Before going you should definitely watch or watch again the movie “In Bruges” (2008), director Martin McDonagh, with Colin Farrell in the role of his life.
“I realized, fuck man, maybe that’s what hell is: the entire rest of eternity spent in fuckin’ Bruges”.
“A great day this has turned out to be. I’m suicidal, me mate tries to kill me, me gun gets nicked and we’re still in fookin’ Bruges!”
Main attractions: the historic center ( basically the hole city) because it’s very well preserved and it’s awesome – check wikipedia) and Belgian beer – for sure the best beer in the world!
We had a 3 hours flight from Bucharest to Charleroi, from there we took a bus to Brussels railway station (1 h, 15 euro), then the train to Bruges (40 min., 15 euro) and a Taxi to our accommodation (10 euro).
We had a brilliant stay at this great airbnb in city center, but a more quiet area, 5-10 minutes walk from all the good places (Authentic, cosy 17th century house)
The city is pretty small, so it’s perfect for a city-break because you have just enough time to see everything, to relax, catch the vibe, enjoy the people and the great beer.
Even though there are a lot of tourists, the locals are very friendly and helpful, without being intrusive or haters. I preferred going in March just to avoid the high season, even though, there were a lot of tourist photographing every fucking corner, specially in the very central area. If you walk a little bit further on the beautiful little streets, you’ll be the only tourist on that street and then you can act as well as a crazy tourist and make tones of selfies.
If you want to avoid the tourists-traps use this app with recommendations made by locals. This is how we found out that a beer that costs more than 2,50 euro it’s a scam and also discovered some very cool places.
Mostly we just walk around the city with no specific target, the best way, in my opinion, to catch the vibe and discover what is all about.
First day we ate at Pas Partout, a bistro with decent prices and basic local food.
Then we went to Historium Bruges that has a great coffee place upstairs with a big terrace that oversees the main city square (Duvelorium Grand Beer Café) – here the atmosphere was really cozy, with jazzy music and candles, and we had a very good beer.
Then we checked the Bruges Beer Experience because we had no way around that, it seemed to be a must see and also outside was snowing and just too cold. It was pretty cool, we found out a lot of things about beer and the ticket had beer tasting included, so that was good fun. I tried: Arthur’s Legacy, Estaminet and Boon Kriek.
In the second day we walked all around town, it was a very pleasant cold sunny day and we stopped in these places:
– for brunch at Books and Brunch, duh. It was just my kind of place, homely and hipster-like, with amazing food (everything super fresh and made in house), great music and cool staff.
– Joey’s Cafe (their slogan: ‘real bar, real people’). The coolest bar ever. Very hygge, with bluesy music, candles and very friendly staff. Stevie, the owner, can recommend the perfect beer for you just by looking at you. I hear that If he is in the mood he might even sing you a serenade.
- The Potato bar – a crowded place in the city center, but with good food with matching beers. Fried potatoes places are everywhere in Bruges. And as fries are every one’s guilty pleasure, this is a great. (menu with beer on the side was about 15 euro)
– Volkskundemuseum – a nice little museum, but the important thing is that at the end instead of ‘exit through the gift shop’ you get to ‘exit through the beer bar’ and this is pretty cool. We got there at the end of the program and all the staff was lovely and quite tipsy which was a lot of fun. They gave as a small discount on our tickets as we had only 30 minutes till the closing hour. We took that as a challenge, did it in 20 and had time for a quick beer. (6 euro entrance fee and 1.25 euro one beer).
In the third day – two trains, one bus, one plane and one uber later we were back in our little Paris aka Bucharest City.
I know that I wrote too much about the beer, but since it was so good I’ll say it is still not enough. So, these are other beers we had there ;).