No other city destination offers such a great diversity of sites to visit, there is most definitely something for everyone. Everything is situated within walking distance of each other, so there is no need for your car once you have arrived in the city centre.
If you`re after seeing some of the most fantastic art collections, Bruges is for you. In case you`re worried about a cultural overdose, why not take a `responsible` tour and taste the local artisan beers in the city brewery or sit back and enjoy the view during a canal boat tour. Children too are sure to have a whale of a time, one thing that will certainly catch their attention is the Chocolate Museum and its live chocolate making sessions.
Below are some of the sites that are an absolute must when in Bruges.
De Brugse Reien: canal system
Walk along the highway of the Middle Ages.
Forming an unmistakeable part of Bruges` true character, the beautiful waterways will take you back to the Middle Ages.
Some of the walls of these canals were already part of the city`s defence works in 1128. Get to know Bruges while taking a boat tour. The captain will guide you safely through the city`s history while you enjoy the view of the beautiful houses and the historic landmarks of Bruges.
Church of Our Lady
Visit the highlight of Bruges` skyline.
The Church of Our Lady dominates the Brugian skyline with its 115,5 m high tower, which makes it the second highest brick building in the world.
The construction of this church started in 1225 although the last part of the tower was only added in the 15th century. Inside the church you will find many art treasures: paintings and sculpture but also the tombs of Maria of Burgundy and Charles the bold. A must see is the statue by Michelangelo: Madonna with child.
Michelangelo`s Madonna and Child
Experience the master`s talent first hand.
Michelangelo`s sculpture is on permanent display at the sacrament chapel of the Church of Our Lady. The beautiful statue was the first of his works to leave his native country Italy.
The Bruges merchant Alexander Mouscron bought the sculpture in Florence and donated it to the Church of Our Lady in Bruges in 1514.
The sculpture stayed in Bruges until it was stolen for the first time by the French occupier in 1794. On 3 January 1816, after the defeat of Napoleon, the sculpture returned. Since then it has been displayed in the equally impressive Church of Our Lady. You can find out more about the Church further down this page.
The Beguinage of Bruges
A glance into the life of the Beguines.
Founded in 1245 by the countess of Flanders, this group of houses has had a turbulent past.
This place was once home to the members of the Beguine movement, emancipated lay-women who valued a religiuos life as well. Later a Benedictine monastery came to settle here. The sheer serenity and beauty of the place is emphasised by tall poplar trees and yearly spring flowers. If you are looking for more information and opening hours, you will find them here.
Relaxing in the centre of Bruges.
Are you looking to get away from the liveliness of the city? No problem! In the green scenery of the Astridpark you will find a fountain with a lovely pond. During the summer you can go there to catch up on your reading or play a game of giant chess. Even if you want to doze off on a sunny afternoon, this is the finest decor to do just that.
The central piece of the park is a colourful kiosk that was built in 1858. It was only in 1995 its original colours were restored after finding an old sketch of the painter Tulpinck.
This park is the setting for many events throughout the year. In August dancing initiations are held here during the free festival `Benenwerk` and the free summerfestival `Vama Veche` takes place in the park as well.
Rolweg and its historic folklore
One of the most charming little streets of the city. The buildings alongside it haven`t changed for centuries.
Home to both the birth house of famous Flemish Poet Guido Gezelle (1830-1899), as well as the city`s Folklore Museum. The latter includes recreated historic settings such as a cobbler’s workshop, a living room, an apothecary’s premises and an inn. More information on their website.