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Bruges: Day Trips and Tours from Brussels

The historic city of Bruges is a popular day trip destination from Brussels. With its winding, cobbled streets and many medieval landmarks, Bruges has long been one of Belgium's most popular tourist destinations.

It is a small city, so a day excursion gives you plenty of time to explore the main sights. A Bruges day trip is a must for history enthusiasts, art lovers or anyone who wants to sample excellent beer and chocolate.

How to get to Bruges from Brussels?

Bruges is located roughly 100 kilometers away from Brussels. It's the capital city of the West Flanders province, which lies within the Flemish region of Belgium. This part of Belgium has a very unique culture making the journey to Bruges worthwhile.

From Brussels to Bruges by car

The drive from Brussels to Bruges takes about 1.5 hours via the E40. There are several parking options in Bruges, but it can be difficult to find a spot during peak tourist season.

From Brussels to Bruges by bus

Those traveling on a budget should consider going from Brussels to Bruges by bus. Several bus companies offer direct connections and the ride is quick and comfortable. The journey to Bruges takes between 90 minutes to two hours, and tickets start at €5 each way.

From Brussels to Bruges by train

The train is another popular way to get from Brussels to Bruges and the journey only takes about 1.5 hours. There are several trains per hour from the Bruxelles-Midi station to Brugge. Fares start at €16.40 for a one-way ticket.

Guided tour to Bruges from Brussels

If you want to make the most of your time in Bruges, consider taking a guided tour. This is especially useful if you're short on time or want to learn more about the history of the city. Many tours include train or minivan transportation for your Bruges journey.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Bruges from Brussels?

An excursion to Bruges will typically include hotel pickup or there will be a group meeting point at a convenient location in Brussels city center.

You will begin your Bruges jaunt either by train or in a private minivan. Once you arrive in Bruges, your tour guide will show you the must-see sights of the city.

A typical itinerary might include a walk through the Old Town to see the city hall and exploring the canals by boat. Most Bruges day tours also include a visit to the Market square and Belfort Belfry.

Your guide will teach you all about the city's history and you may also get a chance to visit the Basilica of Holy Blood. Of course, no visit to Bruges would be complete without stopping in a few artisan chocolate shops to sample the wares.

Many Bruges day trips also include a visit to another historic site in Belgium, such as Ghent or Flanders Fields.

What kinds of tours are available to go to Bruges?

Going on a fun excursion to Bruges is very popular among visitors to Belgium, so there is a wide variety of tours available.

Day trip to Bruges from Brussels from Brussels by train

These Bruges day trips are ideal if you want to spend the majority of your time in Bruges. The tour includes round-trip train tickets and a walking tour of the city center with a local guide. This is great for those who want a guided tour, as well as plenty of opportunities to explore by themselves.

Day tour to Bruges plus Ghent from Brussels

If you're interested in learning more about Belgium's history, consider a Bruges day trip that includes a visit to Ghent — a nearby city that is known for its well-preserved medieval center. This tour includes a visit to Saint Bavo's Cathedral and the Earl's castle.

Private day tour to Bruges plus Ghent from Brussels

A private Bruges day trip offers a more personalized experience. This tour includes a visit to Ghent, as well as a walking tour of Bruges with a local guide. You'll be able to tailor your itinerary to your interests, so that you can get the most out of your Bruges excursion.

Day trip to Bruges plus Flanders Fields from Brussels

This Bruges day trip is perfect for those interested in World War I history. You'll visit the Flanders Fields, which is a series of battlefields and cemeteries in northeastern Belgium. The tour also offers participants the chance to experience a poignant Last Post ceremony in Ypres.

Bruges day tour from Brussels by bus

This type of Bruges day trip is a great option if you want to save money on transportation. The tour includes round-trip bus tickets, a guided tour of Bruges, luggage storage and chocolate tasting.

Full day tour to Bruges from Brussels with limo transfer

This Bruges day trip includes transportation to and from Bruges in a private limousine. You'll also enjoy a guided tour of the city, a canal boat cruise and chocolate tasting. This is a great option for those who want to travel in style or celebrate a special occasion.

How much does a tour to Bruges from Brussels cost?

Day trips to Bruges from Brussels start at €40 for a half-day tour. A full day tour with transportation typically costs between €60 and €110. Private tours and tours with additional activities, such as a visit to Ghent or Flanders Fields, can cost up to €520.

Prices vary according to group size, inclusions, mode of transport and duration of the tour. When comparing prices, be sure to check what is included in the cost of the tour.

What will you see and do in Bruges?

There is no shortage of things to see and do on a Bruges day tour.

Market Square and Belfry of Bruges

The central Market Square is a well-preserved medieval space that's home to the 13th-century belfry. Climb to the top of the belfry for panoramic views of Bruges.

Old Town

Bruges' Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the cobbled streets and take in the Gothic architecture.

Canals

Bruges is often called the "Venice of the North" because of its network of canals. On a Bruges jaunt, you'll have the opportunity to take a boat ride through the canals and experience the city from a unique perspective.

Basilica of the Holy Blood

The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a 12th-century church that houses a relic of Christ's blood. The basilica is located in the Burg, which is the main square of Bruges.

Chocolate shops

Bruges is known for its delicious artisan chocolate. Make sure to stop in a few shops to sample the wares and stock up on sweet treats. Some of the best chocolatiers to visit include The Chocolate Line, Dumon Chocolatier and Olivier's Chocolate Shop and Bar.

Local breweries

Belgian beer is famous worldwide. In Bruges, you'll have the chance to try a local craft beer or even go on a beer tasting tour. Some of the best local breweries include Le Trappiste and De Gare.

Medieval streets

A horse-drawn carriage ride is a quintessential Bruges experience. Hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a tour of the city's medieval streets.

When is the best time to visit Bruges?

Bruges is a popular tourist destination, so it's busy year-round. However, the best time to visit depends on your preferences. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall offer milder temperatures and smaller crowds.

If you're interested in Christmas markets, plan your trip for December. It often snows in Bruges during the winter, turning the city into a winter wonderland.

Travel tips

  • Bruges is a small city, so it's easy to get around on foot. Be prepared to do plenty of walking, especially at the Belfry of Bruges which involves a lot of stairs. Wear comfortable shoes and avoid heels or sandals.
  • If you're interested in trying local beer, make sure to stop by a bottle shop to buy some to take home with you.
  • Don't forget to try the local chocolate! This is one of Belgium’s most famous products and makes for a great souvenir or gift.
  • Expect crowds, especially during the peak of summer or the festive season.
  • Bruges is a year-round destination, so dress appropriately for the season. In summer, you'll need sunscreen and a hat, while winter calls for warmer clothing.
  • Bring water and snacks with you.
  • Don't forget your camera, as you'll want to capture your memories of your Bruges day trip.
  • Tipping is not expected in Belgian culture, but is appreciated if you receive good service.
  • Some businesses and attractions in Bruges are cash only, so make sure to have some euros on hand.