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How long for Bruges?

Planning for eight nights lodging on a trip next May next May, with Bruges as our main stop. How many nights do you suggest for the town? I am looking at three but considering four. No major cities on this trip, and the rest of the itinerary will depend on how many nights we stay in Bruges. Also, if you have stayed there, what hotel/B&B did you stay in, and would you stay there again?

Posted by
9110 posts

How many nights would depend on arrival and departure times probably. I've only been there twice and may well have missed somthing, but both times I arrived at mid to late morning and had seen all I needed to by supper. The central core is tiny.

Posted by
3313 posts

Bruges is at most a two-day visit, assuming you're without car. It's a picturesque small town, but you'll see most of it in short order.

Posted by
808 posts

We stayed in Bruges at Hotel Fevery just for one night this fall. I would stay there again - nothing fancy but the price was right and the breakfast was good. Personally, I would give Bruges only two nights. Are you visiting Gent? We really enjoyed Gent. Loved the castle and the STAM museum - there was a bit of construction going on but even with the construction I would choose Gent over Bruges. Much more of a real city rather than Bruges which is very touristy (I thought).

Posted by
12040 posts

Brugge is actually a fairly large city (by Belgian standards), but there isn't much of interest outside the historic core. Two full days is enough. The only time I stayed overnight, I stayed in Hotel Adornes. The best thing about this establishment is that you get complementary, unlimited access to the hotel's fleet of bicycles. You could, however, take some daytrips. The North Sea beach towns of De Haan, Oostende and Blankenberge are pretty close. As is Ghent, which in my opinion, is overall a more interesting city. Major WWI battlefields also aren't too far away.

Posted by
11450 posts

I have only done Brugges as a daytrip visit( from Paris) ,, I realize I could have spent the night and seen a bit more,, but felt a day was enough for me personally.. I would suggest 2 nights are more then enough . I guess it depends on how many daytrips you plan to do out from Brugges.

Posted by
875 posts

On a trip to Paris, Amsterdam & Bruges, we rented an apt and stayed 5 nights (check out "Brugestheloft" on VRBO). It was a great apt in a wonderful location.
Bruges is so lovely and peaceful, we just enjoyed our sense of "being" while there. Yes it's small and you can see everything in less time, but we like to savor the moments so we travel more slowly than some.

Posted by
689 posts

I am not usually one for quick visits but I did feel like we saw everything with 1 day. I loved Bruges but didn't really feel like we could just hang out for longer than that, the way we do in cities like Parisit's small and quite touristed. I'm sure you wouldn't be bored with 3 nights, thoughit really is lovely. Absolut Verhulst B and B is one of the best b and bs we've ever stayed at:
http://www.b-bverhulst.com/default.htm

Posted by
8055 posts

We stayed 3 nights and wished we had stayed longer. We loved it. We rented bikes for 24 hrs and spent one day riding all over town, and into the countryside to another town. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza, a RS recommendation, and liked it very much.

Posted by
649 posts

We stayed for 3 nights, and thought it was a bit too much, 2 nights would have been plenty. I have to say the weather was terrible, rain all 3 days, cold and windy too, i am sure if it would have been sunny, we would have be quite happy to just sit and enjoy a few drinks. The bed and breakfast we stayed at and is in Rick's book, was www.bedandbreakfast-bruges.com/
Loved it, would definitely stay there again.

Posted by
1976 posts

I've only been there on a daytrip as well but had plenty of time to see everything I was interested in (all in the old city, which as Ed said is small).

Posted by
173 posts

I think 2 full days is enough for the historic core. We spent two nights there and only had one full day and felt a bit rushed. Its a nice town to wander around in. We went to the chocolate museum, french fry museum and did a tour of the brewery and bought our weight in chocolate!!
We stayed at the Eden Rose Guesthouse which is about a 15 minute walk to the old town, and also on a direct bus route. The Eden Rose was one of the nicest places we stayed in our month in Europe and it was not overly expensive. Our host was very friendly and informative.

Posted by
1035 posts

"Bruges is a sh!thole!" p.s. Agree with prior post, Hotel Fevery is nice. EDIT: Added quotation marks to first sentence.

Posted by
3551 posts

We stayed 3 nights but could have stayed longer. It is so well perserved medieval town and a great walking town. It is a place to slow down and enjoy, so picturesque. rent some bicycles and cycle the canal, taste chocolates, see museums, stroll the squares, enjoy the cafes and stay in a B&B. If you are not that kind of tourist, 2 days should be enuf to quickly see.

Posted by
2155 posts

We were in Bruges for four nights in September. I thought it was a lovely place to settle in and enjoy. I loved walking all over the city, which seems quite big when you're on foot. One day we rented bikes and rode to Damme. Another day we took the train to Ostende. I enjoyed walking on the beach, but thought the town was pretty ugly. We toured the beer place and hit a couple of museums. We had some great meals and did some shopping mostly window shopping. We had no trouble keeping busy the whole time. I think a one or two night stay would be fine, but we were happy we stayed four. I too loved Ghent, but we did it as a day trip from Brussels. We stayed at Hotel Egmond, which is a B&B in Minnewater Park. It was nice, but our room was pretty small. We loved the location which was fairly close to the train station and near the ducks and geese.

