Bruges Things To Do

26 Best Things To Do In Bruges With Kids (Belgium 2023)

Summary: Are you looking for family-friendly activities in beautiful Bruges? On our family vacation to Belgium, we stopped in Bruges for a day and enjoyed walking the city and learning about it’s history. Here are some of the best things to do in Bruges with kids.

This detailed guide from Brussels covers how to get there, what to see, and family-friendly activities in the historic city of Bruges.

About Bruges

Bruges is often called “Venice of the North” because the canals that run through the city make it look like Venice.

During the Middle Ages, Bruges was a major hub for trade in Western Europe.
Bruges was a major hub for the production and trade of fine cloth and wool during the 13th and 14th centuries.
Because of its strategic placement at a hub for several important trade routes, the city was a hub for many different industries.

As a port city, Bruges also prospered in the shipbuilding industry; its vessels traded with cities all over Europe and as far south as the Mediterranean and as far north as North Africa.

During this time, Bruges was not only one of Europe’s wealthiest cities, but also a cultural epicenter with a flourishing arts scene and numerous well-known artists. Visitors from all over the world flock to Bruges to take in the city’s stunning architecture, rich cultural offerings, and picture-perfect canals, many of which date back to the city’s medieval heyday.

Bruges Day Trip From Brussels

Skip to the bottom of the article see the transportation options from Brussels to Bruges for a day trip (the train is the best). We prefer to plan everything ourselves, but if you prefer everything planned for you tour from Brussels. Here are a few good options:

Things To Do In Bruges With Kids:

1. The Markt

Best Things To Do In Bruges With Kids Markt

The Markt, or Market Square, is the historic center of Bruges and a popular destination for visitors. The square is surrounded by stunning medieval architecture, including the Belfry. The Markt is one of the best places to start your exploration of Bruges.

The main square of Markt is where many of Bruges’ most recognizable landmarks can be found, making it a prime location to experience the city. People can relax with a cup of coffee or a meal at one of the numerous eateries in the area and take in the picturesque views of the quaint homes and winding alleyways and structures beyond.

Horse-drawn carriage rides depart from the Markt, allowing visitors to see Bruges’ sites and soak up the city’s quaint ambiance as they go. Musicians, jugglers, and magicians, and the Christmas market are just some of the street performers you’ll find at the Markt.
Many souvenir and product shops can be found in and around the Markt, making it an ideal shopping destination.

2. Boat Trip Through the Canals

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Boat Ride

Seeing the historic and beautiful city of Bruges from a canal boat tour is the best way to see the city, especially during the summer months. The canal cruise lasts less than an hour and travels along some of Bruges’ most stunning waterways. The beautiful buildings, cobblestone streets, and grand architecture can be admired while guests learn about the city’s past from their tour guide.
The canal tour is a fun and educational opportunity to observe the city’s waterways from a different perspective.

3. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Taking a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city is one of the best ways to take in the sights and feel the quaint ambiance of Bruges. Horse-drawn carriages as a mode of transportation is both common and historically significant. You’ll see them all over town, especially in busy areas like Markt Square. The carriages are typically operated by local tour firms, giving guests the option of taking various tours, from the typical sightseeing ones to more specialized ones like candlelit tours of the city at night.

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Horse Carriage

A horse-drawn carriage trip is a unique and comfortable way for families to experience the city’s stunning architecture. The guides are well-versed in the history of the area, you will learn some fascinating anecdotes and tidbits about its past.
You may find that a tour in a horse-drawn carriage costs more than other options, but it’s an unforgettable experience that the whole family will talk about for years to come.

4. Choco Story

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Chocolate

If you’re a chocolate fan visiting Bruges, you can’t miss Choco-Story, The Chocolate Museum. The museum is located in the heart of old Bruges and offers something special and interactive to visitors of all ages. This small museum is an excellent resource for learning about chocolate’s rich history and diverse culture.

Exhibits at the museum trace the history of chocolate from its earliest known use by the Maya and Aztecs to modern times. This museum educates guests on the history of chocolate, the various processes involved in its production, and the wide variety of sweet treats. The museum also features a chocolate workshop where visitors can learn chocolate-making techniques and sample various chocolate creations.

