While many people only spend a few hours or a day in Bruges, two days will give you the chance to properly get a feel for the charming old city and its numerous historic and cultural attractions. Here’s how to make the most of your time.
Spend your first morning in Bruges in the heart of the medieval city center. Begin with the main square (Markt), which houses numerous cafés and attractions such as the Belfort (belfry) and the Provinciaal Hof. A 2-minute walk away, Burg Square is also worth visiting, even just to gawk at the Gothic City Hall (Stadhuis).
After lunch, head over to the Lake of Love (Minnewater), with its romance-inspiring gardens and waterways and elegant resident swans. From here, it's a quick jaunt south to the Beguinage, a medieval complex with traditional whitewashed Flemish architecture, a few craft workshops, and a history museum focused on the semimonastic Beguines of medieval Flanders.
As night falls, head back to the Markt area for dinner, where you’ll find plenty of charming restaurants and pubs to choose from. If the weather is nice, try to nab a spot on a brasserie terrace for some top-notch people watching, or take an evening stroll through the narrow medieval streets of the old city.
Spend your second day learning about Belgian products, notably lace, chocolate, and beer. Start with a morning visit to Choco-Story, a chocolate museum with displays about the history and manufacture of chocolate. Tastings are part of the experience, and optional workshops are available for those who want to deepen their knowledge.
In the afternoon, head over to the Lace Center (Kantcentrum), housed in the former Apostline Sisters' lace school. Here you can learn all about lace-making and even see live demonstrations. Next, make your way to the Bruges Beer Experience, which offers an educational, interactive glimpse into the history and manufacture of beer.
After the Beer Experience, you can stick around for a beer or two or head back to town for dinner. Beyond bars and restaurants, Bruges doesn’t have much in terms of nightlife, though the city does have a handful of nightclubs along with special evening events, particularly in the summer months. Any time of year, an evening stroll through the illuminated medieval center is a lovely way to top off your time in Bruges.