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Brugge is incontrovertibly one of the most attractive cities in Europe. The canals and alleyways, the churches, almshouses and patricians' houses, the decoratively restored gables and the museums full of art treasures bring the past palpably to life. Furthermore, Brugge is a living, modern and romantic city which has something to offer the most demanding visitor.

Bruges boats on the Reien
Author: d. de Kievith Copyright © Toerisme Vlaanderen

A city for walking

Brugge has been successful in reconciling the splendours of the past with the requirements of modern society. In order to conserve the numerous monuments in the best possible condition, a traffic reduction policy is operated. It is best to leave your car in one of the car parks on the edge of the city centre. As a walker, you will derive twice the enjoyment of the open-air museum that is Brugge in all its historic splendour. If you are deterred by the thought of a long walk, you can always be driven around by one of the famous coachmen, or take a unique boat journey on the "Reien", as the canals of the city of Brugge are known.


The real city centre of Brugge is formed by the impressive Market Place and the adjacent Castle. The fine facades give the atmospheric square an improbable air of class. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Provincial Court was built on the east side. The south side is occupied by the 13th century Hall, the historic commercial centre. The most impressive building is the Belfort bell-tower with its carillon. The tower offers a splendid view over the city and the environment. In the middle of the square stands the statue of the heroes of the Golden Spurs Jan Breydel and Pieter De Koninck.

Bruges Basilica of the Holy
Author: d. de Kievith Copyright © Toerisme Vlaanderen

Via Breydelstraat you walk to the Castle. There you will find the Old Court of Justice, the Civil Registry, the City Hall and the Basilica of the Sacred Blood. This is where the relic of the Sacred Blood is kept. In the adjacent museum, you can admire the Shrine of the Sacred Blood. During the famous procession, the relic is carried around in this jewel of the goldsmith's craft. The Procession of the Sacred Blood takes place every year on Ascension Day at 3 p.m. Click here for more info about events in Brugge.


While we may describe Brugge in its entirety as a museum, the city still has a wealth of museums to boast about. The Groeningemuseum offers a remarkable picture of painting in the Southern Low Countries and Belgium from the 15th century to the present day. The Gruuthusemuseum opposite houses a treasure of old utensils and art works. Until 25 years ago, Sint-Janshospitaal was still used as a hospital, but now houses the Memling museum, including six masterpieces by Hans Memling.

To the north of the city centre lies the Saint Anna district with the Lace Centre, the Jerusalem Church and the Museum of the Saint Sebastian guild. Here you can watch the famous lace-makers hard at work.

Bruges lace
Author: d. de Kievith Copyright © Toerisme Vlaanderen

Begijnhof and Minnewater

A visit to Brugge is not complete without having seen the idyllic Beguine Convent and the romantic Minnewater. In the Beguine convent, there are no longer any Beguines, but Benedictines in 15th century costume still maintain the historic atmosphere. The legendary swans swim on the Minnewater. The people of Brugge look after these noble creatures in fulfilment of the punishment imposed on them by the Maximilian of Austria, after they had beheaded his councillor Pieter Lanchals.

Bruges the Burg at night
Author: H. Maertens Copyright © Toerisme Vlaanderen


Outside the city lies the Boudewijn park, with its famous Dolphinarium. In this sports, culture and leisure centre, you can relax actively and passively thanks to the Olympic ice rink, the swimming pool, an art gallery or the dolphin show.


If you want to get to know the beautiful polder landscape around Brugge in a gentle, relaxing way, climb aboard the Lamme Goedzak. This boat takes you in half an hour to the picturesque village of Damme, once the outport of Brugge, and world famous as the birthplace of Tijl Uilenspiegel.

Information is Copyright © Toerisme Vlaanderen


Festivals & Events

Jan Van Eyck and the Mediterranean World
24 March - June

The first exhibition dedicated to early Netherlandisch painting and its influence on the Southern European art scene of its days looks at works commissioned from Jan Van Eyck and other Flemish Primitives working abroad. Major works from all over Europe will be brought together in one of the finest museums in Bruges.

Brussel jubel park
Author: d. de Kievith
© Toerisme Vlaanderen

The Brueghel Enterprise
22. March - 23. June 2002

The exhibition will bring together about forty paintings by this artist who is well-known for having made an abundant number of copies after the works by his father Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The exhibition aims to juxtapose different versions of the same composition and to study and analyse them with state-of-the-art laboratory techniques. It will be the first time ever that such an important number of versions is gathered. The exhibition is designed around four themes, each of them centred on a reference work: Census in Bethlehem, Winter Landscape with Bird Trap, The Adoration of the Magi in the Snow and The Farmer’s Advocate.

Brugge lace-maker
Author: d. de Kievith
© Toerisme Vlaanderen

Adriaan Brouwer Beer Festival

Yearly festival on the market square of the beautiful town of Oudenaarde.
Tel: (32-55) 31-7251

Brussel Grand Place
Author: d. de Kievith
© Toerisme Vlaanderen

Jazz Brugge 2002
August - 15-18

De Werf's European Jazz Festival is to be held alternating with the Middelheim festival, i.e. every second year. Its venue will be the newly built, for the Brugge 2002 festivities, concert centre, a modern building with the largest stage in Belgium and capacity of 1400 seats. Its emphasis will be on European jazz and artists. There will be 3 to 4 groups per day, concerts starting around 15h and ending at 23h.

Brugge scenic view
Author: d. de. Kievith
© Toerisme Vlaanderen

Diamon Museum - Antwerp

Where the entire process of diamond mining and processing can be viewed.. Antwerp is the very centre of the world's diamond industry. More than 70% of the world's diamonds are cut, polished and traded here.

Brussel procession
Author: A. Koprianov
© Toerisme Vlaanderen

The Royal Greenhouses
April 19 - May 5

The Royal Greenhouses in Laeken cover six acres of neo-classical rotundas, domes and galleries. Twenty full time gardeners tend the giant ferns, fruit-bearing banana trees, grottoes, glades and grassy vistas. Highlights include the Azalea House, the rotunda, a colony of birds and the orange trees. Walkways are filled with climbing geraniums and fuschias, whose blossoms form an overhead canopy. The visit ends with a short walk through the Royal Park.

Brussel Grand'Place flowers
Author: J. J. Soenen
© Toerisme Vlaanderen

The Abbey of Villers-la-Ville
The Cistercian Abbey dates back to the 12th century. In the 19th century, a large number of artists, painters and writers, such as Victor Hugo, were attracted by the beauty of the majestic ruins, which are still sometimes used as a dramatic setting for French drama and classical concerts.

Oostende Mercator
Author: d. de Kievith
© Toerisme Vlaanderen
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