Bruges isn't a city of big hitting sights, but that's not to say there aren't things to do there. meandering the quaint streets and soaking up the atmosphere is the order of the day, but you should probably have a look at doing the following five things, to get the most out of your visit:
1. Eat some Belgian chocolate
Without a doubt one of the things you should definitely do is sample the world famous food stuff. Whether you window shop the many lovely shops that line the main streets or you head into a cafe to relax and enjoy a steaming mug of hot chocolate, it is not to be missed. It is a great gift idea as well if you are visiting before the festive season. Lots of the shops sell discounted boxes of chocolate if you buy a certain amount - they have pre selected sets of maybe five or ten boxes that are indeed a good bargain. A more expensive way of doing it is to select some from the individual selections, they tend to cost around three Euros for 100 grams, but the displays are so amazing that you'll have to have a fair bit of will power to resist. The pralines are to die for.
2. Cross a bridge.
Seems a strange thing to do, but Bruges actually means 'bridges' in Flemish and it is easy to see why. The city is filled with canals that and so by default lots of bridges. They are more often than not little stone affairs that are really rather pretty and quaint. Crossing them often gives you the best views of the cobbled streets for taking photographs. It is easy to get lost wandering around, but there are lots of maps around to help you back on track.
3. Enjoy the Markt
This is the city's main square and it is from this that everything else spreads out. There are some fabulous buildings here. Firstly the Belfort (belfry) is a tower that dominates the scene. Interestingly the tower leans slightly so it is fun to watch out for that and if you are feeling energetic, you can climb to the top via the 366 steps.
Before Christmas, the square plays host to the charming Christmas markets which make the whole thing look, if possible, even more beautiful. Alternatively, in the summer months, the restaurants around the square fill the space with tables and chairs, so you can enjoy a typical Belgian meal in the sunshine.
It's not the shopping capital of Europe by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a very picturesque place to browse the shops. You can get a lot of things that you wouldn't find on your typical high street such as locally made produce ranging from food to clothes. It's not too much of a stretch either because it is all located in one area. There is of course plenty of opportunity to grab all manner of souvenir!
5. Grab a beer
After chocolate, beer is probably Belgium's favourite export and you couldn't find better surroundings to enjoy one of the many hundreds of different types of beer that are on offer. There are so many cute little pubs that the choice is endless - so fill your boots!!
So, whatever you like to do, you will doubtless find somewhere to do it in Bruges and somewhere great to do it no less!