Okay. So maybe you have heard of Brugge, but I never had before planning the Christmas vacation of my dreams. It truly is one of the most magical places I’ve ever laid eyes on. Of course, I happened upon Brugge as giant floppy snowflakes fell from the skies, so I may be extraordinarily partial. It’s the largest city in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The canal-based layouts create an atmosphere like that of a fairytale (in fact, the region has more castles than any country). The architecture reflects the timing of Brugge’s golden age, during the 15th and 16th centuries. Despite it’s small size, Brugge has over 80 bridges, all perfectly quaint as the canals below are frequented by swans.
If you visit, you must stop in at De Halve Maan Brewery. It’s quite cozy, with a fireplace to snuggle up beside as you sip a glass of Brugse Zot (the only beer brewed within the city of Brugge) or one of the other many offerings. Talk about a family-run local business–it has been owned by the same folks since 1856.
The Beer Wall is one of the most unique bars I’ve ever been to. It’s located in the 15th century mayor’s house, with a prime location on the water, looking out toward some of the best views the canals have to offer. Scroll down a few more images and you’ll see The Beer Wall itself. Plexiglass lines shelves filled with bottles of all the beers in Belgium. If you’re a fan of Christmas Markets, this is your kind of town. The city center has an iceskating rink surrounded by stands with sweet treats and warm drinks.
There seem to be an endless amount of chocolate shops in the city. If you’re looking for something made entirely in Brugge, make sure the sign indicates that the chocolates are handmade. In case you hadn’t noticed already, Belgians take their beer seriously. If you’re a beer-lover, you won’t want to miss The Brugge Beer Experience. This informative museum is fascinating and fun. It also ends with a drink at the bar, so who could complain? (Also, Beer Walls are really a thing.)
I urge you, if you’re ever in Belgium, don’t leave without visiting this little slice of winter paradise.