In April 2017, I had the chance to visit stunning Bruges!
Due to many reasons, I only had 24 hours to spend there before heading back to Brussels. It sure sounds very short but nevertheless, I made the most out of the little time I had.
Here’s the story of how you can make the most of 24 hours in Bruges.
- Arriving and settling in Bruges
- Road trip to De Haan and Ostend!
- Night walk around Bruges!
- Amazing Bike ride to Damme
Arriving and settling in Bruges
The most common way to reach the city is by taking a direct train from Brussels Midi train station to Bruges. The trip takes about 1 hour.
I would advise booking a hotel close to the train station so you won’t be wasting time on the roads.
My friends and I arrived at about 3.30 PM to Bruges and checked in at Ibis hotel which Is 5 min walking distance from the station.
I had heard lots of stories about the beauty and the charm of Bruges; however high your expectations are, be prepared to be amazed by what you will see!
Road trip to De Haan and Ostend!
After a small walk in the streets of Bruges, we took a spontaneous decision to head towards the North Sea. We got into my friend’s car and went on a 30 minutes road trip to De Haan.
Nature, the farms, the small houses, the overall scenery along the road is simply marvelous. We had to stop on many occasions to enjoy the views.
We arrived at De Haan at around 6.00 PM. The town is very well known for its white villas, long beach and big promenades filled with restaurants; and, since beer always tastes better at the beach, we bought ourselves a 6 pack, sat on the sand, watched the waves and the sun coming down.
At around 7.30 we walked a bit around the area before taking the car and heading to Ostend.
Ostend is a vibrant city, where you will find lots of nice places to eat, have a drink and even party.
After discovering the city and having dinner we decided to head back to Bruges.
Night walk around Bruges!
We arrived in Bruges at around 11.00 PM, and what better way to enjoy a city than by wandering in it at night?!
The streets were so quiet. Small lamps lit our way. The water in the canals reflected the lights and created a beautiful piece of art. Occasionally, we would meet tourists, heading back to their hotels, looking at chocolate shop windows, or just taking pictures of the amazing city.
When you walk in Bruges at night, you literally feel as if you are part of a magical medieval tale. You get too attached to it that time passes by without you noticing.
We wandered for hours, met some tourists and locals until we reached a more vibrant area with pubs and cafes. We had a few drinks before heading back to the hotel at around 3 AM.
Amazing Bike ride to Damme
We woke up the next morning after getting a few hours of sleep. Since we had planned to bike ride for at least 2 hours, we decided to start the day with a rich breakfast. We headed to a small shop where we had a mouthwatering croissant, omelets, and juices. Most of all, Bruges had so much to offer when it comes to food and especially chocolate!
We rented 3 bikes for 4 hours and began our journey towards Damme. It is a trip not to be missed if you ever visit Bruges!
The bike trails are flat, beside a canal; you will get blown away by the beautiful farms, countryside scenery, horses, cows, and trees. Make sure you don’t miss the old windmills spread along the road.
We arrived in Damme 45 minutes later and walked around this beautiful town. People were very friendly. We had lunch at a local restaurant and went discovering the area next to the canal, shaded by the lovely trees.
At 2 PM, we were back in Bruges. In 1 hour time, I had my train back to Brussels and from there to Paris.
My friends and I went buying some souvenirs and of course chocolates! At the end of the trip, we were exhausted but it sure was worth it! In 24 hours, we managed to see Bruges in all its beauty, visit the surrounding regions, reach the North Sea and bike ride for 3 hours.
Did we have enough time? No.
Did we make the most out of what we had? Yes.
In 24 hours we wrote a story that we will never forget! And if you ever have only 24 hours in Bruges… Well, follow our path.