The ultimate checklist for
a short stay in Belgium
It’s not often that I’ll go to a different country and stay there for under a day. This, however, was the case for Belgium.
Travelling Europe with my boyfriend and his family, we had the opportunity to spend the night in a cute boutique hotel 10 minutes out of Brugge, meaning the only time we had to explore the city itself was that evening.
This is my absolute must-do checklist if your time is limited and you want to get the best out of your stay:
Visit the Markt, or central plaza. This place is buzzing with tourists thanks to the buskers, central location (near many restaurants and shops) and overall view. This is where I coordinated with our bicycle carriage tour. Be sure to look up to see the Belfry of Brugge’s massive and stunning tower.
Tour the Basilica of the Holy Blood. This church and pilgrimage site found in the center of Brugge is brimming with stunning architecture and history.
Take a 30 minute bicycle-carriage tour. I prefer this over the horse drawn carriage as they’re more intimate (can fit up to 3 people), and they hit all the major designated spots while giving you a thorough history lesson. This helps to avoid strenuous walking, maximize knowledge (and photo opportunities), and check off lots of places in one. Our guide was friendly and would stop and talk to us personally at many of the locations. The cost is 24 Euros (plus tip) and is worth it.
Brugge is known for its:
There are plenty of shops and boutiques selling this all around the city centre. Try and eat all of these (bonus points if you can check them all off in one sitting), and admire the lace while you’re at it. We stopped at The Chocolate Line for chocolate, and I can confirm it beats any other chocolate I’ve ever had.
Admire the canals (if you have time, take a canal boat tour). To a Canadian like myself, the concept of having man-made waterways dividing streets instead of roadways is captivating (and makes for some impressive photos, too!)
Take a second to breathe in the air. If you stand at the right spot, you can smell beer being made from the local brewery, fresh chocolate, and savoury warm waffles all in one breath. For a second you’ll think you’re in heaven. (Did I just make your mouth water?)
In six hours, you don’t have a lot of time to do everything, but it’s important to do things you will remember. By completing this checklist, I’ll never forget Brugge, Belgium.