Click here for tickets to Choco-Story

Click here for tickets to the Choco-Story and chocolate making class

5. Take A Private Walking Tour

Bruges Things To Do With Kids, Walking Tour

A private walking tour is a great way to explore Bruges and get the most out of your visit. A private tour allows you to have a personalized experience and it’s tailored to your interests and schedule.

During a private walking tour, a local guide will take you to the most important and interesting sights in Bruges, such as the Markt Square, the Belfry, and the Church of Our Lady. The guide will also provide you with historical and cultural background information on the sights you visit and will also give you recommendations for places to eat, drink and shop.

A private walking tour also allows you to have a more flexible schedule, which is great if you are traveling with kids or have any specific interests. The guide will also be able to answer any questions you may have and will also be able to make any necessary adjustments to the tour based on your preferences.

For a lower cost alternative use a group guide, almost free group walking tours are also available here. There are also some great audio guides.

6. Explore Bruges by Bicycle Tour

Explore the medieval streets of Bruges by bicycle is one of the best ways to see the city, with a local guide to show you around and regale you with tales of times past.

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Bikes

7. Rent A Bicycle To Explore On Your Own

Renting a double bike with a kids seat is a fun and practical way to explore Bruges as a family. A double bike has a built-in seat for one or two children, and it allows you to pedal together as a family.

Double bikes are available for rent from several bike rental shops in Bruges, and they are a popular mode of transportation for families with young children. They come with a variety of features such as built-in seats and safety belts for the kids, and some rental shops also offer helmets and other accessories.

8. Take A Family Chocolate Making Class

A chocolate workshop is a great way to indulge in one of Belgium’s most famous exports and learn about the art of chocolate making.

During a chocolate workshop, you will learn about the history and culture of Belgian chocolate, the different types of chocolate and cocoa, and the chocolate-making process from cocoa bean to finished product. The instructor will demonstrate how to temper chocolate, molding and decorating techniques, and you will have the opportunity to make your own chocolate creations.

Most chocolate workshops are held in a chocolate factory or a chocolate shop and are led by experienced chocolatiers. The classes usually last between 1-2 hours and are suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Click here to book your chocolate making workshop

9. The Belfry

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Belfry

The Belfort, or Belfry Tower of Bruges, is a prominent landmark in the city offering some of the best views around. From the top of the tower, visitors can take in stunning views of Bruges, making it one of the city’s most popular attractions. The Belfry’s beautiful architecture represents the city’s medieval history and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s an excellent place to begin exploring Bruges because of its central location in Markt Square.

From the top of the 83-meter-tall Belfry, visitors may take a panoramic view of Bruges. There are 366 steps to the summit, but the view is well worth the effort.

In the Belfry, you’ll also find the carillon, a set of 47 bells rung by a carillonneur. The carillon is an exquisite and unusual musical performance.
The Belfry is a great place for families to visit so that their children can learn about the city’s history while also taking in breathtaking views.

10. Historium

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Historium

Our kids had a great time at the Historium, as it’s one of the few non food related interactive activities in Bruges. Bruges’ Historium is an innovative museum that blends film, drama, and virtual reality to portray the story of the city’s past. A visit to the museum includes both the physical displays with special effects and a VR experience. The Historium actually sits on the site of the former medieval times trading warehouse, and makes a great rainy day activity to learn about the history of Bruges.

Through “The Time Traveler,” users are transported through Bruges’s history in virtual reality. Using VR technology, guides lead guests on a journey through the city’s past in the Middle Ages. People will feel they have been transported back in time throughout this immersive encounter with interesting facts about the city.

The Historium also features a walk through animated exhibits detailing the city of Bruges’s past and vibrant culture. The story is told by a fictional character as he tells his story. The city’s rich history is explained, including its role as a major trading post in the Middle Ages and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Historium is a good destination for families, though a small part of the tour contained a bit of grown up themed material.

11. Take A Waffle Making Class

A delicious and enjoyable way to learn about Belgian culture is to take a waffle-making lesson.
A popular treat in Belgium, Belgian waffles, often referred to as Brussels waffles, are renowned for their airy, fluffy texture and distinctive shape.

