Most likely you are heading to Bruges from Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam. Regardless, there are trains from Brussels to Bruges. If you go from Amsterdam which is a hub in western Europe, you can take a fast train or an InterCity train to Brussels, and change to a regional train there to Bruges.
The Christmas market
The market is held on the main square in Bruges. You will find food and drinks, and there will be stalls with craft items for sale. The entire city will be decorated with fairy tale like lights. During the evening you will see the full effect of the Christmas lights. Magical warm lights and shadows playing along the old facades of the town. Did you know that the average age of the buildings in this town can be counted in hundreds of years. The city walls are from the 1st century, which should give you an idea. In the 15th century this was a centre for art with artists such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling.
The town vibe and local cuisine
There are plenty of trinkets for sale in Bruges. To retain the memory of the city as a trading hub alive, several original craft works is available in shops and markets. You can also find traditional food, try the Belgian frites, waffles and mulled wine. Of course! Last but no least, sample some of the Belgian beers. What better way to enjoy a Christmas market than with a craft beer from Belgium, they are known worldwide.
With your partner
Bruges is a very romantic city. But be aware that it is also a very touristy place, and especially during Christmas. To increase the genuine feeling and avoid the hordes of tourists, keep the following in mind::
- If you go in the weekend, you are bound to run into more tourists. Therefore, try to go in the beginning of the week or midweek.
- Explore the city early in day, just as shops open. You can also benefit from the golden hour and snap some of those romantic photos to post on Instagram or on Facebook.
With these key rules you are also set to explore beyond the town square. Take a stroll along the canal and allow yourself to get lost in the alleys around the town square. You can also enjoy a walk around the Love Lake in Minnewater Park.
With your family
Bruges is certainly a place to celebrate a postcard Christmas with your family, with the traditional markets and the old and scenic buildings all around you. Sprinkle some carriages with horse and chocolate stores (chocolateries) on top, and the result is a family Christmas to remember. On the topic of chocolate, the Belgians treasure the chocolate making business so much that you will only find a handful of chocolateries in the centre of the city. There are less than 10 spread out in central Bruges. Make it a challenge to find them!
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