Bruges reputation for being inundated with almost countless tourists is something you’ll probably hear of well before you arrive, but, fortunately, the huge camera-clad groups roaming the streets aren't quite enough to destroy the appeal of a fantastically picturesque town. Medieval, pretty and constructed over a selection of fantastic looking, Amsterdam-like canals (get your timing right in winter, and you can have a great time skating down them), Bruges implores you to drift amongst its chocolate shops and cobblestoned, roadside restaurants with you're eyes raised to the ornate second storeys and your camera permanently drawn.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is an astonishing, rustic old building that supposedly contains a phial of Christ’s blood brought back from the crusades; the phial itself will underwhelm anyone of minimal religious bent, but the astounding old architecture is well worth a trip. The Church of Our Lady is another astonishing religious spot, home to a Michelangelo’s masterpiece Madonna and Child, and dating back to the 12th century.
Another ancient sight well worth checking out is the World Heritage Site of the Belfry and Market Halls; you’ll hear the bells ring out over the cobbled square in the center of town every so often, while the impressive tower at the top of the intricate building is beautifully lit up at night.
If you feel like escaping the city, you can head to the harrowing Flanders Fields, Passchenendaele and plenty of other hills, bunkers and monuments dating back to sad early 20th century events, or enjoy some beer tasting, after a day trip to the nearby, old-world Monastery Ter Doest, or a quick tour of some of the region’s substantial, fairytale castles.
Cut through the seemingly relentless parade of tourists, and Bruges is a city of romance, picturesque (though dig deep and you’ll learn that many of the buildings are actually re-creations of the originals; most of Bruges isn’t that old), enticing restaurants and a scene that seems to glitter through every season. Whether it’s the summer daffodils of spring or the slippery frosts of autumn, though, Bruges is a city rammed full of fascinating streets and alluring history.
For those who love Belgian chocolate, there is a museum which explains everything about this delicacy called Choco-story. You can find this museum at Sint-Jansplein within minutes of the famous shopping street.
Ypres was one of the most important cloth producing and cloth trading cities of the county of Flanders in the high Middle-Ages. Bruges is known all over the world for being a beautifully pres…