Travel guide: Bruges, Belgium

We visited Bruges as part of our trip around Belgium and Holland.  It was our first stop off the ferry from Dover to Calais.  Bruges is about an hour and a half drive from Calais, France and is such a beautiful place to visit.  

We drove to Bruges and found parking at the train station just at the south of the historic centre to be very easy and relatively cheap.  Most of the old town is restricted to vehicles and parking is reserved for residents and so I would not recommend driving into Bruges itself.  Getting from the train station to the main area is very easy and a short walk.  The walk from the train station also takes you past the beautiful Minnewater lake, full of beautiful brick houses and tourist horse and cart rides. 

The historic centre is very compact and easy to walk around.  After the lake you reach a street called Katelijnestraat which is full of amazing chocolate shops, a Belgian speciality. 

We didn’t stay long in Bruges, as the plan was only to be there in the morning.  We also got caught in a little rain shower and so just nipped into a cafe to grab another Belgian speciality – fries topped with mayonnaise. 

There are so many lovely places to stop and eat in Bruges, and they are just as lovely to stare at the beautiful window displays.

While the town is very small, there are lots of tourists and it is quite a common stop for bus tours.  The main street I mentioned above can be very busy as can the main square.  It’s definitely worth wandering further north in the town to the canals.  One particular street Pottenmakersstraat is very picturesque and lovely and quiet.