As part of my visit in Belgium around Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp, I could not miss visiting Bruges too.

At 138.4 square kilometres in size, you can easily do a self-guided walking tour around Bruges in half a day. Because of what a small town it is, it is extremely easy to do a free walking tour in Bruges on your own at completely at your own pace.

I was especially exhilarated to be finally visiting this little town after watching the movie In Bruges (and watching one of the main casts jumping down from the Belfry :/). The plot was meaningless, but the scenes did set me up for what to expect on my day trip there.

Bruges Belgium horse carriage, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

Bruges is distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings, which makes it exceptionally pleasant to do a walking tour on your own and do some city sightseeing around Bruges.

Bruges Belgium street, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

It is a 30-45 minute walk from the train station to the centre of Bruges.

Be sure to stop by at the tourist centre while you’re at the train station to grab a map!

A Brugge city tour is easy to follow once you have the Bruges walking tour map.

The highlights below are follows the order starting from the moment you walk from the train station to the furthest major attraction in Bruges.

Recommended duration in Bruges: half day

What to see on a self-guided Bruges walking tour, Belgium

1. Begijnhof/ Minnewater

Bruges Belgium Begijnhof Minnewater, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

Be greeted by a family of swans and this picture-perfect bridge flanked by surrounding buildings.

2. St Saviour’s Cathedral

3. Church of Our Lady/ Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk

4. Rozenhoedkaai

Bruges Belgium rozenhoedkaai, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

This is the most photographed spot in Bruges. The Groenerei and Dijver canals meet, creating a romantic, charming scene, especially so in winter!

5. Market Square/ Markt

Bruges Belgium markt street, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

Bruges Belgium markt, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

The hub of all activities. Most of the shops facing the centre are restaurants, but don’t miss the row of iconic, narrow houses that are built above it!

6. Belfry

Bruges Belgium belfry, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

This 13th-century belfry has a 47-bell carillon and is 83m high, offering panoramic views.

Costs 6€ to climb up the 366 steps.

I’ve been climbing towers in Ghent, Antwerp, Florence, etc and honestly, the views is worth every effort and penny you put in. I would never let any tower pass me by without conquering it.

There are rest points in between and while the steps are steep and climbing in circles may get you groggy, the fact that the enclosed tower only allows you to see at most 3 steps in front of you before curving upwards helps make climbing up easier. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

7. Burg Square

Bruges Belgium burg square, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

8. City Hall/ Hotel de ville

Bruges Belgium hotel del ville, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

It is situated on the Burg Square.

9. Jan van Eyckplein/ Het voormalige hanzekwartier

Bruges Belgium Jan van Eyckplein: Het voormalige hanzekwartier, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

It is a former Hanseatic quarter. This part of the city used to be a thriving port in 1200.

Bruges Belgium red brick. first building restored, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

This red brick medieval building on this quarter is the first building to be restored in the 19th century.

Bruges Belgium authentic wooden facades, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

What’s interesting about this wooden facade (above) is that it is an authentic wooden house that was prohibited from the 17th century onwards because of it being a fire hazard.

You can find this along the road Genthof in the direction Woensdagmarkt.

Other things to see and do in Bruges, Belgium

1. Kathe Wohlfahrt

Bruges Belgium christmas Kathe Wohlfahrt, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

Chanced upon this store between Markt and Burg, Kathe Wohlfahrt.

If you haven’t seen this around Europe, it is a Christmas store, with little Christmas trinklets displayed on every possible corner of the shop. I was extremely fascinated by the cuckoo clocks, angels, chimes, wooden dolls and Santa Clauses that I’ve only seen in fairytale shows.

This shop originates from Rothenburg, a medieval old town famous for its Christmas markets!

I visited Rothenburg too and am equally enraptured by the little Christmas shops there! I will accompany a post with pictures of Rothenburg soon. 🙂

2. River boat ride

Bruges Belgium river cruise, bruges walking tour, brugge city tour

When in Bruges, take the river ride if you can! It was a pity I couldn’t because it was pouring the entire day I was there. You’ll be able to see parts of Bruges that are hidden from the pedestrians on the streets.

It costs no more than 8€.

There you go, that’s a Brugge free walking tour for you to do, at your own time and pace!

There are also day tours that goes from Brussels daily at 11am.

If you’re in Belgium, don’t miss out the full Belgian experience by visiting Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp! Each offers unique sights and vibes.

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26 March 2015, Thursday
Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on


  • crazysumsum says:

    Very nice article, I had just shared this article on my travel site, I hope you don’t mind. This is a website that let bloggers or travelers to share some great articles or photos about travel, and indexed by attractions.

    I know you love travel and write a lots of blog post about interesting places in the world, so I would like to invite you to be a member of our community and share your blog post, photos or review.

    You can check the link below to find your articles on my site, if you don’t want me to share your articles, please tell me, I will remove it as soon as possible.

    Hope you all the best =)


    • Hi Sam!

      I’m glad you found my site! Yes indeed everything you said is true of me. 🙂 I can’t wait to share more of my articles on your site. I’m glad you like them! 🙂

  • Hannah says:

    This looks so pretty – I’m sorry you couldn’t go on the boat ride though! I’ve been itching to get back overseas (I live in DC) and Bruges is now on my list of places to go 🙂 I’ll be stopping by again to read about your other adventures! – Hannah,

  • I’ve never thought about visiting Belgium before, but now you have me wanting to!

    Karin |

  • Leah says:

    This looks amazing and so fun. It is so beautiful there. Such a tragedy from yesterday, but someday I hope to go to Belgium!

  • Natalie says:

    How pretty! This looks like an amazing town to wander around in. 🙂 I love slowly exploring a new city on foot!

  • Isabel, thanks so much for linking to my guide to Belgium. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    • You’re welcome Karen! Thank you for linking my blog on your Couchsurfing link too. Could you modify the link to:
      Thank you!

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