Weekend In Bruges


Markt – Start the day with a coffee in this large open square flanked by medieval-style buildings and filled with horse-drawn carriages and open-air restaurants. Climb the 366 steps of Unesco-listed 13th-century Belfort to get your bearings on the city. Back on the ground, grab some frites from the ever-present takeaway vans.

Burg – The Burg, filled with gorgeously gaudy buildings, has been the city’s administrative hub for centuries. Explore the Brugse Vrije’s remarkable 1531 carved chimneypiece and the colourful murals of the Gothic hall in the Stadhuis. Then see the city’s most sacred relic-a phial said to contain drops of Christ’s blood -in the Heilig-Bloedbasiliek.

Stadhuis’s Gothic hall is adorned with late-19th-century murals.

Café Vlissinghe – Finish the day at Bruges’ oldest pub, which first opened its doors in 1515.The interior is gorgeously preserved with wood panelling and a wood-burning stove, and local legend has it that Rubens once painted an imitation coin on the table here and then did a runner. Fill up on the likes of croque sandwiches, cheese and meat platters, fish or onion soup.

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