If you set out to design a fairy-tale medieval town it would be hard to improve on central Bruges (Brugge in Dutch). Picturesque cobbled lanes and dreamy canals link exceptionally photogenic market squares lined with soaring towers, historic churches and old whitewashed almshouses. And there’s plenty of it. The only downside is that everyone knows. That means that there’s an almost constant crush of tourists, especially through the summer months. So to really enjoy Bruges stay overnight (day trippers miss the fabulous evening floodlighting) and try to visit midweek (avoiding floods of British weekenders). There’s a special charm in spring when daffodils carpet the tranquil begijnhof or in winter (except Christmas) when you can have the magnificent, if icy, town almost to yourself.
Free Bruges & Brussels city map
Exploring Belgium’s highlights is a whole lot easier with our free, printable PDF map...