A waffle making class often involves the chance to make your own waffles as well as a presentation of the waffle-making process.
Typically, the lecture begins with an overview of waffles’ history and the various varieties served in Belgium.
The instructor will then demonstrate how to make the batter, use a waffle iron, and cook it.
Additionally, you’ll discover the various toppings and fillings, like fruit, chocolate, and classic sugar, that may be utilized to create several kinds of waffles.

The majority of waffle-making workshops are taught by seasoned cooks and often take place in a conventional Belgian waffle shop or a culinary institute.
All ages and ability levels are welcome in the classes including younger children, which typically last between one and two hours.

Make sure to arrive hungry!

12. Spend Some Time in Minnewater Park

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Minnewater

Located in the heart of Bruges, Minnewater Park is a stunning green space. Another name for it is the lake of love. The park is well-known for its picturesque lake and pleasant trail.
Picnicking, unwinding, and taking in the picturesque vistas of Minnewater Lake are all excellent ways to spend an afternoon in Bruges. Trees surround the park, and visitors can stroll around the lake. One can also have refreshments at the lake’s modest eatery.
Taking the kids to Minnewater Lake is a wonderful way to take in the natural beauty of Bruges as a family. The park is an ideal spot to unwind and let the youngsters burn off steam.

13. Church of Our Lady

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Church

Beautiful and historically significant, the Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) can be found in the middle of Bruges. The church’s stunning design and collection of art have made it famous.

This Gothic building was constructed in the 13th century and is considered a masterpiece of Bruges’ medieval architecture. Over 122 feet in height, the church’s stone bell tower is a striking landmark (37 meters). There are several works of art inside the church, including a sculpture of the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, and the stained glass windows are stunning.

The Church of Our Lady is known for housing a number of important works of art, including a sculpture of the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo. The Carrara marble sculpture is one of the few works by Michelangelo known to exist outside of Italy.

Tourists love to visit the Church of Our Lady, which welcomes them with open arms. Visitors can take in the stunning design and artwork, and even attend a service if they so desire. To further educate visitors about the significance of the church and its artworks, audio guides are available in a variety of languages.

14. Bruges Beer Experience

This one is more for the parents, but if you’re a beer enthusiast, you should definitely check out the Bruges Beer Experience. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind and entertaining education on Belgian beer culture without leaving the heart of the city.

Explore the evolution of Belgian beer from the Middle Ages to the current day in the exhibit of the Bruges Beer Experience. Travelers can get an education on the history, production, and cultural significance of Belgian beer. Visitors may also learn about the process of making Belgian beer and the various ingredients that go into it through the museum’s virtual reality exhibit.

An on-site tasting room serves up both classic and experimental brews from the Belgian beer canon. The beers are selected by a trained beer sommelier, and guests can get the inside scoop on how each one tastes and smells. For younger guests or those who simply don’t want to imbibe, there is also a selection of non-alcoholic beverages.

15. Private Hot Air Balloon Ride

Not cheap, but you’re sure to have a great time on one of the most fun things to do in Bruges. This ride offers some amazing views of the medieval buildings and surrounding countryside, as you discover Bruges and the historic city center from the sky by taking a private hot-air balloon tour over the historic Belgian city.

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Hot Air Balloon

16. Get Brunch At “That’s Toast!”

There are plenty of great things to eat in Bruges. Grab some brunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Bruges, That’s Toast! A great spot to eat, That’s Toast! has some great hot chocolate that you make yourself at the table.

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Brunch

17. Sint Janshuis Mill

Img 6964

The Sint-Janshuis Mill is an old windmill on the edge of the city of Bruges. It was built in the 18th century and is the only mill still standing in Bruges. The mill is in a beautiful place, with a beautiful garden all around it, and is one of the top things to see.

The Sint-Janshuis Mill is still in use, and visitors can watch the miller use the mill’s original machinery to grind wheat into flour. People can also climb to the top of the mill and look out over the countryside. There is also a small museum inside the mill that tells about its history and how windmills work.

