Visiting Bruges (Brugge), Belgium
The first things I noticed about Bruges (Brugge in Flemish) were the town’s narrow streets (on which local residents drove very quickly), centuries-old buildings that time had left untouched, and the city’s canal system.
Brugge (Brugge is its Flemish name, in French and English it is Bruges) was, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a cultural bridge between northern and southern Europe and a cloth-manufacturing town (buy lace items during your visit). It was rediscovered by English tourists in the mid-1800s who had come to see the nearby battlefield of Waterloo. Today, Brugge is the perfect hideaway for business meetings and romantic journeys. The city thrives on its tourist trade and tourists are everywhere.
Leave the car parked and enjoy a canal tour and a long walk (ask your hotel concierge for a Welkom@Brugge card for discounts on tour, bike rental, and museum entry).
Don’t miss Galler and Moeder Babelutte chocolate shops, the newly-opened De Gastro restaurant on the Braambergstraat, the 14th century Stadthuis (Town Hall), the Choco-Story museum of chocolate, the Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed (Basilica of the Holy Blood), and the Kantcentrum (Lace center), with lace making demonstrations and a mission of continuing the lace education started in 1717 by the Sisters Apostle.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.