Beguinage picture
©JAN DARTHET/Toerisme Brugge

Key Info

Wijngaardstraat

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The Beguinage (also called Begijnhof) -- a small commune consisting of modest homes and a church -- dates back to the 13th century.  The Countess of Constantinople, Margaret, founded this campus for the Beguines, who were young women or widows that devoted themselves to charitable work; but they didn't have to take religious vows to do so. Today, Benedictine nuns reside within the whitewashed houses, though visitors can still tour the grounds and a small museum.

Travelers offer mixed opinions on the merits of visiting the Beguinage. Some say it's overcrowded with loud tourists, and some say it's perfectly serene -- the calmest place in Bruges. Most say you don't need longer than 10 minutes to see it.

You'll find the Beguinage just around the corner from the De Halve Maan Brewery. Walking the grounds is free, but touring one of the houses will cost you €2 EUR (about $2.75 USD). Hours of operation vary by season. For more information, visit the tourism board's website

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More Best Things To Do in Bruges

Minnewater Lake
Historic Centre of Brugge
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 10
#1 Minnewater Lake

Located just south of the De Halve Maan Brewery, Minnewater Lake (which literally means "Lake of Love") is a charming body of water bookended by canals. There are park benches, weeping willows, walking paths and even swans that give the lake a lovely ambience. Some say the canalized lake is best viewed in autumn, when the willow leaves change color.

Most people agree that the Minnewater Lake is a must-see for its romantic atmosphere and pleasant views. However, some visitors weren't impressed, like this TripAdvisor user who says, "It's a pleasant enough stretch of water with nice paths and seats but I wouldn't fight my way past all the other things in Bruges to go there." Visitors also mention that there are a few good restaurants skirting the lake, one of which sells tasty waffles. 

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Jim Linwood/Flickr
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