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Brugge 2 nights or 1 night

Hi All,

I will be reaching Brugge station from Amsterdam at around 10.30 (9th May 2016) in the morning. I am confused as to how much time I should spend in Brugge. Is one night enough? or should i spend two nights. From Brugge I will have to catch an Early morning train to Paris. So was confused if I should spend 1 or 2 nights. Also can you suggest some things to do in Brugge which can be covered in 2 nights?

Your help is highly appreciated.
Ankur

Posted by
3551 posts

Brugge is a wonderful city to visit for at least 2 nights or more.
It is beautifully preserved with a canal, windmills, museums, relaxing strolls, lace demos and shopping.
Chocolate is a big draw as is the town sq.
I would opt for 2 nightsfor sure.
I hope to go back someday, i spent 3 nights a few yrs back.

Posted by
11450 posts

And then there is me.. who thinks one night is more then enough to walk the canals.. and see all the chocolate and beer shops..

Sorry I found Brugges very kitschy and touristy.. one full day would be ample to me.. ( mind you.. I only did a daytrip there.. but I was ready to leave and didn't feel I was missing too much).. so.. ultimately its a personal taste thing..
I dislike shopping for souvenirs.. lace or chocolate.. so perhaps you might enjoy those things more then me. Also.. I did take the little boat cruise.. it was nice.. but it was very short as I recall. I also visited a church.. er.. it was not a Europeon highlight to me, especially since I have been to so many more that I have found more interesting, or beautiful. or both.

Paris has so much to do or see..that I would never take a day away from it extra if I didn't have to..

Posted by
48 posts

Well, for us we had to get back to Brugge and were able to do that this past year. I must recommend two nights especially if you need to get to the train station early in the morning. We love walking that city and if you are there on Sunday morning, it is quiet and you can see the markets and walk through the park. I cannot get enough of the canals and walking around old Brugge and its architecture. This time we also really enjoyed the Chocolate Museum Tour and I have enjoyed the St. John's Hospital Muehling Museum twice. Love walking through the Begynhof.

Posted by
12040 posts

Count me in the one night crowd. Bruges is pretty, but there's not too much to linger on. The museums are relatively uninteresting and don't take long to visit. It does, however, have a branch of my favorite chocolatier, the devine Moeder Babelutte (you could be an obedient Ricknik and head straight to Dumon, however...). And if you like a little night life, Bruges is a ghost-town after dark.

PS- From a hygiene perspective, avoid the frituur stands immediately below the belfry. I had a nasty gastro-intestinal experience with one a few years ago...

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks All.
The chocolate museum. Where is it and is it too good to go. I love chocolates.

Thanks

Posted by
28126 posts

I've never been to the Chocolate Museum but I do like visiting the chocolatiers. My favourite chocolatier is just down the road in Gent.

It is fairly rare to find 2 churches, one on top of the other, like you get in Brugge. I find them beautiful and very spiritual, especially the lower one.

It is a fun walk up the bell tower, and good fun to listen to the various tunes played (especially from the courtyard).

I like walking out to the windmills and seeing the archery areas and the peripheral canal and the ancient gates into the town.

One day would not be enough for all that.

You can also see the Michelangelo sculpture.

Some people like to try the local beer.

If you have 3 nights you can visit the Mystic Lamb and many other attractions in the nearby town of Gent.

Posted by
16883 posts

For context, this is was a follow-on question from https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/suggestions-on-my-europe-itinerary.

Ankur, if you're doing a lot of your research online, you can find sightseeing summaries at https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/belgium/bruges and other pages under that tab. If you can get your hands on Rick's guidebook, they provide most of the practical details. The book Best of Europe covers 4 of your 6 destinations under consideration.

Posted by
197 posts

Ankur: We loved Brugge and must recommend two nights over one night. We felt that Brugge encourages you to slow down and just enjoy the architecture, the sights, the food, and of course, the beer. Brugge is at its best in the early morning and late afternoons after the crowds have returned to their busses and left Brugge. Give yourself the time to relax, decompress, and prepare for the frenetic pace you will have in Paris.

Posted by
1191 posts

I would stay 2 nights. To me, staying one night anywhere is a waste of time, too much packing, travelling, checking in and out of hotel, not enough sightseeing.

