Brugge is one of my favorite places that I have ever visited! Second to the tulips in Holland, this was one of the best days of our trip to Belgium. Not only was this small, picturesque town quiet and much less touristy on our weekday visit, but every street was full of charm and the small, vibrant homes and businesses made it feel like you were walking through a movie set.
Brugge is only a one-hour train ride away from Brussels. There are plenty of trains running throughout the day, so you are safe to go to the station and purchase your ticket the day of your trip to Brugge. If you are planning to travel on a weekend, be prepared for larger crowds. Also, make sure you get in the right car, there is a first class car and you will be kicked out if you do not have a first class ticket. There’s usually a number 1 on the door, but not always.
Our “theme song” of the day was Belle’s opening song from Beauty and the Beast. We found ourselves getting lost in the streets with hardly anyone else around. When you get off at the train station, the short walk to the main square is stunning. We avoided the main shops and spent most of our time weaving in and out of the quiet streets.
Per Rick Steve’s recommendation, we stopped in for chocolates at Dumon. We went to the original, family run shop and purchased a delicious box of assorted chocolates for only 7.50 euro. The chocolates were amazing and half the price of the chocolatier shops in the more tourist areas. I later bought a smaller box in Brussels at a different shop and it was double the price. If you are in Brugge, you need to stop here.
We ate dinner at Lizzie’s Waffles and I HIGHLY recommend it. They make giant waffles and incredible hot chocolate. Plus, they are so friendly! When we walked in, one of the employees kindly asked two women to switch tables so we could fit our stroller in. She then talked with us about her daughter and made sure to bring out little snacks for Theo while our waffles were cooking. Lizzie was sick and home, but her husband was cooking the waffles and took the time to talk to me about the giant waffle makers and how often he has to clean them. It was sweet, people like this make travel all the more enjoyable and places more memorable.
We also purchased frites, though again since we were in the main square, they were very over priced. Still good though, we asked for a slightly spicer sauce on the side so we could share with Theo. We also made a few stops at the waffle carts throughout the day.
We had delicious hot chocolate at this little chocolate shop by the water. The woman running the shop filled the cup with cream and hot water then put a spoon with a huge block of milk chocolate into the drink. AMAZING.
We had planned to pay to climb the tower in the main square for the beautiful views, but we arrived there at 2 p.m. and they told us that they were no longer selling tickets. Visits to the top end at 3 p.m., but I guess they already had a line of people waiting, so if you want to climb the tower, plan to get in line with your tickets by 1 p.m. to be safe. We were bummed, but it probably would have been toughing carrying Theo up all of those stairs. Instead, we played in the little courtyard and let Theo run around.
Naturally we ventured off to find a park for Theo to play in. This park had a beautiful green area and a nice playground right by an old church. We were the only ones at the playground, so we just let Theo run crazy and burn some energy. We also went inside some of the churches, including the Church of our Lady, which was stunning on the inside.
I highly recommend a visit to Brugge, you won’t be disappointed!