The Sweet Little Bruges Experience

Last year on Easter holidays I decided to visit Bruges with my family, after having a tough time finding an Airbnb at the last moment due to the holiday rush, we booked a hotel in the suburbs. Bruges is just a 2-3 hour train ride away from Amsterdam. We were all set for the Bruges experience and took an early morning train and were in Bruges by 11 am.

Bruges Experience and Bollywood

Bruges with its charm has been on my bucket list for a long time and Bollywood movie PK only made my desire stronger. Indian Film industry and international tourism go hand in hand; yes, a trend started by Yashraj movies in the 90’s has only grown over the years. This movie opens with the scenic beauty of Brugge.

Its many canals, historical city centre, and off-course chocolates, beer, and fries all make Bruges a traveller’s paradise. The entire historical city centre of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its landscapes are just to die for. It was raining the day we reached Bruges and it looked picture perfect with washed green colour all around us.

lush greenery and canals in Bruges
Photo courtesy: Nidhi Singh
Walk to get the best Bruges experience

Bruges is a small city with great history and is perfect for a day trip since we wanted to soak in more, we stayed overnight and enjoyed evening and early morning walks around the historic centre and market square. I and my camera were in seventh heaven here. Oh! Don’t miss the delicious breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien. I loved their food back home in Mumbai but having it in Belgium itself was just amazing.

breakfast in bruges
Photo courtesy: Nidhi Singh

Even though everyone suggested hopping on to a boat to see Bruges through its canals, we decided to walk around at our own pace enjoying all the historic buildings, shops, and restaurants. My favourite food at Bruges was anything to do with chocolate – homemade chocolates to Belgian hot chocolate to waffle with chocolate toppings – as I said, anything to do with chocolates.

chocolate display in Bruges
Chocolates in all shapes and sizes (literally). Photo courtesy: Nidhi Singh

When in Brugge do visit the following places to just complete “The Bruges Experience”:

Market Square: the historic centre

Grote Markt also known as the Market Square, is the largest square in the city of Bruges surrounded by beautiful historical buildings with colour (quite literally) and character. I went bonkers with my camera, trying to capture the essence of this place and then sat there for hours just to observe the scenery around. The market square is located at the historic centre with a backdrop of the famous Belfry Tower and Bruges history museum. The square is the centre of all festivals, celebrations, tournaments, fairs, and much more.

Grote Markt or Market square in Bruges
Photo courtesy: Nidhi Singh

Built in 1240 at the historic centre of Bruges, Belfry is a medieval bell tower which housed city archives. In 1280 the tower and city archives were destroyed in a massive fire and the tower was rebuilt. One can take the Ariel view of the city from the top of this tower. My suggestion is to definitely climb the Belfry, although I couldn’t do so; due to the holiday rush, we didn’t get the tickets after standing in the queue for about an hour.

Belfry in Bruges
Photo courtesy: Nidhi Singh
Sint Salvator Cathedral

Also known as Bruges Cathedral, Sint Salvator Cathedral is one of the few buildings which has never been destroyed over the centuries. Built in the 10th century as Parish Church, it was granted the cathedral status in the 19th century. There is also the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which is a Roman Catholic basilica which is believed to house a cloth stained with the blood of Christ.

Walk around Bruges historical city centre just soothes your inner traveller. Canals and cobbled streets characterise Bruges. Its small lanes and by-lanes are a treat to your eyes. Go to Rozenhoedkaai, for the most photographed place in Bruges.

Even though we covered entire of Bruges in 1.5 days on foot, there is something about Bruges which is calling me back for a longer stay.


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