7 Reasons to fall in love with Brugge

In 1892 George Rodenbach wrote a short novel about a city that was rapidly wasting away after its flourishing Golden Era. Bruges La Morte or Bruges the dead, was such a correct reflection of the city’s decline that it was even adopted into an opera, ‘Die tote Stadt’ – The Dead City. Bruges had been one of Europes’ most important trade and commercial centres for centuries, but in the 1500s, with the destruction of the canals, it was Antwerp that developed into the economical capital of the Low Countries.


Today it is hard to imagine Bruges being associated with anything even remotely close to death, but to understand why such lines were drawn picture this; during Bruges peak in the 14th century, close to 200.000 people lived in the city, compared to today’s 120.000. No wonder its decline to 50.000 inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century made it seem like a ghost town.


The French Bruges became the Flemish Brugge in 1302 when the the Flemish militia won the Battle of the Golden Spurs and it is now the capital and largest city of the province West Flanders in Belgium. It lies an hour North-West of Brussels and is also know as ‘Venice of the North’ together with Amsterdam because of its stunning canals. Since the mid 1800s, Brugge has continued to grow as a tourism hotspot and because of its well preserved medieval heritage, the city’s historical centre was added to UNSECO’s World Heritage Sites in 2000, as well as being named Culture Capital of Europe in 2002. What Brussels might lack in character you’ll find in abundance here and it is impossible not to be charmed by everything that makes this city famous and one of Europe’s most beautiful historical destinations.


Here are 7 reasons you’ll fall in love with Brugge.

1. Chocolate

As everywhere in Belgium you’ll find world famous chocolate and of course Brugge is no exception. Indulge in the purest chocolate possible or experience new and interesting flavours in one of the many delicate chocolatiers in town. Irresistible!




2. Beautiful Canals 

Although not quite Venice, the canals in Brugge have a certain appeal and beauty that you are bound to love. And I mean it, you will love them. Make the effort to get up early when the city is still asleep and walk along the canals to admire the beauty of houses reflecting in the still water surrounded by greens and the morning sun that makes it all glow.

canal brugg

canal brugge

canal brugge


3. Gothic Architecture 

Next to the canals the most distinct feature of Brugge is the beautiful medieval architecture. Triangle shaped houses dominate the city centre together with beautiful churches and other high profiled buildings. Hardly any changes has been made since the construction during medieval times, which are primarily of gothic and neo-gothic origins.

brugge marketsquare

Brugge Market Square

houses in brugge

4. Window Shopping

Although ridiculously tempting for those who aren’t out to spend money, window shopping in Brugge is pure delight. The city is full of beautiful shops with displays that are on the verge of spellbinding. It’s not only chocolate and sweets that’ll seduce you, let’s add bakeries, book shops and interior design to that list too. Pretty much anything on display will have you wanting it.



5. Delicious food

If you thought Belgian food was restricted to chocolate and vaffles you better think again; the culinary scene is varied and mouth watering. Those who work with food are concerned about quality and freshness of their products and as the demand for ecological food is rising, more cafes and restaurants are following the trend. Brugge has an abundance of eateries which are sure to satisfy your gastronomic appetite.


Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien


Michelin Star Resturant Spinola

6. The Belfry View

One of Brugge’s most famous buildings is the impressing Belfry towering 83 meters above the market square. It was build in 1240 and was used as a observation post to spot fires and other dangers that might’ve occurred. Today you can climb the 366 steps to the top and enjoy spectacular views of Brugge and its surroundings.


The Belfry

the belfry

the belfry view

Spectacular view of Brugge from The Belfry

7. Details

Although there are a lot of things that make Brugge a great destination, it is the in way it all comes together and the overall impression that makes it one of the most beautiful spots in Belgium and Europe. Great concern and consideration is being put into details in every aspect of the city and with so much love for its characteristics and features you are bound to fall in love with Bruges, ‘the dead’.

house in brugge



  4 comments for “7 Reasons to fall in love with Brugge

  1. Bianca
    October 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I loved your article, reading it took me back to my favorite place in the world, Brugge. Thank you for writing such an informative and romantic testament to one of the world most beautiful place. We hope to visit Brugge in the near future, can’t wait. Thank you again and may all your travels be unforgettable.

    Take care,

    • Helle
      October 4, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Bianca!
      Thank you so much, I’m happy you enjoyed it! Very nice to hear such feedback. Good luck with your arrangements for a new visit to Brugge! All the best, Helle 🙂

  2. October 29, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Ah, Brugge står på listen min, og fikk ikke mindre lyst til å reise hit nå når jeg så disse bildene. Alt dette akkompagnert av ekte, belgisk øl. Mmmm.

    • Helle
      October 29, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Så bra jeg kunne tilby litt ekstra reise inspirasjon!! 🙂 Brugge er utrolig flott!!

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