The medieval-style Markt (Market Square) is the setting for Bruges’ most photogenic landmarks, including the belfry (Belfort) and the Provinciaal Hof. At its center stands a statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, who played leading roles in the Flemish resistance against the French in the 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs.
This pedestrianized square is at the center of historical Bruges, and almost every visitor to the city passes through here at some point. Attractions on the Markt include the Historium Bruges interactive experience and the 12th-century belfry, which can be climbed for views over the city. Almost all sightseeing tours of the city, including day tours from Paris, London, and the Belgian capital of Brussels, stop at the Markt.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Markt is a must for all visitors to Bruges.
- Cafés—many with outdoor terraces—are dotted around the square.
- Bring a camera; the step-gabled houses around the square make a picturesque photo backdrop.
- The surface of the square is cobbled and uneven, so wear appropriate shoes.
How to Get There
The Markt is situated right in the heart of medieval Bruges, about a 20-minute walk from Bruges train station. Local buses services (2, 3, 4, 13, 14, and 90) stop nearby.
When to Get There
Come on Wednesday mornings to browse the traditional market, when vendors sell local produce, flowers, and crafts. Another good time to visit is during December, when the square houses a festive Christmas market.
Bruges’ Other Main Square
While in Bruges, be sure to stop by the city’s other main square: Burg Square. Just a 2-minute walk east of the Markt, Burg Square is equally photogenic, with several notable examples of historical architecture. Look for the Gothic-style Stadhuis (City Hall), which dates back to the 14th century, and the gold-adorned facade of the Palace of the Liberty of Bruges. Formerly a city courthouse, the palace is now the seat of Bruges’ city council.