If you want to spend a unique holiday, forget all about the best places to visit in USA and even the most popular European capitals. If you’re up for a more cultural and refined type of vacation, then choosing a country or city in Europe is your best bet. This continent is rich in history and diverse in culture, so it’s hard to go wrong. However, don’t focus on the main European capitals as they are often overrated. There are many other cities and towns in Europe that can satisfy your thirst for culture and history. Bruges is today’s choice, and it is one of the loveliest cities in Belgium. Standing as the capital of West Flanders, and the biggest city in this Flemish region, Bruges is often compared with Amsterdam, or named “The Venice of the North” due to its numerous canals that connect parts of the city.
World Heritage Site
The first and most important reason you should go to Bruges is to admire its historic center, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it is one of the most charming places to visit in Belgium. Surrounded by beautiful historic buildings in Gothic style, you can spend lovely hours here, or even an entire day discovering the narrow streets and lanes starting from the center. And if you’re a fan of the film “In Bruges” starring Colin Farrel, you can recreate your favorite scenes and go up on the tower. Bruges has another square you should visit, the Burg Square, which also reveals some interesting buildings, and a unique basilica.
To spend some romantic time in Bruges, all you have to do is rent a boat for a day trip on the Bruges Waterways; tell your captain to take you to the Groenerei canal, the most beautiful canal in the city. It is also called the Green Canal, because it is surrounded by trees and climbing plants, and on the sides, you can admire some of the most interesting and historically-important buildings and villas in the region. You can also get a unique view of the cathedral tower. But if you really like to explore a city and move away from the tourist-filled locations, go to the Sint Anna district, and visit the Museum voor Volkskunde, and discover the multiple small churches in the area; most important is the Jerusalem Church dating from the 15th century.
Bruges is seeping with historic buildings, so if you’re an architecture enthusiast, don’t miss out on the Belfort and Hallen; and if you get there on a sunny day, you can admire the most spectacular view of the city from above. Interesting architectural points are also made by the churches in this Flemish city, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood makes no exception; and if you’re a believer, you may be interested in seeing the relic which supposedly holds some of Jesus Christ’s blood. You can’t miss the Stadhuis, or City Hall, if you walk around the center, and for some souvenirs, take a stroll through The Markt. This is just the tip of what you can do in Bruges; the cuisine is surely something to be amazed at, and just think of what such an eclectic culture must have created from French, German and Dutch influences.
As you can see, Bruges is a travel jewel. It does not have the crowds characteristic to the most popular places to visit in USA or in Europe, yet it is filled with wonderful touristic attractions.