Bruges is the unofficial tourist capital of Belgium, and rightly so. Like Amsterdam, Bruges has a rich history and a remarkable canal system, which means that nearly every street includes a bridge, a landmark, and a water-front view.
However, Bruges is much smaller than Amsterdam, and tourists can usually ‘conquer’ it in a day.
The following fourteen photos give an idea of what Bruggian tourists might encounter during that day:
1. The busy train station and its impressive board of glowing departure times.
2. Cobblestone sidewalks
- as if cobblestone streets weren’t charming enough already.
3. Shops galore
- selling, in particular: chocolate, lace, clothing, and various tourist trinkets.
4. The maffia of swans that hang out in the Minnewater canal.
5. Tour boats
- regardless of the weather.
6. Colorful window frames and unexpected stained glass.
7. The curious Pandreitje housing complex, a maze of quiet streets and modern apartments.
- actually, it was a prison until 2002.
8. The peaceful nunnery [also called béguinage (FR) or begijnhof (NL)]
- it’s still thriving, too.
9. The many merry windmills
- they sit on the city’s outskirts and wait for Don Quixote.
10. Horse-drawn carriages
- like ice cream and ‘traditional’ restaurants, no tourist city would be complete without them.
11. Large Gothic cathedrals
- the ‘church down the street’ is actually ‘cathedral down the street’ in Bruges.
12. Stone buildings
- or wood buildings that look alarmingly old.
13. Successful street musicians
- which, like carriage horses, are also mostly found in tourist towns.
14. The prevalence of street lights.