The historic city of Bruges is one of the world’s must-see destinations. In fact the city is well known for its world heritage status and remarkable history. To help you find you way to some of the city’s best kept secrets here are our top seven hidden gems in Bruges.
The political heart of the Bruges is housed in an age-old monumental building. Building works started in 1376 and took until 1421, making it one of the oldest city halls in the Low Countries. The building inspired the architects of the city halls in Brussels, Ghent, Leuven, and Oudenaarde. Inside a huge staircase leads to the Gothic Hall on the first floor where murals from the early 20th century present the history of Bruges. In the adjacent history room original documents and paintings bring even more of the administrative history of Bruges to life.
Beers Yesterday’s World
Beers Yesterday’s World is probably best described as a display cabinet of vintage curiosities slash café pub. But whatever you call it, this place definitely has personality. Here you’ll experience two of Bruges’ specialities – beers and antiques – in a charming bar set inside an antiques shop.
Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde
For a peaceful haven suspended in time, visit a 14 century collection of white houses used to house the Beguines: pious women who weren’t interested in marriage or taking the vows of Nuns. The beautiful garden creates an oasis all year round.
While there are over a dozen museums, satisfy a craving for both culture and chocolate with a visit to this fun collection of exhibits that takes visitors through the history of chocolate. Children of all ages will enjoy the attraction especially the very generous amount of samples to enjoy.
Those travelling with their significant other should take a stroll across the Lake of Love. Legend has it that walking across this bridge will lead to eternal love or at the very least, you will fall in love with the beautiful surrounding views.
The Gruuthusemuseum takes you back to three crucial periods in the history of Bruges: the Burgundian prosperity, the less well known 17th and 18th centuries, and the ‘reinvention’ of Bruges in the 19th century. More than 600 collection items – from majestic tapestries to unique Gothic stained glass windows, from elegant wooden sculptures to historic lace, paintings, porcelain, and silver – bring the history of Bruges to life. One of the main highlights is the authentic late 15th century oratory which connects the palace and the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady) with a view of the Gothic chancel of the church.
The Concertgebouw was designed by Belgian architects Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem. Its terracotta facades help this gem of contemporary architecture to fit smoothly into the historic inner city of Bruges. Less well known is that the Concertgebouw also houses an interesting collection of contemporary art. A tour of the concert hall will not only immerse you in the impressive architecture and art but will also offer some of the best views of the city.
This week, MSC Cruises is celebrating Bruges, the beautiful and historical capital of West Flanders. From Monday 17 October until Sunday 23 October, customers booking on the selected cruises in a balcony cabin and above (including MSC Yacht Club) will receive a credit of £100 to be spent on board during their trip. Cruises included in this offer feature a seven-day cruise from 14th April 2023, leaving from Southampton and stopping at Hamburg, Zeebrugge (for Bruges), Cherbourg and Le Havre before returning to the UK via Southampton.
For more details and bookings visit MSC Cruises.