When in Bruges/Brugge

Belgium

 Breakfast buffet with mimosas to start the day! Cheers! Breakfast buffet with mimosas to start the day! Cheers!

Belgium is a country I would love to go back to and explore so much more of. Some of the oldest breweries in the world are located in here. Once landing in Brussels, we had twenty four hours to explore. First we took an immediate train from Brussels to Bruges, eventually getting a cab to our hotel at Martin’s Relais. This hotel is highly recommended as it is within walking distance to Grote Market, De Burg, Church of Our Lady, and the belfry, and is situated right off a canal.

Bruges was founded by the Vikings back in the 9th Century. It is also called “the Venice of the North” due to its River Zwin.

Being within walking distance in Bruges was so convenient, but also essential. Getting a taxi took longer than expected, which thankfully we only used getting to and from the train station. Bring a good pair of walking shoes when visiting here, because that is all that you will want to do exploring this city. The cobblestone roads where EVERYWHERE! I had read before, that Bruges is one of, if not the most well preserved medieval city in the world, I would agree. It is spectacular!

When in Bruges, make sure to get yourself some lace, tapestry, chocolate, and beer. Unlike in America, waffles are an late afternoon delight rather than at breakfast. Make sure to add lots of chocolate syrup on top! Some of the oldest breweries are located here dating back to 1500. I myself love all of the wheats and belgian beers, so this was a beer paradise.

The Church of Our Lady is the second tallest brick building in the world. Inside is Michelangelo’s marble Madonna and Child. There is renovation going on, so we were lucky to get in and see all of the art pieces. To see with your own eyes a piece of art so well preserved and know that it was made by an artist over five hundred years before is always a treat.

The Markt is bustling with lots of pedestrians, horse carriages, bicycles, sightseers, statues, and many places to enjoy a meal sitting outside taking it all in. The Belfry dominates the Markt. After climbing up 366 steps you will come to a carillon with 47 bells that make the most beautiful melodies and a panoramic view of the Markt which is an equally unforgettable.

There was an ISIS bombing at the train station in Brussels some months prior to us visiting, so I was a little nervous about using transit during our trip, but there were armed guards everywhere inside the train stations. So it has to be pretty safe right? The train station in Antwerp was stunning. Train stations in general are some of my favorite places to visit. I wish we spent more effort on them in the U.S, but the public transit in the U.S. doesn’t compare to Europe. Bruges is a headquarters to the European Union and NATO, so people travel from of Europe and the world here. The official languages here are Dutch, French, and German.