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Brugges

I'm glad I decided to stay in Brugges. Although it is "touristy," it is possible to get out of the crowds and see some small town sights.

We stayed at the Hotel Marcel and I would recommend it unequivocally. One of the owners has that Belgian snippiness that RS mentions, but it's surface--she's nice underneath, and the other owner is as sweet as Belgian chocolate. The rooms were spotless--the whole hotel was spotless. The beds were big and comfy, with linen sheets (yes, real linen). The bathrooms were weirdly modern and sort of integrated with the room, but had the biggest showers in Europe and, again, spotless. No view to speak of, but the hotel is located just seconds from the Markt and yet on a totally silent side street. Breakfast was delicious (make-your-own waffles beat the street versions hands down). And a nice addition: they run a (again "spotless") laundromat right next door; it's a bit pricey but soooo convenient.

We had a really hard time finding good places to eat. Many of RS's recommendations include the word "touristy," and they are. I wish he'd find more unknown gems, but then they wouldn't stay unknown for long, would they? I got really tired of fries with everything. The BBQ at De Hobbit was good--dry rub rather than juicy--but who goes to Belgium for BBQ? Avoid everything on the Markt and don't go to the Golden Monkey unless your life depends on it. In fact, the best meal we had was recommended by our hotel: Brasserie Souffleur on Vlamingsrat. And there's a little Belgian chain of organic restaurants called Le Pain Quotidien; their Brugges site at Simon Stevinplein 15 is quirky (a long row of small shops tied together). Their wait staff are probably all students but they are friendly...and the food is excellent and reasonably priced.

And of course, eat chocolate. We loved the crazy Chocolate Line.

Posted by
11417 posts

We loved Brugges. I'm curious what attractions you visited there that you enjoyed and/or found interesting? We found some of the museums and churches not to be 'touristy' or overrun at all.

LOL, how does one EVER tire of Belgium frites? My waistline probably wishes that I had....🍟

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for posting! I'm saving your recommendations for a trip we're starting to plan next year.

Lynette

Posted by
145 posts

One of my favorite locations was the Lace Museum. We were the only people in the place. The lace makers chatted to us as they worked. It was fascinating.

Also, the boat trips were interesting, for a different view of the city.

And the chocolate museum was great fun.

What was a total waste of money was the so-called history experience on the Markt.

Posted by
11417 posts

We didn't do any of those things except a boat ride, Monty, and could have skipped that one. Different strokes make the word 'go 'round so it's great that we are not all the same! :O)

A few more recommendations for Lynette:
Sint-Janshospitaal
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk
Groeningemuseum
Adornesdomein- Jeruzalemkapel
Basilica of the Holy Blood
Walk along the windmills on the ramparts
Walk through Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde
Beer, frites, waffles, repeat.

https://www.visitbruges.be/en

Fun place to eat (sit outside if possible): 't Hof van Rembrandt:
http://www.thofvanrembrandt.be/en

Posted by
5552 posts

We eat in them when traveling all over the US when we need a quick meal.
Consistently good places for lunch.

Posted by
7606 posts

Oh gosh, I love Le Pain Quotidien! It started in Brussels but they also now have locations in many countries, including the US. I regularly eat in one in London near Victoria Station.

Just in case you return, I got really good food at Trattoria Trium on Academiestraat. Delicious and excellent service!