If you like quiet small town that promises a romantic getaway, Bruges is the place for you. We left Amsterdam for Bruges and we had earlier booked our train tickets online via NS International.
It was quite long journey of around 3 hours and when we reached, we actually took a bus to town to locate our hotel. Each pax cost 3 euros per pax and I can only say just take the taxi! It cost 9 euros by the way when we took taxi back to the station when we left Bruges the day after.
The cobbled streets are the first thing you will notice – imagine us lugging our luggage along this. Lol. We stayed at this hotel named Hotel Notre Dame in Bruges, which actually felt more like an AirBnB. The only thing that I can vividly remember was the steep spiral staircase that leads up to the rooms.
The owner was strong and kind enough (I think he wouldn’t want me to damage their precious vintage staircase as well) and carried our luggage up the dangerous spiral staircase… I almost tripped on the staircase while walking up on my own several times because I don’t do well with stairs.
In fact, I had phobia with overhead bridge and stairs… Would you believe me when I said I have height phobia yet I love rollercoasters and Viking??? Yes that’s me.
After we settled down, we wasted no time and explored around. Our hotel location was really ideal and just a few minutes walk away from the Markt.
The Markt And Brug Square were so crowded and oozed this warm and fuzzy feeling in me somehow. Not too touristy or irritating but just nice. Queues were fast moving except the one up to Belfry as they controlled the number of pax that can go up at one time.
So we went into the Basilica of the Holy Blood, then climbed all the way up the Belfry of Bruges which I had so much pit stop because the spiral stairs got so narrow that I was grabbing anything I can find; I think I literally climbed my way up with my four limbs somehow. At some points, there wasn’t any rope or handle to grab and I freaked out. Lol.
But I have to say the view up here was worth it, only to suffer the day after whereby my legs were aching so bad.
After making our way down, we stumbled upon a quaint cafe named Ter Steeghere tucked away in an alley. We sat by the canal and had a good meal before we continued.
I guess the charm of Bruges lies beyond its canals and medieval buildings – the quiet streets and corners offer so much tranquility and nostalgia.
We settled for this place named Cafe Paula Mostaert and they served surprisingly good edamame.
The next morning, we had awesome breakfast provided by Hotel Notre Dame.
You have not been to Bruges without a walk along Beguinage to see the beautiful swans at Begijnhof. The swans are revered in Bruges and their history goes way back. You may Google about it. The area surround this patch of grassland is cordoned off and the swans can roam around freely.
Before we checked out of our hotel, we satisfied our sweet tooth with a visit to the famous Old Chocolate House and our hotel was just right beside it! Subsequently we figured out they are connected as the staff helped us opened the hotel main door.
Their hot chocolate and waffles just made everything perfect in the cold weather.
My thoughts on Bruges – Minz and I think that a day trip may be sufficient to experience it. If you are in Brussels, do spare a day for Bruges and you will like the experience. After all, it’s UNESCO protected and an ideal destination for lovers and friends for a relaxing getaway.
I would want to go back one day when I’m old to enjoy the slower pace of life and to just sit by the canals and drink my cups hot chocolate with waffles.