Revisiting past memories is an opportunity for closure and to look at things from a different light. With clichés and all. In my Belgian years I tried to travel often inside the country and understand Belgium as much as possible. What I remember about Bruges is the vintage atmosphere and smell of gingerbread mixed with melancholy, where I felt like Gretel.
How to arrive? The main train station is called Station Brügge since the city is in the province Westflanders in the Flemish speaking part of lovely Belgium. The traveling time between Brussels and Bruges is about an hour, with stops in Antwerp and Gent on the way, and with final stop to Ostend or Knokke at the coast.
The city is warm and with perfectly preserved medieval structures. I remember the 20 minutes walk from the train station until reaching beautiful main square. I remember the canals, boats, little bridges, ancient churches and a small flea market on the way to Grote Markt that has a Gothic Town Hall.
Wondering on the little streets, Bruges seems stuck in time. Very humbled and grateful, I always kept in mind that the entire walk in the city center is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
The first movie I saw was not “In Bruges”, but “The Nun Story”, where Audrey Hepburn is a Flemish nursing sister. This reminds me. One of the oldest part of the city and a highlight in the city center is Beguinage, a closed house community that is now a nunnery. Partly open to the public. I truly recommend a visit.
The city has Concertgebouw (Concert hall), the Bruges Beer experience, College of Europe, many little shops and a family owner chocolate factory. Had the best fries in Bruges. Don’t leave before enjoying a coffee near the water with a speculoos (biscuit with cinnamon, very Belgian). Voilà!
Lastly, Bruges is a perfect day trip from Brussels. I have as precious memories the days I showed the city to the friends that visited me and the Easter Sunday I took also my parents when they came to Belgium.
Inspiration for your trip
Bits of Bruges on visitbruges.be