Where to go in beautiful Bruges? While walking around this pittoresque city you might wonder if you ended up in an open air museum or a historical theme park. Apart from all the beauty the city has to offer, there are a few other things you can not miss.
(In a hurry? Scroll straight down for a Google Maps overview of all the hotspots)
First things first. What can be more important than sightseeing? Chocolate. If your answer would be 'beer', skip this part and go on to the next step 😉
Belgium's most famous chocolatier (or shock-o-latier as he calls himself) Dominique Persoone sells his bizarre bonbons in Antwerp and Bruges. One of Persoone's creations is 'The Chocolate Shooter', this 19th century sniffing device allows you to catapult a few milligrams of cocoa-herb mix directly in your nasal cavity. The Chocolate Shooter arouses a complex taste adventure and was introduced for the first time at a birthday party of the Rolling Stones. Persoone managed to make chocolate rock-'n-roll and at his shop The Chocolate Line you will find the most unusual flavour combinations. We walked out of the shop with the following treasures:
- Chocolate lipstick: this gadget is made out 64% Peruvian dark chocolate. I am not sure yet if you can seriously wear it. Later on I read that it can be used to serve your dinner guests vanilla ice cream with chocolate lips, like a quaint version of Dame Blanche.
- Chocolate pills: the perfect gift for a sweettooth that needs an emergancy stash of chocolate pills.
- Very special bonbons: Skull (jelly of red fruit perfumed with violet flowers), Asian Confetti (caramel with rice vinegar and soy sauce, praliné of sesame seeds, sansho pepper and popping candy), Cabernet Sauvignon, Italian Javanais (fresh basil, marzipan with a chutney of sun-dried tomatoes and black olives), Miss Piggy (bacon flavoured) and many more!
Indulge in some of Belgian's finest beers at the Halve Maan Brewery. For centuries the Meas family has been brewing beer on the Walplein. This is the only brewery you will find in between the city walls. This is also where the famous beers 'Brugse Zot' (zot means weirdo) and Straffe Hendrik come from.
3. A decent meal
Nothing worse than ending up eating an overpriced meal because you happen to be in the most touristic part of a city. It's always better to look a bit further than the beaten path and while you are at it you might find a great place such as Kok Au Vin. Not only does the food taste as good as it looks, it also has a pretty good price/quality ratio: a 3-course menu costs you only € 37. Expect innovative creations, local products and real pure flavours.
Dutch herring with champagne granita, tomatoes and dill / Mussels with seabass / Peach, white chocolate and almond dessert at Kok Au Vin.
Make sure to pay a visit to Juttu. This concept store is great at telling the stories behind their brands. During wintertime they sell the handmade products of Granny's Finest, the social enterprise I work for. A big part of their assortment consists out of sustainable brands and small labels. A perfect place to get inspired or buy some gifts for your loved ones! Another cute store is Goûts et Couleurs, practically next door to Kok Au Vin.
I bet you will have a good night sleep at Bed and Breakfast La Suite. The B&B also has a restaurant, Sans Cravate, which was awarded with 1 Michelin star. This is where you can enjoy your breakfast in a nicely designed dining room.
Or see what Airbnb has to offer and get € 30 travel credit.
Photo courtesy of La Suite
Looking for more hotspots? I rounded up some more must-goes in a special Google Maps overview: