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Westtoer / Jan D'Hondt

 It is only fair to say that the places that stir all your senses and that creep under your skin are extremely rare. These are the places that pluck your heartstrings, yet whose secrets you can’t unlock completely. Bruges happens to be such a unique place. Cultural and artistic, cosmopolitan, unashamedly Burgundian, mysteriously medieval, and a Unesco World Heritage site to boot. Strolling along Bruges’ alleys, picturesque canals and verdant ramparts you cannot but fall hopelessly in love with her elegant mysteriousness.

currency

EURO € 1,00 = 100 cents

phone

tel. 112.
This free number is used in all member states of the European Union to contact the emergency services: police, fire brigade or medical assistance. The number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police
General telephone number: tel. +32 (0)50 44 88 44
Emergency police assistance: tel. 101

newspaper

De Standaard
De Morgen

hours

Cafés and restaurants have no (fixed) closing hour. Sometimes they will remain open until the early hours of the morning and other days they will close earlier: it all depends on the number of customers.

population

On 1 January 2020, there were 19,881 inhabitants registered as living in the inner city of Bruges. The total population of Greater Bruges on the same date was 118,610.

info

TOURIST OFFICES

Markt (Historium)
Mon-Sun 10.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.

’t Zand (Concertgebouw)
Mon-Sat 10.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.
Sun and public holidays 10.00 a.m.-2.00 p.m.

Stationsplein (Railway Station)
Daily, 10.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.

Tel: +32 50 44 46 46
visitbruges@brugge.be

All tourist offices are closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

website

www.visitbruges.be

Markt, 17e eeuw schilderij Jan-Baptist Meunincxhove/Visit Bruges

History in a nutshell

With Bruges it’s love at first sight!
Bruges is mysteriously medieval and unashamedly ebullient. Though a city of human proportions, it takes a while to explore its wealth of treasures. The city owes its greatness to history and now wears its Unesco World Heritage Site label with pride.

For centuries the canals of Bruges have linked the city to the sea, a guarantee of wealth and prosperity. International merchants built up Bruges into one of the largest Hanse cities. In the 15th century the city flourished as never before. Large parts of the medieval heritage remained practically intact. Therefore, it is only logical that Unesco designated the entire city centre as a world heritage site. Saunter along the enigmatic canals, the arteries of the city, and immerse yourself in Bruges’ Golden Century.

The economic affluence of the 15th century brought rich merchants to Bruges. They moved into majestic city palaces, packed with works of art. In the wake of the Burgundian dynasty, the great Flemish primitives, including Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling found their creative niches in Bruges. The fine arts reigned supremely and Bruges quickly became the meeting place and source of inspiration for many artists. The world famous masterpieces and other top collections can be seen today in one of the 30 Bruges museums.

In medieval Bruges, polyphonic chamber music and choral music reverberated vibrantly. Internationally renowned polyphonists had the run of the elegant city palaces of the rich Burgundians. Since the 19th century this tradition has been continued in the splendidly restored City Theatre, one of Europe’s best preserved city theatres. And also in the contemporary Concertgebouw (Concert Hall), a stone souvenir of Bruges 2002 when Bruges was the Cultural Capital of Europe, top productions follow one after the other.

At the grand parties in the princely palace of the dukes of Burgundy, romance was all the rage. This is where mysterious stories found their roots. The legend of the Bruges swans came about in the period after Mary of Burgundy’s passing. Pieter Lanchals, a name which means 'long neck', who was one of the town administrators belonging to the court of Maximilian of Austria, was executed in the Bruges market square. Legend has it that Maximilian punished Bruges by obliging the population to keep 'long necks', or swans, on their lakes and canals till eternity. To this day, proud swans guard the Bruges canals. This elegant image, the windy, mediaeval streets and cobbled squares turn Bruges into the most romantic destination.

Back in the early Middle Ages, Bruges was one of Europe’s most important sea ports. One hundred years ago, Bruges revisited this successful past when it turned the port of Zeebrugge into one of Europe’s most significant ports for container traffic and a considerable gas terminal for a large part of Europe. For cruise ships too, this port, right by the North Sea, is an excellent mooring place at a stone’s throw from the historic heart of the World Heritage city of Bruges.

When the Flemish cloth industry lost in importance in the 15th century, Bruges concentrated on the production of various luxury goods. Guilds and, later on, trade organisations, kept a watchful eye on, and protected, the creation of these quality products. Besides panel painting by the Flemish primitives, Bruges excelled in the goldsmith art, the production of illuminated manuscripts, diamond cutting and lace. Today, the World Heritage city is still an international centre of refined craftsmanship. Bruges is a leader in the field of calligraphy and letter sculpting. Moreover, two reputed colleges train culinary talent, allowing them to create gastronomic furore in Bruges and overseas. The capital of chocolate is the obvious place where you will find the cream of artisan chocolatiers.

Belfry in 360° (front view) Visit Bruges & Poppr

Visit Bruges 360°

Now Bruges can also be discovered virtually in full glory with a 360° tour of no fewer than 25 locations in the city center.

Visit Bruges & Poppr

Bruges in 360°

Dijver Jan D'Hondt/Visit Bruges

Highlights of Bruges

The 10 classic places that no one should miss!

