While I was writing tips for citytrips for cities in Europe I visited, I suddenly realized, that my hometown was a favourite destination for many as a citytrip in Europe. And I have noticed that many foreign friends who visited Bruges in the past were often ecstatic about this small city from the Middle Ages. So I came to the conclusion that I could be a real help to many tourists who wanted to visit Bruges. So this is the first column on this really beautiful town. I will try to give good advice, interesting tips, reviews on bars and restaurants, mention things and places to avoid, and add some pictures, to make sure you can get the most out of your visit.
The best season to visit Bruges? I don’t think there is a real off season to visit Bruges. Of course Belgium has four seasons, so in winter it is bound to be cold and rainy, but as this year proves, even in summer it can rain a lot. As any city or other place, Bruges is definitely most beautiful under a blue sunny sky, but weather can be very unpredictable in Belgium so you better don’t be led by the weather when booking a trip. The biggest difference the seasons make is the number of tourists that come to Bruges. January and February is by far the calmest period, with very little tourists walking around, and June through September by far the busiest, but we also get a lot of tourists around holiday periods like Christmas and Easter. So if you like the feeling of visiting a place as the lonesome lucky guy, winter is definitely the period for you. You will be able to wander the old cobblestone streets al by yourself outside the working hours, and there is surely something to say for that. We as inhabitants also enjoy these low-season periods to walk through Bruges on dry sunny days, and feel privileged.
Even in the tourist high season it isn’t very difficult to flee the masses. Most tourist visit the same places and streets following the same walking tours, so you often only have to take one of the side-streets, to find the peaceful Bruges, and the streets and buildings are just as beautiful as in the main tourist areas. I see more and more people finding these side-streets, but they are still a minority.
So be brave and try some side streets, and enjoy the peculiar atmosphere of the real Bruges, the city is very small, so you won’t get lost, and you won’t have to walk long distances for it.