Brugge, Belgium with Kids, family travel

Brugge with Kids

In Belgium, Brugge by Stacy

brugge with kids, bruges with kids, belgium with kids, eurostar, family, family travell, grandparents, europe, holiday, family vacation There is an endless list of places in Europe we hope to visit in the next few years. Brugge was not at the top of my list. But I did some quick research after seeing gorgeous photos of the city when friends visited and I knew Brugge would be a great “short break” location and ideal for our first out of the UK jaunt. This line from a Family Travel Forum article about Brugge (Bruges in French) really sealed the deal:

Bruges is small and can be easily “toured” in two days. No need to panic that there will be enough time to do and see everything. What makes it such a great place is that a lot of “doing” Bruges has to do with just sitting and watching and enjoying the view.

Perfect. No trying to cram way too many places to see in a short visit. See Belgium and get to see a beautiful, cultured European city that also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Check. Oh, and a city where Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate are EVERYWHERE. Double check. Local cuisine my kids will happily eat? Score. So off we went.

Overall, Brugge was exactly as advertised. Gorgeous city, very walkable, and chocolate and waffles to die for.

Belgian waffle with Belgian chocolate on top. Heavenly...

Belgian waffle with Belgian chocolate on top. Heavenly…

We opted to take the “people mover” stroller as she folds up completely and is lightweight for hopping on/off trains and lugging up steps. But lightweight strollers like that are hard to push on cobblestone and most of Brugge was cobblestone. Thankfully, we had a strong grandpa who was up for the challenge.

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We easily walked all over the city center and saw all the major sites:

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The “Markt”, a huge square at the center of the city

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Standing in the Markt with the belfry in the background

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The 14th century Town Hall which is now a museum

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The Basilica of the Holy Blood, built in the 12th century, boasts a vial said to contain drops of the blood of Christ.

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The Belfry of Brugge

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Church of Our Lady

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The Church of Our Lady is a beautiful 15th century church most famous for Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child sculpture housed inside. By the time we realized we had to pay to enter the museum side of the cathedral to see it, the kids were too hungry to care.

brugge with kids

The whole city is perfectly picturesque!

We even had time for a canal tour.

brugge with kids canal tour

Even though they like to cram as many people as possible onto the canal tour boats, we still had a blast!

Brugge with kids canal tour

The view from the canal boat was pretty spectacular.

The view from the canal boat was pretty spectacular.

The boat tour was her favorite part of the trip.

The boat tour was her favorite part of the trip.

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Swans!

Swans!

The weather hovered in the mid-50s during the day and got chilly in the evenings and early mornings, especially when the wind picked up. Overall, though, the weather was comfortable and worth braving chillier temperatures to avoid the crowds summer brings. As with most of Europe, business hours pose challenges with naps and squeezing in sightseeing time. Nothing opened before ten even though my kids were up before 7. Even the waffle street vendors and horse carriages didn’t line the streets until 10. And most of the museums and churches closed by 4:30 which meant things got dicey when my kids took late naps. But even though I didn’t get to drag my kids through every church and museum, Brugge was still incredibly impressive.

One of the few rings we couldn't squeeze into our trip was a carriage ride.

One of the few things we couldn’t squeeze into our trip was a carriage ride.