Bruges is one of Europe’s most famous small medieval cities. Situated in West Flanders in northwest Belgium, it’s a gorgeous mix of cobbled streets, stunning medieval buildings and canals. It’s a quick three hours, 26 minutes journey here on a Eurostar train from St Pancras International, making it a great place for an easy mini-break. The city’s most popular landmarks include the 14th-century Stadhuis (City Hall), the neo-Gothic church Basilica of the Holy Blood and the 13th-century belfry in the Market Square, Visitors can also enjoy a rich calendar of cultural events as well as the chance to try Belgium’s famous beers, chocolate and chips with mayonnaise.
Eurostar to Bruges
You can travel from London St Pancras to Bruges in 3 hours 25 minutes, simply by changing train in Brussels. Make sure to book a ticket all the way to Bruges (or to ‘Any Belgium Station’ and board a train to Brussels. In Brussels, head down the main station and check departures for the next train to Bruges.
Your Eurostar ticket will cover the local train to Bruges, which takes 57 minutes. Standard Premier ticket holders can ride in 1st class on the local train.
Eurostar to Bruges: Must-see
If you’re young or fit (or both) head to the Belfort, the city belfry on the market square. If you manage to climb the 366 steps to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree view of beautiful Bruges. It’s well worth the effort.
Where to eat in Bruges
The residents of Bruges love the cooking of talented chef Bernard Bonte. In his stylishly decorated restaurant Bonte B, you’ll get to sample his modern take on Flemish cuisine. Look out for dishes like Zeebrugge brown shrimps, truffle linguine and a moreish chocolate and caramel cake.
What to buy
Bruges is famous around the world for its high-class chocolate and you’ll find plenty of the dark stuff to buy here. If you’re interested in the history of chocolate head to the Choco-Story chocolate museum before heading to the (many) chocolate shops. Pralinette makes 83 different types of chocolate while Spegelaere is known for its mouth-watering truffles.
Where to stay in Bruges
Hotel Van Cleef €€€
Hotel Van Cleef is a smart five-star canal-side hotel situated a very easy five-minute walk from the Market Square whilst the Groeninge Museum is only 800 yards from the hotel.
Hotel Botaniek is situated in a well-run renovated 18th-century mansion. Only 50 yards from the picturesque canals, this centrally located hotel is surprisingly reasonable for its location.
St Christopher’s Inn – Bauhaus Hostel €
St Christopher’s Bauhaus hostel is situated in a complex of six Brugean step-gable houses in the middle of Bruges´ historical centre. Travellers can choose from dorm or private rooms and continental breakfast is available for $5.