There are some places in the world where walking around fills you with a constant feeling of awe. It might be somewhere you’ve never heard of and just happened to stumble across, or it might ďbe one of the most popular destinations in the world: either way, certain cities are just special. Bruges, for me, was one of those places. Every new alley was more beautiful than the next, each building more charming. Bruges is called the Venice of the North because of all its canals, and it’s become extremely popular for its quaint charm and amazing preservation. Here’s a post about the magical Bruges!
Arriving on the train, I was very underwhelmed by my first sight of Bruges. I didn’t realize that the historic part of town was so clearly divided from the rest, and you arrive outside the city gates which makes it seem quite industrial.
Making my way through the gates, I started to see the amazing Bruges that I’d heard so much about. The buildings got more beautiful, the cars disappeared, but much to my shock not that many tourists came into view. Everyone I’d spoken to had complained about the crowds in Bruges, but not once did I feel like the city was at all busy. I guess that’s what happens when you visit on a gloomy day at the end of January!
I’d wander down a side street and see absolutely nobody else. The architecture and solitude transported me back in time, where I could pretend I was walking around in medieval times. I’ll admit that shows like Game of Thrones have convinced me I’m likely romanticizing medieval life, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending.
The main square was something out of a fairytale and I just wanted to turn around and around to look at everything. I can imagine this place being a bit less charming when it’s packed in the summer, but as you can see from my pictures there was certainly room to breathe!
Going up the Belfry would also totally suck in the summer with that tiny staircase, but I had no problem. That is, until I totally wiped out down one of the flights and smashed my tailbone into a concrete step. A group of Chinese tourists stood there staring while I awkwardly got up and unsuccessfully tried to hold back tears….thanks for the sympathy, guys!
- The short train ride from Antwerp to Bruges was just 6 Euros. From the train station I was able to walk to my hostel!
- I stayed at the Bruges Europa Hostel which was very cheap. It was outside the historic part of Bruges, but very walkable even despite how sick I was. I’d recommend it for the price, the breakfast, and the location right between the train station and the historic center!