Last updated on September 20th, 2023 at 06:27 am
Bruges is one of Belgium’s most visited cities, so you can’t go wrong if you decide to take a day trip there. It is a charming city only a small hour away from the capital, Brussels. It’s the perfect destination for a small getaway or, like here, a day trip.
Bruges is famous for its central place with its coloured houses that are well worth the sight. And, of course, the delicious food it offers won’t disappoint you (waffles and fries)!
Here is how to spend one day in Bruges with the top five things to do if you only have one day!
One Day In Bruges: 5 Tops Things To Do
If you’re planning a day trip to Bruges from Brussels, you can take an InterCity train, which takes approximately 1h.
Fare €14.80 each way.
Usually, when people travel to Bruges for a day trip, it’d be from Brussels, the north of France or the Netherlands. However, our day trip started in Paris. So if you’re wondering if you can visit Bruges from Paris, yes, you can.
Bruges is four hours and a
We travelled by bus using FlixBus as it was the cheapest option.
However, if your budget isn’t as tight as ours, and you want a quicker journey, you can also ride the Thalys to Brussels and Bruges.
This trip was my second time in Belgium, the first being my “layover” when I travelled to Brussels to catch my flight to Corfu, Greece. It was also that time I nearly missed my flight because I went to the wrong airport. Aside from this little travel fail, the weather had been terrible, and I was pretty much underwhelmed by Brussels, to be honest.
The weather was clear this time, and Bruges is a much smaller and quaintier city, so I was ready to make the most of it! And I loved spending one day in Bruges; I will return in the future if I can!
Bruges being one popular destination in Belgium as it has a lot of adorable photo spots, it can be a bit busy during the peak seasons.
Another great travel destination in Belgium that is photo-friendly is Ghent; Ghent has amazing photo spots!
What To Do In Bruges In One Day
Relatively, six hours and a half is a pretty short period, so this list will most likely be missing a few things because you obviously can’t do everything in one day anyway. But bear with me here; you can still do and see some fantastic things in Bruges even in one day.
#1 Grote Markt
Grote Markt, or AKA Bruges super famous and super instagrammy, the main place, is pretty much the heart of the town. There you can find those iconic colourful houses.
The other points of interest in Grote Markt are:
- Belfroy dated from the XIIth century.
- Jan Breydel & Pieter de Coninck statue
This place has much to see; the neo-Gothic architecture gives it an undeniable charm. It’s also a good spot for photography to get a bird view of the city on the ground and up from the Belfry. Every Wednesday, the market is held at the site. And all kinds of various events all along the year.
The Christmas Market also occurs during the winter; I’d adore coming back during the winter period to check out the Christmas Market and have some hot chocolate and delicious waffles and other sweets!
Besides, it must be beautiful with all the Christmas lights and decorations around this period.
We ate our waffles there later in the afternoon as the Waffle Shop was 5 minutes away; pretty neat.
#2 Burg Square
Burg Square is not so far from Grote Markt; you can find many beautiful buildings, such as the Palace of Liberty above. Also, the Basilica of the Holy Blood is next to the corner of the place.
This square is a must-see; it is stunning. both from a distance and upfront, the details in the architecture are incredible. I wish we hadn’t visited the day when some stage was being built in the middle of the place.
#3 Hansa Quarter
Hansa Quarter is one of the oldest parts of the city. It is dated from the 13th century.
Oddly enough, you can also find a pretty modern sculpture of a whale made out of plastic waste in the canals. It is not something you’d quite expect with the Quarter’s atmosphere, and I’m still mixed on how I feel about it being there. Part of me thinks it’s odd, and the other part thinks it’s pretty cool.
However, I searched for it but sadly didn’t find any explications about it on the spot, so I had to Google it.
I thought this whale made of waste found in the oceans (which weighs five tonnes) was there to raise awareness against plastic pollution in our oceans.
Sadly, oceans are flooded with billions of plastic waste, ruining the environment and killing fish and animals yearly. We all need to be more sensitive about our waste and consumption of plastic.
#4 Stroll Along The Canals
Is there anything nicer than walking along beautiful canals on a beautiful day?
If you have ever been to Amsterdam, you can easily picture how amazing it is to enjoy the scenery while strolling along the canal.
Except that in Bruges, the atmosphere is much more chilled as the city isn’t nearly as big and busy as Amsterdam is. It makes it even better.
You can also find a lot of photo points or stumble onto very random art displays and museums. It’s full of surprises! The Minnewater area with the ducks and swans was all adorable; it gave me a cosy feeling.
#5 Eat Yummy Foods
If there’s one thing that Belgium is famous for it is waffles, chocolate and fries. Okay, and beers, but I don’t actually like beer; don’t judge me.
One of our main goals for this day trip was to eat a waffle; so many shops are selling waffles. We didn’t research that before the bus ride, so we settled on the one shop with the most stars.
It totally deserves every single one of those stars
But if you fancy some different design for your waffle right in front of Albert’s shop, you can find waffles on a stick to eat there or bring as souvenirs.
If there’s one more thing that Belgium is famous for, it’s their fries!
Initially, we were supposed to eat fries at “Chez Vincent“, but as it seemed closed, we ate at “Casa Patata.“
Nearby Bruges Photo Point, good fries (and a Frikandel) with a good view. Pretty good lunch.
Overall, while it might seem a bit short on paper and quite a long ride by bus if you’d like to go to Bruges on a day trip from Paris, then you should go for it.
Bruges’ points of interest are relatively close to each other and from a walkable distance. The cityscapes are delightful it’s a smallish town with a lot to offer it’d be a shame to miss out!
A two-day trip might be a better idea if you really want to explore further, though. If you have more than a day though I think you should spend the night there, it must be beautiful at night with the city lights.
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✈ Best Travel Ressources To Plan Your Next Trip
If you need help planning your next trip, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered! Here are my favourite websites and apps to plan a trip!
✈ How To Find Flights?
My favourite website to book flights is Skyscanner; it is a good comparator for finding the cheapest flights.
Google Flight is also a good help when it comes to comparing flights.
✈ Where To Book Accommodations?
The best sites to book accommodations are Booking.com or Expedia. They both allow you to collect points for a discount; it’s worth comparing the two as they often have different pricing for the same hotels.
Another perk about Booking.com and Expedia is that you can get bundle deals for flights and accommodations, which can sometimes help you save a lot of money. And don’t worry; you can also select to add accommodation for only a specific part of the trip if you’re not only staying in one place.
✈ Best Sites To Book Activities
My go-to website when I need to book an activity is GetYourGuide when I can’t get a ticket directly on the website or if it’s easier to go through them.
I always check if the price is the same, though, as the whole point is for it to be easier but not more expensive.
If I don’t find the activity I want on GetYourGuide, I like to check Viator for more options!
You can also check out Klook if you need to book more than just activities and would like to get everything from the same website—(i.e. transport cards, car rental, hotel…).
✈ Other helpful travel resources
– Radical Storage: If you need a place to keep your luggage for an extended period when you travel, I recommend using them. It was a great help when we needed a place to keep our luggage safely while we left the city for a few days.
– TheTrainline: If you love to travel by train like me, then TheTrainline needs to be your go-to website for train travel in Europe. It is very reliant and easy to use.
Disclaimer: this resources box contains affiliate links, which means I earn a little commission if you book anything through my links at no additional cost. They help me support the blog and generate more content. Happy travels!
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