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Rozenhoedkaai and the Bruges canals, a typical city view

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Markt: an absolute must

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Medieval splendour on the Burg

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Strolling through the old Hansa Quarter

Visit Bruges

The Flemish primitives: timeless beauty

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Burgundian splendour

Visit Bruges

Quiet contemplation in the Beguinage

Visit Bruges

Minnewater: romance all the way

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Concert Hall or Culture with a capital C

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Almshouses: charity frozen in stone

Markt Jan D'Hondt/Visit Bruges

Do & See

Some places are so special, so breathtaking or so unique that you simply have to see them. Bruges is filled to the brim with wonderful witnesses of a prosperous past, whether they be peaceful and picturesque, spiritual or, on the contrary, extremely entertaining.

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Groeninge Museum

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Saint John´s Hospital

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Gruuthuse Museum

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Belfry

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City Hall

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Church of Our Lady

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Beguinage

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Saint Saviour’s Cathedral

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

St. Magdalene’s Church

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St. Anne’s Church

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St. Giles’s Church

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St. James’s Church

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St. Walburga's Church

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Concertgebouw Circuit

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bladelin Court

Stad Brugge / Matthias Desmet

Sacred Books | Secret Libraries

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Adornes estate – Jerusalem Chapel

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Lace Centre

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Brewery De Halve Maan

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bruges Beer Experience

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Choco-Story/Chocolate Museum

Diamantmuseum Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bruges Diamond Museum

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Belgian Fries Museum

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Historium Bruges

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Lumina Domestica/Lamp Museum

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Museum-Gallery Xpo Salvador Dalí

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Xpo Center Bruges

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Discover Bruges

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bruges by boat

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bruges by horse-drawn carriage

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

City Tour Bruges

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bruges from the heart

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bicycle carriages

Sights

Activities

Peerdenbrug Jan D'Hondt/Visit Bruges

Romantic hotspots

Idyllic walks along misty canal banks; nostalgic rides in open carriages, wrapped up warm in cosy woollen blankets; all rounded off with a top class meal at one of the many gastronomic restaurants. In the crisp air of winter, the historic centre of old Bruges becomes even more romantic, more poetic, more mysterious. It is almost as if the World Heritage city waits for the coolest months, until the large mass of summer visitors has gone, to show its most charming side: a side reserved only for those in the know.

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Rozenhoedkaai

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Minnewaterpark

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Begijnhof

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bonifaciusbrug

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Gruuthuse

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Groenerei & Peerdenbrug

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Koningin Astridpark

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Huidenvettersplein

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Jan van Eyckplein

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Vesten

Huidenvettersplein Brugge Jan D'Hondt/Visit Bruges

Dining

To savour and to feast, that’s what Bruges is all about. A land of plenty for lovers of the finest delicacies. Nowhere else will you find so many appetising culinary delights in such a compact area. Indeed, the citizens of Bruges themselves are mightily fond of authentic food and drink.

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

De Jonkman

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Zet'Joe

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Sans Cravate

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Den Gouden Harynck

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Goffin

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Auberge De Herborist

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bistro Bruut

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

L.E.S.S. Eatery

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Patrick Devos

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Rock-Fort

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Floris

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Tête Pressée

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bistro Refter

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bonte B

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Franco Belge

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Hubert Gastrobar

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Le Mystique

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Tanuki

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Assiette Blanche

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bistro Rombaux

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Cantine Copine

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

De Mangerie

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Goesepitte 43

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Kok au Vin

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Komtuveu

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

La Buena Vista

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

La Tâche

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Lieven

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Laissez-Faire

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Réliva

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

The Blue Lobster

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Tom's Diner

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Tou.Gou

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

't Werftje

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Quatre Mains

Award-winning restaurants

Eiermarkt Jan D'Hondt/Visit Bruges

Cafés, bars & nightlife

Looking for a cozy drink or a night on the town?
Discover the many cafés & bars in Bruges.

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

27b Flat

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Bar des Amis

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bar Salon

Stad Brugge

Bauhaus

Toerisme Brugge

B-In

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Blend wijnbar

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

’t Brugs Beertje

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Café De Reisduif

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Café Rose Red

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Café Vlissinghe

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Cambrinus

Visit Bruges

Charlie Rockets

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Concertgebouwcafé

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Craenenburg

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Cuvee - Bar à vin

Toerisme Brugge / Jan Darthet

Delaney's Irish Pub & Restaurant

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

De Garre

Visit Bruges

De Lokkedize

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

De Republiek

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Du Phare

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

L´Estaminet

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Groot Vlaenderen

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

´t Hof van Beroep

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

´t Hof van Rembrandt

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Joey´s Café

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

´t Klein Venetië

Visit Bruges

Li O Lait

Toerisme Brugge / Jan Darthet

Punta Est

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

´t Risico

Dennie Deroo

Velusso Cycling Café

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Vino Vino

Toerisme Brugge / Jan Darthet

Wijnbar Est

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

´t Zwart Huis

De Goezeput

Shopping in Hoogstraat Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Shopping

Although Bruges is often associated with the virtuosity and mastery of craftsmen from the past, today’s city is still a breeding ground for creative entrepreneurs of all kinds. Here you can find dozens of authentic shops, each offering that little something extra, while often nestling alongside the more traditional and reputed art galleries and antique emporia. Shopping in Bruges is a veritable voyage of discovery, ranging from original and trendy newcomers, through vintage addresses that exude nostalgia, to classic establishments that have been run by the same family for generations.

