Travel Notes

What to do in Bruges

Bruges is known as the Venice of the North for its history and the many canals that run through the city.It really is a beautiful and excellent city to visit.The historic center is impressive for its beauty and it is there that the main sights of Brugesare located.

If you are going to visit Belgium, Bruges should be on your travel itinerary, even if it is a round trip from Brussels.

Here are our top tips on what to do in Bruges!

Also read our special tips on where to stay in Brugesand listen to the Papo Viagem Podcast episode about the city!

What to do in Bruges, Belgium?Main sights in Bruges

Grote Markt

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges

The heart of Bruges is the Grote Markt, which is nothing but than the central square.

This square has beautiful historic buildings, notably the Belfort(or Belfry of Bruges), which is the bell tower approximately 85 meters high.

The Belfort has a beautiful view of the city, which you can check out by going up the tower.It was even the setting for the film In Bruges, in which the beauty of the city stands out.

Belfort

In addition to this tower, carriages, restaurants and many tourists are always present on the Grote Markt.It is definitely a place to visit and photograph.

Please note that most tours depart from the Grote Markt, precisely because it is a very relevant place.

See our tour suggestions free (tips only) or economyto participate:

Praça Burg

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges
Stadhuis

Plaza Brug is the second most important square in the city.It is ideal for those who like rustic medieval churches, without so much decoration, but with a lot of spirituality.

There is a vial with blood that is said to be of Jesus.This vial was found on a crusade to Jerusalem in the 12th century.

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Traveling in Europe , you will come across several churches full of religious relics without any proof of veracity.

The old town hall is called Stadhuisand is very reminiscent of the Brussels town hall, with numerous statues across its façade, standing out among the buildings on Brug Square.There is also the modernist Toyo Ito pavilion.

For more information about the Basilica of the Holy Blood, click here, but note that the visit to the Basilica is free.

Minnewater

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges

Leaving the train station, you will pass by Minnewater, a small park with the face of northern Belgium, super photogenic.

This means a park with lots of green (in spring), water and beautiful reddish “houses”.

On sunny days, these elements create the perfect backdrop for beautiful photos.

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges

In addition, the bridge over the artificial lake creates one of the most beautiful images of Bruges, so be sure to check out this super charming free tour .

Begijnhof

The Begijnhof was an ancient village of Beguine, women followers of a 19th-century Catholic religious philosophy XIII, who cherished the cloister.In addition, admission to the Begijnhof is free.

St.John

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges
Source: Wikimedia

St.John has over 800 years of historyand is one of the main tourist attractions in Bruges.

He was used to help the sick, many of whom were pilgrims and poor.The hospital served more as a way to soothe the souls of the sick than to effectively cure them.Either way, it is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe.

In the 15th century, Flemish painter Hans Memling made several paintings, many dedicated to St.John.One of the more interesting paintings has passages from the apocalypse (which you can see above), but there are many more.

Then the visit to St.John’s in Bruges includes appreciating the building’s architecture, many antique medical objects, and especially several rare paintings by Hans Memling.

For more information about St. John’s Hospital.John, click here.

Jan Van Eyck Square

Named after one of the most important Flemish painters in In its history, Jan Van Eyck Square has a unique beauty.

Its most interesting detail is the grand canal of Spiegelrei, which highlights the houses with typical architecture from the north of Belgium.

Normally, Jan Van Eyck Square is quieter than the other squares in the city, which can be a relief in times of greater crowding.At its center, there is also a statue of Van Eyck.

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges

Another highlight is the Poortersloge, a large house with a tower that calls the attention.In the 15th century, the Poortersloge served as a meeting place for the city’s mercantile bourgeoisie.

Canals and Boat Tour

Without a doubt, the canals are important tourist attractions in Bruges and one of the city’s great charms.

To be honest, they are not as present in the city as they are in Venice, but the canals highlight the beauty of the typical houses, where the red bricks and roofs with different shapes stand out.The history of the Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk) is no different.Its construction began in the 13th century and lasted for many centuries.

The highlight of this church is a 16th century piece, specifically by the Florentine Michelangelo, the Madonna with Child.There are also tombs of important nobles from the Middle Ages, such as Charles the Bald and Mary of Burgundy.

For more information about the Church of Our Lady, click here.This church has a paid entrance.

Jerusalem Church

The Jerusalem Church, often called the Jerusalem Chapel, is known for its unique octagonal tower.

The Church was built by the Adornes brothers, Italian merchants who lived in Bruges in the 15th century.

The Gothic style abounds in the Jerusalem Church.Another interesting fact is that Anselm Adornes, one of the brothers, after getting to know Jerusalem, decided to build a church similar to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

For more information about the Church of Jerusalem, click here .Please note that this church has entrance fees.

Groeninge Museum

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges
Source: Flickr

A The city of Bruges was the hub of the Flemish painters of the 15th century.The paintings developed by these painters are called Primitive Flemish Paintings, as they were the first, and they are the highlight of the Groeninge Museum.

In the Groeninge Museum, you will find paintings by Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, Hugo van der Goes and Gerard David.

But there are also Flemish paintings from later centuries, with neoclassical and expressionist paintings.

For more information about the Groeninge Museum, click here.

Hof Arents

The Hof Arents is a small garden near the Arentshuis, a museum dedicated to the artist Frank Brangwyn.

The most interesting thing is the bridge next to the Hof Arents, super charming and romantic.The bridge is known as the Bridge of Lovers, due to its romanticism.

De Halve Maan Brewery

Going to Belgium means tasting some of its beers recognized worldwide for their quality.

There are many shops with different Belgian beers in Bruges, but you can visit De Halve Maan brewery to, in addition to tasting, learn a little more about Belgian beer.

For more information about De Halve Maan brewery, click here.

Map with tourist attractions in Bruges

Check the location of all attractions in Bruges mentioned throughout this article.Just click on the “arrow button” to access the map legend.

What to do in Bruges in 1 day?

Most travelers only have 1 day in Bruges.It would be better to spend the night in the city and get to know it during this period as well.

However, it is common to go to Bruges as a day trip from Brussels, not least because the trains work very well and are not expensive.

With a full day, you can visit many of Bruges’ sights.

On our trip, we already took advantage of the walk from the train station to the center to see Minnewater and Begijnhof, which were already on the way.

For those who have more time, you can take advantage of a free tour of Bruges to better understand the city’s history.

Top 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em BrugesTop 14 Pontos Turísticos de Bruges, Bélgica: O que fazer em Bruges

The most worthwhile thing in Bruges is walking around the center and photographing what you find interesting on the routes between the attractions.

I personally find it too tiring (and expensive) to climb the Belfort tower, because they are more than 360 steps.It will analyze the location, according to a specific methodology, and assign a grade.

It is worth mentioning that the best possible area to stay is that pleasant, safe area, with access to public transport, restaurants and close to main tourist attractions.

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