After waking up and grabbing a Belgian hot chocolate, I went to Antwerp Central station and hopped on a 30-minute train ride to the mini Venice of the north, Bruges.
My first stop was the Friet Museum which was a short 5-minute walk from the beautiful city centre and a 20-minute scenic wander from the station. For those curious, fries were mistakenly (and famously) named “French fries” as Americans mistook Belgian troops who offered them fries for French troops during WWI. Don’t forget to grab your own Belgian “friet” from the bottom floor of the museum! I highly recommend trying it with their unique mayonnaise.
Next up was a chocolate museum called Choco-Story where the history of chocolate can be learnt including how it was used as a currency before is became a sugary, creamy goodness. At certain times during the day, an exhibition is held where a chocolatier demonstrates how their finest pralines are produced. There are chocolate samples, facts about chocolate and striking statues made from chocolate. Be sure to check out the gift shop at the end of your tour!
After grabbing a bite to eat in the main square of Bruges, I admired the historic and medieval colourful houses and the endless row of horse-drawn carriages waiting for tourists to hop on and take a tour of Bruges. Just walking down the picturesque streets of Bruges is an adventure in itself. From the medieval buildings to the countless chocolate shops.
Of course I had to see Bruges by boat. The trip was only 8 euros and took a total of 30 minutes. It allowed for a totally different perspective of Bruges seeing everything from the water. There was a guide in the boat who informed the passengers of all the historic sites we passed too. I’d highly recommend doing a canal boat tour just before sunset as the sun glistens onto the water.
My last stop was the Belfry Tower located in the “markt” or town square. Standing at 83 metres tall, this medieval tower was once used to spot fires and now is a popular location for tourists as a large portion of the city can be seen from the top of the tower. For a small fee, I climbed the few hundred stairs to the very top of the Belfry tower (and was panting like a dog when I finally made it). Fun fact, apparently the Belfry tower leans 1 metre to the left.
The medieval city of Bruges is a must for chocolate and hot chip lovers combined. However, its beauty, charm and rich culture and history is what I’ll remember best.