Main center of the Belgian Western Flandres, the city lies 320 km from Luxembourg and can easily be reached in a relatively short car journey. In 2000 UNESCO declared it World Heritage Site and not without a reason: surrounded by canals, Bruges boasts a perfectly preserved city center which represents one of the best examples of medieval architecture.
Take a ride on a horse – drawn carriage and admire the labyrinth of alleys, the brick built houses and the silent maze of canals. Next get off at the Minnewater, an old mooring place for barges, and admire dozens of superb swans swimming calmly along the canals. Don’t miss a visit to the Beguinage with its white-coloured house fronts and the convent’s garden: now inhabited by Benedectine nuns. In 1200 it hosted the Beguines, emancipated lay-women conducting a pious and celibate life.
By now you deserve a rest so head to the heart of the city: The Markt or Market Square. Take a seat at one of the many outdoor cafes or delight in a beverage at one of the upstairs bars. From there you can unwind and observe the slow flow of bicycles and pedestrians and the magnificent neo-gothic buildings.
Devote the rest of the day to a good lunch in one of the many good restaurants in the city center and don’t forget to taste some of the famous Belgian chocolate.
On your second day take a boat trip along the canals and discover picturesque bridges, secret gardens and enchanting views. Once used to transport goods, the canals are one of the main attractions of the ‘Venice of the North’. Get on board at the Rozenhoedkaai, where old and perfectly preserved brick houses reflect themselves into the still waters, and enjoy your half an hour trip around timeless scenery. Next head to the Burg, where you can admire the city hall dating back to the 14th century and the Court of Justice. End your day with a visit to the Church of Our Lady, where Michelangelo’s masterpiece Madonna and the Child is displayed.
A magical couples week-end is not complete without a romantic dinner. There are infinite options in Bruges and I have chosen Parkrestaurant: delicious and refined Belgian cuisine, good selection of wines, attentive and professional staff, sophisticated and traditional atmosphere, good value for money makes it the right choice.
Bruges offers many small and cozy hotels but if you are coming by car and don’t mind staying 10 minutes outside town, Libellen van Varoost is a quaint bed and breakfast which will not disappoint you. Tucked away in the woods and built in a traditional countryside mansion, it is cozy and tastefully decorated. The breakfast is plentiful and delicious and the hosts are genuinely welcoming. You will leave feeling refreshed and relaxed after a visit to the wellness spa or simply a walk in nature on their grounds.
The long weekends are approaching, pack your suitcases and head to Bruges!