We’ve put together 10 attractions not to be missed in Bruges, a Belgian city that is a little pearl. Take a note and go exploring.
bruges is a charming Belgian city, full of heritage and natural attractions to see and visit. Of all there is to know, the municipality itself selects on its website the main points of interest not to be missed.
Therefore, if you are or are thinking of going to Bruges soon, find out with us which must-visit places will make you fall in love with this city, rich in breathtaking views and landscapes and known for a heritage that is carefully cared for and estimated in detail.
10 attractions you can’t miss in Bruges
One of the most photographed places in Bruges, this is without a doubt a spot which you have to go through. The scenery is beautiful, reminiscent of an authentic postcard and, therefore, it is an excellent place to stop for a few minutes, observe the river, the boats, the houses and apprehend all the subtleties of the landscape. In addition, it is also a very romantic spot, so it is excellent for making that special request…
visit this monastery it is to go back a few centuries and learn more about conventual life, the Benedictine order and get to know the day-to-day routines of the 17th century. In addition to the heritage and historical value, there is a large garden, river and bridge area to explore nearby.
- visiting hours: every day from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm
- Know better the monastery.
In this central square, you can get to know some of the main monuments of Bruges. Since the 9th century, this site has served as the seat of government for the County of Flanders. From the Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century, the Palácio da Liberdade, visible in this square, was the building from which the city was governed. To the left of the Town Hall building (dating from the 14th century), there is an old Courthouse, illustrative of Renaissance architecture. On the right, you will find the Basilica of the Holy Blood (holy blood) which owes its name to the relic it keeps there.
Spannse Loskaai and Oosterlingenplein
Between the 13th and 15th centuries, Bruges was an important center of trade between the Hansa cities of Scandinaviaengland and Germany and the most important commercial regions of France, Spain and Italy.
Spanish merchants settled on Spaanse Loskaai, while Scandinavians, English and Germans opened their shops on Oosterlingenplein. Surprising or not, it is the fact that these same places still preserve that international atmosphere, of the influence of different peoples.
The 15th century was fruitful for the Flemings in terms of the arts. Even today, people talk about the “primitive flamenco”, a designation attributed to world-renowned painters, such as Jan Van Eyck, Hans Memling, among others.
Therefore, a visit to Bruges must include a visit to the main works of these masters, which you can find in buildings such as the Groeninge Museum, the Hospital São João, the Cathedral of São Salvador and the Church of Our Lady, in which you can also contemplate the constructions Virgin and Child, by Michelangelo.
These houses were built in the mid-14th century and were, above all, designed to accommodate elderly people or widows, functioning as a kind of nursing home or charity today. Most of these houses included a chapel so that their inhabitants could say their prayers.
Currently, they are restored and modernized in order to continue to welcome the elderly in a comfortable and pleasant way, also offering small gardens and a calm and peaceful environment.
An experience not to be missed is visiting and discovering the city by crossing its canals. The charm of Bruges becomes even more evident and, through these trips and routes, you will be able to admire secret gardens, picturesque bridges and absolutely stunning views, which you would not see otherwise.
In this building it is not only possible to admire some works, since it works as an art center, but also to watch some of the most important national and international music concerts. THE space it is known for its excellent acoustics and there you can visit the auditorium (with 1289 seats) and the chamber for more intimate shows (322 seats).
The Market area is dominated by the Belfry tower, which you can climb to the top! In this space, it is possible to try some local delicacies such as frietkoten. In the center of the square are statues of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, two heroes of Bruges, famous for their important role in the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.
Also here is the Provincial Palace in a Gothic revivalist style, a space that came to function as a kind of Customs House, where goods were loaded and unloaded into the canals in the vicinity of the square.
Museum of the Church of Our Lady
The 115.5 meter tower of the Church of Our Lady is a good example of the craftsmanship of Bruges craftsmen. This church has an important artistic collection, such as the work Virgin and Childby Michelangelo, numerous paintings, painted 13th-century tombs and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold.
It should be noted that the church has been undergoing restoration works, so not all spaces and works may be accessible.
- visiting hours: every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm