Is Belgium Boring?!
A few years ago, when I was planning my first trip to Europe, I asked a friend of mine of what he thinks of Belgium. He responded with, "quite boring, it's alright. I think you'll find other european countries more fascinating." Not quite the respond I was expecting, but I skipped visiting Belgium during our first european trip because of that.
Many years passed, I still have Belgium in the back of my mind with the curiosity of wanting to visit a city just to get the taste of the country. After doing many research, the towns of Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp were mentioned to be the most picturesque. I figured, if I decided to visit the country, it has to be one of those places. So when we decided to go to Amsterdam last March, I found an opportunity to finally visit and check out the Belgium myself, Bruges to be particular.
Bruges is referred to as the "Venice of Belgium." Bruges is a charming city of elegant swan and medieval streets that is dominated by churches and museums. One of the obvious reason for visiting this town is to see their incredible architecture. Other than being a charming city, it's a small city that has a lot to offer.
There are plenty of reasons on why you should visit or include Bruges as a destination when planning a trip to Europe, but I will only list a few that I experienced myself during my trip.
5 Reasons To Visit Bruges
1. A Beautiful Preserved Medieval City
I like visiting places that gives me a feel of its history. By walking around the small city of Bruges, it felt like a walk back in time. Bruges is one of the most well preserved medieval city I have ever been to. Truly a great moment to be able to see such beautiful architecture surrounding it.
(My parents and I in Bruges)
2. Chocolates & Beer and OH! the Belgian waffles!
A small, quaint town can't be without the taste of what they are known for. While in Bruges, indulge your sweet tooth and explore all the finest chocolate shops in the city. A huge mistake visiting Belgium without tasting their famous chocolates and the Belgian waffles. Also, the beer! (Not for me, but my dad sure loved the it.)
(Hunting for a place to eat)
(Checking out the market and looking for some chocolates to take home!)
3. The Belfry (The Perfect Panoramic View of the City)
By climbing 366 steps, you get to see a gorgeous panoramic view of the city. It also comes with an immaculate clock mechanism and a carillon with 47 bells. My parents were too tired to climb the stairs with me, so I ended up doing it alone. :P
(I mean.. look at this view!)
4. Canals & Boat Trips
The canals doesn't riddle the same way Venice or Amsterdam are in Bruges, but they linger in the backstreets and circle the center so that you can stumble across them when you wander off the main street. If you are there for a short time, I highly suggest to take a boat trip to fully see the impressive buildings on a different angle of the city.
(One of the oldest hospital in Europe - the world! Old St. John Hospital)
5. The Church of Our Lady & Groeninge Museum
The Church of Our Lady is the second-tallest brickwork building in the world. It dates back to around the year 1504 and something that is totally worth seeing. If modern art is your thing, I highly suggest the Groeninge museum. It's an art museum that maintains a world famous collection that contains masterpieces by Eyck, Hugo Van Der Goes, Memling, and Gerard David.
So in conclusion...
Belgium has a lot to offer and has many remarkable towns and cities just like Bruges, that is waiting for you to explore. And no, it's definitely NOT boring. It's a must visit especially when planning a trip to Paris of the Netherlands using the train. I truly enjoyed my short time in this beautiful city and it was one of the highlights during my trip. :)