There can be many reasons why you will fall in love with the beautiful Bruges city. The delightful canal cruise ride, where the boat passes swiftly through the water, throwing the waves past the way. The infamous medieval period house structures on the banks of the beautiful canals standing in the water, like forever.
The ducks and the swans in the shimmering canal waters, the tourists waving from the bridges above the canal to every canal cruise, the colorful chocolate shops in the streets, the interesting crochet lace shops and a lot more.
The smell of love, chocolate, beer, wine, and waffles is in the air, and all you would want is to sit in one of the cafes in the Markt square and watch the sun shades go down by the Belfry tower.
While in Bruges, one should keep certain important things in mind and go there prepared, to have a good uninterrupted experience in the laid back, cute, little, old city.
- Public Wi-Fi is not available
In Amsterdam or other major cities in Europe, you can get free or public Wi-Fi at any café or tourist spots. However, in Belgium, especially in Bruges, you won’t get the facility of a free Wi-Fi in 90% of the cafes. So better go there prepared! You can buy a Lyca Sim card – which offers no roaming charges to 18 destinations in Europe including Belgium or you can buy a local SIM card from any of the Mobistar shops in the city. On the other hand, Lebara can be quite costly, as roaming charges are applied. (as per some known sources, sometimes the data does not work at all.) Also, most of the hotels provide free Wi-Fi, so at the end of the day, that’s a relief!
- Restaurants near the Markt are expensive
The Markt in Bruges is a lovely square with a view of the Belfry tower standing against the triangle houses turned into cafés – which are quite expensive as compared to the restaurants in the other spots of the city. With lots of side roads leading to a wonderful array of Flemish medieval building and canals, you can find other spectacular cafes on the same roads, which are lesser expensive.
- Diamond museum could be boring
If you’re expecting to experience a wide collection of different kinds of diamonds in the Bruges’ Diamond museum, well then you might be disappointed. As the museum has a very limited collection and it can get boring for the avid diamond fans. Even the entry can be quite expensive for some, at a price of €8 euros per person. At that cost, there’s only an audio tour and around 5 sections in the museum, informing about history and business of diamond that existed in Bruges, a very long time ago.
- Horse drawn carriage rides are expensive on Markt square
One can also explore the Bruges by a horse-drawn carriage ride which costs €50, regardless of the number of people travelling in it. If you’re a couple or a family they’ll charge the same. The ride is for 30 minutes in which they take a break of 5 minutes to provide some rest to the horses. It’s worth the price for some if you’re travelling as a family to Bruges. The horse carriage ride definitely takes you to some parts of the city which have limited access, and the riders keep telling you about the history of Bruges through the entire ride.
- Take good shoes, most of the streets are cobblestones
Most of the streets in Bruges are cobbles, so make sure you’re travelling there with comfortable shoes, as there’s a lot of walking in the city.
- Book a hotel near the Markt Square
The center of Bruges is near the Markt square, so it’s advisable to book a hotel near the same inner ring, as everything is accessible by foot from there.
- Take a bus to Antwerp and head to Bruges by IC
If you’re travelling to Bruges from Netherlands and wish to save some penny, instead of taking a direct train you can take a Flixbus to Antwerp and then head to Bruges by Intercity (IC). This way you can have a short-day trip to Antwerp or can experience the grandeur of the famous Antwerp station before heading to Bruges. The cost of the Flixbus from Amsterdam to Antwerp is €14 per person, and the IC from Antwerp to Bruges costs around €15 per person.
While coming back you can explore a different route from Bruges. You can take an IC to Brussels and come back to Amsterdam from Brussels by a Flixbus, which is around the same price range. The Flixbus are usually quite comfortable. If you want more headspace, go for the non-sleeper and you could also avoid the double decker.
- There’s lots of walking
Be ready for lots of walking, as Bruges can be best explored on foot. Make sure to take a night stroll after dinner, its breathtaking to see all those medieval structures and canals at night.
- Not many late-night restaurants
Usually, the town sleeps early, so Bruges is not the best place for late eaters. But if you’re travelling on a weekend, most of the cafes and bars around the Markt square are open till 2 am. But if you’re looking for food, only a few of them will serve you.
- Keep your luggage in lockers
If you don’t want to stay in Bruges and you’re just passing and still want to explore the city for few hours, then you can keep your luggage in the lockers available at the central station. The cost of depends on the size of the locker which ranges from €3 to €8.
- You won’t require cab, the bus comes in the main city
If you have booked a hotel in the inner ring of Bruges (near the Markt square), you would not require taking a cab from the central station to the main city to reach your hotel. As most of the buses come to the main city and the distance is only around 15 minutes.
- Staying by the canals is not a good idea
While one might be quite fascinated by the idea of staying in a property with a canal view, but it can get noisy to live in a room facing the canal. So, it would be best to opt for a hotel which faces the canal, so that it is easy or anytime accessible and go for the room at the backside of the hotel.
- Parking space is limited and expensive
Just remember, if you’re doing a road trip to Bruges, make sure to check with your hotel, if they have the parking space. Road trip with your own car can be quite an experience, but most hotels in Bruges charge around €30 per day for parking space, and if you’re taking your car around the city, those will be additional charges.
If these tips helped you to plan your next Eurotrip to Bruges, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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