The first time I saw a photo of the historic centre of Bruges it automatically went to the top of bucket list! This World Heritage site really is picture perfect! (so be prepared for a million photos!) The historic centre oozes romance, even when it was grey and cloudy. It is no surprise that Bruges attracts travellers from all over the world. Full of cobbled streets, cute canals, medieval buildings and boutique chocolate-makers. If there is one thing that travelling through Europe has taught me is that I love a city of canals! The centre of the old town is the market square, which is surrounded by beautiful buildings, cafes and restaurants. As much as spectacular as the views from these cafes are, you will pay double, so I recommend heading to one of the side streets where the food is just as good and at a more reasonable price.
We had a bit of an adventure getting to Bruges as we failed to pre-book a train and the direct train from Amsterdam to Belgium was fully booked when we arrived at the station. As result we had to take five trains which included five minuted between trains and us sprinting through train stations with heavy luggage (yes I over packed!) So if I can give one piece of advice it is pre-book trains!! Especially if the train is heading to, or going through France.
Best of Bruges
Where To Eat Het Zwart Huis has everything you want from a jazz restaurant. It is very atmospheric with a beautiful interior, complete with a fireplace. The staff were extremely friendly and helped us navigate the extensive drinks menu. The food was incredible, I tried the prawn croquettes and grilled salmon.
What To See There are beautiful sites to see all around the historic centre. I loved getting up early and walking around the town, seeing it slowly come to life around me. Basilica of the Holy Blood was a definite highlight for me. First built in the 12th century, the Basilica is worth a visit.
Where To Get Chocolate Bruges is full of boutique chocolate shops, really you are spoilt for choice! There were two that stood out to me the most. Firstly, Dumon Chocolatier where we bought cute tins of chocolates in the shape of Bruges houses for our loved ones. The second is Mary Artisan Chocolatier which is definitely the most beautiful chocolatier is Bruges. This chocolatier has been making delicious chocolate since 1919 and their packaging is oh so cute!
Where To Stay Hotel Blabla was one of the few hotels we stayed at in Europe. A relatively new hotel in Bruges and the services and rooms were impeccable. Walking distance from the train station and the market square, the location is great for travellers. The rooms were comfortable and breakfast is included in the reasonable cost of the rooms.
Vilssinghe, a 500 year old restaurant, is full of charm complete with a fireplace and delicious food.