Surrounded by a park that’s long been known as a romantic place for a stroll, Minnewater—also known as the Lake of Love—is a great place for anyone looking for some quiet time in nature. Swans are a common site on the lake, and the traditional Belgian brick houses around it make the park particularly photogenic.
Minnewater is a popular stop on many Bruges tours and a great place for picnicking during the summer months. Summertime also brings concerts and live-music events, notably the 3-day Cactus Festival in early July. The best views of the Minnewater can be had from the 18th-century bridge that crosses the lake.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Minnewater is a must-visit for families, couples, or anyone needing a little nature break.
- Wear comfortable footwear and bring sun and/or rain protection, depending on when you plan to visit.
- Much of the park is wheelchair-accessible, with compacted pathways surrounding the lake.
How to Get There
Minnewater is located in the southern part of central Bruges, about a 15-minute walk from Markt Square and a 10-minute walk from the railway station. Bus numbers 11 and 12 both connect the park with the city center.
When to Get There
Minnewater is open 24/7 and is free of charge to visitors. The best time to visit is the peaceful early morning, when a light mist still hangs over the lake. If you come for the annual Cactus Festival in July, you can even opt to camp in designated sections of the park.
The Legend of Minnewater
Local legend says the lake was named for a young woman named Minna, who was in love with a soldier from a neighboring kingdom. Because her family wanted her to marry someone else, she ran away to the forest to find her lover, only to die in his arms, exhausted from the ordeal.