Enchanting Bruges

Romantic Bruges at night

Romantic Bruges at night

To those who are hopeless romantics like me, there’s one city that never disappoints… Medieval Bruges in Belgium certainly has all the elements of a perfect romantic setting. A stroll through its narrow streets make you step back in time, its many canals are perfect for the moonlight boat ride with the melodies of Moonriver gently playing in the background.

I visited this city for the first time way back in 1997 and it is still a favorite after many trips thereafter. A week before Christmas, we were back again for the Christmas market and a much needed me-time after very busy months both on the home and work fronts.

Because Bruges is a very popular tourist destination, the weekend before Christmas is always very busy. Scouring the internet for hotel deals was quite a pain as even very small 2 or 3 star hotels were just too pricey at around the Eur 200+ price range. We found another option which turned out to be a great alternative — airbnb.com. We stayed for two nights at a renovated old house just a few yards away from the city centre. Weather was unusually warm (close to 10 degrees Celsius) so we enjoyed our evening walks without freezing.

Bruges by all accounts, has many things to offer — Chocolates and pralines, hand-woven laces, amazing choices of beers, etc.

The Mr. and me in Bruges

The Mr. and me in Bruges

Canals at night

Canals at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges at night

Bruges

Bruges

Bruges

Bruges

Romantic canals and bridges

Romantic canals and bridges

Bruges

Bruges

Centuries-old buildings

Centuries-old buildings

One can explore the city on horse-driven carriage

One can explore the city on horse-driven carriage

Centuries-old buildings

Centuries-old buildings

Canals

Canals

A favorite bridge

A favorite bridge

Boat rides

Boat rides

Us

Us

Signage at the entrance of the Begijnhof

Signage at the entrance of the Begijnhof

The Begijnhof was the place where women and children stayed while the men went on to fight in the Holy Land during the Crusades.  Today, nuns are its residents.

The Begijnhof was the place where women and children stayed while the men went on to fight in the Holy Land during the Crusades. Today, nuns are its residents.

Inside the church in the Begijnhof

Inside the church in the Begijnhof

The market square

The market square

One of the many streets leading to the market square

One of the many streets leading to the market square

Chocolates and pralines for which the Belgians are known for the world over

Chocolates and pralines for which the Belgians are known for the world over

A few of the hundreds of beer choices

A few of the hundreds of beer choices

Belgian beer

Belgian beer

Belgian beers

Belgian beers

Beer flavored cheese

Beer flavored cheese

Beer-flavored eggnog

Beer-flavored eggnog

Belgian pralines

Belgian pralines

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Horse-drawn carriages near the Begijnhof

Horse-drawn carriages near the Begijnhof

Bruges

Bruges

Hand-woven Bruges laces

Hand-woven Bruges laces

One of the many churches in the city

One of the many churches in the city

Us

Us

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

99 Responses to Enchanting Bruges

  1. Sofia says:

    I visited Bruges a couple of years ago it was certainly cold then (-2ºC) and absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures bringing back lovely memories :)

    • Malou says:

      Oh, I know that -2C. I was there as well some years back with that temperature so I never managed to walk a few yards and headed back inside. This time with the balmy night temp, we could really see the city at night which was amazing. ;-)

  2. Just beautiful, Malou! We were just looking at other pictures of Bruges this week; how lovely to be able to go on your tour! It looks like a wonderful city to visit!

  3. John says:

    Incredible architecture, and the canals are so nice. I’d love to cruise them all. :)

  4. Thanks for the tour-what a beautiful city!

  5. OMG your photos are amazing! Now I want to go there too!!!

  6. Nikki says:

    Amazing photos! Makes me want to book a ticket and fly over there right now :)

  7. Colline says:

    It certainly looks like a fairy tale city. And one with so much history – it looks like you travelled back into the past.

  8. Love the photos! Thanks for bringing back such wonderful memories of this story-book city. Had a chance to visit it many years ago and I especially remember the great chocolates :) Your posts always bring each setting to life!

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Danny. If I didn’t control myself, I would have bought lots of chocolates. Belgian pralines are just irresistible but I tell myself now that they’re just a moment on the lips but a lifetime on the hips. ;-)

  9. One of my very favorite places on the planet!

  10. travelingmom22 says:

    We were just there a few months back and loved it! Great city to walk around and get “lost” in! The chocolates are also amazing! May I ask what beer store you went to? I went to a few in Brugges but nothing compared to the selection I see from your pictures!

    • Malou says:

      Can’t remember the name of the store but it was one of those close to the centre. Pretty huge one and they have a basement where I saw hundreds and hundreds of the different Belgian beers with their respective glasses/mugs. My husband felt like he was in heaven at the incredible choices. ;-)

  11. Ah, the picture-perfect Bruge… I’ve been longing to go there for years. Thank you for the reminder as to why.

  12. denlyn3 says:

    We just put Bruges on our wish list

  13. The Lu Life says:

    Bruges is one of my favorite towns in Europe! It looks like you both had a wonderful time!

  14. RoSy says:

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit any time of the year!

  15. mrsdaffodil says:

    Beautiful, like a dream, and beautifully photographed.

  16. It’s just magic, isn’t it – brings back memories of a wonderful time I spent there, years ago. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Beautiful photos. Magic :)

  18. Mike says:

    One of my favourite places along with Antwerpen. Een prachtige plek.

    • Malou says:

      I completely agree with you, Mike. Antwerp is also very charming. I used to have a different view of Antwerp because I used to just pass by and see it from the train. However, on an outing with friends, I got to discover the Antwerp has so much to offer too, oozing with charm as well. ;-)

  19. We are going to Belgium in September and are planning to visit Bruges. Would you recommend the place where you stayed? We’re thinking of staying for a few days. Your photos are lovely, especially the night scenes.

