|Bruges Canal |
One of Europe’s grandest exporters of chocolate and luxury cuisine, Bruges has a rich history as one of Belgium’s most popular destinations. Known as The Venice of the North, many have fallen in love with its subtle architecture and medieval delights.
There can be no doubting the beauty behind the old town and its unblemished scenery. Canals flow freely through large parts of the region making for a relaxed getaway which many loved up couples will treasure. The city is also an artist’s delight. With a proud history of culture and artistic excellence, it’s no wonder that so many flock to the many museums scattered around Bruges.
Belgium rarely receives the kind of tourist activity that its neighbouring France and Holland experience throughout the year. But in many ways, Bruges represents one of the most understated cities in the world. It might not have the historical significance of Venice, but it’s hard not to bask in the enjoyment of a slow canal ride without wondering why that’s the case.
If riding the water isn’t your thing, there are always the famous walking trails which allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of the town’s most famous landmarks. In true Belgian fashion, there are horse carriages to be hired to make a day trip that much more traditional!
It has to be stressed that Bruges is very much a pedestrian friendly city. Once you reach the central region, there’s almost no traffic at all. You’re free to explore on foot without the buzz of cars and vans to rush you off your feet. This is certainly a good thing since much of the cities hidden charm lurks in the friendly markets scattered around the streets.
With a few hours to spend, there’s plenty of amusement to be had in visiting the small stands and dipping deeper in to the rich Belgian culture. You can snap up the much loved dark chocolate at a snip of the price that you’d pay outside of the country.
The city is very much lost in its medieval ways so don’t expect to find too many metropolitan skyscrapers spiralling above you. In contrast, if panoramic views of the best Bruges has to offer is more your style, you can head to the 13th century Belfort and take in the pleasant view.
During a trip to Burg square visitors can also appreciate the infamous “Basilica of the Holy Blood”. This age old relic is alleged to contain the blood of Jesus Christ and as such, tourists will flock to the prestigious sight in their numbers.
Economically, Bruges has seen better days. It was once a centrepiece in the cloth trade with immense clout in the industry. Those days were vanquished some five hundred years ago with the restricted access to the North Sea, but Belgium is hardly a country in poverty.
It also remains one of the rare few cities not to require a complete reconstruction in the aftermath of the two world wars. The lack of damage enabled Bruges to prosper and revel in its medieval glory. Many flock to the city to share the experience of cobbled streets and small housing in a setting which you’ll rarely find in modern day Europe. It isn’t particularly trendy, but there’s a great deal of natural elegance to the location. Less is more.
Bruges is a great place to visit if you wish to spend your days wandering
aimlessly through a calm era of cultured architecture and collective art. It’s
also a brilliant choice for romantic couples who seek a gentle setting to enjoy
their time together. It might not possess Venice’s obvious lure, but
Bruges offers a modest and picturesque Late break for anybody with a taste
for the subtle side of life.