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Bruges – A Fairytale Christmas

Welcome to Bruges in Winter

What’s not to love about Bruges? This charming city has quaint streets, historical buildings, and fabulous restaurants. The place is well-preserved, and its canals and architecture are stunning. Despite its popularity with tourists, Bruges or Brugge in Dutch retains a laid-back atmosphere that makes it a pleasure to explore.

Often referred to as the Venice of the North, this beautiful little town in Belgium transforms into a magical winter wonderland when the holiday season starts. There are markets, lights, and lots of Christmas activities to enjoy. We have visited this gorgeous Belgian city decked out in holiday décor, and we’ve found plenty of festive activities to keep everyone busy.

How To Get There

Visit Bruges Belgium, is a lovely city, and there are several different ways to get there. You can fly into Brussels Airport or Amsterdam and catch a connecting train or bus. If you have the extra time, take a boat from Rotterdam.

Once you’re in Belgium, it’s pretty easy to get around. They have comfortable and usually on-time trains, and there are buses connecting most major cities. Just secure your tickets and be ready to show the conductor anytime!

We were in London and decided to spend Christmas in Bruges. We drove to Dover and spent 1.5 hours on a Ferry trip across the English Channel to Calais, France. Along the way, we were graced by good weather that allowed us to see the beautiful White Cliffs of Dover.

Places Of Interest

Belfry Tower Bruges

Bruges’s most iconic spot must be the Belfort Belfry (Belgium’s National Heritage). It’s a beautiful medieval tower that offers stunning panoramic views over the city once you climb to the top. It’s also worth stepping inside as it houses a museum with some interesting artefacts from Bruges history.  

Markt (Market Square)

Visit is the Grote Markt (Square). During the holidays, this large square in the city centre is home to an impressive Christmas tree, a skating rink, and a variety of stalls where you can buy traditional Belgian Christmas treats. We were truly mesmerized by the Medieval architecture, which is particularly charming when it’s lit at night. It also feels fantastic to wander around the narrow streets and alleyways at night or day.

Chocolates

While you’re in the city, be sure to check out some of its famous chocolate shops. There are dozens of them in the town, and you can find anything from small, artisanal shops to large chains. Some of the most famous chocolatiers in Bruges include Mary’s Chocolates, Godiva, and Choco Story. We’ve seen many unique offerings, and it’s worth trying a few different ones for your sweet tooth. And don’t forget to buy souvenirs!

Where To Stay

You’ll want to stay at Duke’s Palace Bruges for accommodation steeped in history. This 5-star architectural masterpiece was built in the 13th century and served as the primary residence of the Duke of Burgundy. This luxurious hotel offers its guests an excellent view of the canals and plenty of amenities.

Another cosy and luxurious place to stay in Bruges during the holidays is the Hotel De Lois De Bruges. This 4-star hotel is located only a few steps from Brugge Market Square and within walking distance of the best attractions, shops, and restaurants.

For those looking for a bed and breakfast in the city, you can never go wrong with Monsieur Maurice. This 3-star intimate inn offers guests the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Owned and operated by the charming Maurice and his wife, they are always available to give recommendations on what to do in Bruges.

Where To Eat

Bruges offers something to everyone looking for good foods, whether a hearty meal or a small snack. As we strolled around the neighbourhood, we could check out the famous restaurant, The Toast. This restaurant serves both traditional Belgian cuisine and more modern dishes. We tried their delicious Belgium toasts filled with various toppings like fruit and honey or savoury toppings like eggs and bacon. And, of course, the restaurant has an extensive list of beers and wines to try.

 

Another hot spot for cheap eats is At Tatties. It’s a cute and cosy place that serves impressive breakfasts, lunch, and other tasty food options. Everything is prepared as ordered, and the place is spotless. The outside tables with blankets were genuinely inviting, and the price was reasonable.

 

There’s also a vegetarian-friendly restaurant just around the corner! The Marco Polo Noodlebar is a unique spot serving delicious Asian-style noodles; trust me; they’re worth the trip! They offer a different menu every day, so expect something new every time you visit. Plus, the prices are very reasonable. It’s just a short walk from the main square, so it’s easy to find.

Final Thoughts

Visiting Bruges in December feels like stepping into a fairytale world, with all the Christmas markets and events. This charming city is full of winding streets, picturesque canals, and historical landmarks that take your breath away. With its quiet atmosphere and relaxed vibes, Bruges is the perfect destination for couples or empty-nesters like us looking for a relaxing white winter getaway.

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