It must not be a big surprise, but I went on another city break! Hurrah!
This time, I visited the beautiful fairytale town of Bruges, Belgium.
Now I’ve visited Brussels before on a Law trip from when I was 17 from college, and it was mainly visiting the European Courts of Justice so it was basically a barrel of laughs.
Visiting Bruges however, was just a whole ‘nother story. I know that people say Bruges is boring, but it is just so very pretty. You could just walk here for hours and hours.
We travelled on the Eurostar from Kings Cross St Pancras to Brussels, where we took a train to Bruges. We had booked our hotel weeks ago and I tried not to look at too many reviews about it because I just end up worrying that it’s gonna be a shithole even though it very rarely is. The hotel ended up being amazing, it was very charming with high wooden ceilings and had a very Victorian feel about it. The management weren’t around as much as I would have liked though, as I have mentioned in all of my travel blog posts that I love to ask the hotel staff for their recommendations for places to eat and drink and visit, so it would have been nice to be able to do that.
Our hotel wasn’t too far from the main town square, so that was the first place we headed. The town square was buzzing with people and it was a such a good atmosphere. One of the main tourist attractions which is located in the town square is the Bellfry Tower, which you can climb up (366 steps!) and you’re greeted with a beautiful city view. The walk was certainly worth the view!
After that, we walked around the city for hours (I did 20,000 steps – go me!), and we soon realised that it doesn’t take too long to walk around the city and you sort of get to know the streets quite easily (something I really love doing – not only does it help you stop getting lost, it also makes you want to re-visit because you feel like you know the city).
We ended up going for dinner in the a beautiful little restaurant called Reliva, which turned out to be the most amazing little place. Even though we didn’t have a reservation, luckily there were tables available, but I would recommend calling ahead if you were to go during a busy season or a weekend. The food was amazing, it was well-presented and very fresh tasting. I think the menus change quite frequently which I think is really cool but if they have guinea fowl on the menu, I’d highly recommend it! From what I remember they also had a great choice for vegetarians/vegans too!
The next day, we decided to visit the beer factory. I’m not a huge beer lover (but when in Bruges and all that!), it did also actually turn out to be very interesting. I have also visited the Heineken Factory in Amsterdam, so I thought it might have been similar but every factory has a unique story so it was very cool. We also got a free beer at the end of the tour and even though I don’t really like beer, it was actually quite nice!
After the beer factory, we decided to do a lil’ canal tour just because it looked so cute (and we were bloody knackered, I barely do 10,000 steps in London!). We’d seen most of Bruges on foot, so it was actually quite nice to see the city from a different view!
We found the coziest restaurant way off the beaten track, not even sure how we ended up there but that’s why I love getting lost in strange cities! It was literally like being in my grandma’s kitchen, the restaurant is called Ganzespel, and the food was very homey and very cheap! I had the salmon pasta which was lovely and they also served soup as an entree which was included. It’s definitely somewhere unique to visit in Bruges.
Obvs picked up gifts for friends and family in the form of chocolates (can you imagine coming back from Belgium empty-handed?!), we decided to visit the Chocolate Factory, because why not? Similar to the beer factory, it was actually super interesting and included a bar of chocolate and free samples of chocolate buttons on every floor!
The Belgians are famous for so many things so I just had to try everything! Next on the list was the infamous Belgian waffle. There are hundreds of waffle places in Bruges as you’d imagine, but I did some research and I’d seen a few people speak about Oyya, which turned out to be a little waffle take-away place and it was just magic. I got the caramel waffle with vanilla ice-cream, and it was insane!
The last thing on my list was to visit the Lake of Love and Lovers Bridge (because I mean how could I not?). They say that if you walk over the bridge with your lover, and kiss your amour that you’re destined to live a long and happy life together, awwww! It was such a picturesque area, and a bit of a walk away from the main town square so it was nice seeing a different part of Bruges.
The last and final thing that I wanted to try was the famous Belgian fries! We went to a place called the Potato Bar, and it was bloody lovely! I ordered the bacon, cheese fries and they were beautiful.
So that was my trip to Bruges! If you are thinking of visiting, I would highly recommend it, and please let me know if you end up going to any of the same places I went to and how you found them 🙂