A visit to Belgian city of Bruges feels like you’ve stepped straight into a fairytale or a Disney film. Although European cities aren’t always kind to your wallet, you would might be delighted to find out that there are many things you can do in Bruges for free!
1. Soak up the atmosphere at the Market Square
Once the scene of medieval festivals and events, the Market Square (or Markt) is now the main meeting point for both the locals and tourists. Surrounded with beautiful buildings from the 16th century and amassed with people of all kinds of races, this is the most ideal spot when you just feel like sitting down and watch the world go by. Make sure to have a camera with you so you can capture the moments and your surroundings.
2. Visit the Church of Our Lady
With a striking exterior, this Gothic structure is the tallest in the city and made of beautiful medieval architecture. Church of Our Lady boasts of many impressive artworks, including the tombs of Charles the Bold and his daughter Mary, and the painting of Crucifixion by Anthony van Dyck. however, the altarpiece and main attraction of Church of Our Lady is a marble sculpture of Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child” which was created in 1504.
3. Visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood
Located on the Burg square, Basilica of the Holy Blood is a remarkable and one of the most important religious sites in the world as it houses a valuable relic – a vial of blood said to be of Jesus! That aside, the basilica itself is beautifully built and consists of a lower and upper chapel. The relic can be found in the upper chapel which was rebuilt in the 16th century in the Gothic style and renovated in the 19th century in Gothic Revival style. Meanwhile, the lower chapel is a dark Romanesque structure dedicated to St. Basil the Great.
4. Stroll around the Lake of Love
Minnewater, or more commonly known as the Love Lake, is situated in the south of Bruges. The name is derived from the legend of Minna and her lover Stromberg, a warrior from a neighboring tribe whose love was opposed by her father. It’s believed that crossing over the lake bridge with your partner will grant you eternal love. The lake is surrounded by trees and adjacent to the Minnewaterpark, which makes it a great spot for photos.
5. See Bruges’ last standing windmills
There used to be 25 or more windmills in Bruges, but only four have survived and remained in a lovely suburb of St-Anna, just a little out of the center of Bruges. Two of the windmills still operate, and with a bit of luck you might get to see the 18th century Koeleweimill and Sint-Janshuysmill doing their old job of grinding grain. Do spare some time to explore St-Anna itself, where gorgeous houses line up the cobbled streets and decorated with churches and statues in every corner.
Get in touch with Sri Sutra Travel to book a tour to Belgium!