and come with a free beer in the bar. The tour departs every hour from 11am-4pm, and reservations can be made online ahead of your visit! You’ll get to explore “behind the scenes” and learn more about their unique underground beer pipeline.
When the tour is over, head over to the bar to exchange your complementary drink coupon (and perhaps indulge in a few more). Snacks and meals are also available here.
3pm-5pm waffles & wandering: Once you’ve had your fill of beer, head over to the Market Square (Markt), for Bruge’s iconic views.
Check out the Belfort, Bruge’s most important tower, before popping into one of the many shops where you can purchase a waffle on a stick. A tourist trap? Maybe. A good one? Definitely.
5pm-7pm de garre: Dating back to the 1700’s, De Garre is the perfect hidden gem to further immerse yourself in the city’s cozy vibe. Enter this one on Google Maps because it’s tucked away from the beaten path - the perfect nook to waste a couple hours away over some De Garre brews.
7pm-9pm dinner at de vlaamsche pot: If authentic Flemish food is what you’re hoping for, De Vlaamsche Pot is the way to go. The cozy, traditional interior, hearty pours of cold local beer, and delicious hot fare will make you feel like you’ve landed right in the middle of an old Belgian film set. The moules frites are a must!
9pm-10pm nightcap: If you haven’t yet gotten your fill of the Markt views early in the day, circle back to one of the many restaurants and cafes that line it for a post-dinner coffee or a nightcap beer (no one’s judging). The square looks super special at night too!
9am-11am breakfast & head out: Before heading out, make sure to grab breakfast (or just one last waffle on a stick)! Although it is a chain, Le Pain Quotidien is a solid choice – right in the city center, there are tables in a quaint little courtyard and coffees are served with a little bite of Belgian chocolate.
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what to pack.
✧ compact travel umbrella (expect rain, especially in the fall & winter)