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Brugge for whole day

In need of any advise on how to optimized the visit to Brugge for a day and a half. Trying to arrive early in the morning from Rotterdam, Netherlands to start the day in Brugge. We will be spending one night in Ibis hotel which I think it is nearby the main attraction places/sites. We already know we want to go up to the Bell Tower to see the whole city, visit Chocolate museum (not sure how long is the visit, if we were to take our time?), market, and Fries museum (again, not sure the time frame for visiting this place?). Would visiting all these places be able to fit in one day or better yet have more time for the rest of the day? The next day, we will have about half of day to visit other sites in Brugge, but not sure where are other MUST DO/SEE.
Thank you in advance for your help and recommendation!

Posted by
528 posts

The best part of Brugge for me (and I loved it!) was wandering the streets after all the tourist had left. It is one of the most beautiful cities at dusk I have ever seen. My garden salad at Cambrius ( was one of the best I have had while traveling. If interested be sure and make reservations. We found it and other great pubs in the RS Book.

Posted by
16087 posts

Honestly, I'd skip both the Choco-Story and Friet Museum lest you'll miss the best of Brugge! Buy your frites on the street and munch as you go.

Must do/see (strictly from my perspective):

Markt (the belfry is here) and Berg, for the architecture:

Church of Our Lady:

Sint-Janshospitaal (St John's Hospital): 800 years of history and a really good art collection

Ten Wijngaerde Beguinage:

Jeruzalemkapel (fascinating):

Groeningemuseum (great Flemish Primitives):
You could skip this if art if not your favorite thing and make do with what's at Sint-Janshospitaal.

A walk through Hansa Quarter for history and architecture:

There's more but I'd spend the rest of your time just checking out the lovely little streets and some of the canals. A walk along some of the city's ramparts - now a park - is fun: check out the windmills and medieval city gates:

As Renee said, it's a great town just to walk, and my favorite hours to wander the streets were the quiet ones early in the morning and later in the day. You can exhaust a camera's memory card in a big hurry!

Posted by
494 posts

For the Bell Tower, I would plan to be there when it opens. Otherwise, the line can be long since they only allow 25 people at time.

Posted by
316 posts

I think the Church of the Holy Blood is spectacular.

A boat trip along the canals is a wonderful way to see the city.

When I went, the line up for the bell tower was lengthy, so I second the recommendation to get there early..

Posted by
16087 posts

I think the Church of the Holy Blood is spectacular.

Oh yes, that one too. I left it out as I may have already given the OP more than they can manage and didn't even get around to BEER! Very good beer in Belgium. We had many happy beer o'clocks. 🍺

We skipped the top of the Belfry: done enough Tops Of Big Tall Things here and there to be sort of allergic to the queues and crush usually involved.

Posted by
307 posts

i would go to the Church of our Lady and Sint Jans Hospital and the Bell Tower.
Can easily see all three and still have time to wander, around, sit in the Korenmarkt and enjoy the scenery.

Posted by
6798 posts

Additionally, there are the windmills, toll house and Van Eyck square, St. Bonifacious bridge near Church of Our Lady, and old city gates. All can be seen just walking around. You could also take the tourist boat canal ride that provides a city view from a different perspective. You pick it up from any number of locations in the Rozenhoedkaai street area. Only after seeing everything everybody mentioned would I visit the Choco and Fries museums.

Posted by
16087 posts

sit in the Korenmarkt and enjoy the scenery.

As far as I know there isn't anything called "Korenmarkt" in Brugge (there is in Gent). The central square is simply called the Markt. Just don't want the OP to go looking for something on a map that isn't there! :O)