Ice cream truck in the sunshine
Okay, so I think we're all aware now of just how crazy in love I am with Brugge.  It's a city filled with history and character; somewhere that leaves you pining for more come time to checkout of your hotel, and a place that doesn't allow you to walk for more than ten metres without calling for a photo opportunity.  Having now been one of my favourite European city break destinations for over six years, I figured it was time to put together a little guide to just why it's such a special place, and why you need to book a trip before the end of this year.  ASAP.

A R C H I T E C T U R E

Let's start with the obvious: architecture.  It's more formally known as an 'outstanding example of medieval historic settlement' and where 'original Gothic constructions form part of the town's identity'.  But between you and me, it's just super gorgeous, photogenic and yes, Instagrammable.  Above all else, it's the flamboyancy of the architecture in Brugge that is guaranteed to steal your heart; one thing's for sure, you won't find a trace of minimalism in the city.  
Most Famous Buildings Architecture in Brugge
Brugge Streets in the Summer
White Architecture in Brugge Belgium
Hotel Dukes Palace Building in Brugge
Some standout buildings that are worth booking a flight to the Belgian city alone, include the Belfry, The Church of Our Lady, City Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.  My favourite?  The Belfry.  It's located on the markt and its impressive collection of bells chime to the hour.  Specifics aside, every avenue and side street you wander down will see you uncover another beautiful building of Brugge - but more on that later... 
Brugge Belgium Gold Building ArchitectureBrugge Belgium Gothic Architecture Travel Blog
Why You Should Visit Brugge in 2018

F O O D

Ooh, the food.  The food.  Like most of us, I tend to adapt to the food of whichever country I'm visiting.  But you don't even need to try when it comes to Belgium - the usual suspects that tend to all see our hearts racing are there waiting for you.  Chocolate, frites with Belgian mayonnaise and waffles.  Sure, there are other foods, but you could easily survive a couple of days on these foods alone.  Trust me, I've tried.
Brugge Tea room de Proeverie Blog Review
Brugge Belgium Aux Merveilleux de Fred Cafe
Brugge Belgium Aux Merveilleux de Fred Blog Review
Travel Blog Review Aux Merveilleux de Fred Brugge Belgium
If you're also an advocate of taking a break from sightseeing by sitting somewhere cool and refreshing for a slice of cake and/or other indulgent treats, I have a couple of fabulous locations for you.  Firstly, Tea-room de Proeverie (first photo above in this category); a beautifully quiet and tranquil café offering sweet treats and a range of beverages including warm drinks with a side of chocolate truffles, milkshakes and fizzy drinks.  Classical music plays while the air conditioning blasts through the adjoining rooms.  I'm a creature of comfort and always opt for a slice of apple cake, along with a soft drink and small selection of chocolate truffles.  Better yet, the chocolates sold at the café are also exclusively available to buy from the chocolatier across the street!  Next up is Aux Merveilleux de Fred, a luxurious corner café offering solely sweet treats.  If you don't have time to sit in, be sure to leave with a chocolate chip brioche in hand.  It will last you for hours, especially if you have a long journey home ahead of you!
Travel Blog Review Aux Merveilleux de Fred Cafe
Strawberry and Chocolate Sauce Belgian Waffle
Best Food to Eat in Brugge Travel Blog

W A N D E R I N G

Bear with me on this one.  Wandering may not seem like a reason to fly hours and hours to visit a city, but believe me when I say that wandering in Brugge is like wandering through no other city.  There's something to see at every turn; some discovered, some genuine hidden gems.  The city harbours beauty spots around every corner and often in the most unexpected of places.  My best advice would be to head down one of the quietest side streets that appear to lead nowhere in particular, and enjoy whatever you discover along the way... 
Brugge Belgium Pretty Walled Garden
De Vlaamsche Pot Restaurant Brugge Travel Photography
UK Travel Blog Guide to Brugge Belgium
L O C A L S   V S .   T O U R I S T S

It's not very often the two blend seamlessly, and yet that's exactly what you'll find when in Brugge.  There's a reason I keep returning to the Belgian city, and although chocolate does play a large part in it, the main reason is the atmosphere and general ambience.  Very quickly, you'll feel safe and welcomed in a way that very few popular cities can offer.  And yet still, it's a city with a pulse; a haven for those seeking music, culture and theatre.  To cut a long story short, you're bound to truly appreciate the kind nature of Brugge.
Brugge Belgium Famous Architecture
Famous Windmill Trail Walk in Brugge Belgium
Travelling Handsome White Dog in Boot of Car

C A N A L S

Calling all water fairies!  I'll admit, I've had a phobia of small boats for a long time now (stop laughing), but having recently overcome that, I was able to genuinely enjoy a boat trip through the canals of Brugge on this most recent visit to the city.  I'm a convert, for sure. Although, you can take your love of water one step even further by walking to The Lake of Love, also famously known as Minnewater in Dutch.  It's considered the most romantic area of Brugge and you know what, I won't argue with that.  Romantic backdrops from all angles of willow skimming the still waters and swans gliding past while you stand with your loved one?  I can see why it has a reputation.   
Beautiful Canals of Brugge Fashion Blogger
Brugge Belgium Canal Waterside Properties
Brugge Travel Blog Guide 6 Reasons to Visit
Brugge Canal Boat Trip Experience Review

B R U G G E   B Y   N I G H T

While we're on the topic of romance, you will absolutely adore Brugge by night.  Have I provided any photos of this?  No.  Sorry about that, but I make a rule of leaving my camera in the safe while exploring Brugge by night.  I like to soak up every last drop of the city by night; which is something you'll no doubt relate to if you've found yourself wandering through the streets, ten o'clock in the evening and with a box or two of chocolates tucked underneath your arm.  It's quiet, tranquil and pure bliss.  No matter the time of year, the city takes on a warm sort of glow by night; one that makes the gothic architecture, still waters and cobbled streets seem all the more special.  But I'll stop there, because I'm about *this* close to jumping in my car and driving back to my fave European city now!
Skyscraper the Bruges Whale by STUDIOKCA
Pretty Canal Wall in Brugge Travel Blog
Brugge Belgium Canals in Summer 2018
Reasons to Visit Brugge Travel Blog Guide Review
One more time for the people in the back: I adore Brugge.  It stole my heart on my very first visit and never gave it back.  I hope this travel guide has been of some inspiration; would you consider visiting the popular Belgian city?  Or perhaps you've already visited?  Let me know in the comments below!

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With love,

Gabrielle x