This time last year we were gearing up for a weekend mini break to Bruges and I was searching the internet for things to do in Bruges at Christmas, wanting to make sure we were going to spend every second of our rare child free time enjoying the best of this Belgian city. If you’re looking to head to Bruges this year for Christmas I can guarantee you’re going to have the most festive time possible! I enjoyed every moment and wish we could head back there this year! But instead, I thought I would list some of the fun things to do in this fairy-tale medieval town for anyone else who is looking for ideas of things to do in Bruges this time of year or needs ideas for a romantic weekend away. Keep scrolling to the end as I have also shared a video of our time in Bruges for you to see even more of what there is to do there.
Ok so it’s probably a given, but you absolutely cannot go to Bruges and miss out on the stunning main square. It’s like something from a chocolate box, absolutely perfect and guaranteed to make even the biggest scrooge get into the festive spirit! Stuart and I sat out the front of one of these quaint little restaurants and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, soaking in the warm heat of the sun and chatting to an American couple about their European adventures. We would have happily sat all day drinking in the atmosphere and delicious coffee.
Whilst at the Markt it would be a crime to miss out on wandering around the larger of the 2 (possibly 3!) Christmas markets. The smell of hot apple cider and sweet, fresh waffles fill the air, with twinkling lights and handmade trinkets adorning each stall. One could spend an afternoon taking in the atmosphere here which becomes particularly fun at night when the markets come to life, oozing with seasonal cheer.
Despite it being a little bit cheesy, I always find the best way of seeing a city when you don’t have much time is by doing a City Tour, and even though Bruges is a very small place, you can soon spend a whole day just wondering from coffee shop to coffee shop, so a city tour is a brilliant way of getting your bearings with it and from there finding out other places that you want to explore further. There are several options including horse drawn carriage or a boat trip; My number one tip would be to wrap up warm though because it gets incredible cold!!
If it’s museums you’re looking for then Bruges is the place for you – from folkllore to torture, there’s something for everyone. Or if art is more your thing then the the Salvador Dalí museum has a lot to offer. Even one of the chocolate museums is a great way to add some extra culture to your break, they also do beer tours which might be more up your street. We did the chocolate museum but I wouldn’t rush back to do this – we didn’t feel it was worth the entrance fee and soon left to go and warm up with a hot chocolate nearby, but it’s great to have ticked it off the list!
There is something beautiful around every corner in Bruges, and I think it’s the kind of place that you can just wander without much of a plan and know that you aren’t really missing anything because the city is so compact and you’ll always stumble upon somewhere you want to look at. I would definitely recommend just heading out for a walk and seeing where you end up. We came across this beautiful park which was totally empty as well as the serene and interesting Beguinage. originally founded in 1245 and now inhabited by nuns of the Order of St. Benedict, it was a great insight to the past and still remains as peaceful.
Bruges is hard to beat for a fairy-tale Christmas break, this list is far from exhaustive but it gives you an idea of the kind of picturesque city you’re heading to. I love researching cities and countries before I travel and always find lots of places to go and things to see on Trip Advisor, so definitely check them out if you want to get even more info on this beautiful city.
Feasting on local produce was one of my highlights, I’m a total foodie and I love discovering new flavours and cuisines. Bruges has a lot to offer when it comes to food; from a bowl full of steaming hot mussels and crusty warm bread to a warming cup of Gluvine to heat you up whilst walking around or even a cherry beer as you chat the night away in an intimate bar with steamed up windows and pretty lights. There’s so much to taste as you walk from place to place, I’d definitely recommend sitting a while with a hot waffle and Belgium chocolate and taking in the seasonal cheer.
Take a look at this little montage of our trip last year – I’m aching to go back!! Leave me a comment below if you’ve headed out to Bruges and where your favourite place was!