During the summer, people can go to the mill. It’s a popular place for families with kids and people who are interested in history and old crafts. The mill is also a great place to take a break, go for a walk, and look at the beautiful scenery. It’s also a great place to take pictures.

From the center of the city, you can take a bus, a bike, or a boat through the canals and then walk to the Sint-Janshuis Mill. The mill is a little bit outside of the city center, but it’s worth the trip to see the beautiful views, learn about the history, and see a working mill.

18. Friet Museum

The Friet Museum in Bruges is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of French fries, even though it has received mixed ratings on Tripadvisor.

Fries (or chips) are a staple in Belgium, and the museum’s mission is to educate visitors about the snack’s rich history.
At this museum, you may learn all about the history of French fries, from their use by ancient civilizations to their current global fame. Guests may get a lowdown on all the varieties of potatoes that go into making fries, the cooking process, and the cultural significance of fries in Belgium. The museum even features a VR experience where visitors can watch the process of making fries and learn about the ingredients.

The Friet Museum also features a classic French fry stand, where visitors can sample a variety of fries and dipping sauces. The museum store sells keychains, t-shirts, and other merchandise with French fry designs.

19. Basilica Of The Holy Blood

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Church

Located in the city centre near city hall, this Catholic church is renowned for a relic believed to be a cloth used to clean Jesus’ face prior to crucification. There is a lower chapel and an upper chapel in the basilica. There is a small chapel below where the Holy Blood relic is kept. You’ll find a stunning altar and stained glass windows upstairs in the chapel. All year long, the basilica welcomes tourists interested in learning about Bruges’s rich history and culture, making it an ideal destination for families with young children.

20. Enjoy Some Local Ice Cream Or Waffles At OYYA

Some of the best ice creams we’ve had were found in OYYA ice cream, located just a short walk from Markt square.

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Ice Cream

21. Burg Square

Burg Square

While some of the buildings here were listed above, the Burg Square is one of the main squares in Bruges, and it is located in the heart of the city’s historic center. The square is surrounded by some of the city’s most important and beautiful buildings listed above, including the Town Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and the Church of Our Lady.

The Burg Square is considered one of the most picturesque squares in Bruges and it is a popular spot for visitors to take photos and admire the architecture. The square is also home to the statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, leaders of the Bruges Matins, a rebellion against French rule in 1302.

The square is also a popular spot for outdoor dining and for enjoying a drink at one of the many cafes and restaurants that surround the square. The Burg Square is also a popular spot for street performers and musicians, making it a lively and vibrant place to visit. A large Christmas tree was lit up during our visit.

22. Pick Up Some Chocolates To Take Home

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea stop at one of the chocolate shops before the trip home from Bruges. Our favorite was Dumon Chocolatier, which has some of the best chocolate in town. It’s the perfect place to buy some delicious candy, and located just off Markt square. Another top choice is The Old Chocolate House.

Bruges Things To Do With Kids Chocolate

Things To Do Close To Bruges:

While all the above are close to the city center, if you have a bit more time in Bruges here are a few more activities close by.

23. Ghent

Ghent makes another great day trip from Brussels. It’s about about halfway on the one hour train ride to Brussels. Ghent is a less touristy version of Bruges, and has attractions such as the Gravensteen Castle. See the FAQ Below for more about Ghent.


24. Boudewijn Seapark

Theme park located just outside downtown Bruges. Featuring a sea life center with dolphin and seal performances, as well as a wild river and vintage carnival attractions.

25. Cool Off At An Aquatic Center

If you have a few days in Bruges and need a break from the summer heat, LAGO Brugge Olympia features indoor and outdoor olympic sized pools, giant water slides, and a wave pool!

26. Visit Brussels’s Museums

If you’re Belgium trip takes you to Brussels, check out reviews of Autoworld and Train World, along with our complete guide of the best things to do in Brussels with kids

Getting To Bruges

The preferred and most common option is taking the train from Brussels to Bruges. Trains make the trip frequently, and the journey takes around an hour.
It’s the most convenient, kid-friendly, and stress-free option for families, and lets you enjoy the view of the surrounding countryside. When accompanied by an adult, children under the age of 12 also ride for free. Weekend tickets are less expensive as well.

