One year. It’s the exact time limit I can stay without visiting this city. We all know this beautiful travel quote: Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. But, after this experience, I would rather say rather, As often as possible, travel to Bruges!
Belgium is a beautiful country, and I have the impression that the further north you go, the more pretty it gets. Small, colorful, clean and easy to maneuver by boat or just walking, Bruges is a love affair that started with a movie.
Bruges’ buildings are incredibly well preserved and the look of medieval times is so present here. Some damage was incurred during the two World Wars, but as a whole, the historic town survived well. In the mid-1900s, the city starts to prepare for tourism. In present, it was discovered by international tourism and the unspoilt medieval heritage turned out to be a new source of wealth. Bruges is often called the ‘Venice of the North’.
But Bruges, as beautiful as it is, is like Venice. Or Florence. Or Barcelona. It’s seen best with someone, not solo. But I found the city beautiful, nonetheless. As I had enough time to walk around observing details and discover its beauty, I’m writing down 5 reasons why Bruges is so crazy beautiful.
Colorful gingerbread houses
The houses are old, beautiful and have their own unique character. Walking the medieval Bruges is like staring in a middle ages movie with new built scenery. The difference is that the scenery is real, original, greatly preserved and awesome. Besides, there’s no Starbucks, McDonalds etc. in the city center. That’s awesome! 🙂
Canals. Canals everywhere.
There are plenty of canal cities in the world and Bruges makes no exception.
Take a canal cruise. It cost 8 euro for around 35 minutes. It might be too fast to be romantic as you will go through many places in a short time. However, it’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective and a relaxing way to get around, reaching some beautiful parts of the city that you wouldn’t be able by foot.
The Beguinage – A lost world made by women
This is my favorite place in Bruges. It is one of those typical areas in Bruges where you can find more peace and quiet than in the sometimes busy and overcrowded streets of the town center. The Beguinage is a group of houses around a beautiful garden covered with large poplar trees. It was here that during the last seven centuries lived the beguines of Bruges and they managed to live independently from overweening male control. In 1937 the beguinage became a monastery for the Benedictine sisters who still live here now.
What would be a city without its people? A mix of tourists and locals, I simply adore the atmosphere from the squares and tiny alleys. Besides, the city blends perfectly with the sunlight and has the power to reflect its charm to the people, which makes them more relaxed and joyful.
It’s less common to be interested about green areas and parks when in Bruges. The walking tours, bars and restaurants may distract you from these hidden gems, but for me, the green areas from Bruges, are on the top list. Besides, there’s no better place to make a picnic and enjoy a bottle of wine. 🙂
Despite its size there are plenty of things to do in Bruges. Cruise the canals. Eat. Drink. Chill. Drink more. Wander around or take a walking tour. Bruges is so awesome, and well worth at least a couple days of your time. So who wants to go to Bruges now??