Bruges in a day? Yes, it's possible! Here's what to do if you're planning a short break and have one day in Bruges.
We LOVE Bruges! It is one of the most charming, the most romantic, and the most fun small cities in Europe. Indulging in short trips to Bruges in northern Belgium have been a highlight of our time in Europe and they've been the perfect relaxing interlude to otherwise busy trips. But what are the best things to do in Bruges, other than just walking around and eating chocolate (which, for the record, is a superb use of time)?
We've put together a Bruges one day itinerary of some of our favourite things. We've also reached out to some of the best travel bloggers we know to get their take on the best things to do in Bruges at night, their favourite restaurants and pubs, their top Bruges museums, suggestions on where to sleep and so much more. There is so much to see and do here!
Have we forgotten anything from the list? We want to hear what you love about this delightful city!
Peace and reflection at St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium.
It's difficult to drive down a road in rural Belgium without encountering one of the subtle green signs of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission . Belgium suffered terribly during the First World War, as did the millions of troops from around the world who fought in the water logged trenches. But as I was to learn, visiting a war cemetery is not just an experience of sadness but also one of inspiration.
Rural Belgium is an unsung travel destination.
When you hop into the car for a bit of spontaneous exploration in Belgium, chances are you're not expecting to uncover lakes and rivers, hills and valleys. Belgium is a beautiful country, with arguably some of the most picturesque towns and cities in Europe, but it's not well known for wide open spaces, rolling hills, and rambling rivers. Our visit to the village of Landelies and to the nearby Aulne Abbey defied all our expectations and transformed the way we think about Belgium.
This hotel is dreamy in more ways than one.
If I told you I stayed at the dreamiest hotel imaginable, what comes to mind? Frills and lace? Lots of pink bows and frou-frou design? The Dream Hotel in Mons is a travel lover's dream come true, but there's not a bow or frill in sight! Instead you get an incredibly unique property, an ultra chic design, and the perfect base for exploring the city of Mons. This character-full hotel is the ideal compliment to the European Capital of Culture!
Housed in a centuries old former convent and chapel, the exterior facade melts into the city-scape. Inside, however, things are nothing but modern and chic. There's such a great marriage of the old and new and I especially loved the funky detail like the cool main floor bar, the bright red murals, and the funky black printed carpets and walls in the hallways.
Casteau, Vimy Ridge, and Arras make for an unforgettable roadtrip.
Every good travel experience contains a quest of some kind, a search for something special. When you're in southern Belgium and northern France, there's no end to the opportunities to explore with exceptional sites to discover. We started out on a quest of sorts in Belgium, paying homage to Canadians of the past, and what started out as a simple ride became one of the best roadtrips of our life.
The tiny village of Ville-sur-Haine carries a huge WWI memory: The final moments of Canadian George Price.
The Belgian village of Ville-sur-Haine has yet to make it into any travel guides. It has no entries on TripAdvisor and evenWikipedia gives it less than a dozen lines. In short, this is a village you don't stumble upon by accident. It's an ordinary place filled with ordinary people - whose ordinary lives were at center of the storm throughout the First World War. I couldn't help but think that every farm, every house we passed had been an unwilling host for so much suffering.
Just have one day in Brussels? Here's how to make the most of it!
Finally, we've made it to Brussels! Considering that Brussels was the original destination of this stopover it’s a good thing we've made it into town. In early 2013, Brussels was featured on my list of top ten destinations for first time, solo female travelers. I love its beautiful architecture, multi-lingual and friendly residents, and the clean streets and smooth public transportation. I’m thrilled to make a return visit and immerse myself in the city’s culture once more.
Let's all raise a glass to the Liegeois!
If you're a fickle, fussy foodie like me, you'll be sure to share my appreciation for the Liege food scene. A combination of hearty traditional Belgium fare like beef stews, tiny ethnic eateries which thrive thanks to the local student population, and tasty, affordable street eats means that there is truly something for everyone. And thrown into the mix are some very special tastes, unique to Liege, that could tempt even the most timid traveller.
Liege is often overlooked for many Belgium visitors - but it was the first place on our list.
The classic question posed by all travellers at one point or another is if you can ever really go back again. Is it ever a good idea to revisit a location from your past, a location that once meant so much to you? On our recent trip to Belgium, Ryan had the chance to confront these questions head on. As a Rotary Exchange student at the age of 17, Ryan completed his grade 12 studies in Liege. For a year, he soaked up local culture, polished his French speaking and beer drinking skills, and was introduced to a new world of travel. Fast forward 20 years, and he finally got his chance to return to Liege.
Ryan tells us what it's like to retrace your footsteps two decades after the fact.
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