The Markt

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Kathryn on May 3, 2004

The old marketplace is the very centre of the city. I found myself passing through it several times a day, getting from one place to another. It’s a lovely open space – and it was absolutely teeming during the Easter weekend

Towering over the space on the south side is the Belfort (Bell tower). Apparently it offers an unparalleled view of the city, if you’re willing to take the 366 steps to get up there. I was more than willing to try the steps, but the line to get in was long, and, frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to wait. Around the other sides of the square are the facades of a number of 17th-century gabled houses (now mostly cafes and souvenir shops), and the Provinciaal Hof, the site of the local government of West Flanders (and not open to the public).

The major attraction of the Markt (for me, at least) were the two mobile frituur vans that stood in front of the Belfort. Both did a very ‘healthy’ trade in frites with mayonnaise, although you could get almost any sauce you could imagine. I found the frites at these vans to be amongst the best I tasted in Belgium – I think it was the mayonnaise. I ate a lot of Belgian frites and would definitely have to agree with the general opinion that they are a superior chip. Apparently it’s all due to the choice of potato, their cut, and the fact they are actually fried twice to make sure they are extra crispy. No wonder I came home with fat cravings.

The Markt (Market Square)
City Center
Bruges, Belgium, 8000

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