Bruges likes to think of itself as the 'Venice of the north', fighting Amsterdam for the title and quite possibly winning. It's smaller than Amsterdam, less frantic, and with the same dreamy canals and wealthy merchants' buildings giving the city beauty and grace.

Bruges had its heyday between the 12th and 15th centuries when it was a major trading port, and known for its spinning and weaving industry and later lace-making. When Philip the Good set up court in Bruges in the 15th century, the artists, bankers and wealthy courtiers followed, filling the city with culture and grand architecture. The first book ever printed in English came from Bruges, the work of William Caxton. But inevitably in that low-lying part of Europe the canals and rivers silted up, and the port moved elsewhere, leaving Bruges in its wake.

These days the city knows that its future lies in its past. The buildings in the beautiful historic center are well-preserved, earning the city a UNESCO World Heritage listing. There are enough towers, churches, and little arching bridges to keep anyone happy. Plus restaurants, nightlife and museums. Add to that Belgium's famous products: beer and chocolate, and Bruges definitely has something for everyone.

Tours & Tickets

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Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels

4 star rating: Recommended 1497 Reviews

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 10 hours

From USD $52.58

Bruges Day Trip from Amsterdam

4 star rating: Recommended 621 Reviews

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 11 hours 30 minutes

From USD $91.44

Paris to Bruges Day Trip

4.5 star rating: Recommended 530 Reviews

Location: Paris, France
Duration: 14 hours

From USD $181.73
From USD $122.30
$128.58 Save $6.28

Bruges Express City Tour from Brussels

4 star rating: Recommended 85 Reviews

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 9 hours

From USD $45.72

Brugge Day Trip from London

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 day

From USD $76.39
From USD $11.43

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