Posted by
40 posts

We stayed for 4 day in Brugge and it was perfect could have stayed longer to do a couple of side trips we didn't get to. We stayed at the Royal Stewart B&B what a good deal. Wonderful hostess Maggie is and a great breakfast. We paid 59 Euros a night in 2008 Brugge was absolutely fabulous can't wait to go back http://users.telenet.be/royalstewart/en/home.htm hope this helps

Posted by
1878 posts

My wife and I were there for two nights in 2003. The first day was the day of our arrival, plus one more day them off to Paris with a brief stop in Brussels. So we had one full day, plus the first day off the plane with extreme jet lag from the west coast. We could have used one more day, not so much because of the sights as because it is such a pleasant town.

Posted by
132 posts

We were there two nights. A full day and a half. It's a lovely town. You could hit the high points in two days. Assuming one of them isn't the day they're closed. I believe it's Monday. There are also a couple of nice walking tours, as out to the windmills. They can take about a half day without stopping for the stops along the way. Of course if you want to just prop up your feet relax and sample the local brew or chocolate and just enjoy the town. I'd go three or four. We had some great food there. Have fun.

Posted by
3039 posts

Hi Roy! We stayed 2 nights in Brugge--I think that 2-3 nights is a good amount of time. We enjoyed our stay at Hotel Patritius. Best,
Sharon

Posted by
258 posts

I agree w/ the posts above that 2 nights is more than enough. Bruges is a VERY pretty, enjoyable city, but it just doesn't warrant more than 2 nights. I had 2 full days there (arrived in AM, had all that day to sight-see, wander around, etc., spent the night, then spent bulk of next day and departed that night. Very glad I've been to Bruges and I def enjoyed it. But didn't feel that I missed out on much, if anything, by giving it 1 night. Have a great time.

Posted by
162 posts

We spent 3 wonderful nights in Bruges in late May and could have easliy spent one more. We had 2 days of exploring Bruges. The other day was spent on a day trip to nearby Ieper and the WW1 museum and nearby trenches etc. then to the beach towns on the coast. We had a wonderful experience staying at the Bonobo Apartments. They are very centrally located on a quiet street. If you have a car ( reccomended for days trips) their small parking lot is great. http://www.bonobo.be/ I found them thru Booking.com and read the glowing reviews then booked with them directly. Bruges is delightful! Enjoy!

Posted by
358 posts

I attended a european medical meeting in Bruges in 2004 and stayed at the Crown Plaza which is a nice hotel. I would say 2-3 nights you can really enjoy the town. I returned last year for a day tour of Bruges and even though the town is now really turisty still enjoyed the ride on the canals and walking around town.

Posted by
1064 posts

Thanks for your thoughts. We will go with three nights instead of four. That will give us two and a half days there, and we may use part of that time for a day trip. Thanks also, for your hotel recommendations. I will check them out, as well.

Posted by
1 posts

We just came back from a trip to Belgium and spent 1 day in Brugges and it was great. We pretty much felt satisfied with 1 day of sightseeing. Try going to Antwerp for a day and Brussels. I would say 2 days should be plenty with time to spare in Brugges. It's a small town, but adorable and full of culture and art. Truly my favorite town in Belgium.

Posted by
951 posts

If I could live in Europe, it would be Bruges. We spent 2 nights in Bruges 3 years ago. We stayed at Absolut Verlhust B&B. It was a special experience for us. Benno and Frieda make you feel like a king and queen. 2 nights was not enough. I could spend hours in the Groening museum alone. Oh and the memling museum, I could also spend 2 hours in there alone. But I love that Flemish art. My next trip may be a London, Bruges trip. I plan on maybe 5 and 6 days in each town, respectively. I want to use Bruges as my headquarters as I day trip to other towns in Belgium.

Posted by
11798 posts

This post is unusual. Typically on this site any question about how long to stay somewhere becomes like a bidding war. Someone will say two nights, the next says three, then four, five - and on it goes. By the end of the thread you need a full month to begin to appreciate the place. The fact that the concensus is no more than two nights is worth noting. Brugge has a beautiful core but can be seen/enjoyed in a brief visit.

Posted by
1035 posts

".... I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't."

Posted by
1064 posts

I am not sure who Michael is quoting, but I will probably love Bruges. I grew up on a farm and so was so retarded that my parents made me sleep in the barn until the day I left for college.

Posted by
4365 posts

OK, Brad, this is just for you...I (and my husband and his parents) could easily spend two weeks in Bruges! So there ;-) And Roy, if you haven't seen the movie "In Bruges" and have a high tolerance for R-rated language and violence, do watch it before your trip...

Posted by
8055 posts

"The fact that the concensus is no more than two nights is worth noting" How did you come up with that Brad? I think it's fairly evenly divided between 2 nights and 3/3+ nights.

