Waffles, Chocolate and Beer - Bruges
Belgium hasn’t been at the top of our travel list, but when Becca had a work trip to Brussels, we decided to tack on a quick weekend in Bruges. We didn’t do any research, other than asking friends for waffles and beer recommendations, and it turned out that’s all we needed to know anyway. It was nice not to have a packed agenda of touring, and we had a great time wandering the cobblestone streets, sampling the many delicacies of chocolate, waffles and fries, and of course, drinking beer.
Friday 3 February
Eurostar sells “Any Station in Belgium” tickets that allow you to stop in Brussels for up to 24 hours. We both needed to work a full day on Friday, so we took an 8pm train from London, which takes just over two hours. We spent the night at a hotel at the train station, which was a nice way to break up the trip and get to bed at a reasonable time.
Saturday 4 February
When we woke up on Saturday, we got the train to Bruges, which takes just over an hour. It was a pretty ride through the countryside, and we were in Bruges before we knew it.
Wijngaardstraat 7, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
It was a 10-15 minute walk from the train station to our hotel. We didn’t spend much time researching a place to stay (or anything for that matter), since we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time at the hotel. It was clean and in a good location, so we were happy enough.
Sint-Jakobsstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
Brunch was the first order of business. We had a recommendation for a waffle place, but it was just a stand and we wanted to sit down and enjoy a good meal. Trip Advisor led us to Lizzie’s Wafels, and we had to loiter outside waiting for it to open at 11am. It was good we got there right when we opened, because it filled up quickly and they put a sign on the door saying they were full. They brought us delicious little sweets to enjoy with our coffee, so we decided to share one waffle between the two of us with the intention of following it up with a street waffle. It was so big and filling that we didn’t have room for the dessert waffle. Toppings were excessive and overpriced, but delicious (who needs two bananas with one waffle?).
Huidenvettersplein, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
On the train ride from Brussels, we looked at a few travel blogs and saw they all suggested a canal boat ride. It felt a bit cold for that, but we figured it would be a good way to see the city. There’s only one company that offers the tours, and they leave every 20 minutes or so throughout the day. We really enjoyed the views and it was a great and efficient way to see the city in a half hour.
We stumbled upon the Bruges Beer Festival in the main city square and decided it would be a good way to sample a variety of Belgium beers. For €30 we got 11 tasting tokens and two souvenir glasses. The festival took place inside the famous Belfry of Bruges, so it was a fun way to do a little more site-seeing, and you could come and go as you pleased. Tastings were so generous that we didn’t even use all of our tokens.
Sint-Salvatorskerkhof 5, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
Part way through the festival we took a break to sample another Belgian must-try – fries. We botched our sauce order and didn’t take advantage of the 15+ sauce options and instead both got ketchup. The fries were delicious though (and would have been just as good even if we hadn’t already had a few beers).
Bruges has chocolate shops on every corner, but we particularly enjoyed walking up and down Breidelstraat and Katelignestraat, which both have a bunch of shops clustered close together. One of our favorites was Dumon Chocolatier, where we filled up a box of truffles to take home.
After snacking all afternoon, we felt like we needed to eat a real meal. We wandered around until we found a menu we liked. Dinner was good, but nothing too memorable (we can’t even remember what the place was called!).
Sunday 5 February
8000, Breidelstraat 16, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
While our Saturday waffles were great, we heard there were a couple of styles of waffles, and we wanted to try the Liège waffles, which have uneven edges and are a bit sweeter and stickier than the Belgian waffle we had tried the day before. We went over to Chez Albert for a breakfast appetizer and shared one of the most delicious waffles we’ve ever eaten. Becca wanted to get a second, but we decided to hold off and eat a real meal instead.
Wijngaardstraat 8, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
We loved the name of this place, and it was right across the street from our hotel and open early enough to go before the train. On the inside, the restaurant was adorable and packed. It took forever to get our food, so we had to rush for the train, but breakfast was delicious and well worth the wait.
On every trip we share our rose (highlight), thorn (lowlight), and bud (what we're looking forward to).
Rose- waffle on Sunday (both)
Thorn- rainy weather (both)
Bud- seeing my parents! (Becca), next ski trip (Josh)
If you go, things to know..
How long to spend? One day is really enough time to see everything in Bruges. You could spend the whole weekend and just enjoy more different chocolate, waffles and beers, but there isn’t a ton there in terms of site seeing.
Where to stay? It was nice to be able to walk home at the end of the night, but you could easily do Bruges as a day trip from Brussels and not even stay overnight. If you do stay in Bruges, it’s pretty small, so location isn’t super important.
What else is there to do there? Other travel blogs mentioned a walking tour, but we really weren’t in the mood to do anything too serious so we opted to skip it.