If you’re looking for a winter city break and have never been to Bruges then it abso-freaking-lutely has to be top of your list.
Hop on a flight, or even better the Eurostar if you can (unlimited liquids in your hand luggage, hoorah!), and head to the northwest of Belgium for pretty cobbled streets full of beer, waffles and windmills.
Like Amsterdam, a canal system weaves it’s way through the city making it the perfect setting for a candlelit dinner on the water’s-edge or a boat trip piloted by a wannabe comedian (if it’s anything like our experience) which includes a sighting of sleeping dog Fidel: famous for being always present on his favourite windowsill. What a lad.
Wrap up warm and cosy and stroll through the two main squares, pop into The Church of Our Lady to see Michelangelo’s famous Madonna and Child sculpture, visit the Groeningenuseum and the 12th Century Basilica of the Holy Blood, then fuel yourself with a Zot beer and some moules frites before climbing the Belfry of Bruges: the clocktower with views over the whole city.
We stayed at the brilliant Oud Huis de Peelaert Hotel (great location if you want a little treat) and ate at Restaurant Jan van Eyck – a great little spot with perfect steak and a LARGE selection of beer. Mind you, if you want to up the level of treat from little to much-bigger-than-little then choose either the famous Den Dyver or the top-ranked Park Restaurant.
Perfect for a romantic love-in or culture (/beer)-ridden weekend, head to Beautiful Bruges.
Words by Jo Birch