City breaks in BrugesThere's more to it than the movie
HomeAway travel expert
The city of Bruges was immortalised - or at any rate introduced to a wider audience - in cult movie 'In Bruges'. In the movie, the bungling gangster portrayed by Colin Farrell remained distinctly unimpressed by what the place had to offer, cynical at every turn despite the enthusiasm of his peers. As anyone who has ever visited themselves will testify, Farrell’s character was excruciatingly wrong. The truth is that Bruges has everything you could hope for in a city break, with a healthy fusion of culture, history, style and nightlife to ensure you’re always entertained.
Whether you prefer to base yourself in a luxury penthouse by the canal or a traditional house in the old town, HomeAway Holiday Rentals will cover all your accommodation needs. Before you book, though, take a look at our guide to what Bruges has to offer on your city break.
Top five Bruges attractions
Situated in the heart of the city, in the historic Grote Markt, is the Belfry Tower, a remarkable piece of 13th-century architecture that dominates the Bruges skyline. The 366-step climb to the peak of the tower is the most popular tourist venture, instantly understandable when you witness the splendid view awaiting you at the summit. Time your ascent accordingly and you can experience first-hand the romantic musical chime of the bells.
The tower is an entity deserving of its own category, but the square in which it sits has plenty of other qualities to speak of. This is where you can experience the best of Bruges' famed café culture, the pedestrianised streets flanked on all sides by exquisite bistros where you can sample local beers, mussels and doughnuts. The square is also the greatest place in the city to indulge in a spot of people watching.
Canal boat tour
Bruges is often referred to by those in the know as the Venice of the North, and as such the network of canals that weave through it are almost archetypally romantic. The comprehensive journey will show you parts of Bruges inaccessible by road, with a multilingual guide on hand to provide insight into the fascinating sights as you drift past. If you want to get closer whilst back on dry land, the most stylish way to do so is on one of numerous horse-drawn carriages found around the centre.
Anyone who has ever gazed with jealous fervour at Charlie’s adventures in Willy Wonka’s factory is sure to be in dreamland when they visit Bruges. Chocolate is, after all, the most famous export of Belgium, and it is gloriously represented here. The city streets are lined with chocolatiers, each display window more mouth-watering than the last, as well as specialist cafes like Sukerbuyc. For true chocoholics, the Choco Story Museum offers a tantalising history of the humble cocoa bean.
Basilica of the Holy Blood
Bruges is awash with wonderfully preserved medieval churches and cathedrals, but none quite so intriguing as the Basilica of the Holy Blood. What sets this particular building apart is its centrepiece, a phial purported to contain a piece of cloth doused in the blood of Christ himself. Even for non-religious visitors, the legend and the basilica in general are fascinating enough to warrant a visit; and if you visit the city on Ascension Day, you can witness the relic being paraded through the streets in the Procession of the Holy Blood.
Bruges Holiday Apartments