Bruges in Belgium is the perfect European city break to enjoy with kids! Bruges, or Brugge in Flemish, is a small city and the center has some car free zones which allows families to easily explore the picturesque center by foot. A boat ride on the lovely canals of Bruges will surely be to the liking of all family members and the city is filled with beautiful architecture and historic buildings. Belgium has a lot of food specialties everyone will like: waffles, chocolate, and fries are probably the most famous ones.
What to do in Bruges?
The center of Bruges is very easy to explore by foot, and there are many incredible buildings and sites very close together. We thought the beauty of the buildings, the number of churches, and the variety in architecture was amazing! From the Markt, the main square of Bruges with the Belfort tower, which you can visit and get to the top, to the picturesque little canals and the romantic bridges. Bruges is one of the cities which is also called the ‘Venice of the North’ and therefore a short boat trip on the canals of Bruges cannot be missed. We took the boat on the Rozenhoedkaai and the trip lasted for about a half an hour. Definitely a must-do!
There is a particularly beautiful bridge called the ‘Bonifaciusbrug’ which is a scenery for many local wedding shoots. The bridge is also known as ‘the bridge of love’.
Confirming the comparison of Bruges with Venice, we did spot the Bruges version of the Bridge of Sighs, and it may just be the more sophisticated version of it as this one is covered with golden ornaments. You can find it in the Blinde Ezelstraat.
We were generally amazed by the number of churches and cathedrals or other religious buildings. Amazing to see such rich history and architecture on so few square meters. Bruges must have had a prosperous past!
Bruges Fries Museum
Totally kids approved! Learn all about the history of the potato, and fries of course, whose origin can be disputed but according to the museum, no fries like Belgian fries. The secret seems to be found in the frying process which should be done twice. Kids will like the play area, where they can manage their own small fries stand! Also, where else would be best to taste some fries than here? At the bottom floor you can order your fries which come in the traditional triangle shaped paper bag, and we must admit: they were very good!
Chocolate Museum Bruges
Competitor of Swiss chocolate. Personally, we think taste may differ as backgrounds differ. My Swiss husband thinks Swiss chocolate tastes best, and I am from the Netherlands and the taste of Belgian chocolate is somewhat closer to home for me and the taste of it more ‘familiar’. In Bruges you can visit the chocolate museum, Choco-Story, which has real good reviews. We decided to taste Belgian chocolate in one of the many shops and take some home with us.
What to eat in Belgium?
Fries, chocolate, and waffles of course. Waffles come in all sorts! Waffles with chocolate, with strawberries, with whipped cream, and the list goes on! Our kids wanted to taste it all! Other typical Belgian dishes to order in restaurants: Mussels and fries, Beef stew (cooked in Belgian beer), ‘Waterzooi’, a soup with vegetables and chicken, and Shrimp Croquettes. In Bruges, some beer tasting for the adults at local breweries can be done. We like brewery De Halve Maan, which is also a museum and a good place to have lunch.
Where to stay in Bruges
We loved our hotel in the center of Bruges! There is no better way to enjoy Bruges with kids, than when you stay right in the center. Our hotel was located on a street behind the Belfort tower and the Markt with its many terraces. It allows you to rest a bit at the end of the afternoon, and go back out right in the center at night for dinner. The rooms were good, and the hotel is quite modern.
Brussels to Bruges
If you are coming from Brussels to Bruges, it will only take you an hour and a half by car. It is also easy to get from Brussels to Bruges by public transport by taking a train which will take about an hour and ten minutes.
Once in Bruges, do you know you are only 2 hours by car from one of the oldest amusement parks in the world? Yes, the Efteling Park in the Netherlands is in easy reach by car and makes for a great trip with kids! Read all about the Efteling here.
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