As a loyal visitor and big fan of the.ego.tripper you must have noticed that I haven’t written anything about Belgium yet. Does that mean Belgium is not worthy of your visit? No, that’s not what it means. It just means I had to go get some pictures of Bruges, my favorite Belgian citytrip destination (and one of my favorites in Europe even). The local tourist office actually offered me a whole lot of amazing photos, which means – for one time and one time only – I can’t really take credit for the photography in this post (at least not for most, you’ll notice the pictures I took with my smartphone, they’re square shaped). Anyway, I’m going back to Bruges in a couple of weeks, just for the weekend and I’m really looking forward to that. If you’ve ever been to Bruges you’ll know why.
Okay, so about this title. You might have seen the movie, In Bruges, with Colin Farell. In the movie the actor literally refers to Bruges as a shithole. A dull, sleepy town. This is where I should say: au contraire, mes amis, Bruges is quite the opposite. Bruges, not unlike Prague, is a big open air museum if you ask me. You enter the gates of the city, walk a few yards and immediately you get the feeling that you’ve stumbled upon a fairy tale town. I actually met an American there who asked me what time the city closed that day. And although it was a ridiculous question, it shows how Bruges is seen through the eyes of tourists. They can’t believe people actually live in this “museum”.
Life is actually quite good in Bruges. Of course, you have to make your way through the tourist masses, but once you know the back roads (or if you just wait until most of the tourist buses leave in the evening), you’ll find yourself in a calm and stunning environment. But what does the city have to offer? Why are there so many tourists in Bruges? Well, what about the canals? Did you know Bruges is called the Venice of the north? It might just be even better than Venice actually. In Bruges you’ll find reasonably prices restaurants wherever you look. In Bruges you can buy the most amazing chocolate you’ll ever eat. In Bruges you’ll find a café that is almost 500 years old and still alive and kickin’. In Bruges you’ll find a shop next to the canal where you can get about 800 different kinds of beer. In Bruges, ah in Bruges. Why would anyone want to leave?
If you need some tips: visit the Sint-Janhospitaal, the Groeningemuseum, all of the churches, brewery De Halve Maan (where you can find a quadruple beer, be careful with this one), café Vlissinghe (since 1515), café ‘t Brugs Beertje, and try to get in one of the boats that roam the canals. If you go in the summer months, you’ll have to stand in line for quite a while to get into a boat, but it’s definitely worth while.
(photos tourism Bruges)