Enchanting Bruges, Belgium

(Photo: Near the Beguinage).

Hi Everyone,

Long time no see! And a happy new year!

The battery of my laptop crashed in December and Apple could not solve the problem. So I couldn’t blog for quite a while. But here I am, back with a brand new laptop. In the mean time I started working again. I passed all the flight safety exams and completed my training, so I’m ready to travel the world again (but parttime).

Anyway, just before Christmas we planned a family getaway to Bruges in Belgium with the baby. As we are tied up with rosters and work schedules again at the moment, we really enjoyed spending some time together. Bruges is not too far from Amsterdam, I guess a 3,5 hour drive which is perfect with a baby. It is the biggest city in the province West-Flanders. They speak Flemisch-Dutch which I of course understand as a Dutchie, very convenient I must say! (All pictures are mine, nothing is sponsored).

Bruges is a small medieval town, placed at the list of the Unesco World Heritage sites. Because of these old houses and the fairytale vibe around, it felt a little bit like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. But with a Christmas market, mulled wine, a big winter jacket, a bad hairday, huge bags under my eyes while pushing along a pram. I chose Bruges over Gent as it is more famous and I loved the pictures I spotted on Instagram. Last but not least, I do not know Belgium very well. It’s my neighbor country and I worked for VLM which is a Belgium airline for…well… not even a year (bankruptcy), but besides doing parts of an initial in Antwerp and Brussels, I have never visited Belgium for a fun reason.

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(Photo: Me at the Christmas Market of Bruges).

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Casselbergh, which is absolutely a beautiful hotel. Their lobby and hotel bar is old and magnificent, their staff is very friendly and the rooms are big and comfortable. Their Christmas decoration is amazing. They put up a crib for our baby for a small extra fee, so we did not have to bring her own bed. And I can tell you, that saves up a lot of space in your car.

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(Photo: The beautiful Christmas tree of hotel Casselbergh).

So what did we do and where did we eat?
Here is my summery of Bruges!

That’s toast!
I guess it was a while ago I had such a good sandwich! I’m not lying! Every sandwich on the menu sounds terrific, so it was hard to make a choice. I got the sandwich with scallops and quinoa and my boyfriend had a delicious sandwich with duck. You could define their atmosphere and interior as cosy meets trendy. It’s possible to have breakfast here all day long.

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(Photos: Lunch at That’s Toast).

Strolling around and try to get lost.
The medieval houses, chocolate makers, cafes and even the hotels are so pretty and cute, especially during the festive season with the Christmas lights everywhere. If you like to have a lovely afternoon, just stroll around the streets while making some stops at the cafes for some Belgium beers or to eat a waffle at one of the waffle houses.

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(Photos: Impressions of Bruges).

Quay of the Rosary (Rozenhoedkaai)
The most famous Instagram spot and one of the most beautiful sites of Bruges. It’s hard to take a good picture. First you have to push some tourist to the side before you are able to take a good photo, but it is worth it!

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(Photo: Me at the Rozenhoedkaai).

Eat waffles!
Visiting Belgium without eating a waffle. Hell no! After I quit breastfeeding my cravings for sweet stuff changed again into savoury snacks. But still I had to try…well..several waffles. My fave waffles are from waffles on a stick because they are not that huge and they look also very cute.

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(Photo: Waffle on a stick).

Brewery de Halve Maan.
If you are really into beer and want to know everything about the process of beer making, or maybe you just want to try the famous Brugse Zot – you should visit this Brewery called de Halve Maan. This old brewery organizes tours, accommodate a museum and they have cafe where you can try different kinds of beer (or you could have a wine or a soda if you don’t like beer). The brewery is not pram or wheelchair friendly. When we asked if we could leave the pram downstairs at the museum, the answer was no. The employees at the cafe are luckily much more friendly.

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(Photo: Brewery de Halve Maan).

Restaurant Poules Moules.
This restaurant is located in one of the old and typical buildings Bruges has to offer. The restaurant has a very approachable vibe, not too fancy so ideal if you bring a baby. We told them in advance we would bring a baby and they arranged a big table downstairs for us, so we wouldn’t have to walk up the stairs with her. Their specialties are mussels and chicken. We both ordered mussels which were great. They serve huge portions, so bring your appetite!

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(Photo: Mussels Mussels Mussels).

The market square.
Also one of the historic highlights of Bruges. The market square is surrounded with shops and cafes and in December, a part of the Christmas market is set up here. So I enjoyed the sights of this old square while sipping my mulled wine.

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(Photo: The Market Square and the Christmas Market). 

De Garre.
You find this bar in a famous but very very small street. This is one of the most visited bars of Bruges. The small alley and the building are cute. But the entrance is not so accessible with a pram so we just took a photo from the outside and went to another bar.

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(Photo: De Garre Bar).

Cafe Cambrinus.
A typical Belgium beer cafe. Besides a big big beer menu, they offer beer tastings (not the common beers) straight from the tap. This is a good place to taste different kinds of Belgium beer or if you like Kriek (cherry) beer like me, you found the right address.

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(Photo: Cafe Cambrinus).

Restaurant ‘t Zwart Huis
This big but cosy bistro is located on the upper floor of a typical medieval building. They combined the old elements nicely with a modern interior. This bistro offers a large menu with affordable food and the restaurant is very approachable again which is great if you bring a baby. Also here, the staff does everything to make you and your newborn comfortable. Try the steak tartare, if you like raw meat, this dish is great!

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(Photo: Restaurant ‘t Zwarte Huis).

Begijnhof / Beguinage.
It’s funny that in Amsterdam we also have a Begijnhof in the city center, just like here. It’s as quiet as the Begijnhof in Bruges, only the architecture is very different. In the past the Beguines were settled here, a movement of single or widowed women who took a vow of chastity. Nowadays it is a well preserved touristic spots where the nuns of the St. Benedict order live. The walking route to the Begijnhof is very beautiful. On the way you pass by a small lake with swans, surrounded by the typical medieval houses. At the Begijnhof I spotted a lot of nuns.

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(Photo: The Beguinage and surroundings).

Books & Brunch.
Another great lunch spot, located in a bookstore. You literally have your lunch or brunch inside the bookstore, it is not separated. They offer organic and homemade sandwiches, soup and salads and if you like or you could order the famous butter beer from the Harry Potter books (or movies). The staff is very friendly and they love to make a chat.

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(Photos: Books & Brunch and their famous Butter Beer).

I hope you enjoyed my blog about Bruges and my recommendations. If you are planning to visit Bruges, comment below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and to follow me on instagram misstravelstories.

xoxo Chanel 

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