Bruges: Travelling Slow for a Perfect Day Trip

September, 22 2021 ( Updated September, 22 2021)

Food & Restaurants

The most iconic scene of the 2008 hit movie starring Colin Farrel and Ralph Fiennes was shot at the top of this city’s majestic belfry. Yes, we are talking about the dreamy land of Bruges!

Known as the “Venice of Belgium”, this Flemish city not only has been the European Capital of Culture in 2002 but is also a distinctive UNESCO protected site. Its overall romantic mood and enchanting medieval architecture create a very suggestive atmosphere perfect for slowing down and having a relaxing day.

So, let us together find out the dreamy things to do here for a perfect day trip!

Visiting the medieval churches

A must-see is, of course, the Belfry of Bruges Markt, an imposing bell tower added to the main square of Bruges in the mid-1200s. This breathtaking medieval structure features 366 steps that are totally worth climbing to reach the top and take in one of the most extraordinarily colourful panoramas of the main square.

The Belfry of Bruges Markt

Once you get down, from here on, you can walk towards the magnificent Basilica of Holy Blood, a 12th C architectural treasure that shows off its extremely well-preserved Romanesque features and Gothic Upper Chapel which has remained visibly unchanged even today!

Another medieval building worth visiting to nicely round off a fantastic experience in Bruges is the Church of Our Lady. Once here, stand in front of its sweeping facade, soak in the fact that it is the second tallest brick building in the world and then go in to get a glimpse of Michelangelo’s Madonna and the child.

Madonna and the child by Michelangelo in the Church of Our Lady

Captivating boat tours

A boat tour through the extensive yet memorably picturesque canal system of Bruges is also a must-do on a one day visit. Most of these canals like Steenhouwers and Rozenhoedkaai pass by the medieval buildings, giving a chance to view their beauty from far away and, at the same time, also appreciate the other hidden and enchanting parts like gardens and vibrant markets - so, don’t forget to photograph these panoramic moments!

Pro-tip: Keep an eye out for the trademark Dutch windmills along the routes!

Boat tour in the canals of Bruges

Refreshing Belgian brews

Of all the beers named after the famed Bruges, the ones brewed in the city itself are Brugse Zot and Brugse Straffe Hendrik. Rent a bike or walk around to discover the Bruges Beer Experience, a beer museum close to the main square with brew tasting or one of the many authentic bars of Bruges to try one of their homebrews and get a taste of the world-famous Belgian beers.

Urban legends and uninterrupted peace

Feelings of zen and uninterrupted peace will fill you with serenity at Beguinage. This striking example of typical Belgian architecture is just a short walk and even a shorter bike ride from Burg Square. Also, a stone’s throw from here is the mesmerising Minnewater Park brimming with white swans and home to the urban legend of the Lover’s Bridge and Lake of Love that says that if one kisses the beloved on the bridge, then their love turns eternal!

Minnewater Park, the Lake of Love

Workshops, shopping or concerts!!!

Complete your day with either a workshop on how to make authentic Belgian waffles, or go to sustainable shopping stores or, if you find yourself in time for one of the many music, cultural and food festivals that Bruges hosts, then there is nothing better. In any case, there is really no wrong way to top off your day of slow travelling in Bruges. 

Pro-tip: Bruges has multi-genre music festivals that range from rock to jazz and world music to electronic. A number of them are also lined up for 2021, from September till December! 

Typical Belgian waffles

Looking for a well-connected holiday destination close to Bruges? Have a look at our holiday homes in the peaceful coastal town of Knokke-Heist or in the country-town Damme!


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