Our Trip To Europe Part Two Bruges
I am so glad we decided to visit Bruges as it turned out to be my favorite of all the places we visited. Even though it was only for one night it was absolutely worth it and I highly recommend a visit to Bruges to anyone who is going to visit Belgium or the Netherlands.
We travelled to Bruges from Amsterdam via train in around two and a half hours. It was an easy one-stop trip and we did so by taking the Thalys train into Brussels and then a local train to Bruges from Brussels Midi. If your journey includes Paris, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany, then the high-speed Thalys trains are your ticket. The “red train” Thalys provides direct links to 17 cities in all, and you can travel from Paris to Brussels in under ninety minutes. My husband booked the tickets online in advance which is better and cheaper if you can do it this way instead of buying them at the stations.
We only stayed in Bruges for one night but given how much I liked it, I could have easily stayed two nights. Having said that, I have friends that have done one day trips to Bruges and have been happy with it so it all depends on your own preference. It is quite a small town but it has so much character, for the most part you shouldn’t need more than 1-2 days to see it all. I think Bruges is one of the best-preserved cities in Europe that still offers the kind of old world charm you expect. It is picture post card perfect and it reminded me in alot of ways of Venice. We were very lucky with the weather in Bruges as we were for mosy of our trip, I think it only rained one morning when we were in Amsterdam the rest of the time it was glorious sunshine and in the eighties.
In Bruges we stayed one night at the Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges and it was really beautiful, reasonably priced and very centrally located so I can definitely recommend it. We arrived here late afternoon/early evening so we dropped our bags, freshened up and immediately went out to walk and explore the city. We enjoyed a romantic horse drawn carriage tour through the heart of the city, along the canals and over historical small bridges. The carriage driver was our tour guide and explained all the various sites and areas to us. I think it was a real fun way to start off our visit, to see the city and get an overview of the history that goes along with it.
After our city tour it was starting to get late so we decided to get some dinner at a cute outdoor restaurant in the town square that served traditional French “Bistro” fare and we got to experience Bruges as nightfall fell on the city. After dinner we walked back to the hotel just looking around and realizing that this place is even more beautiful later in the evening as the lights come on. It just gives the city a totally different atmosphere that was even more beautiful and romantic.
The next morning it was time to get a canal tour just like we did in Amsterdam, which is a must. Not only is the scenery beautiful, traveling through the canals in the small boats is an easy way to see everything again, but with yet another different perspective and in the afternoon after lunch we joined a two hour walking tour to really find the hidden history of Bruges from an expert.
Given the fact that we were in Belgium, there were chocolate stores everywhere; I was in heaven, as I love chocolate. My favorite though was Stef’s Chocolatier, as you will see in the pictures below, named after my own son! We ended up buying our fair share of chocolate here in Bruges, so let’s just say we don’t need to buy chocolate for a long time. We also got to try Belgian waffles, as they serve them everywhere fresh and hot with all sorts of toppings. We chose to have ours with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge with a glass of wine and it was amazing given the surroundings and all – it was delicious.
This pretty much covers the highlights of our Bruges visit and as I said before I absolutely loved Bruges and would love to go back someday. If you are planning to go there and would like to ask me any questions you can email me directly at [email protected] I would be happy to help answer any questions for you. Also if you have been to Bruges and want to share your experience in the comments, I would love to hear about them. Below you can see our pictures.
Again a quick reminder about our fabulous End of Summer sale which is happening on our web site. There is only one week left to get 20% off any purchase over $100.00 with code EOS2015. Don’t miss this opportunity, as it will end Sept 7th.