Sunday 30 December 2018

My last trip of 2018 was beautiful Bruges in Belgium. The capital of West Flanders is known for its cobbled streets, medieval looking buildings and colourful gingerbread market plaza. Even though we had booked a two night stay in Brussels, we knew we couldn't take a trip to Belgium and not pay a visit to Bruges so we booked a return day ticket and that was enough to take in its beauty, eat waffles and take a couple of pretty snaps for the 'gram. If you're looking at visiting Bruges in the new year, here are my tips on what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Bruges, Belgium. 

tea with gi bruges guide


Breakfast | Li or Lait 

Li or Lait is a cute little coffee shop with an extensive hot drink menu and a cute interior. They also sell bagels and other quick bites to eat so makes it a perfect location for breakfast or brunch. I wanted to make sure I had space for the waffle and chocolates to follow in the afternoon so I only opted for a vanilla latte, whilst my mum had the 'croque' bagel with ham and mozzarella. 

AM | Learn about the history of chocolate and frites.

If you want to take a break from history and cultural museums, and fancy an interactive (with snacks) experience instead then Frietmuseum and Choco-Story are a great way to start your day. I mean the main reason we visited was because of the free samples, but we did learn about the history of both in Belgium and had a demo on making chocolate praline truffles. There were also spots around the museum that let you take an unlimited amount of milk, white and dark chocolate buttons, so that was cool. 

A fun fact about 'french fries' was that in fact, they're not french at all but came from Belgium.  Apparently they were served in the War and since French was the language associated with Belgium, the Americans took this back to the US and dubbed them 'French fries' - although the french beg to differ and have their own versions of the origin of chips.

choco story

Lunch | Le Panier D'OR

Seeing as we wanted to try some traditional flemish hearty food (and not just sweet treats) we searched for somewhere that did 'traditional flemish beef stew' and after a quick comparison of the few restaurants in the market square on Trip Advisor, we decided on Le Panier D'Or. I ate that whilst my mum opted for some mussels and we were both left satisfied (there was also free Wi-Fi available so you can update your social media followers on your morning shenanigans).

PM | Go and see the best of Bruges

Bruges is a relatively small city so you can see everything you need to see by foot. It's one of those towns that you can pretty much walk around and get 'lost' through the alleys and bump into all the points of interest. The first spot we put on google maps was Grote Markt which is where you will find the colourful gingerbread looking houses. A short walk from there you will come across the Basilica of the Holy Blood - where the main attraction in this church is a that it houses a relic of the Holy Blood allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace. We queued for about 15 minutes, then you are given a couple of minutes at the alter to say your prayers and view it.

basilica of the holy blood

There are two areas in Bruges that are worth seeing and if you're in to photography will get you some great shots. These are Rozenhoedkaai and Gronerei. They both have a mix of bridges and old historic buildings but are also surrounded by nature so there is a great contrast. 


We probably spent another hour just popping in to each of the chocolate shops and we kept purchasing 1 thing in each, a 'chocolate crawl' you could say. On the other hand, if you're looking for somewhere to try an authentic and delicious belgian waffle then head to Chez Albert in the main street. I had mine with warm cherries and oh my god I am still dreaming about it.

chez albert

Dinner | 'T Risico

'T Risico is a great pub with traditional food at non touristy prices. They have a great selection of belgian beers, polite staff and a slightly quirky atmosphere. It's a bit further away from the centre square but you will find that it's not overcrowded and is a great place to end the day if you fancy a few bevvy's with your pals or family to reminisce on the day you've had and to rest your feet.


If you're starting your trip from Brussels, then there is a direct train that runs almost every other hour and takes approximately an hour and a half from Brussels Central Station. They currently have a promotion on where you can get a same day return ticket for half the price, so we only ended up paying 15 euros each - take note Britain! The trains were delayed and in total our train was delayed by 40 minutes, but we had no issues on the way back. They were heated and had two levels to them and was an overall comfortable experience. 

If you're coming from the UK, there are flights to Bruges from London, Belfast and Leeds but they are not direct and will cost you £300+, so your cheapest option is to get the Eurostar train or a bus from London (Flixbus offers tickets for 16 euros).



  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Courtyard garden
  • Fitness area
  • Overlooks canals
  • 10 minute walk from the Market Square

Economy | Ibis Budget

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Situated next to Bruges train station
  • 15 minute walk from centre of Bruges 
  • Continental breakfast available
  • Public parking available
  • Pets allowed

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Situated behind Market Square
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Bar specialising in 'Trappist' beers

That's about it! I'd recommend a day or two in Bruges as there isn't an extensive list of things to do and see but you can still make a weekend out of it. It is one of those places that is worth seeing just for its charm and culture. If you have any questions or would like more info just drop me a line in the comments!

Have you ever been to Bruges? What was your experience like?


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