Insider's Guide to Bruges

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 60 Reviews

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  • Location: Bruges, Belgium
  • Duration:  11 hours (approx.)
Explore Flanders’ World War I battlefields on a full-day tour from Bruges, following in the footsteps of soldiers from around the world. With an expert guide at your side, put the scale of Belgian’s WWI battles into a semblance of perspective with visits to poignant memorials in the area around Ypres. Discover dignified tributes at sites like the German Military Cemetery of Vladslo and Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, and then relax over lunch in Paschendaele’s Old Cheese Factory. Visit In Flanders’ Field Museum, and finish by attending the Last Post Ceremony in Ypres.

Highlights

  • Day trip to Flanders’ WWI battlefields from Bruges with an expert guide
  • See the sobering Käthe Kollwitz sculptures, Grieving Parents, at the German Military Cemetery of Vladslo
  • Enjoy a light Belgian lunch of cheese and bread in Paschendaele’s famous Old Cheese Factory
  • Pay your respects to fallen WWI soldiers at Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery
  • Explore In Flanders’ Field Museum at leisure, listening to audio-guided commentary
  • Attend the Last Post Ceremony in Ypres with your guide

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

World War I Battlefields Tour of Flanders from Bruges

Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery

Leave central Bruges by coach and travel southwest toward the town of Vladslo, your day’s first destination! Stop to see the German Military Cemetery of Vladslo, the most important German cemetery from WWI, and as you walk through the hauntingly peaceful area, look out for the Käthe Kollwitz sculptures Grieving Parents – a heartrending portrayal of how the war impacted people at a personal level.

Continue to the small city of Diksmuide to visit the Trench of Death, a stretch of the Western Front (the trench lines from Belgium to the Alps) that now serves as a symbol of Belgium’s heroism and resistance. See the impressive Gate of Peace (IJser Gate) and Yser Tower (IJzertoren), and then leave the city, passing alongside the Peace Mill and the Canadian Monument in St Julien.

Stop in Paschendaele, and see how this once chaotic battlefield has turned into a sleepily tranquil town. Sit down for a typically Belgian meal of cheeses and freshly baked bread in the town’s famous Old Cheese Factory, and then travel to Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, where some 35,000 soldiers from the Commonwealth forces are laid at rest. The sheer amount of graves puts the tragic scale of WWI into a semblance of perspective. Walk around and learn about the significance of this dignified site for nations around the world, not just the Commonwealth countries.

Head to the Essex Farm Field Hospital next and see the impeccably preserved bunkers where John McCrae penned his famous poem In Flanders’ Field. Hear how the soldiers were treated in the bunkers’ narrow, darkened corridors and then visit the In Flanders’ Field Museum to learn the story of WWI in the Flanders region from an audio-guided tour. Entry to the museum is included, but you will be required to pay for a poppy as you go inside. This payment goes toward a war veterans charity.

Visit Hill 60 – home to a series of strategically significant tunnels– and then travel to Ypres for some free time for dinner (own expense). In the early evening, meet your guide to attend the Last Post Ceremony at Ypres’ Menin Gate. Taking place daily, the ceremony is a simple, yet moving, tribute to the bravery of those who died defending their town. At the end of the ceremony, return to your coach and drive back to Bruges. Your tour finishes in central Bruges around 9pm.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

I would certainly recommend this tour and in particular Diederick was particularly knowledgeable and obviously passionate. However the bus broke down on the way back. We were going to Bruges so we already had a bus to get us there but those going to Brussels were treated badly. The organizers had enough time to organize a bus or any other form of transport from Bruges. However they were dumped at the station and told to run for the last train to Brussels .it was unacceptable particularly as there were two elderly women involved. I accept that it was not Viator, but those persons deserved to be treated better than they were.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

After a very late start because of confusing information about our meeting point, the tour proved to be most informative and interesting. The guide was extremely knowledgable and visited cemerties with particular reference to the nationalities of the people on the trip. It was most touching.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This was an excellent and very full day. Our guide was excellent - achieved just the right tone. There was a problem at the start of the day as we had been told we'd be picked up at our hotel and waited half an hour before phoning Viator. Somehow this had been communicated wrongly but we were then picked up and the rest of the day was fine.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This trip was excellent. Very well organised and a very good tour guide. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Belguim. We left Bruges at 10.45am and returned at 9.20pm.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

The tour guide was very informative, he had a vast knowledge of the subject and made it interesting for us.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Excellent. Very informative and the guide was great

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

terrific tour with an outstanding guide who made the tour educational,informative and interesting.only negative was that the bus pick in Bruges was late.i had to phone the main office twice . i was not aware that the bus had to come from brussles.the actual tour was first class,

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

This tour was amazing! The guide had so much knowledge!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Brilliant Trip- reccomended

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Excellent tour-great guide who knew his subject well. He gave us a passionate description of the Great War and the effect it had on the country.as well as the fullest information on each stopping point (and we could hear every word!) I walk with a crutch and I found the guide extremely helpful to me. Little bit rushed at the end for me.

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Tour code: 2200FLANDERSBRUGES

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