Bruges is like a city out of a fairy tale. Its cute streets and old world feel really took us back in time. During the day it can be busy with tourists but at night it’s romantic. The central square has a bell tower that plays songs that can be heard throughout the city and is the main hub for tourists visiting. The countryside is flat but picturesque and great for a long bike ride.
How we got there
We flew into Brussels and took a train to Bruges. The entire trip was easy and quite short as we were flying from Geneva. We arrived in the train station in the evening and were able to walk to our bed and breakfast. The town was very quiet and wandering through the streets at night seemed almost magical. The cobblestone streets and classic European feel were new to me so I just enjoyed taking everything in.
Where we stayed
We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast, Huyze Weyne, in the heart of the city. The couple that lives there and runs the B&B are extremely friendly. We were always greeted when we arrived back to the home but were not overly hassled so I we felt like we could always ask if we needed anything. The room was very spacious and looked over a beautiful little courtyard in the back. Breakfast was generous and varied. The nightly rate was a bit more than we usually pay when traveling (we usually pay far below $100) but we splurged a bit since we only stayed a few nights. I would highly recommend a stay at Huyze Weyne if you are in the area.
What we did
The first day we explored the city. We ate pastries from one of the many shops and purchased chocolate as a snack. We met friends during our visit and ventured to the square that is dominated by old buildings and the belfry that can be seen and heard throughout the city. We learned that the fry vendor that is below the belfry changes regularly to allow more people the benefit from selling to the mass of people visiting the square.
The next day, we toured the De Haalve Maan (The Half Moon) brewing company. Their beer was excellent and the tour covered a lot of local and beer history. You get a pint of beer with the tour and I had the Straffe Hendrik (Strong Hendrik) and also sampled their signature beer, Brugse Zot. Both were delicious but Straffe Hendrik became a staple of my diet when we moved back to Geneva. The view from the rooftop during the tour gives you a great view of the city. The tour guide spoke great English, was very knowledgeable and kept it interesting.
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The last day we rented bikes and toured around the countryside. The bikes were cruisers and not the racing bike I’m used too but the countryside is very flat and very bike friendly so it was fine. We biked to the Netherlands by accident but turned around and took a hand ferry across the river. We mistakenly joined horses during a parade and ended up eating at the Belgium version of Chuck E. Cheese before realizing what it was. We just wanted an outdoor patio to soak in the sunshine.
Bruges was great and I would recommend it to anyone.