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Courtesy of Barry O'carroll / EyeEm/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Bruges

If you have extra time, Markt is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Bruges
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    #1 in Bruges
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Considered one of the most photographed areas of Bruges, Rozenhoedkaai, or Quay of the Rosary, is a picturesque spot where the Dijver and Groenerei canals meet. Sit back and relax while enjoying the lovely canals, beautiful old buildings and charming bars, restaurants and hotels.

    Visitors also recommend checking out Rozenhoedkaai during the evening hours and say it's a great spot to hop on a boat for a canal tour.

  • #2
    Historic Centre of Brugge
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    #2 in Bruges
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Since 2000, the Historic Centre of Brugge has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Regarded as one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval European settlement, the historic center is among the first places you should visit in Bruges, according to past visitors. Take time to wander the cobblestone paths or a hop on a boat ride through the canals that lead to the Gothic and neo-Gothic buildings that make up this historic city. Once a bustling metropolis of trade, this area was also a hub of the Flemish Primitive style of painting.

    Recent travelers advise that you spend two to three hours in the area. They also recommended taking a boat ride down the canals and advise sitting and enjoying a pint of beer and a waffle.

  • #3
    Markt
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    Markt
    free
    #3 in Bruges
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The heart of Bruges – the Markt – is filled with shops, cafes, horse-drawn carriages that clip-clop along cobblestone streets and many architecturally interesting buildings like the Belfry, where you can climb to the top for fantastic city views.

    Reviewers said the Markt is a good starting point for exploring Bruges, and though it can be a bit crowded, it's well worth a visit. However, others complained of too much traffic from cars, carriages and pedestrians.

  • #8
    Minnewater Lake
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    #8 in Bruges
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Outdoors lovers may want to head to this natural beauty south of central Bruges, which is known as a romantic spot thanks to the local legend that says you must cross the lake's bridge with your partner to ensure eternal love. Literally meaning "Lake of Love," the rectangular lake offers lots of benches for enjoying the views and resting.

    Recent visitors said the park was lovely in autumn and free of crowds. There are also swans to add to the romantic ambiance, according to reviewers.

  • #9
    Beguinage
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    #9 in Bruges
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Step into the 1200s with a visit to this former home of holy laywomen, or beguines, who chose a celibate life and who formed their own enclosed communities called beguinages. This area, which is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of 13 such communities in the Flanders region of Belgium. Nowadays, you'll find nuns with the Order of St. Benedict, along with a few unmarried local women, living here. You'll know you've arrived when you see whitewashed houses and serene gardens. A tour of the Beguine's house (now a museum) shows visitors what life would have been like during the 13th century.

    Past visitors said the site is very peaceful and that if you visit around noon, you can hear the nuns singing.

  • #11
    Basilica of the Holy Blood
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    #11 in Bruges
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This 12th-century Romanesque basilica contains what is believed to be a cloth stained with the blood of Jesus Christ brought back from the Holy Land in the 1100s. It also houses relics from St. Basil the Great, as well as multiple paintings and sculptures. Every May, the basilica hosts the Procession of the Holy Blood, a celebration that dates to the 1300s, where a relic of what is believed to be the blood of Jesus Christ is paraded through the streets of Bruges accompanied by some 1,700 people and with more than 30,000 spectators.

    Recent travelers called the basilica "beautiful" and said it hosts thousands of visitors every month – so be prepared for crowds. Others noted that you cannot photograph the relic of Christ's blood.

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