Called the "Venice of the North" because of its numerous canals and undisputed charm; a major trading town since the Middle-Ages, thanks to its proximity to the sea; world-known because of its delicacies such as chocolates, beer and shellfish: we are talking about Bruges, in Belgium.
This beautiful town is very popular both for Belgian people and for tourists and it is among the top 3 cities in Belgium that attracts the highest number of visitors. It is not hard to understand why: Bruges is truly stunning and fascinating! Each corner has something to reveal: whether is a local shop or a building, a glimpse into a daily life or an event in one of the squares, Bruges is a gift that keeps on giving.
The best part of Bruges is that it is not too big and it can be easily visited by simply strolling around its cobblestone streets. This means that just by strolling, you will have the opportunity to see all its main attractions without any complicated planning before.
Clearly, one of the main reasons for visiting Bruges is enjoying its canals. This city has so many of them that it is in fact known as the 'Venice of the North' and you will not get bored strolling around them. The vegetation bathing in the water as well as the many swans and ducks gently passing by make sure to add that pinch of romanticism that everyone just wants. You will also encounter many cafes where you can sit and enjoy the view. Make sure to order the local beer, the Brugse Zot :) .
The main square with the belfry and tower is also worth seeing. It was the place where the market was held and even now, there are sometimes small flea markets or antiques dealers places here. If you are looking for souvenir shops, this is the place to be, as there are plenty of them.
Not far away from the center, you will find the Begijnhof: the place where nuns used to live and work in the middle ages. Made of many little square houses, with rectangular windows, pointy roofs and small gardens, the Begijnhof is very pretty and can be visited inside too where it if full of traces of a not so far away past.
The St. Jan hospital is also worth seeing as it is a very old building facing the canal and surrounded on the other side by a beautiful garden where still today medical herbs are cultivated (and in the past they were used for curing the people and to make medicines).
And last but not least, make sure to visit the local confectionery shops that sell chocolates and sweets. The shops' windows will already tease your appetite and it will be extremely hard to resist!
Bruges is very famous for its lace and embroidery art, translated into products among the most beautiful ones in the world. Even if you are not that type of person that appreciates this peculiar products, make sure to enter one of the many shops that sells them: not only you will be impressed by the displays and intricate works put into the fabrics, but also you will get to see many antique objects. Some of them are very pricey as their value is very significant. And for some other, you will find yourself wondering what they were used for.... well, it is for sure an interesting way to reflect on time passing and the real use of our daily tools :) .
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