Posted by
9110 posts

BradMath. It rates the relative good looks and intelligence of the raters - - works every time.

Posted by
7979 posts

It does kind of matter when you are there. I have gone in the winter and it was nice, but one day was enough for me. We then went once in the summer and after a couple of hours, we were fed up completely and got out of town as quickly as we could. It was so packed with tourists that nothing was enjoyable. I would much rather go to some other cute town that doesn't have the hoards of buses. Some people adore cute no matter if 50 tour buses are also adoring it and others of us feel too many tourists negates any cuteness. It also depends on what else you have seen and experienced. Brugge may be the first medieval town you have ever seen and it is gonna blow your socks off. If you have traveled all around Europe and seen multiple medieval towns, you will enjoy Brugge, but it ain't gonna keep you up at night ooohing and aaahing.

Posted by
8055 posts

Ah, BradMath... Got it. Thanks Ed. Everyone's different. I've been all over Europe many times, grew up in France, have seen hundreds of cute towns and medieval towns, and I loved Bruges. Could easily have stayed longer than the 3 days we were there. We were there in July of '08 and it was not jam-packed with tourists. It was very pleasant.

Posted by
3580 posts

I visited Bruges several years ago. Two nights seemed rushed; three nights would be better. There are museums, etc to visit and it is a pleasant city for walking and browsing. I think you can expect an outstanding breakfast at the recommended B&Bs.

Posted by
182 posts

i have stayed twice, both times on the way to paris, coming from amsterdam. i could be messed up, but three nights would seem the most. i have only stayed two nights both times. it's super cute, super busy, and a little commercial, if not alot commercial. after the tour buses leave it is awesome, like rothenburg, siena, etc... the food is great, especially mussels, the beer even better. as i look at my photos from bruges, it seems like a fairy tail. couldn't look better, couldn't seem busier. have fun, be safe.

Posted by
16 posts

Two nights in Bruge in plenty. We enjoyed it, but it is very touristy. Food in Bruge was not too good. We stayed at the Hotel Fevery, we enjoyed it but it was a bit of a walk to town.

Posted by
791 posts

I seem to be the only person in the world who preferred Brussels to Bruges. Everybody and their brother told me how Bruges was the hidden gem of Europe and just had to be seen but I found it very disappointing. Brussels on the other hand, is a city that everyone I know has bad things to say about but I loved it. Hell, 30 minutes in the Grand Place was more enjoyable than an entire day in Bruges. But, like I said, I am obviously in the minority.

Posted by
12040 posts

"Everybody and their brother told me how Bruges was the hidden gem of Europe." I have to laugh at that. I'll bet those same people think Gimmelwald and Rothenburg are "Back Doors". But I agree with Rik about Brussels. It isn't nearly as immediately pretty, and there are some areas that, quite frankly, are ugly (although go outside the tourist zone in Brugge and you'll see much of the same). It takes some effort, but everytime I go there I discover something else interesting. Despite the rumor, there's far more than the Grand Place and Mannekin Pis.

Posted by
2155 posts

Rik, I liked Brussels better than Bruges too. It may be because I had much higher expectations for Bruges, or it may be because we liked the place we stayed in Brussels better. I thought Bruges was lovely, but I was really taken with Brussels.

Posted by
791 posts

Tom, this was back in the late 90's so a lot of the places that RS has since "ruined" were still relatively unknown.

Posted by
7979 posts

Add me to the list that likes Brussels better than Bruges too. Just way more stuff to see and do there. Bruges seemed so superficial, where as Brussels felt alive and really "Belgian". The architecture in the neighborhoods was beautiful and all the corner cafes looked like places I would want to go. The last time we were there, we stumbled upon a fantastic, huge street festival in one of the more ethnic neighborhoods. Great food and great music. The side streets have some of the best antique stores too.

Posted by
12040 posts

Brugge has been on the Grand Tour since at least the 1950s, and likely much earlier. My mom lived in France for several years as a child, and even back then, Brugge was a tourist destination. Rothenburg was a favorite of Romantic era artists and tourists by the 1880s. Goethe wrote poems about what he observed in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Tolkien based his description of Rivendell on it, and about half of the 1969 film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" takes place there (even Gimmelwald is shown briefly). Although Rick Steves may promote the hell out of all them, they were already well-established tourist destinations long before he made his first trip to Europe.

Posted by
791 posts

No argument there Tom, but prior to, say, 1990, would the average American tourist have even heard of any of the places you mentioned? The whole reason RS has gained a cult-like following is because he popularized so called hidden gems like these to tourists eager to discover places most people didn't know about. Ironic, really.

Posted by
2525 posts

We stayed three nights in delightful Bruges last year. Upon reflection, two nights would have been just right.

Posted by
808 posts

I know I am repeating myself but ... GHENT! Pretty canals, lots of real people, lots of good pubs and beer and a castle! I just felt Bruges was too touristy.