Belgium is small and is often the butt of jokes (name 3 famous Belgians?) by its neighbours. However, Bruges is a great city for a weekend visit. Less brash than Brussels, but more beautiful by far, Bruges (also called Brugge) is above all a cultural town. Museums sit cheek by jowl with each other, telling the story of the rise to prominence of this little town which became a major european trading town in the middle ages. The oldest hospital in europe is here for visitors to see how the sick were cared for in harsher days. The palace where England’s Charles II lived in exile following the beheading of his father is open to the public, and once you feel a little peckish, a five minute walk will take you to the world’s first museum dedicated to the humble potato chip (french fries).
Canal tours are great, as are horsedrawn carriage rides, but Bruges is above all a place to wander on foot or bicycle. It is beautiful. The entire old town within the medieval walls is cobbled and strict laws ensure no bad design ruins the look of the place. The result is a photographers dream location around every single corner. The food is stunningly good and the beer is world class. A particular treat was a bar offering 400 varieties of beer!
Come to Bruges any time of year and enjoy a relaxing, classy, cultural break from the ordinary.