    • Malou says:

      Wow, you must be looking forward to your holiday. The place we stayed was simple and the bathroom was quite small but OK. I can definitely recommend that place because it was nicely located, a short distance away from the city centre with many nice restaurants close by. I’m checking on airbnb if it is available but I can’t find it at the moment. I guess the owner must be having further work done at the moment. Still, there are many wonderful choices on airbnb which you can consider. ;-)

  20. justmusing says:

    Thank you for sharing – what a wonderfully generous post!

  21. What a beautiful city! To tell the truth, in the past, whenever I thought about Bruges, it was in connection with the Korngold opera “Die tote Stadt”. I never imagined the city could be so beautiful. I must add it to my list of places to visit. Your photos are gorgeous.

    • Malou says:

      Oh, thanks for mentioning that opera. Something for me to check out because I’ve not seen that before. This city is definitely worth a visit. ;-)

  22. viveka says:

    Bruges is one of my gems …. been there so many times, when living in Dover – took the HoverSpeed to Ostende and then a short train ride. Love it .. so pretty and it’s like going back in time. Great mussels too. Amazing that all the old house hanging over the canals are still inhabited. Bruges is just what you said; enchanting. The Begijnhof – never heard about before … you have manage to get some fantastic evening shots.
    Brussels laces … the most famous and the most expensive in the world. Diana Ross wedding dress was made of Brussels laces. Thank you taking me back – have been thinking of doing a post about Bruges for ages.

    • Malou says:

      Oh, I can imagine that you must have visited this city so many times while living in the UK because of the good connection across the channel. Saw a lot of British tourists over there and many were hoarding the beers and chocolates. ;-)

      I’ve heard that the traditionally woven laces are facing tough competition from those “Made in China” ones which come in cheap. I really love the tradition that this city is trying to keep alive and well. ;-)

      • viveka says:

        It is a couple of years since I was there now – 6 years ago.
        And their mussels are to die for – it’s a such beautiful and well keep place, so romantic too.

        Everyone I have taken with me to Bruges …. just love it. I think that anyone that has been in Bruges want to go

  23. sugaredpecan says:

    Enchanting indeed! Especially beautiful at night!

  24. Okay, now Bruges is on my list of “must sees.” Thank you!

  25. Miss P says:

    how beautiful and very romantic.

  26. Wow! That city is on our travel list, and it’s good to know airbnb is available there. We really liked using that website when in Amsterdam last October.

  27. ShimonZ says:

    Very beautiful. How nice that you enjoyed such a charming vacation.

  28. likeitiz says:

    Lovely photos of a beautiful place. Last time we went to visit was in 2010. We took a day trip from Paris. We had left early in the morning and we came back late at night. It was a lovely day. You captured what stood out in Paris for us too—the beer, the chocolates, the lace, and the place. Even Begijnhof! We came home and watched the movie “In Bruges” again! Thanks for the memories!

    • Malou says:

      Glad to know that you visited this city too. So much to see and experience here and I guess the one day was not enough. Come back again next time and take your time. Bruges and nearby Ghent are just wonderful to explore. ;-)

  29. your photos are always fun and interesting!

  30. What a beautiful city! Thank you for sharing, Malou!

    And that is um . . . a very interesting Belgian Beer label!

    • Malou says:

      You must visit this city and I can tell you that the collection of beers are far more interesting than what I can post here. That’s just a teaser. ;-)

  31. Pingback: More Pictures of Bruges from a Fellow Blogger | R. Doug Wicker — Author

  32. flyfishbrat says:

    I so love your blogs.

  33. edebock says:

    Oh my goodness! I will definitely have to add Bruges to my list of must see places.

  34. Hi Malou,

    Nice pics, brought our memories back ..:-)

    thanks,

    Vic

  35. meryscarsa says:

    Beautiful shots!!! Lovely place to travel!!, Visit my website: capturaviaje.com. Many thanks

  36. I haven’t been to Bruges in years, but your wondeful photo essay reminds me how scenic and romantic is is. Thanks for the reminder. All the best, James

  37. Ah, such a gorgeous city, Malou! Though I’ve never been, it’s almost as if I had, thanks to your many beautiful images! Thanks so for this sharing…the entire post made me smile, a lot!

  38. Gorgeous city!! I love your photo essay. I can’t wait to walk down the same streets and explore the city… and that cupcake shop!

  39. What amazing adventures you guys go :D Love that you got night shots of the city! I can’t decide if it’s more beautiful at night or during the day HAHA!

  40. Sally says:

    Beautiful, beautiful photographs and you both look so happy on your trip! I’ve never been to Bruges; just added it to my places to visit before I die list. Still loving your blog.

  41. ailsapm says:

    Your photos are wonderful. My mum went to Bruges last year and loved it; I must visit myself sometime soon. :)

  42. LolaWi says:

    Hi Malou, forgive the intrusion. I chanced upon your site and what a great adventure! Thanks for taking me to these wonderful and charming places. Bruges is a big dream for me which I hope and pray to realize it someday. You have a beautiful family and Your pictures are amazing! Thanks again.

    • Malou says:

      Glad to know that you like what you find here in my site. Bruges is really such a lovely city which I am sure you will get to love on first sight. I hope that one day soon, your footprints will also grace this beautiful city. ;-)

  43. photobycraig says:

    Thanks to your wonderful images I have yet another place to visit!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog…much appreciated!

  44. willoiow says:

    Bruges saved my marriage 4 years ago!! had a second honeymoon there and it rekindled eevrything for us, such a magical memorable place, going back for the day in june can’t wait, love this blog thanks for showing us some great memories

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