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Market days

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Where to shop?

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

When to shop?

Visit Bruges

#LocalLove - A fine selection of authentic shops

Visit Bruges / Bruno Gouwy

Find your own art treasures with #ArtandAntiques

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Handmade in Brugge

Events on www.visitbruges.be Bruno Gouwy/Visit Bruges

Events

There is no better way to fraternise with the townspeople of Bruges than to immerse yourself in the infectious ambiance at the innumerable events that sweep through the whole city.

Visit Bruges

Procession of the Holy Blood

David Samyn

Budapest Festival

Stad Brugge / Matthias Desmet

Zandfeesten

Toerisme Brugge / Jan Darthet

Cactus Festival

Stad Brugge / Matthias Desmet

Cirque Plus

Cel Fotografie Stad Brugge

Moods!

Visit Bruges

MAfestival

Wikipedia

Exhibition Simon Stevin, 1620-2020

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'hondt

Carillon concerts

Jan van Eyck painting in Groeninge Museum Musea Brugge / Inge Kinnet

Top event 2020: Flemish Masters

During the Late Middle Ages, comfortably installed in the palatial Princes’ Court in Bruges, the dukes of Burgundy commissioned numerous works from the most renowned Flemish artists of the day, such as Jan van Eyck. 2020 is the ‘Year of van Eyck’, in which Bruges will host two exhibitions, allowing visitors to experience the high-standard Burgundian society and the painting genius of the Flemish primitives.

The exhibition ‘Van Eyck in Bruges’ in the Groeninge Museum focuses primarily on two of his masterpieces: the Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele and the Portrait of Margaretha van Eyck. Among the artists influenced by van Eyck was Hans Memling. You can discover how Memling in turn has inspired many modern artists during ‘Memling Now: Hans Memling in contemporary art’, in Saint John’s Hospital.

During the ‘Jan van Eyck year’ there are certain times when you can book the walk 'Meet & greet Van Eyck' that will allow you to follow in the footsteps of the great artist.

LUKAS - ART IN FLANDERS vzw / Foto: Dominique Provost

Van Eyck in Bruges

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Meet & greet Van Eyck

Musea Brugge / Aydin Aghdashloo

Memling Now: Hans Memling in contemporary art

Overnight stays in Bruges Jan D'Hondt/Visit Bruges

Accommodations

Whether you opt for a classy four-star hotel, a charming B&B, a cheap-and-cheerful youth hostel or an authentic holiday home, one thing is certain: in Bruges there is always plenty of choice and you will always spend the night in style.

Book a room in a cosy Bed & Breakfast or in one of our charming hotels.
Accomodation reservations can be made online via www.visitbruges.be or upon arrival in the information offices at Markt, 't Zand or Stationsplein.

Toerisme Brugge / Jan Darthet

Hotels in Bruges

Toerisme Brugge / Jan D'Hondt

Bed & breakfasts in Bruges

Daniël De Kievith

Holiday flats in Bruges

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Youth accommodations in Bruges

Camping Memling

Camping

Stad Brugge

Camper van overnight parking area

Brugge in Europa Visit Bruges

Travelling to and in Bruges

Up-to-date information about access can be found on www.visitbruges.be.

Visit Bruges

By car / coach / ferry

Visit Bruges

By train

Visit Bruges

By plane

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

International coach services

Visit Bruges

Taxi

Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Public transport

Tourist information office Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Tourist Information

Emergencies

European emergency number: tel. 112. This general number is used in all countries of the European Union to contact the emergency services: police, fire brigade or medical assistance. The number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Medical help
» Doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nursing officers on duty: tel. 1733
» S.O.S. Emergency Service: tel. 100
» Hospitals:
A.Z. St.-Jan: tel. +32 (0)50 45 21 11
A.Z. St.-Lucas: tel. +32 (0)50 36 91 11
St.-Franciscus Xaveriuskliniek: tel. +32 (0)50 47 04 70
» Poisons Advice Centre: tel. +32 (0)70 245 245

Police
» General telephone number: tel. +32 (0)50 44 88 44
» Emergency police assistance: tel. 101
» Working hours
Monday to Friday: 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. and Saturdays: 9.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. you can contact the central police services at Kartuizerinnenstraat 4
» After working hours
you can access the police station on 3, Lodewijk Coiseaukaai from Monday to Thursday, between 7 am to 9 pm and continually from 7 pm on Friday to 9 pm on Sunday. For urgent matters, the police station has a 24-hour telephone service.

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Passport / Visa

Belgium can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.

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Post office

bpost
You can also make use of one of the post points (advice, dispatch, stamps, etc.) or stamp shops (stamps only) that you can find in several of the shopping streets.

Address: Smedenstraat 57

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Language

Dutch

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