Places that stir all your senses and that pluck your heartstrings are extremely rare. These are the places that touch you deeply, yet whose secrets you can’t unlock completely. Bruges happens to be such a unique place. Cultural and artistic, cosmopolitan, unashamedly Burgundian, mysteriously medieval, and a Unesco World Heritage site to boot. Strolling along the narrow alleys, picturesque canals and verdant ramparts you cannot help but fall hopelessly in love with its elegant mysteriousness.
EURO € 1,00 = 100 cents
112 — This free number is used in all member states of the European Union to contact the emergency services: police, fire brigade or medical assistance. The number operates 24/7.
General telephone number: +32 50 44 88 44
Emergency police assistance: 101
Cafes and restaurants have no (fixed) opening hour. Sometimes they will remain open until the early hours of the morning and other days they will close earlier: it all depends on the number of customers.
Inner city — 19,881 
Greater Bruges — 118,610 
Open daily 10am–5pm Today van 10:00 tot 17:00
't Zand (Concertgebouw)
Open Mon–Sat 10am–1pm / 2pm–5pm
Open daily 10am–5pm
Although the Bruges region was already populated in Roman times, the city’s name appears for the first time in the 9th century, probably derived from the Old Germanic word ‘brugj’, which means ‘mooring’. Bruges has always had a special bond with the sea. After all, water played a crucial role in the city’s foundation. It was the place where several streams merged into a single river (the ‘Reie’), which flowed north into the coastal plain. This river was linked to the North Sea through a series of ‘tidal channels’, guaranteeing the city’s future welfare and prosperity.
A Favourable Location
The Golden Century
A virtual exploration of Bruges in all its glory – a 360° tour of at least 25 locations in the heart of the city.
Bruges in 360°
Triennial Bruges in 360°
The Beguinage architectural complex was recognised as a world heritage site in 1998. One year later, the Belfry was also added to the world heritage list, followed by the entire historical city centre in 2000. Bruges boasts a valuable structural heritage and is a fine example of an architecturally homogeneous city, particularly famous for its brick Gothic buildings. What’s more, the authentic and organically grown medieval city fabric has remained well preserved, while Bruges also has served as the cradle of the Flemish primitives — Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling in particular. Reasons enough for UNESCO to grant Bruges the label of ‘world heritage city’, something the city and its people are rightly proud of.
The city’s intangible heritage is also greatly valued. Since as far back as 1304, the relic of the Holy Blood has been carried around the city in the Holy Blood Procession on Ascension Day each year. This folk tradition involves everyone in the city and was recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.
In November 2014, Belgian carillonneurs were also given significant international recognition when Belgian carillonneur culture — and all the people committed to it — was recognised as best practice in order to safeguard it as Intangible Cultural Heritage. The sound of the carillons (a percussion instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze bells and is played with a keyboard) can be heard all around Bruges throughout the year. One of the best places to listen is on the Market Square or in the Belfry courtyard.
In 2016, Belgium’s diverse beer culture was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The historic city of Bruges boasts two breweries and a beer museum, and Bruges’ woodlands and wetlands is home to many traditional brewers who are passionate about their craft. There are also many cafes, bars and restaurants in Bruges where you can appreciate beer culture.
Bruges’ Historic City Centre
Procession of the Holy Blood
Bruges and the Carillon — a Shared History
Belgian Beer Culture
You’ve only really seen Bruges if you’ve visited the classics. From the Rozenhoedkaai Instagrammable hotspot and the Market Square, through the Lake of Love and the canals, to the Beguinage, the almshouses and much more. The iconic sites give the city its look and charm you instantly. Centuries old, dazzlingly young — but always exceptionally impressive.
Rozenhoedkaai — a Typical City View
Markt — the Market Square
Burg — the Burg Square
Old Hansa Quarter — Stroll through History
The Flemish Primitives
Gruuthuse Museum — the Burgundian Splendour
Beguinage — a Place for Quiet Contemplation
Minnewater — Lake of Love
Concert Hall — Culture with a Capital C
Almshouses — Charity Set in Stone
Church of Our Lady — a Work of Beauty in Brick
Swans on the canals, a maze of medieval streets, the clatter of hooves, hidden parks, charming courtyards... There are no jarring notes to disturb this historic picture. Whether you picnic in Koningin Astridpark (Queen Astrid Park), linger on the Boniface Bridge, or savour the peace of the Beguinage — in Bruges, romance always hangs in the air. You’re sure to fall in love.
Rozenhoedkaai — a Typical City View
Minnewaterpark — Lake of Love Park
Queen Astrid Park
Jan van Eyck Square
Brugse Vesten — Bruges City Ramparts
With Bruges, it’s love at first sight! Bruges is mysteriously medieval and unashamedly joyful. Though a city of human proportions, it takes a while to explore its wealth of treasures. The city owes its greatness to history and now wears its UNESCO World Heritage Site label with pride.
Streets and Squares Full of Stories
Green All Around
Bruges by Boat
Bruges by Horse-drawn Carriage
Bruges by Bike
Bruges by Hot Air Balloon
Some places are so special, so breathtaking or so unique that you simply have to see them. Bruges is filled to the brim with wonderful witnesses of a prosperous past, whether they be peaceful and picturesque, spiritual or, on the contrary, extremely entertaining.
Saint John's Hospital
Church of Our Lady
Saint Saviour’s Cathedral
Basilica of the Holy Blood
St. Magdalene’s Church
St. Anne’s Church
St. Giles’s Church
St. James’s Church
St. Walburga's Church
Sacred Books | Secret Libraries
Adornes Estate & Jerusalem Chapel
Brewery De Halve Maan
Bruges Beer Experience
Choco-Story — the Chocolate Museum
Bruges Diamond Museum
Belgian Fries Museum
Lumina Domestica Lamp Museum
Museum-Gallery Xpo Salvador Dalí
To savour and to feast, that’s what Bruges is all about. A land of plenty for lovers of the finest delicacies. Nowhere else will you find so many appetising culinary delights in such a compact area. Indeed, the citizens of Bruges themselves are mightily fond of authentic food and drink.
Den Gouden Harynck
Auberge De Herborist
La Buena Vista
The Blue Lobster
Duc de Bourgogne
Huyze Die Maene
Locàle by Kok au Vin
The Olive Tree
Looking for a cozy drink or a night on the town? Discover the many cafes & bars in Bruges.
't Brugs Beertje
Bar des Amis
’t Brugs Beertje
Café De Reisduif
Café Rose Red
Delaney's Irish Pub
Bistro Du Phare
't Hof van Beroep
't Hof van Rembrandt
't Klein Venetië
Li O Lait
't Zwart Huis
Although Bruges is often associated with the virtuosity and mastery of craftsmen from the past, today’s city is still a breeding ground for creative entrepreneurs of all kinds. You can find dozens of authentic shops, each offering that little extra something, often nestled alongside the more traditional and reputed art galleries and antique emporia.
Shopping in Bruges is a veritable voyage of discovery, ranging from original and trendy newcomers, through vintage addresses that exude nostalgia, to classic establishments that have been run by the same family for generations.
Where to Shop?
When to Shop?
Local Love — A Fine Selection of Authentic Shops
Art and Antiques
Handmade in Brugge
There is no better way to fraternise with the townspeople of Bruges than to immerse yourself in the infectious ambiance at the innumerable events that sweep through the whole city.
Procession of the Holy Blood
Triennial Bruges 2024
Airbag Festival — Accordion festival
GOLD — Polyphony festival
Iedereen Klassiek (Everyone Classic)
Tour of Flanders
Film festival Mooov
Pageant of the Golden Tree
Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival
Snow & Ice Sculpture Festival
Bruges is well connected nationally and internationally to the rest of the world. In close proximity to three airports and served by a robust railway network. You can also easily reach the city by car and leave your vehicle in a parking garage — try to explore the narrow streets on foot or by bike.
By Car / Coach / Ferry
International Coach Services
European emergency number: tel. 112. This general number is used in all countries of the European Union to contact the emergency services: police, fire brigade or medical assistance. The number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
» Doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nursing officers on duty: tel. 1733
» S.O.S. Emergency Service: tel. 100
A.Z. St.-Jan: tel. +32 50 45 21 11
A.Z. St.-Lucas: tel. +32 50 36 91 11
St.-Franciscus Xaveriuskliniek: tel. +32 50 47 04 70
» Poisons Advice Centre: tel. +32 70 245 245
» General telephone number: +32 50 44 88 44
» Emergency police assistance: tel. 101
» Working hours
Mon–Fri 8am–5pm and Sat 9am–6pm you can contact the central police services at Kartuizerinnenstraat 4
» After working hours
you can access the police station on 3, Lodewijk Coiseaukaai from Mon–Thu 7am–9pm and continually from 7 pm on Friday to 9 pm on Sunday. For urgent matters, the police station has a 24-hour telephone service.
Passport / Visa
Belgium can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country.
International (non-Schengen) travellers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
The latest pandemic related travel requirements can be found at the link below.
You can make use of one of the post points (advice, dispatch, stamps, etc.) or stamp shops (stamps only) that you can find in several of the shopping streets.
Address: Smedenstraat 57, Bruges
Bruges enjoys a mild, maritime climate. The summers are warm without being hot and the winters are cold without being freezing. During spring and autumn the temperatures are also pleasant and there is moderate rainfall throughout the year, with the heaviest concentrations in autumn and winter. So remember to bring your umbrella!
Country code: +32
Area code: (0)50