Is it the most charming city in Europe? Why Hollywood movies are taken here? Is the Christmas market worth visiting?
Yes, because it is gorgeous, and of course yes!
Bruges is packed with tourists during the Christmas market, but this is only because the city is insanely beautiful. There is so much to see, and the Christmas lights in their authentic center make it simply glorious. Go and book Bruges right now, you will not regret it.
You will find bright lights, gluhwein, a lot of delicious snacks (like every other Christmas market :)), but what is making it special is the atmosphere of the city center itself.
What I can advice you to is first to follow the sightseeings, then the Christmas market and finish with gluhwein. What I did was: first a walking tour, then visited only the church of our lady and at the end – the Christmas market. I did not have more time for sightseeings unfortunately, however, if you have more time, you can follow the list below:
1. Church of our lady: Besides the size and the amazing atmoshere and details of the church, what you need to focus on is its altarpiece. The marvelous sculpture of the Madonna and the child is by Michel Angelo, made in 1504 in Italy and brought here. It was actually created for Sienna in Tuscany, and then it was purchased and brought to the Church of our lady. Definitely worth to see and after visiting Ghent and their cathedral and seeing this piece of art, you will have a pretty good idea of the art for the region.
2. Frietmuseum. The one and only museum dedicated to French fries. If you are up to bizarre museums, spend some time there and take some fries. You will also find out why french fries are called French and not Belgium.
Spoiler alert: They are originally coming from Belgium, where people used to eat small fish, caught in the river. In the 1750s the river froze, and they decided to cut potatoes in the same size and form of the little fish and fry it.
3. Shop in the old town of the city
The old town of Bruges is famous with their lace. If you start to wonder in the old town, you will come across shop after shop, and take a quick look at the lace pieces, they are usually very exquisite.
If it gets too cold outside, and you did not drink too much gluhwein, you can escape the winter cold and take a tour of De Halve Maan. The whole tour will take around 45 min and you will be able to taste amazing blond beers which is always a good idea, just in case you are not going to mix it with the gluhwein :D.
In case you are tired of the Christmas lights and you want some cultural/educational/historical experience (which I was not in the mood for) you can visit also these places:
6. Stedelijk museum voor volkskunde – If you want to see the local history, please visit the folklore museum. There you will find history of the 19-20th century of Bruges and the local area.
It is 8 centuries old, and carrying a lot of history for pilgrims, nuns, monks and a lot more.
Places to stay:
I would suggest you to book the hotel where the movie “In Bruges” was taken, it is fabulous, perfect location, amazing view and not to mention – very romantic:
It is a bit pricey, but for a short stay of 2 nights it would be doable. Book it in at least 3 months advance, because Bruges is always desired of many tourists.
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