Ever fancied a trip to Bruges at Christmas? After being fresh off the aeroplane after spending 48 hours in Bruges with the other half, I thought I’d put this post together to showcase how lovely the place is, and why I’d recommend a visit.
Before I went, I found a distinct lack of travel blog posts which focused on Bruges, discussing what to do there over a flying weekend visit. So hopefully, my blog post will summarise!
First of all, I’d love to recommend the Dukes Palace Hotel. It’s a luxury 5 star hotel, although I didn’t purposely go out seeking one so plush, it was actually really affordable to say it was so special too. It’s designed to a super stylish decor, yet has old fashioned and historic grounds at the same time, but more to the point it’s in a fantastic location. Literally central to Market Square, the Belfort Tower, all the cute cosy streets lined with shops, bars and eateries, and a short 18 minute stroll from the train station.
Apparently breakfast is amazing here, but it’s 25 euros per person (with a cheeky glass of bucks fizz, so I’ve heard online) so I skipped this option.
I’ll be honest – there’s nothing too amazing with the Christmas Markets, except they just appear to be in a much lovelier, more Wintery picturesque setting than those of Manchester and Birmingham (or anywhere else in England). There’s a really cute ice skating rink – although I didn’t try this out – but other than that the food stalls and little retailers are all pretty similar. It’s a really nice place to explore Belgium food though, including the famous waffles, and also some form of potato dish with creamed veggies and slices of bread. Can’t quite remember the name of it, but it looked delicious!
Again, you can sip Belgium beers here and of course, mulled wine. It’s certainly a pretty place to wander around the markets, but don’t expect anything too out of the ordinary.
As Bruges is fairly expensive in general, I was told to be prepared to spend between 60-120 euros for a standard evening meal for two. I’m not sure if that warning included drinks or not, but either way, not super cheap. However, we managed to find loads of eateries – all unique and independent on the cobble streets – that offered 3 course meals for 20 euros. Their signature dish is the good old beef stew, which they call Flemish Stew, which my boyfriend tried out (and loved!). We found a cute restaurant called T Vagevuur, ran by locals and jam packed with couples.
My 3 course meal was 21 euros and was made up of tomato soup and bread, steak and chips with béarnaise sauce, and chocolate mousse with cream. My boyfriend’s Flemish Stew option came with a cheese croquette starter, and ice cream desert. And of course, we drank Belgium beers!
I have to say I overly enjoyed a Framboise Beer with my food – can’t beat a Raspberry Beer!
Things to do
Here’s a couple of things I’d recommend checking out and doing whilst in Bruges:
- Canal Boat Trip. For 8 euros, you get a guided tour along the still waters of the river, taking in the rustic, vintage and classic scenes of old houses, buildings and scenery.
- Belfort Tower. I didn’t climb this, but for 10 euros, it’s said to give you high up views and lets you see Bruges from up high.
- De Garre. This little quaint bar is hidden away down an alleyway and appears to be the cities secret. The only problem is, this lovely bar is so busy, you’ll struggle to get a seat. But check it out anyway!
- Beer Museum. If you have a few days to kill, why not lose yourself in the exploration of historic beer?
- Walk around! Just explore the cobbled streets, the local shops, the Belgium boozers and all the cute little stalls. It’s such a pretty, scenic city, there’s nothing you won’t fall in love with…
As you can see, you can easily just get lost with supping lots of local beers and eating naughty food, which only adds to how amazing a trip here is. If you have any questions, just shoot me a comment below…