From either Brussels Central or Brussels Midi, you may catch a train to Bruges Station. Regular trains go between the two cities in roughly an hour. Traveling by rail is a relaxing way to experience the countryside and a safe and convenient option.
Purchase your rail tickets in advance to save money and time. This can be done either on the SNCB/NMBS website or by contacting a travel agency directly.

There are several other ways to get to Bruges from Brussels, such as:
Assuming you have access to a car, you can easily travel from Brussels to Bruges. Your options are more open and flexible, but getting around the city and finding a parking spot could be more challenging if you choose this route.

Day tours are an option for those looking for a less chaotic and more structured vacation. If you’re short on time, this is a fantastic option, albeit it could cost more. If you want to explore the best of Bruges with a guide who will show you the sights and teach you more about the city, this is an excellent choice.

Finding a Hotel in Bruges

Guests to the picturesque city of Bruges have a number of accommodation options from which to select.
Those who wish to be in the heart of Bruges’s attractions should make accommodations in the city’s historic core. The historic center is filled with spectacular medieval structures. It is a convenient starting point for exploring the city’s most popular sights, such as the Markt, the Belfry, and the canals. Guests can choose from various hotels, inns, and vacation homes, all located within walking distance of the city’s historic core.

Here are some of the best hotels and VRBOs in Bruges.


Ghent Vs Bruges?

This question comes up a lot, but for a quick answer after researching it we chose Bruges for our first trip. Here’s a more detailed answer.

Beautiful cities in Belgium like Ghent and Bruges provide visitors with a distinctive fusion of history, culture, and architecture.
Both places are worthwhile trips due to their distinct charms.

The ancient city of Bruges, sometimes known as the “Venice of the North,” is distinguished by its scenic canals, lovely cobblestone alleys, and stunning Gothic architecture. It has a well-preserved historic core.
Bruges is renowned for its art, beer, and chocolate.
The city’s numerous museums, art galleries, and landmarks, including the Markt Square, the Belfry, and the Church of Our Lady, are open to visitors.

On the other side, Ghent is a more contemporary city with a significant cultural history.
It is renowned for its spectacular examples of medieval architecture, such as the Gravensteen Castle and the St. Bavo’s Cathedral.
Numerous historic landmarks, museums, and art galleries can be found in Ghent, including the STAM Ghent City Museum, the Castle of Gerald the Devil, and St. Nicholas’ Church.

It’s tough to compare the two cities because each has its own distinctive feel.
Bruges is more popular with tourists, although Ghent is a little bigger and more contemporary.
Both cities are great places to visit and have a lot to offer.
If you have the time, it is advised that you visit both cities; otherwise, pick the one that most appeals to you.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Bruges?

Depending on your interests, spring and fall are the finest periods to visit Bruges.

March through May are ideal for travel because of the moderate weather and reduced crowds. The city is also in full bloom, with vibrant tulips and flowers covering the streets and canals.

Fall (September to November) is also a fantastic time to travel because the weather is still pleasant, and fewer tourists are around. Bruges also has stunning fall foliage, with the trees turning red and golden.

The busiest travel season is from June through August when the city can get rather busy, but the temperature is warmer. There are a lot of outdoor festivals and activities during the summer.

The low season, from December to February, is quieter and less crowded in the city, but it can be cold, and some tourist attractions may be closed. However, it’s a spectacular experience because the city is decked out in holiday lights.

The ideal time to visit Bruges ultimately relies on your interests, travel schedule, and financial constraints. Go in the spring or fall if you want the nicest weather. Go in the winter if you want to avoid the crowds, and in the summer months if you wish to participate in the festivals.

Is Bruges Walkable?

Yes, Bruges is a small, compact city, and most of its top attractions are close to one another. It’s a pleasure to stroll around the well-preserved city center with its lovely cobblestone streets and picturesque canals. Additionally, the city is quite level, making it simple to walk around.

From the train station, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the city center. You can also take a bus from the train station, which we did because it was raining. The bus fare is separate from the train, and you can pay with Apple pay or contact-less cards on boarding. No prior ticket is needed

The Markt square, the Belfry, and the Church of Our Lady are just a few of Bruges’ top sights that are conveniently close to one another. A lot of the city’s top eateries, cafes, and boutiques are situated around the scenic canals of Bruges, which are also conveniently reachable by foot.

