I booked my trip to Bruges because it was a case of hopping onto Eurostar, making the most of my weekend and exploring a city I have never been to before.
I was very excited to see this chocolate box of a city but I only booked one night to explore it as I thought I could wiz around the city in seconds, however this was an error on my part, one night wasn’t enough. Even though my stay was short my little short legs managed to cover many miles in the city.
I was quite surprised that this little chocolate box of a city has more to offer than just chocolate and is a serious contender in foodie cities. Bruges is a perfect gastronomical city, as well as wonderful warm waffles lathered in cream and chocolate, moules and frites, there are numerous fine dining restaurants and a number of michelin starred restaurants for the discerning luxury traveller to gain a extra few pounds in the name of the blog.
Going to Bruges and not eating waffles is like going to Venice and not riding a gondola. There are many places in the city to eat waffles, however one of my favourite places was Chez Albert. Chez Albert is suited just of Burg Square and had so many options to choose from that I thought it was simply rude not to try a few waffles. I mean what type of luxury travel blogger would I be if I didn’t do my research.
One of my favourite dishes to eat is mussels and chips and what better place than Bruges to eat it. I chose to eat at Breydel De Coninc as it has been serving this Belgian favourite to locals for many centuries. If you want a hearty bowl of succulent mussels and chips washed down with beer than this a great place to eat.
The Park Hotel Restaurant
Mummy RW had really wanted to eat at the Park Hotel however it was fully booked for two months. With some magic our concierge at The Pand Hotel secured us a table and I was completely over the moon that she did. Firstly this has to be one of the prettiest restaurants I have been to in a long while. I like fancy fancy food but I also love a good ambience and great food. I was a little hesitant The Park Hotel restaurant was going to be a case of really good wrapping with a rubbish present inside however I shouldn’t have worried as the food was amazing! I enjoyed every single morsel of our 5 course tasting menu with wine pairings. Mummy RW did a good job of choosing this restaurant and I would certainly recommend you put it on your list of places to eat in Bruges.
For such a small city Bruges has many options to stay in for the discerning luxury traveller. As my trip to Bruges was originally meant to be a sole trip it was important to me to stay in a hotel group I trusted. I choose to stay at the Pand Hotel as it was part of the Small Luxury Hotels which is my go to for luxury boutique hotels.
The Pand Hotel
The Pand Hotel has an amazing location in the centre of the city and was in perfect walking distance from the major tourist attractions that you would want to see during your trip to Bruges. I absolutely loved the boutique hotel as it really reflected the character of the city.
The rooms were so quaint and simply just a perfect reflection of the chocolate box that is the city. When most people here the word boutique the often mistakenly think that this means that the hotel would be short of amenities , however that’s not the case in The Pand Hotel.
As well as a beautiful bijou bar, there is a wonderful outside garden terrace, and a warm and cosy lounge to relax in after a hard day of eating lots of waffles.
As a luxury travel blogger I feel like it is my role to do my research so you don’t have to. I made the ultimate mistake in my trip to Bruges by not doing my research. I mistakenly thought I could see all that the wonderful city has to offer in an overnight stay. I was extremely wrong and now I need to go back to Bruges again to explore more of the city and eat lots of waffles and moules et frites. What a shame, my heart breaks to have to do such hard work. Despite only having one night in the city I am a determined little traveller and I managed to cover a few sights which I would highly recommend.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is located in Burg square and is one of the most striking and beautiful churches I have seen. You don’t have to be religious to admire the great architecture of this building. I absolutely adored the gothic style building and was super excited to go in. The inside of the church is pretty small as you can imagine, but it is so serene and calm.
I absolutely love a good square and Burg square has to be one of the most striking squares I have ever seen in Northern Europe to date. No trip to Bruges will be complete without coming to Burg square. As The Pand Hotel was just around the corner from Burg Square I was really lucky to be able to wake up early and take in the beauty of the square with not a single soul but me standing in the square. It really was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and I would highly recommend that if you do go to Bruges to try and visit Burg first thing in the morning when you can admire the spectacular architecture on show. You have everything from Gothic to Renaissance all in this one square. Apart from the Basilica of Holy Blood one of my favourite buildings was the Town Hall. I mean how stunning is this town hall. If only all town halls were this gorgeous.
I absulotely loved Markt square with it’s bright coloured buildings perfectly dotted around the square. It’s a great place to use as a starting point for a walking tour of Bruges. One of the most iconic buildings in Markt is the Belfry of Bruges below.
Belfry of Bruges / Belfort
If you followed me on Instagram stories during my trip to Bruges then you would have watched me nearly die climbing the Belfry of Bruges. You cannot miss the Belfry in Bruges as it is suited in Markt and is the perfect landmark to use to navigate around the city. Having admired the Belfry in the city I thought it would be a great idea to climb all 366 steps to the top. Though I enjoyed the amazing views of the city, I will be open and transparent, I did not enjoy the actual climb to the top, small tight spaces and heights are not my thing. However I was super pleased I pushed myself and made it to the top and it’s something I never have to do again.
I absolutely love parks in cities as I think the offer the opportunity to take 5 minutes and escape the city. The truth be told Bruges isn’t one of those cities that you really need to escape, as it is such a gentle city, however it was nice to potter around Minnewater (Lake of Love) for an hour or so. Minnewater is actually at the entrance of the city and I felt it was the perfect welcome to Bruges.
See Bruges at Night
One of the highlights for me was seeing Bruges at night, exploring the city at night made me fall more in love with Bruges. Bruges was the perfect city to explore at as I felt completely safe. Strolling along the canals and watching the glistening water and see the beautiful buildings reflect of the water was one of my favourite moments.
The canals of Bruges
I am a true water baby at heart. Where ever possible I aim to go and explore a city by water. In Prague I took a river cruise and in Madrid it was a case of DIY rowing. Luckily in Bruges I didn’t need to figure out how to row a boat and I could simply enjoy the views from the canal and take in the glorious sunshine.
I had an amazing time in Bruges and certainly cannot wait to return to this beautiful city to give it more of my time.
Have you been to Bruges? Zoe x