Back in September 2015 I ticked off a bucket list item that had been there since 2008 after I saw the horrifically violent movie, In Bruges, and that was to visit the medieval city of Bruges in Belgium.
Despite the violence of the movie, I remember watching the actors Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleeson roaming around this very cool looking old city. Seven years later as part of a 4 week trip around the UK and Europe, I spent one night in Bruges and fell for its charm.
I arrived by train and stayed for one night at the ibis Budget Centrum, located right next to the train station – which according to Google maps, is about a 25 minute walk to the main square, Markt. Dropping my bags off at the hotel, I did do this walk although it took me about 45 minutes because I kept stopping and taking photos.
To be fair, apart from what I had seen in the movie, I didn’t actually know a heck of a lot about Bruges so I probably didn’t do as much as I should have. I did however, so a City Tour which was really good. The tour took about 50 minutes , leaves from right outside the visitor centre in Markt and was really informative.
What I found in Bruges is that walking the cobblestone streets really was like stepping back in time and even though there are a lot of modern shops and vehicles, the horse-drawn carriages and tiny streets added to the ambiance of the place. In the central Markt are not only very colourful buildings but the famous Belfry – the medieval bell tower that has stood in place in the centre of the city since around the 13th Century (having been added to over the years of course). None of the buildings in this central area would be more than maybe 5 stories high making the Belfry, at 83 metres, easily the tallest building in the area.
Did I eat any of the famous Belgian chocolate? Um that would be a no, I’m not actually a huge fan of chocolate and really not a fan of Belgian chocolate – sacrilegious I know! I did have a waffle though so hope that redeems me. I find it difficult when people ask me about food in places I visit because I’m not a foodie at all. I eat food to sustain myself, not to analysis how good it is or how amazing it looks. I mean I know when something tastes good and when something doesn’t but that’s really about it.
How did this turn into a food post?
Anyhoo… I was only in Bruges for one night and while you probably don’t need more than one day to see the highlights I do actually feel like I missed out a little but I really enjoyed what I did see. On the day I left, my train was leaving about 2pm so I spent that morning wandering along the canals opposite the train station and discovering more of this very cool little city.