Brugge or Bruges is a historical city located about an hour train ride away from Brussels in the West Flanders province of Belgium. It is a very charming, touristy city that one can easily see in a day coming from Brussels.
It takes about 1 hour by train to get to Bruges from Brussels, and the trains run very frequently, even on the weekends. We left from the Brussels Nord (North) station and once we arrived, we began walking toward the city center.
A map of the city would have been nice, but truly anyone with a semi-functioning internal compass and a dash of common sense could figure out how to navigate Bruges.
The city center is bustling with touristy restaurants and shops. They were just starting to set up some holiday decor, adding to the charm of the city. One thing I noticed about Belgium is that ATMs are far less prevalent throughout the city, making it a bit annoying when I had to take out cash, as it turned into an expedition to find a bank.
Much like Amsterdam, Bruges is a city shaped by canals. As it used to be a huge center of international trade and commerce, the canals served as ports which enriched the economy of the city dating back to the 12th century.
There are tours of the city by boat through the canals and the water is very beautiful to walk along, adding an enchanting sentiment to the city.
The oldest pub in Bruges, Herberg Vlissinghe is a quaint spot to grab a drink. It is over 500 years old and is located a short walk off of the main city center. Its fame is evident as it was very crowded on the afternoon that we visited, but we still managed to nestle up to the bar and enjoy a Belgian brew.
Overall, I am not sure if I would make a point to return to Belgium on a second trip. While the vast quantities of flowing beer, the mountains of chocolate in the magical shops that line every street and the tantalizing dishes of French cuisines that are all very enticing, the overall sentiment of the city did not leave a strong impact on me. It was enchanting while it lasted, but failed to leave a strong sense of desire to return.
This feeling of apathy with respect to going back to a new city does not usually happen to me, but perhaps those feelings will change when my supply of truffles runs out.