Additionally, walking is a cheap and efficient way to travel around the city. You may also hire a bike or go on a boat excursion around the canals if you want to move about the city on two wheels.

Bruges is a generally walkable city, making it simple to see its many sights and take in the charming ambiance of the town on foot.

Is There A Language Barrier?

Throughout our Belgium trip, we had no problem getting by using just English. The bulk of the population in Bruges speaks English fluently and is multilingual. Thus there is rarely a substantial language barrier. In Bruges, as well as other popular tourist destinations in Belgium, English is frequently spoken and understood. However, it’s always a good idea to learn a few real words and phrases in Dutch, which is Bruges and Belgium’s official language. This will make your stay more pleasant, allow you to communicate with locals, and help you get the most out of your vacation.

In Bruges, most of the tourist information is available in several languages, including English, and is shown on signs, maps, and brochures. Additionally, it is simple to interact and understand in Bruges because many restaurants, shops, and other businesses employ English-speaking workers.

If you’re worried about communication difficulties, consider going on a guided tour, which will provide you with a tour guide who speaks your language and will help you comprehend Bruges’ history and culture.

Is Bruges Safe?

Compared to some sections of Brussels, we felt completely safe during our stay in Bruges. Due to its low crime rate, Bruges is regarded as a safe city. However, exercising caution and being aware of your surroundings when visiting any new place is always a good idea.

Tourists should generally proceed with the same level of caution they would in any other tourist location when visiting Bruges. Keep your belongings secure, keep an eye out for pickpockets in crowded places, and stay away from nighttime solo strolling in dimly lit locations.

As with any city, it’s a good idea to be cautious when using ATMs and to watch your possessions when riding public transportation.

You can hunt for the closest police station or dial 112, the emergency number for Europe.

Bruges is considered a safe city for tourists, and you can feel secure and at ease when touring the city.

Is It Easy To Park In Bruges?

Bruges has some parking facilities; however, they can be pricey and difficult to find, particularly during the week and on weekends. It’s important to make arrangements in advance and reserve a parking space.

There are some parking possibilities outside the city center, though the city center of Bruges is a pedestrian-only district, and cars are not permitted there.

It’s also important to remember that parking in Bruges’ streets is frequently few and challenging to locate, particularly in popular tourist areas. Bruges also has a lot of one-way streets, which can make driving there difficult.

It’s typically advised to utilize public transportation or a bicycle to move around Bruges due to the lack of parking choices and the city’s tiny size. This will not only spare you the headache of parking but also allow you to spend more time enjoying the city and avoiding traffic.

Is Bruges Accessible For People With Disabilities?

Because Bruges is an older city, many of its buildings don’t fully accommodate visitors with disabilities. Some lodging options and modes of public transit are, however, accessible.

There are steps and no elevators in many of Bruges’ historic structures, including churches and museums, making accessing them challenging for persons with mobility impairments. Additionally, many of the streets in the city center are cobblestones, which can be difficult for those in wheelchairs or with mobility problems.

However, some lodgings and modes of public transportation, including a few motels and eateries, as well as the train station, are accessible. A few tour companies also provide accessible tours.

If you have mobility challenges, it’s crucial to do your homework, make advance plans, and get in touch with the places you intend to go to confirm their accessibility. Special maps and brochures for accessible paths are also available at certain of Bruges’ tourist information centers.

It’s also important to note that Bruges is a small city easily navigated by boat, making that alternative more pleasant for those with mobility concerns.


If you’re planning a vacation to Brussels, we hope you’ll find our suggestions for day trips to Bruges helpful. We’re interested in hearing about your time in Bruges and any advice you may have.
The comments area is open for you to provide more recommendations for what to see and do in Bruges, as well as tips for making the most of a day trip there. Sharing your experiences and insights about Bruges can help future visitors make the most of their time there.
Don’t forget to share stories and pictures from your vacation. Show us around all the spots you went to and the things you did that made your day in Bruges special.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *