I just got back from an amazing week and a half in beautiful Belgium with my favorite travel buddy, Amanda (kevinandamanda.com)! This was my first time in Belgium, and I fell in love!
We flew into Brussels and used our ACPRail train tickets to take the train to Bruges. The train ride was a breeze. The train station is right in the airport. We took the escalator down to the train and found our way to Bruges. It took about an hour and a half. We took a cab straight to the Hotel Heritage and set off to explore!
The Markt of Bruges (Market Square) is located in the heart of the city.
One of the highlights is the 12th-centry Belfry.
In the center of the market stands the statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck.
We LOVED these fun buildings around the edge of the Market Square.
They reminded me a lot of Amsterdam. You can really see the Dutch influence.
They are all little restaurants where you can grab a quick bite.
They are all pretty touristy, but it is a tourist town!
Our first stop in the square was to get a waffle at Chez Albert.
It was really good!
After walking around and taking photos, we stopped for another waffle.
This time we stopped at Freds. O-M-G! THE BEST!
This one blew Chez Albert out of the water!
The Provinciaal Hof (Province Court) in the Market Square is the former meeting place for the provincial government of West Flanders.
The Bruges City Hall is one of the oldest city halls in the entire Netherlands region.
LOVED this beautiful archway in-between the buildings.
We sampled these fun waffles on a stick from Go.fre – it is right across from Chez Albert.
You can buy already dipped waffles or ask for a freshly dipped waffle with your choice of toppings.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is next door to the town hall.
Originally built in the 12th century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders.
The church houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders.
You have to pay 2.5€ to get inside the museum to see the Holy Blood.
You don’t actually get the see the Holy Blood. You get to see a video of the Holy Blood being placed inside this shrine.
The Waffle Truck is located in the Town Hall plaza.
He sets up everyday around 11:00am.
The waffle was made fresh right in front of us.
We got it topped with caramel and whipped cream.
We went to the cutest hot chocolate place – The Old Chocolate House.
You order your chocolate combination from the menu and it gets delivered to your table like this.
You drop the chocolate cup and the ingredients inside the chocolate cup right into a cup of hot milk.
It was chocolate heaven!
There is a chocolate shop on the first floor.
Take the stairs up to the second level restaurant to enjoy a great cup of hot chocolate!
St. Bonifaciusbrug bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in Bruges.
It is located right behind The Church of Our Lady.
The Church of Our Lady’s tower, at 401 feet in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world.
The altarpiece of the large chapel in the southern aisle enshrines the most celebrated art treasure of the church—a white marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child created by Michelangelo around 1504.
It was purchased in Italy by two Brugean merchants, the brothers Jan and Alexander Mouscron, and in 1514 donated to its present home. The sculpture was twice recovered after being looted by foreign occupiers—French revolutionaries in 1794 and Nazi Germans in 1944. It was one of the works of art recovered by The Monuments Men after WWII.
The work is also notable in that it was the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime.
Bruges is famous for their swans.
There are tons of them near the Lake of Love.
How pretty is this ZARA?
Love the colors and the reflection of the sky in the windows.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred is a Paris pasty shop famous for its meringues.
Its most famous pasty is The Merveilleux
Meringue, chocolate whipped cream coated
with shavings of dark chocolate
I do not like meringues, but this was MARVELOUS!
In addition to The Merveilleux, we sampled the cherry, caramel, praline (almond and hazelnut) and the speculoos (Biscoff). They were all AMAZING!
We also tried a loaf of the Sugar Bread.
O-M-G! I wish I had some right now! It was SO stinking good!!!
You can go in the top of the Belfry.
There are 366 narrow and steep steps that take you to the top.
I HATED it! Traffic goes both ways in the narrow staircase.
I didn’t want to do it, but I did it. For the blog!
The view was incredible!
I’m glad I hiked up to the top.
I am also glad the weather was nice so I didn’t have to hike up there twice!
We took a canal tour. There are several companies that offer tours, they are all the same.
Just pick one and enjoy the ride!
This is the old hospital. It is no longer in use.
Back in the day, people would pull their boats under that awning to go into the “emergency room”.
The oldest bridge in Bruges.
I just loved this purple house with wisteria.
The oldest bar in Bruges.
Belgium is famous for their fries. They claim to have invented fries.
We stopped in the Market Square for an order. It was a great afternoon snack!
We couldn’t leave Bruges without another Freds waffle!