Bruges might be small in size, but don’t underestimate this enchanting city. With elegant canals, cobbled squares, medieval buildings, and handcrafted chocolates, there are plenty of things to do in Bruges, Belgium. Yes, it’s touristy, in large part due to the fame of the film In Bruges. But don’t let that put you off. 

Plan to stay for at least a couple of nights to best experience “the Venice of the North”; if you’ve got more than a weekend, add a few extra nights to your itinerary to add in a day trip to nearby Ghent or Damme. 


Swan in the Canal in Bruges Belgium

Romantic Bruges Belgium


Trendy, forward-thinking Brussels might be home to Belgium’s best nightlife and museums, but Bruges certainly wins on charm and accessibility. Now, let’s dive into our favorite things to do in Bruges, Belgium, on a weekend getaway.


10 Epic Things To Do In Bruges, Belgium On A Weekend Getaway


1. Take a leisurely boat tour down the canals


Bruges is a city of canals, hence its moniker “The Venice of the North.” Boat tours are an inexpensive but fun way to get a sense of the city while taking in the centuries-old architecture. Most tours last about 30 minutes and depart from Huidenvettersplein.


2. See ‘Madonna with Child’


Michelangelo’s only masterpiece to leave Italy, this exquisite sculpture resides inside the Church of Our Lady. The 13th-century gothic church, with its soaring brick steeple, is well worth a visit itself. 


3. Eat all the things in Bruges


There’s a reason why we gained a few pounds over just a couple of days in Belgium. Home to some of the world’s best chocolate, waffles, french fries, beer, and mussels, do yourself a favor, and eat as much as possible during your visit to Bruges. Don’t miss Chocolatier Sukerbuyc for a family-run chocolate tasting experience. And be sure to do as the locals and try dipping your fries in mayonnaise!


4. Take a tour of De Halve Maan


Bruges one surviving brewery tops the list of things to do in Bruges. We recommend booking your tickets in advance as the group sizes are limited. Even if you’re not interested in the beer-making process, some of Bruges’ best views are from the roof of the brewery.


A visit to the De Halve Maan Brewery is 12 euros and takes about 45 minutes. 


5. Take a bike ride to Damme


Damme is a small village just outside Bruges. It’s as lovely as could be, but without the notable tourist feel of Bruges. The relaxed cycle will take you past a shady tree-lined canal. Once in Damme, keep an eye out for the historic Hoeke Windmill. 


6. See the sheep


Grab all the fixings you need for a leisurely picnic and head to Hof De Jonghe. This grassy park is home to free-roaming sheep, the perfect entertainment while you’re sipping wine on a sunny afternoon. 


7. Visit the Groeninge Museum


You don’t need to be an art aficionado to appreciate the impressive collection of Flemish and Belgian paintings at this world-class museum. The colorful, post-modern building is hard to miss.


8. Wander Bruges’ Fairytale-like Markt


One of the best things to do in Bruges is simply to get lost. Start by wandering the colorful Markt, or Old Market Square, and then keep going from there. 


9. Climb to the top of the Belfry of Bruges


You can’t miss this bell tower in the center of Market Square. Climb to the top of the 366 steps for panoramic city views, and you’ll quickly see why this is on every list of things to do in Bruges. On your way out, take time to admire the Belfy from afar—the tower actually leans slightly to the east!


10. Stay at Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage


It doesn’t get more romantic than a weekend getaway to Bruges, Belgium. So it’s only fitting that for such a romantic destination, an equally romantic hotel is necessary. For this, there is Hotel Heritage.


Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium


Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage is a boutique luxury hotel housed in a building that dates back to 1390. Over the years, the building has served many purposes, from merchant’s house to family home to central bank. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the Creyton family purchased the building and converted it into the luxurious hotel it is today.


Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium


Our visit to Hotel Heritage was the perfect combination of 19th century style and 21st century amenities.

Each of the 22 rooms is individually decorated with a diligent attention to detail. I had no trouble swooning over the décor that made use of hardcover books, typewriters, fresh flowers, candelabras and artwork.


Books at Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

Hotel Heritage Decorations Bruges Belgium
Decor at Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

Decor at Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium


Our room was extremely small, but still felt cozy-chic. The luxury, eco-friendly Nilson bed was the commanding feature, partially because it took up most of the space, partially because it was just so incredibly comfortable. The exquisite chandelier was another favorite detail of mine, while Dan found great amusement in the old-fashioned phone that actually functioned to call reception. Additional in-room amenities included an iPad with WiFi, a Nespresso machine, a trouser press, and a well-stocked mini-bar.


Hotel Heritage Room Bruges Belgium

Hotel Heritage Bed Bruges Belgium

Ipad and TV Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

Coffee Maker

Telephone at Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium


Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage boasts a luxurious lounge, one of the most unique workout centers we’ve ever seen (see photo below!), and Le Magnum Bar (featuring a private library and extensive wine list). Also within the hotel is the renowned restaurant Le Mystique—a 2 red-fork restaurant in the Michelin Guide. Chef Steenkiste is known for his innovative cuisine featuring organic produce and local ingredients from Flanders.


Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

Workout Room Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium

La Mystique Restaurant Bruges Belgium


Though we didn’t get to eat at Le Mystique ourselves, we did enjoy the luxurious dining room for a champagne breakfast buffet each morning. I’m quite convinced now that champagne at breakfast is one of the best things in the world. Could there be a more romantic way to start your day?


Champagne Breakfast Hotel Heritage Bruges Belgium


Unfortunately we’ve found the staff at historic boutique hotels can sometimes be a bit pretentious; however, that’s certainly not the case at Hotel Heritage. The staff here goes above and beyond to ensure each guest has a one-of-a-kind experience in Bruges. Whether it was telling us the best family-run chocolate shop nearby, helping us arrange a brewery tour at De Halve Man or advising us on the best afternoon biking trip, the staff was always courteous, friendly, and most importantly, extremely helpful.

Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage’s idyllic location makes it not just the most romantic place to lay your head, but also the most convenient. It’s perfectly situated within walking distance of the city’s most iconic sites, including the theatre district, shopping district, gourmet restaurants, and popular tourist attractions including the Belfry Tower, the Church of Our Lady, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and all the historic museums. We loved the flexibility of being able to pop in and out of our room as we pleased throughout the day.


Canal Cruise Bruges Belgium

Bruges Belgium

Belfry Tower, Bruges Belgium


Regularly considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, we had very high expectations for Bruges. Luckily, we can say that the city proved to be every bit as romantic as we had hoped. We can’t wait to return to Bruges to discover even more of the city’s best things to do!


Looking for more Belgium travel inspiration? These 38 photos of Belgium are bound to ignite your wanderlust.


Have you visited Bruges before? Did you love it as much as we did? Does Hotel Heritage look like somewhere you would like to lay your head?


We were guests of Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage. We were not asked or required to write a positive review.


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Romance and Relaxation in Bruges