Top 5 Places to Visit in Bruges

Bruges, Belgium

1. Belfort

photo by Wolfgang Staudt/ CC by

The Belfort, also commonly known as the Belfry dominates the Bruges skyline and as such provides the best 360 vantage point of the city. The 83 meter-high bell tower is the most prominent building at the Market Square.

366 steps

You must climb 366 steps to reach the top. Lots of steps, but that shouldn’t be your main worry. It’s the narrow and spiral structure of the stairs that will surely give you a challenge.

Yes, it is high, steep and altogether a pain to climb. But it is well worth it when you reach the top, hear the bells and see the spectacular views for miles around.

view from the Belfry
photo by Sean Munson/ CC by

The Belfry is popular and they only allow 70 people at a time. So go early and beat the crowd.

2. Markt

photo by Andy Hay/ CC by

All roads lead from the Markt to different parts of the city. The 1 hectare land is so massive that even if you lose your way you will find yourself still ending up in the square.

The Markt during Christmas
photo by Ricardo Samaniego/ CC by

If time is not a problem, spend your entire day at the Markt so you can fully absorb the atmosphere. You are guaranteed to see something special, something vintage, something new, and something that will urge you to learn more about Belgium’s history.

3. Groeninge Museum

photo by Spirosk/ CC by

The Groeninge Museum is an absolutely must-see if you're fond of Flemish art. It might be a small museum but it houses a collection of art from the 14th to the 20th century. 

Flemish Renaissance Masters

The Madonna with Canon van der Paele by Jan Van Eyck
photo by Perle Artistiche/ CC by

The museum features many highlights, most notably, ‘The Flemish Primitive’ collection ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque period. You will be amazed by the works of famous Flemish masters Heironymus Bosch and Jan van Eyck. Be sure to take your time viewing their masterpieces

4. Burg

photo by Emmanuel Parent/ CC by

The Burg is a public square just a stone’s throw away from the Markt. It is surrounded by an array of stunning Flemish buildings that collectively give you a taste of what the city must have been like in the past.

Horse carriages at the Burg Square
photo by Ruth1066/ CC by

Try and find time to reflect and take in the ambiance of the square. Find yourself a spot, sit back, relax and watch the world slowly goes by. The sights are picturesque and the added effect of hearing the horse drawn carriages will complete your European fantasy.

5. Church of Our Lady

inside the Church of Our Lady
photo by Dennis Jarvis/ CC by

If you are only to visit one church in Bruges, this should be it. The Church of Our Lady at 122 meters high remains to be the tallest structure in the city.

Madonna and child

Any place that has a Michelangelo sculpture is always worth a visit, which is nearly impossible outside of Italy. Michelangelo’s sculpture of Madonna and child inside the Church of Our Lady is supposedly his only sculpture to ever leave Italy.

Madonna and child
photo by Hans Splinter/ CC by

You will be amazed to know that the sculpture have already been stolen and retrieved twice, once by the French revolutionaries and after by the Nazis. Given that fact, it would be a crime to leave Bruges without seeing the Madonna.

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