My husband and I will be spending one day in Bruges in November. I realize that some things are closed on Monday. Which day of the week would you recommend if you only had one day?
Other than Monday, you should be plenty fine for one day in Brugge. Depending on your itinerary, even Monday may be fine. If you have the RS guide to Amsterdam, Brugge and Brussels, I would strongly recommend the walking tour. Although I was there in May when the weather was warmer, the walk covers many points of interest and concludes in a beautiful garden. If you and/or your husband love beer, there are plenty of great (and friendly) shops near the Burg and Markt to choose from and Cafe De Gaare is a great place for a beer and cold plates if you are not too hungry. My favorite place for chocolates was Dumon, also near the Burg/Market. Restaurants are touristy and expensive, but you can find some real gems, both on and off the main locations.
Peace, and safe travels!
Shops are usually closed on Sundays in Bruges, but are not obliged to, so a lot are nevertheless open. Enough shops selling souvenirs, beer and chocolate are open every day, not a real worry I think. However Groeningemuseum and Sint-Janshospitaal are closed on Mondays!
Other than Monday morning, Monday afternoon and maybe Sunday, depending on what you want to do, I wouldn't worry. In the Summer it is always chock-a-block, in the Autumn it is pretty much chock-a-block, in the Winter it is really chock-a-block when the Christmas market and ice skating opens in the main square. Every day, doesn't matter.
But, like Venice, if you go one or two streets over you can miss the crowds. I was there 2 weeks ago, on a Tuesday I think, and I was able to stroll as I wished with few other tourists to bother me. i had a wonderful time.
If the museums are high on your list, pick another day; otherwise any day will do.
Check Rick's book, for which days the lace museum is open, we were there on a Saturday and they had a lace making school in session, a chance to see all levels of talent. As a supplement to a walking tour, after your feet get a little tired take one of the canal boat tours they are both scenic and relaxing. An early afternoon hot chocolate and a waffle at the Old Chocolate House at 1c Mariastraat is a great snack and will power you through to dinner. Never had hot chocolate like it and the decor upstairs is just beautiful. We had a very nice dinner at the Gruuthuse Hof at 36 Maariastraat ... good food reasoanble price in very pleasant surroundings.
Planning to go there for a day trip from Paris the first week in November. Since it will be getting dark earlier by then, what would be a good time to return to Paris. In other words, is there much to see or do after dark other than dinner?
And will the canal boat rides be operational in November?
I have gathered we can walk to the city center from the train station? Correct?
Thanks so much...
You certainly can walk into the centre, although I always pop on one of the very frequent and extremely convenient buses. I just walked back from the city hall via the Minnewater and strolled, avoiding crowds, and it took about 45 minutes to an hour. We were in no rush.
Dark shouldn't worry you there. Take whichever train combination works best for you.
Regarding the boat around the waterways, look at https://bezoekers.brugge.be/en/bruges-by-boat and click on more details and you will see the last definate day for the boat tours is 14th November, with possible runs on the 15th.
They are rather fun on a decent day, and available all over the town.
A good reason to stay after dark in Bruges is that the city is illuminated and surprisingly quiet, and later in the evening feels even a bit abandoned. Around 6pm it will already be dark in November there.
One restaurant in Brugge my husband & I will NEVER forget was called Cambrinus. It is off the main square on a side street at Philipstockstraat 19. We had the best mussels in a mild curry sauce served in a bucket. We just had a salad each and these mussels and we could hardly finish them. It looks like a pub with a long bar and tables - Reservations were required in May when we were there but in November it may not be required. Weather permitting the small canal boat ride is lovely. Enjoy it is a beautiful town.
Thanks so much.