Brugge is fun, we got lost (easy to do), but we were always directed "back to the square". People are friendly. We rented bikes, rode among the windmills. Drank Belgian beer. Ate french fries. Ate chocolates. Plenty to do just wandering around the canals and enjoying the calm scenery.

Posted by
8411 posts

I'm in the 2 nights camp. We stayed 3 nights and wished we could stay longer (and Paris is my favorite place on the planet). We rented bikes one afternoon, and the next morning we rented bikes again for 24 hrs (rates were very reasonable). We had a great time riding all over town, through the residential areas, and to a town nearby (Damme). We loved Brugge.

Posted by
13080 posts

TWO nights is better, because two nights is only one full day (dawn to nighttime) and one full day is what you need to appreciate Brugge.
If you stay only one night, it will be a rushed unsatisfactory few hours' visit, since the day of arrival will be only half day, after the hotel check in process is done. Also you won't be able to do much at night if you have to get up early the next morning and make sure all luggage is packed and ready to go. The day of departure should not be counted since you have an early train. With 2 nights, you will have 1 full un encumbered day, plus the afternoon and evening of the day of arrival, so you can relax and enjoy the place without stressing. One nighters in one hotel are a waste of time, no matter where you go, because of the time involved in the checking in and out process and the packing/unpacking and the getting oriented in the new place.

Posted by
5 posts

I'm with the "Brugge in 2 nights or more" crowd. When we got off the train, we immediately headed to our B&B to get settled and headed off to a local pub far away from the square. Once the day trippers left, we explored the main square and surrounding area. We also rented bikes and rode along the canals. We love Brugge. The key is to get off the main square, especially when the hordes of daytrippers descend, and explore the other neighborhoods. It's beautiful to explore Bruges in the evening (or early morning)....light crowds, beautiful streetlights, lively pubs, etc. Great restaurants are in the outlying areas.

Posted by
13700 posts

We spent 4 nights in Brugge (with a day trip to Ghent) and loved it. There were enough interesting churches, art museums, walks and historic sites to keep us plenty busy, and we didn't shop at all or visit the Chocolate Museum. It's especially lovely in the early mornings and evenings when before/after day-trippers arrive/depart. 2 nights, definitely.

Posted by
11613 posts

Two nights. I have been to Brugge twice and will go back. It's such an easy city to feel at home in. Plenty to do, and you can easily get to Ghent for a half-day if you like.

Posted by
2162 posts

Two nights. It was a charming city and is a nice break between Amsterdam and Paris. I seldom opt for a one night stop - you really can't do much with a one night stop.

Posted by
5648 posts

Two nights. If your time is tight and you spend just one night in Brugge, you'll want all of your first day and all of your second day there, and then where would you be heading to spend the second night? When we visited a few years ago, a workers' strike closed some sights & museums for a day, so we needed another day anyway, not that you'd run into a strike yourself -- but you might! We rode bikes north to Damme, Netherlands one afternoon - a pleasant, not too far distance from Brugge.

Posted by
3696 posts

It's always a trade off... So what are you giving up to stay an extra night?
I visited and loved it... During Christmas market time. It was charming, but after one night I was fine moving on to my next destination, which I also loved.

Two nights or an extra night in Paris?.. No question what I would do.

Posted by
17 posts

We stayed 4 nights so we had the day of arrival (about noonish from Brussels by train). One full day we took the WW1 Battlefields tour by Quasimodo Tours and it was excellent. A highlight for us. We stayed at the Hotel Petritius, and excellent choice. Highly recommended. From there we did the train back to Brussels then on into France. 3 full days in Bruges is plenty as it is a small, walkable city and we used it to recover from jet lag so we were not on the go so much.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Ankur - I'm hopping on the 2 night bandwagon. As mentioned in earlier posts, Brugge is a treasure. Sure there are plenty of touristy things to do, but the atmosphere, scenery and locals make this place a gem. Spend a day exploring and sitting down in some small pubs or cafés for some conversation and beer/caffeine (I recommend Rose Red Café). And then on the second day, knock off some of the museums/churches, belfry, beer museum and maybe a tour of the De Halve Maan brewery. Oh and obviously don't forget the frites or chocolates! If you are looking for a B&B to stay at, we had an amazing 3 night stay at Lut and Bruno Setola's. Lut is an amazing host and we will stay with her again when we return to the magic of Brugge.

Enjoy!
Kyle