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IN A NUTSHELL
WHAT: Bruges, Belgium.
WHERE: Belgium's coast.
WHY: Perfectly preserved medieval town complete with canals and open market squares.  Wonderful pedestrian old town.
WHEN: Any time of year, but the summer will draw a mass of tourists.
HOW: International flights into Brussels Airport and then car or train to the coast.
IF YOU LIKE THIS... Then you should check out the "Golden City" of Prague, another wonderfully preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bruges (or Brugge) is just what the doctor ordered for travelers seeking canals, cobblestone streets, and historic buildings.  This small city near the Belgian coast is home to some of the continent's best preserved medieval buildings, and because of its canals is often referred to as the Venice of the North.  The whole historic center of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city was also the 2002 European City of Culture.

 

 

The marvel of Bruges is a result of its history.  From the 12th to 15th Centuries the city was a financial hub of Europe and host of the world's first stock exchange.  In the 1500s, the waterway linking the city to the sea started to silt up and the merchants and traders lift.  The city sat silent for 400 years until the late 19th Century, when the author George Rodenbach wrote a novel set in the city, and Bruges soon returned to life.

Because the city sat silent for so long, it is now the best-preserved medieval city in western Europe.

Today, tourists seeking a respite from the modern bustle of the modern Western European cities come to Bruges and delight in the narrow cobblestone streets, canals, and -- of course -- Belgian chocolate. 

Black and white photo of the Provinciaal Hof (Provincial Court) Travelers enjoy a cool summer evening in the central square
Typical Belgian architecture with Belfort in the background Provinciaal Hof (Provincial Court) with flags in the foreground
Canals provide picturesque spots all around the old city Boats on the many canals around Bruges
Close up of the Belfort tower from the Markt Row of old houses around the Markt in the city center


Bruges is also the setting of the 2008 film In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes.  The film showcases the scenery of Bruges and its historic medieval buildings.

 
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Brugge Travel Tips and Photos

BRUGES PHOTOS
We have so many pictures in and around Bruges, we couldn't show them all on one page.  We had to create an additional page just to show them to you!
 

BRUGES PANORAMA PICTURES
Check out our Bruges Panorama Page for panorama photos of the Belfort (bell tower) and a night panorama shot of the Markt (Center Market).
 

WHERE TO STAY
Take a look at our Bruges Hotels Page
map and listing of recommended hotels which start as low as €51 a night!
 

 

BRUGES MAPS
Check out our Bruges Maps Page to map your directions to and from the city.
 

Other European Sights

Neuschwanstein CastleNeuschwanstein
Venture into the Bavarian Alps and visit the fairy tale landmark upon which the Walt Disney based his Disney Land Castle: Mad King Ludwig's Schloss Neuschwanstein.

Heidelberg CastleHeidelberg
Heidelberg is the very image of romantic Germany.  The city's 17th Century red sandstone castle ruin and the old bridge are two of the most majestic sights in all of Germany.

Venice's Grand CanalVenice
Take a stroll along Venice's world famous canals and view the magnificent works of art in the city's many art museums and historic cathedrals.

MunichMunich
Munich (München) is well known for its Oktoberfest festivities and for its delicious yeast-wheat beers (Hefeweizen).  But the capital of Bavaria has much to offer tourists not just in October, but all year round.

Moving to Germany?  Look at out our tips!

Moving to Germany
Whether you are a member of the US Air Force, Army, or Navy, check out our guide to moving to Europe. 
 

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