Julie and Manon Vermast accompany us on a two-day journey back in time to medieval Bruges with their personal tips. The sisters run the Romantik Hotel De Orangerie in the heart of the city and really know their way around.

Day 1

View: The 83 m high Belfry tower at the Markt.

Morning. We start out early and explore the city center – on foot, of course. We amble a short way along the Dijver Canal and turn towards the Markt (Market Square) with its 83 meter high watchtower Belfry. Climbing the 366 steps to the top takes a lot of effort, but the grandiose view is worth it. Through winding lanes we come to the St. Bonifacius Bridge and continue to the Church of Our Lady – both hot spots not to be missed on a visit to Bruges.

Pure enjoyment: Afternoon tea and scones.

Midday. After a stroll through the Noordzand and Sudzand shopping streets we take a rest in lively Simon Stevinplein Square in one of the cafés. Right next door, two of the best chocolatiers, Dumon and The Chocolate Line, offer everything the chocoholic desires. After a detour into the Groeningemuseum (Flemish painting), we look forward to afternoon tea at the Romantik Hotel De Orangerie – a delicacy served in many places in British-influenced Bruges.

Hot spot: View from the Rozenhoedkaai.

Evening. Drinking an apéro on the Rozenhoedkaai is the perfect start to the evening. The view over the water is probably one of the most photographed motifs. Bruges‘ gastronomy offers a wide range of restaurants – but not all are of good quality. We are therefore glad to follow our hostesses‘ recommendations. The Flemish beer stew (stoofvlees) or the mussels with French fries (moules frites) taste especially good at the „De Vlaamsche Pot“ and „Bistro Christophe“.

Day 2

Discovery tour: Boat tour of the canals.

Morning. A boat trip through the canals of Bruges is on our program for the second day. There are five stations where you can get into one of these small boats (start daily at 10 a.m.). Our particularly friendly captain passes on his anecdotes of his knowledge of the city, and we learn that there are more than 50 bridges crossing the canals in this „Little Venice“. And also that: The medieval city center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

Like painted: Swans on the Minnewater lake.

Midday. The Minnewater, a small lake surrounded by trees, lies in the southern part of Bruges. We savor the beautiful surroundings sitting on one of the park benches by the lake or on a walk through the quiet Minnewater Park. Right next door we visit the Begijnhof or Beguinage, founded in 1245. It is also an oasis of peace. Especially in spring and summer, the courtyard offers a picturesque sight just as the great Flemish painters loved to capture in their paintings.

The Cambrinus offers 400 kinds of beer.

Evening.  We also want to drink some beer in Bruges. And best of all is to take a guided tour through the last remaining family brewery in the city: „De Halve Maan“. Beer and Belgium simply belong together, and so the Cambrinus beer brasserie advertises over 400 kinds of beer in stock. The „Wijnbar Est“ is recommended for wine drinkers, including because of its delicious small dishes. With this we bring our last evening to a close and promise to come back soon.