Bruges: TripAdvisor’s list of top things to do

Bruges in Belgium is the perfect city for those who like to take in the history of a destination – Bruges has a medieval feel with its cobblestone streets and historical architecture, and the intricate canals lined with ornate houses mean there is never a shortage of sights to see or things to do.

TripAdvisor has put together its list of top things to do in Bruges, according to its travellers*:

  1. Historic centre of Bruges – this has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 and examples of original gothic architecture can be seen here. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Absolutely stunning town center with grand buildings and living history everywhere.”
  2. Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilige Bloed Basiliek) – a chapel that contains a phial which allegedly contains Christ’s blood, brought back from the Crusades. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Beautiful church whether you are a believer or not, it was an emotional experience and well worth a visit.”
  3. Minnewater Lake – this lake is located at the entrance to the city and is often referred to as ‘the lake of love’, the Dutch word ‘Minne’ meaning ‘love’. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Visit once during the day and then return at night! Very beautiful park, feels like you are stepping back in time.”
  4. Belfry (Belfort) and Market Halls (Hallen) – the Belfry Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical centre of Bruges. A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps, leads to the top of the 83-metre-high building where panoramic views of the city can be seen. This group of historical buildings has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “366 steps up and the same down! But when you get to the top and see the city from that point, it’s worth it.”
  5. Town Hall (Stadhuis)built in 1376, the city has been governed from this building for more than 700 years. Inside is the Town Hall’s 19th century Gothic Chamber and painted figures that shed light on the city’s past can be seen. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The outside of this building is beautiful, but there is so much more on the inside!”
  6. Beguinage (Begijnhof) – just behind the Minnewater lies the Beguinage ‘De Wijngaard’ (the Vineyard). The Beguinage is a group of houses around a little garden covered with large poplar trees. It was here that during the last seven centuries lived the beguines of Bruges. In 1937 the beguinage became a monastery for the Benedictine sisters who still live here now. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “So quiet and peaceful here. Nice break from the hustle and bustle of Markt and Burg. Lots of opportunities for photos. Just beautiful.”
  7. Groeninge Museum – an art gallery which houses a permanent collection of six centuries of art. Highlights include the world famous collection of Flemish Primitive paintings, renaissance and baroque pieces and a varied selection from the collection of post-war modern art. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The museum has an outstanding collection of medieval paintings including some well-known works by Van Eyck and Van der Weyden. Well worth seeing.”
  8. Burg – the smaller of the two town squares in Bruges, the Burg is the heart of the administrative Bruges. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “This is a brilliant place. You can move through the evolution of the last 900-1000 years of building in just a small square.”
  9. The Markt – Next to the Burg is the Markt, this larger market square in Bruges, is the medieval commercial centre of the city and is filled with restaurants and gift shops. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “We spent a lot of time around The Markt just soaking up the atmosphere. It’s really a wonderful spot just to sit over a drink.”
  10. Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk) – this church features a 122m spire and what is claimed to be the only Michaelangelo statue to have left Italy in his lifetime. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Definitely on the list of must see attractions in Bruges. Free to go in with friendly helpful guides on offer.”

For more information on Bruges, go to: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g188671-Bruges_West_Flanders_Province-Vacations.html

 

*List is selected according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index

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