Must-See Sights in Bruges
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | August 1st, 2021
When visiting Belgium, a trip to Bruges is a must. This dreamy Belgian town is filled with cobblestone streets, winding canals, and one delicious waffle cafe after the next. Whether you're visiting during the popular summer months, or during the quiet and cold winter, be sure not to miss these nine picturesque sights.
Quay of the Rosary (Rozenhoedkaai)
Unofficially serving as the symbol of Bruges, the Quay of the Rosary can be seen on nearly every travel advertisement, postcard, and souvenir. This beautiful corner is easily the most photographed spot, and it's easy to see why -- it's breathtaking! This is also the best place to take a boat tour. Hop on board, cruise around town, and see everything great that Bruges has to offer.
Jan Van Eyck Square (Koningstraat)
Jan Van Eyck was a Northern Renaissance painter who lived and painted in Bruges for most of his life. A memorial statue of him was placed in the center of the square in 1878, and the nearby Groeninge Museum houses some of his best works of art. The square is very modest, with not too much to see and do, but the simplicity of the area is undeniably beautiful.
This adorable chocolate shop whips up some of the tastiest sweets in all of Belgium. From classic truffles and bark bars to lemoncello pralines and hot chocolate sticks with Jamaican rum, Chocolatier Dumon has something for everyone. Even non-chocolate lovers can enjoy a hot espresso or tea while wandering around the quaint store.
Connecting Burg Square and the Fish Market, Blinde-Ezelstraat is one of the prettiest streets in Bruges. There are many legends as to why this gorgeous archway exists, but to this day, no one knows for sure. Even though the history is uncertain, the intricate gold design and preserved structure are definitely worth a look.
De Vlaamsche Pot
Not only is De Vlaamsche Pot the prettiest restaurant in Bruges, but it also serves up some of the tastiest food. Fan favorites include the Flemish Stew, Moules, and Creme Brulee. Be sure to grab a seat on their patio during a warm, summer night. If you're visiting during winter, the inside's cozy atmosphere is ever so inviting. Also, if you're lucky, the owner's pug, Robert, will be hanging out on the patio waiting for a nice pat on the head when you visit.
Numerous stores, restaurants, and vendors can be found in the bustling Market Square. This is hands-down the busiest area in Bruges, and it's a great place to grab lunch, people watch, or climb the Belfry. After climbing nearly 300 feet, visitors are captivated by sweeping views across the city.
One of the most romantic corners of Bruges, is here at the Bonifacius Bridge. Its quiet and secluded surroundings are a great place to unwind, slow down, and catch your breath. Couples cross the bridge hand in hand, people read books under the towering oak trees, and photographers try their best to capture the atmosphere of this magical spot.
You can't come to Belgium and not eat waffles, or fries for that matter, but let's just focus on waffles right now. Waffles were first made in the Middle Ages in Belgium. They were sold as crispy and rich street-side snacks by vendors outside of local churches. Today, they are one of the world's favorite breakfast foods. In Belgium, they're enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a delicious snack. Anytime is a good time for a waffle in Belgium. While in Bruges, the best place to grab one of these delectable creations is definitely at Chez Albert. Although the line may be long when you visit, the waffles are worth the wait.
Fries are another must-have while in Belgium. Why? Because they were created here. It's a common misconception that fries were created in France, hence the name French fries. But this is all just one big misunderstanding. During World War I, American soldiers believed that they were in France while they were enjoying some delicious fried potatoes, when in fact, they were in Belgium. They went back home, accidentally calling them French fries, and the rest is history. Known as 'frites' in Belgium, and often topped with mayo, these popular side dishes can be found all over the country. The best place to find them in Bruges? I'd say it's at Chez Vincent.