De Markt is the central plain in Bruges. It is where the famous Belfry stands and it’s surrounded by cafe’s and restaurants. People tend to walk across is quite often and then they tend to stand and look up at things or take pictures of things. This is my view from the side lines.
On Sundays, many of the shops and restaurants in Europe are closed. But seeing as this is Bruges, quite a few happened to be open. So I ventured a little further out and wandered aimlessly around the outskirts where the canals mark the end of the historical centre. It proved a great Sunday afternoon walk.
I like walking and I like walking alone. And Bruges is definitely the perfect town for a late night stroll. It was at the end of a very rainy day, the skies have cleared up and most of the wandering tourists have gone back to the hotels (or out to party). Bruges is very safe and it was so nice just to walk around aimlessly for an hour or so, pick up a suiker wafel and relax on a bench overlooking De Markt. The perfect solitary night.
This is a map of Bruges. This map has must-see spots and attractions printed on. The hand-written parts were done by a local who has been living here for 20 years and works in one of the hostels. He pointed out some other places to visit. It seemed like a fun mission to find at least one of them. Get ready for cosy cobblestone overload!
A great alternative to an expensive lunch is a takeaway burger. There are many of these snack bars around town. It’s like a fancy, fresher version of McDonalds. And tasty too.
Fries – probably the most popular savoury thing to snack on in Bruges. With mayo, always with mayo.
For me, nothing beats a cup of tea after a day of exploring, back at the hostel while blogging and catching up with parents and boyfriend loveliness.
My second waffle in Belgium, this time a plain one with castor sugar. Suiker Wafel. Mmmh. Accompanied by a quiet evening stroll along the cobbled stones – perfect.
My first meal in France – coffee and croissant.
Typical European breakfast special. Coffee ans croissant for 5€. Super strong coffee, very little milk.
My first Belgian waffle. Eaten in Antwerp Centraal, an incredibly beautiful train station.
Zurenborg is a small area a little bit outside Antwerp‘s city centre and it’s a great place if you like small cafe’s and beautiful buildings. In the middle, there’s Dageraadplaats, a large square with a basketball court, playground and many interesting looking cafe’s and restaurants. These folks aren’t morning people though, so I only found two places open for breakfast. The one I went to is called Dafisj and they have a classic European breakfast special. Croissant and coffee for 5 Euro.
Although it was raining, it was nice to get lost around the little streets.
On Monday I’m setting off on a very exciting holiday. I’ll be visiting friends in Dubai and Paris and exploring Belgium on a solo adventure for a few days. My main focus is going to be Bruges and I can’t wait to spend hours strolling around the streets and taking photos of all the interesting little spots that I discover along the way.
I’m someone that tends to avoid guide books and ‘must-sees’, so I haven’t done much research for my trip. Actually, I haven’t done anything at all. I figured I’ll just walk around aimlessly and happen upon the places I happen upon.
Until I started reading.
There are so many articles, blogs and guides about what to see and do in Bruges. Makes sense, considering it’s one of Belgium’s most popular towns. Suddenly I felt scared that I’ll miss out on the most amazing waffle or corner café, so I resorted to reading some other blogs about Bruges, just in case.
Go Backpacking made up a nifty top 5 of interesting museums worth visiting in Bruges and I can definitely see myself going to the Friet Museum to learn all about the true origin of fries (and also because this is the only museum dedicated to fries in the entire world). Off course, one can’t visit Belgium without over indulging in chocolate, so the Choco-Story Museum is high on my list as well.
Read Go Backpacking’s top 5 must-visit museums here.
*Photo courtesy of Pommie Travels.
A photo blog about Bruges on Pommie Travels reminded me why I’m not visiting this tourist crazy town in the European summer. Just seeing how full the boats on the canal are and how many people swarm the streets, I’m glad I’ll be there when it’s raining. Still, this photo blog has some great on-the-streets type of shots, especially the one of the dog sleeping in the window sill. I truly won’t mind cruising along, spotting what the photographer spotted for myself.
Check out Beautiful Bruges in photos here.
*Photo courtesy of The Never Ending Voyage.
A story on The Never Ending Voyage really got me amped. The author, Erin, also travelled while it was raining and she explains how the grey and wet weather made the beautiful, medieval buildings feel even more gothic and mysterious. Seems like The Chocolate Line is the best place to stop if you’re keen on a few wild chocolate flavours, like wasabi and bacon. Can’t say that I can imagine enjoying these, but I’ll definitely give them a try.
Check out the full post (with a nice recommendation for Indian food) on The Never Ending Voyage here.
*Photo courtesy of Landlopers.
Now I knew that I’ll eat many, many waffles in Belgium. This is probably what I’ve been showing off most about with my friends, but I never knew that you get two types. Thanks to Matt from Landlopers I now know that you get Brussels waffles and Liege waffles and that they have different shapes and batters. Now I’m even more excited about stuffing my face with these sweet, warm goodies.
Read more about Matt’s waffle love in Belgium here.
I’ve been wondering if I’ll spend my evenings wandering around until I’m hungry and then popping into whichever restaurant seems nice (and affordable), but a post on The Art of Slow Travel convinced me to try out De Bottelier in St Jakobsstraat. Apparently it’s made up of several levels and decorated with some interesting artifacts. Then of course, there’s a lot of beer to be tasted. Café Vlissinghe on Blekersstraat has been in business since 1515, so it seems like I’ll definitely make a mission to this particular watering hole too.
Read The Best of Bruges in full here.
*Photo courtesy of Ott’s World.
According to Ott’s World, the whole of Bruges’s town centre is flooded with tourists and it feels slightly devoid of local culture. She decided to walk away from the crowds and explore the surroundings further away from the hustle. Seems like everything relaxes and unwinds once you step out of the historic centre, so perhaps I’ll take a day to experience this same peaceful atmosphere on the outskirts of town.
Read Finding the real Brugge here.
And that’ about the sum total of my research. My only other objective is to never eat or drink at the same place twice.