Day 3: Bruges
I had intended to make it to both Brussels and Bruges on this trip, but the weather did not cooperate with me so I only made it to Bruges. However, I believe normally it would be completely do-able, especially if you get an early start. There are also many guided day tours available for purchase, although most leave from Brussels.
After the 30 minute walk to Gent-Sint-Pieters train station, I bought my train ticket and boarded the 30 minute train ride to Bruges.
Bruges is another picturesque town, known for its canal rides, chocolate and leaning belfry. After exiting the train and heading towards the center of town, I passed Minnewater Lake (the Lake of Love) and Lover’s Bridge. This scenic walkway along the river is a great place to relax and take in the sounds of the birds all around you. It is said if you kiss your loved one on Lover’s Bridge, you make your love eternal. Unfortunately for me, this was a solo trip, so that was out of the question!
As I headed towards the center of town, I passed many canals. There were plenty of places to take a canal boat tour, which I was told is a great way to see the city.
Next I headed towards the Belfry of Bruges, an iconic Belfry that leans over 34″ (87 cm) to the east! You can climb the 366 steps to get to the top and have a magnificent view over Bruges. However, space is limited, so get there early if you don’t want to wait in line all day!
Next, I marveled at the gothic architecture of Stadhuis van Brugge, or Bruges City Hall, located in Burg Square. There is also a museum inside if you have the time!
Right next door, you can find Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed , or Basilica of the Holy Blood. This basilica is a “double church” – the lower level maintaining it’s Romanesque architecture, and the upper level a more neo-gothic style.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Bruges without getting some chocolate! There are many options to choose from in Bruges, but I stopped at the Old Chocolate House. I’ll just say this – you MUST stop at a chocolate shop while in Bruges. After having a treat and picking up some souvenirs to bring home, it was time to head back to Ghent.