If you have the flexibility to travel when you choose, visiting a popular destination such as Bruges midweek is the perfect way to avoid the crowds. The magical Belgian city makes for an ideal short break destination as it is accessible on foot, packed with history and culture and just a few hours away from home. |
A combination of ancient architecture and tranquil canals are at the heart of this Flanders town, and most of its sights can be taken in over just a couple of days in the city. Let’s explore what a midweek trip to medieval Bruges has to offer.
Best Foot Forward
All of Bruges’ most iconic landmarks can be visited by walking. This is ideal for a quick trip as you don’t want to lose time fussing around with taxis or public transport when your time is limited. When you’re on foot, you also get to take in the stunningly preserved medieval architecture as you make your way around the town.
Art lovers (and everyone else) should start with the Groeningemuseum to get a flavour of the culture of both old and new Bruges. The museum’s first rooms contain world famous artworks by old Flemish masters, such as Jan van Eyck. These rooms also hold beautiful panels which present the tale of St. Ursula who, legend has it, was shot with a bow and arrow by the Huns. There is also a gallery of fantastic modern art.
The Town Hall of Bruges should also be on your list. With its elongated, Gothic windows and pointed turrets, the building looks like a castle from a fairytale. The Town Hall is over 700 years old and its pointed roof is topped by whimsical octagonal towers. The façade is covered in 49 niches which hold the statues of the Counts of Flanders, beginning with the charmingly named Baldwin Iron Arm. Go inside to catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring timber vaulted ceiling in the Gothic Hall.
To get a feel for the buzz of the city, head to the Markt, the main square. The area is hemmed in by a mishmash of architecture from various centuries and dominated by an 83 metre high belfry. In the west, you’ll discover the charming fifteenth-century brick Huis Boechoute, whereas on the eastern side you’ll find neo-Gothic nineteenth-century constructions. Almost every building has a story to be discovered, so rest at one of the inviting cafes that line the square and discover more.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is my final recommendation. The interior of this famous building glistens with gold and jewel tones and contains a crystal vial said to hold a single drop of Christ’s blood. Once a year, this vial is paraded around the town in the Procession of the Holy Blood. This relic is incredibly sacred, and the stunning Basilica is a fitting place for it to live.
Before You Go
Even though you are only taking a short trip, single trip travel insurance is vital. Ideal for a spontaneous adventure, single trip travel insurance will cover your valuables, like cameras and phones, as well as you in case of accident. So, make a mini break checklist (sun cream, shades, guidebook and single trip travel insurance) and you’re ready to take off to Bruges!
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global, annual and single trip travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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