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.
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.
We easily walked all over the city center and saw all the major sites:
We even had time for a canal tour.
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.