I was originally going to title this post “8 Awesome things to do in Bruges,” because that would have been an extremely accurate title. Then (possibly after a glass of wine), I decided to spice it up and go with how the city made me feel – fat, drunk, and oh so happy.
From exploring Belgium’s legendary beer scene to soaring through the sky at sunset on a hot air balloon, this guide captures some awesome activities to do in Bruges. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the top things to do in Bruges that you will hopefully enjoy as much as I did!
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(1/8) Sip Some Belgian Beers
Let’s be honest, what’s the first thing you think of when you think of Belgium? If you’re like me, it’s definitely not history, it’s Belgian beer! I took a beer tour around the city, which turned out to be a ton of fun. The guide not only found the most delicious beers in Bruges, but also gave a ton of insight into how the beer was made, different types of beer, and even some beer history in the city! From personal experience, I would recommend having lunch before the beer tour (I did not, so that was an interesting choice for me).
(2/8) Eat Waffles
If you don’t eat lunch before, splurge on some waffles after the beer tour. Extra points if you get one topped with ice cream, chocolate, or any kind of deliciousness. There were waffles around every corner, so suffice it to say, I was a happy camper.
(3/8) Soar through the Sky in a Hot Air Balloon
Hot air ballooning was like nothing else I’ve ever done. You get to help getting the balloon inflated (the trick is fans, hot air (duh!), and favorable winds.) Then, the feeling of being lifted off the ground in just a basket is absolutely crazy.
I went at sunset, so I could see the setting sun glinting off the roofs of downtown Bruges. As we drifted further, I caught sight of the sun going down over the North Sea, which was a magical experience. The night I was up was pretty windy, so we actually landed in Holland (no passport required!), and were greeted with little snacks and champagne. If you’re traveling solo (like me!) or with a loved one or friends, Bruges Ballooning is definitely one of the top things to do in Bruges.
(4/8) Taste some Belgian Chocolate
If ballooning makes you hungry (or if you just love chocolate), make sure to stop by one of Bruges’ many chocolate shops and stock up. Chocolate makes for a great snack on train rides, on planes, as a midnight snack…need I go on? Basically, chocolate is always a good idea, and especially a good idea in Belgium.
(5/8) Bike Around Bruges
At some point during your time in Belgium, between consuming chocolate, waffles, and Belgian beer, it may be a good idea to actually explore the city. I rode around for the morning with Quasimundo Bike Tours, and learned so much about the city. The guide had a wealth of knowledge about the history of the city. *Did you know that in the past, merchants had to pay a tax for each bridge they passed under, so a lot of the smaller shops would wheelbarrow their goods into the city center?* I love learning cool little nuggets, so this tour was right up my alley. On the tour, I saw windmills, the Burg, Market Square, and so much more. Plus, you all get to stop for a beer at the cutest little pub at the end…these Belgians love their beer (and I can see why!)
If you’re looking for the bike experience, but don’t actually want to use your legs (no judgment), you can also take a bike carriage around the city to experience the beautiful sights. No matter whether you choose bike or carriage, these are both incredibly fun things to do in Bruges.
(6/8) Take a Walking Tour
We’re going to stick with activities that require movement, because I’m assuming if you’re anything like me, you’ve already indulged in a lot of waffles by now. Walking is your friend. Take a walking tour around the city; you’ll see the highlights of the city, as well as some of Bruges’ quieter neighborhoods.
(7/8) Wander the Canals
If you’re more into exploring on your own, wander through the canals. Sunset is an especially beautiful time to soak in the city! Plus, there are cute photo ops around every corner.
(8/8) Eat a Medieval Dinner
If nothing else, Bruges loves their history. Feast on a 4-course medieval wedding dinner that transports you back to the wedding of Charles the Bold in 1468. If you don’t feel like opting for a feast, I also ate pizza in bed one night, so that’s a solid option too. Don’t judge me…you try drinking Belgian beers, and then wanting to nap and eat at the same time. The struggle was real.
Cheap flights: I’d recommend searching through eDreams.net. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals.
Hotel Deals: My top choice is probably Expedia.com —I’ve found some insanely cheap (beautiful) hotels. If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend checking out Hostelworld – there are plenty of options in Bruges! My personal hostel recommendation is Lybeer’s Traveller’s Hostel. I stayed in a private room for only ~$35 a night, and enjoyed the awesome location, friendly bar downstairs, and terrace upstairs.
So, I hope you found this guide on Bruges helpful. If you haven’t been, it should definitely be on your bucket list! Tell me—have you visited Bruges and loved it as much as me? What are some of your favorite things to do in Bruges? Let me know in the comments!