Top choice in Bruges

The heart of ancient Bruges, the old market square is lined with pavement cafes beneath step-gabled facades. The buildings aren't always quite as medieval as they look, but together they create a fabulous scene; even the neo-Gothic former post office is architecturally magnificent. The scene is dominated by the Belfort, Belgium's most famous belfry. Its iconic octagonal tower is arguably better appreciated from afar than by climbing the 366 claustrophobic steps to the top.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bruges attractions

1. Historium

0.03 MILES

The Historium occupies a neo-Gothic building on the northern side of the Markt. The immersive one-hour audio and video tour aims to take you back to…

2. The Beer Experience

0.05 MILES

The Markt's newest attraction will appeal to the many who love a Belgian beer. Guided by a multilingual iPad app, the museum takes you through the history…

3. Belfort

0.05 MILES

Towering 83m above the square like a gigantic medieval rocket is this fabulous 13th-century belfry. There’s relatively little to see inside, but it’s…

4. Markt Hallen

0.05 MILES

The 13th-century former market halls occupy a rectangular building at the base of the Belfort, only 44m across but 84m deep. The halls have been at the…

5. Museum-Gallery XPO Salvador Dali

0.05 MILES

Located within the Belfort, this small gallery has one of the largest private collections of work (primarily sketches, painting and sculpture) of the…

6. Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed

0.11 MILES

The western end of the stadhuis morphs into the Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed. The basilica takes its name from a phial supposedly containing a few drops…

7. Burg

0.11 MILES

Just east of the Markt, the less theatrical but still enchanting Burg has been Bruges' administrative centre for centuries. It's in this area you'll find…

8. Sint-Donaaskerk Foundations

0.12 MILES

In the 1990s, when excavating for the foundations of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, workers literally hit a wall. This wall, it turned out, belonged to the 10th…