Dubbed as the Venice of the North due to its water canal streets, the Belgian city of Bruges offers everyone a taste of the medieval ages through architecture, history and culture. In fact, because of its rich medieval architecture and history, it has been recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2000.
Your to-do list in Bruges is not complete without a boat ride down the canals. To further enjoy this leisurely trip, many recommend riding a bike down to the boat docks. This way, you can enjoy the sights and sounds, both on water and land. If you’re looking to see the architectural gems that Bruges is known for, you can also hire a tour guide to introduce you to many historical landmarks. One of these is the Church of our Lady, a tall brick fixture that pierces the Bruges skyline. There is also the sculpture of the “Madonna and Child”, one of the few works of Michaelangelo to have ever left Italy. Probably the most popular structure in the city of Bruges is the 13th-century belfry. If you’re up to it, you can climb the 360 steps of the bell tower and be rewarded with a beautiful heightened view of the city. Lucky guests can also chance upon the chiming of the 48-bell ensemble of the belfry’s carillon. Bruges also holds appeal to advocates of art, in the form of music and theater. The English Theater of Bruges is a popular venue for theatre-goers. Situated in a place where English is not the primary language, the English Theater offers a rare theatrical experience for tourists and vacationers. For a good look at Belgian art, the Groening Museum is the place to go. Among the many museums scattered around Bruges, the Groening Museum is the major municipal repository of Belgian artworks from the 18th to the 21st century. These include works from Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Gerard David.
The medieval feel of Bruges adds to the magic of a place laden with history, architecture and art. Next time you’re planning a trip to Belgium, be sure to include this splendid city of water canals in your itinerary, and have one of the most enriching times of your life.