When we booked our weekend in Bruges, it was about ten days before we were meant to go. Which for me, is entirely unheard of! So our itinerary wasn’t nearly as planned as I would normally choose… But after a weekend wandering around beautiful Bruges, here is our two day itinerary for Bruges!
Where to Stay
I’d had my eye on Hotel de Tuilerieen as the place I’d like to stay in Bruges for a while, and when they had rooms available for our weekend away, it didn’t take my long to book!
I booked a gorgeous Royal Executive Room, which was full of character and situated in the historic wing of the hotel. The room was spacious and made a perfect place to come back after exploring beautiful Bruges.
Even if you’re not staying, the bar is the cosiest place we found in Bruges, and we loved sitting here with a glass of wine or a hot chocolate to warm up!
Next on my list are Hotel de Orangerie (also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World) and Hotel Dukes Palace. Location wise I preferred Hotel de Orangerie and Hotel de Tuilerieen as they were slightly closer to the restaurants and sites we wanted to visit.
How To Arrive (apart from in style!)
Travelling to Bruges couldn’t be easier; just hop on the Eurostar from St Pancras (preferably after a stay at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in one of their lovely suites!), switch trains at Brussels. It’s only an extra hour or so from Brussels, so if you wanted to make a longer trip it would be great to do Brussels, Ghent and Bruges all at once. 1898 The Post in Ghent has me wanting to hop on the Eurostar as fast as I can!
Where to Eat
Most importantly… Where to eat! We were so pleased with the wonderful meals that we had during our weekend in Bruges. I’ve heard similar thoughts from foodie friends who have spent some time in the city, so it seems that there are plenty of foodie gems to uncover when you visit!
At lunch time, there is a culture of simple set menus which are served at very reasonable prices. If you’re on a budget, this is the time you can splurge a little, since even the more expensive restaurants have really well priced lunch menus. Our favourite was Le Chef et Moi Bruges. A simple restaurants, with pretty interiors and a delicious menu.
Run by a lovely couple, expect friendly service and simple and delicious food. If you can snag a table at the front of the restaurant you’re also in for a perfect spot for some people watching!
For dinner, amble along the canals and you’ll see so many romantic little restaurants. As always, if you can stray a little away from the tourist hot spots, you’re likely to find better restaurants – and since Bruges isn’t huge, it’s definitely easy to do. At Hotel de Tuilerieen, we found the concierge very happy to recommend some great restaurants.
Our favourite dinner spot was De Pepermolen, a gorgeous little canal side restaurant, where we managed to snag their last dinner table! As soon as we sat down, warm little cheese bites were laid down on the table. Utterly moreish and delicious!
For starters, langoustine with home made pasta, served with an incredible sauce…
And duck liver pate, served with warm home made bread.
For mains, we both ordered roast deer, with a rich sauce served with mushrooms. The deer itself was tender and perfectly cooked, and the mushrooms added an extra depth to the dish.
But make sure that you don’t miss out on moeules frites on your trip to Bruges! My favourite is mussels in a white wine and cream sauce – perfect for dipping piping hot frites into!
One thing we found with the restaurants and bars is that they favour earlier times, with most shutting around 9.30 (though this could easily be because we visited in January), so make sure you factor this in when booking your dinner reservations. In fact, when we left De Pepermolen we were the last in the restaurant at 9.30!
It’s no visit to Bruges without some waffles and some insane hot chocolates… Safe to say we more than indulged in our fair share of both!
It’s quite touristy, but this little spot in the centre of town was a ideal place to warm up in the cold, winter snow! You dunk the entire chocolate bowl of chocolate chips into the warm milk, stir until it dissolves and serve with a side of chocolate topped waffle! Just make sure you go early enough to allow you to still enjoy your dinner!
And of course, it’s very important to visit all of the chocolate shops, especially when they’re this cute!
What to see
There are some beautiful sites to see in Bruges, like the Basilica of the Holy Blood (the church which is home to some of Jesus’ blood) and the incredibly impressive clocktower. If you’ve ever seen the film ‘In Bruges’ you’ll know exactly where I’m talking about!
Outside, horses waiting to take you on a tour of Bruges – but we much preferred finding our way by foot.
From the main square make sure to wander to Cafe Red Rose to try some beers and enjoy the really pretty surroundings! If, like me, you don’t usually drink beer the friendly staff will help you find something that you’ll like.
From there, head down to Minnewater Park to stroll around, and on the way make the most of the cute chocolate shops, as you wander in and out of the lovely cobbled little streets…
Wandering around this city was absolutely our favourite thing about our weekend break…
Let yourselves wander along the canals and side streets, no matter if you have an idea of where you want to go. The fun is in the journey, not just the destination.
And after all of your chocolate eating, exploring and wandering, head back to your hotel for a well earned drink in the bar….
This was the prettiest spot I found in Bruges – and trust me when I say you can’t miss it. It’s a perfect photo spot for you to take a photo with whoever you’re traveling with – but also, it really is a lovely pub to pop into for a drink! It can get a little busy, but it’s definitely worth visiting. From the spot this photo was taken, walk left along the canal, turn right on the brige and then right again as soon as you see a door leading you into what looks like a beer museum – and then to the outdoor bar!
For a little culture, head to the Groeninge Museum (right next to Le Chef et Moi!) to see some neoclassical art, and some beautiful Flemish paintings.
Before you leave, make sure to wander around the lovely gardens and explore the stunning old bridge which I completely fell for…
And finally, if you have any time and energy left… A tour of the De Halve Man brewery is a really interesting way to spend a couple of hours – whether you’re a beer drinker or not. Part of the tour takes you to the top of one of their towers, so gives you a wonderful view out over Bruges, from an entirely different perspective to the Clock Tower. I’m not usually a beer drinker, but I found the history of this brewery and the family so interesting.
But the best bit about Bruges? Three days is absolutely the perfect amount of time to spend in this chocolate box little city. I was excited to visit when we booked, but it surpassed my expectations and it’s somewhere I could easily see myself going back. Especially as when you hop on the Eurostar it’s just so easy to get there! But first, I think 1898 The Post and Ghent are on my Weekends from London list…!
Have you been to Bruges? What are your favourite memories?