48 Hours in Bruges, Belgium: A Travel Guide
Bruges is one of those cities that you could happily do a whole lot of nothing in and it’s an absolutely perfect destination for a short European break. If you’re interested in amazing architecture, cute little canals, rich Belgian chocolate and sampling some of Belgium’s finest beers, then maybe this is the perfect destination for you! To help you out with your planning, here is my guide and top tips for spending 48 Hours in Bruges.
But is it even possible to spend 48 hours in Bruges and see it all?
Yes! For me, two days in Bruges was the perfect amount of time as I visited in the middle of winter and wasn’t too fussed about visiting every tourist attraction available. Nor was I interested in eating copious amounts of chocolate or going shopping.
However, if you like quirky museums then maybe add on an extra day as Bruges does have some quirky ones to offer – including the Diamond Museum and the Frites Museum. If you’re visiting in summer then I can imagine a third day would also be quite nice to use exploring some of the greener places in Bruges, or sitting in one of the squares and people watching whilst munching on some frites.
I personally spent quite a lot of time in Bruges just admiring the architecture, enjoying the various Belgian treats and sitting in cosy cafes/restaurants/bars, just hanging out. However, if you’re interested in ticking off some of the tourist hotspots in this beautiful place then check out what I managed to squeeze into my trip in between drinking hot chocolate and taking too many photos of pretty buildings during my two day stay back in January 2016.
How to spend 48 Hours in Bruges
Climb the Belfry Tower
Whenever I visit a new place one of the first things I look up is the best place to see the location from above, so it’s no wonder that I ended up with a strong desire to climb the Belfry Tower whilst in Bruges. The tower itself is over 83 metres tall and after trekking up 366 steps, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views across the city. This was my top attraction in Bruges because the views were just fab. I’d aim to get there early in the morning to avoid the long queues though!
Price: 10 EUR
Take a tour of Brouwerij De Halve Maan
Probably one of the best brewery tours I’ve been on – and I’ve been on my fair share of brewery tours! Another one of my fave attractions in Bruges, this 45 minute tour teaches you how the beer is made on site, takes you on a tour of the brewery (including the roof), and then, of course, gives you a free beer.
Price: 9 EUR
Take in some history at Sint Janshospitaal
This 800 year old hospital has a history of looking after the sick and the poor of Bruges and as I’m a bit of a medical history nerd, visiting it was a no brainer for me. Although not massive, this museum has some fascinating stuff on the early history of medicine so if this interests you, consider checking this place out.
Price: 8 EUR
Grab a Belgian Hot Chocolate
Because you can’t go all the way to Belgium and not have one! I don’t have a specific recommendation for this as I am sure all of the cafes and shop have excellent chocolate but JS and I were drawn into the place with the rather obvious ‘The place to be to drink the best hot chocolate’ sign which did turn out to be pretty fantastic. I couldn’t resist adding an English scone though…
Visit the Historium
I’ll be honest – I only visited this one because it was raining and we needed somewhere interesting to shelter from the cold. But it was an interesting museum which takes you back to Medieval Bruges so if you fancy a wider history than that of a hopsital, this one could be worth checking out. There are some nice views of the Market Square from the terrace too.
Price: 13.50 EUR / 10 EUR for students
Have a beer in the Duvelorium
The Duvelorium is a bar above the Historium which serves a pretty great selection of Belgian beers. There was so much choice that we had to go for a tasting selection so that we could try a range! This bar overlooks the Market Square so it’s a pretty fab spot for a stop. Despite being above the Historium, you don’t need to be visiting the museum to visit this bar as it’s open to everyone but that does mean that it’s not open in the evening.
Admire the architecture
The architecture of Bruges was one of the main things that drew me to the city in the first place and I was definitely not disappointed on arrival. Everywhere you look in Bruges there is a fantastic building to photograph! Definitely schedule some time with your camera for this trip.
Get wonderfully lost
Bruges is more of a small town than a city which makes it very walkable – it’s highly unlikely that you will need to use any public transport once you are in the center. Use this as an excuse to get out and about on your feet in this beautiful city and uncover it’s hidden gems, which just so happen to be around every single corner.
So there you have it – my trip to Bruges in 48 hours and some top recommendations for yours!
If you’ve been before, is there anything you think I missed or anything I should be adding to my list for next time? I’d love to visit again in the summer one day to enjoy some more of those great beers in the sunshine…
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Have you done anything on this list? What was your favourite?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below – I’d love to hear them!
Lots of love,
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