Bruges was one of our favorite places on our family vacation to Belgium. Here are some of the best things to do in Bruges with kids.
Things To Do In Bruges With Kids:
1. The Markt
The Markt, or Market Square, is the historic center of Bruges. 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.
You can find many of Bruges’ most recognizable landmarks in the main square of Markt. It’s a prime location to experience the city. People can relax with a coffee or a meal at one of the area’s many eateries. Take in the picturesque views of the quaint homes and winding alleyways.
Horse-drawn carriage rides depart from the Markt, allowing visitors to see Bruges’ sites. They can soak up the city’s quaint ambiance as they go. You’ll find musicians, jugglers, and magicians at the Christmas market. They are some of the street performers at the Markt. You can find many souvenir and product shops in and around the Markt. This makes it an ideal shopping destination.
2. Boat Trip Through the Canals
The best way to see Bruges’s historic and beautiful city is from a canal boat tour. This is especially true during the summer months.
The canal cruise lasts less than an hour. It travels along some of Bruges’ most stunning waterways. Guests can admire the beautiful buildings, cobblestone streets, and grand architecture.
They will learn about the city’s past from their tour guide. The canal tour is a fun and educational opportunity. It allows you to observe the city’s waterways from a different perspective.
3. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
A horse-drawn carriage tour is one of the best ways to take in the sights and feel the quaint ambiance of Bruges. You’ll see them all over town, especially in busy areas like Markt Square. Local tour firms operate the carriages. More specialized ones, like candlelit city tours, are also available at night.
A horse-drawn carriage trip is a unique way for families to experience the city’s stunning architecture. The guides are well-versed in the history of the area.
4. Choco Story
If you’re a chocolate fan, check out The Chocolate Museum, Choco-Story. The museum is situated in the heart of old Bruges. It offers something unique and interactive to visitors of all ages. This small museum is an excellent resource. It teaches about chocolate’s rich history and diverse culture.
Exhibits at the museum trace the history of chocolate. They show its earliest known use by the Maya and Aztecs. This museum educates guests on the history of chocolate. Additionally, it showcases a wide variety of sweet treats. The museum also features a chocolate workshop.
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
A private walking tour is a great way to explore Bruges and maximize your visit.
A local guide will take you to Bruges’s most essential and exciting sights during a private walking tour. These include the Markt Square, the Belfry, and the Church of Our Lady. The guide will provide historical and cultural background information on the sights you visit. They will also recommend places to eat, drink, and shop.
A private walking tour allows a more flexible schedule. This is great if you are traveling with kids or have specific interests.
For a lower-cost alternative, use a group guide; almost free group walking tours are also available here. There are also some excellent audio guides.
Use a group guide for a lower-cost alternative; almost free group walking tours are available here. There are also some excellent audio guides.
6. Explore Bruges by Bicycle Tour
Exploring Bruges’s medieval streets by bicycle is one of the best ways to see the city. A local guide will show you around and regale you with tales of times past.
7. Rent A Bicycle To Explore On Your Own
Renting a double bike with a kid’s 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, allowing 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 various 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 and molding and decorating techniques, and you will have the opportunity to make your 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 1-2 hours and are suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Click here to book your chocolate-making workshop
9. The 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 beautiful architecture of Belfry 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 their children can learn about the city’s history while taking in breathtaking views.
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 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 exciting facts about the city.
The Historium also features a walkthrough of animated exhibits detailing the city of Bruges’s past and vibrant culture. A fictional character tells the story as he tells his story. The city’s rich history includes its role as a central 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 some 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 called Brussels waffles, are renowned for their airy, fluffy texture and distinctive shape.
A waffle-making class often involves the chance to make your waffles and a presentation of the waffle-making process.
Typically, the lecture begins with an overview of the history of waffles 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 waffles.
Seasoned cooks teach most waffle-making workshops, often in a conventional Belgian waffle shop or a culinary institute.
All ages and ability levels are welcome in the classes, including younger children, typically lasting between one and two hours.
Make sure to arrive hungry!
12. Spend Some Time in Minnewater Park
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 beautiful way to take in the natural beauty of Bruges as a family. The park is ideal for unwinding and letting the youngsters burn off steam.
13. Church of Our Lady
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). Several works of art are 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 several 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. Audio guides are available in various languages to further educate visitors about the significance of the church and its artworks.
14. Bruges Beer Experience
This one is more for the parents, but if you’re a beer enthusiast, you should 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 Bruges Beer Experience exhibit. Travelers can get an education on Belgian beer’s history, production, and cultural significance. 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 classic and experimental brews from the Belgian beer canon. A trained beer sommelier selects the beers, and guests can get the inside scoop on how each tastes and smells. There is also a selection of non-alcoholic beverages for younger guests or those who don’t want to imbibe.
15. Private Hot Air Balloon Ride
Not cheap, but you’re sure to have a great time at one of the most fun things to do in Bruges. This ride offers fantastic 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.
16. Get Brunch At “That’s Toast!”
There are plenty of great things to eat in Bruges. Grab 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 you make yourself at the table.
17. Sint Janshuis Mill
The Sint-Janshuis Mill is an old windmill on the edge of Bruges. It was built in the 18th century and is the only mill still 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. A small museum inside the mill also 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 interested in history and old crafts. The mill is also great for taking a break, walking, and looking at the beautiful scenery. It’s also a great place to take pictures.
You can take a bus, bike, or boat through the canals from the city center and then walk to the Sint-Janshuis Mill. The mill is a little outside 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 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 making of 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
Located in the city center near city hall, this Catholic church is renowned for a relic believed to be a cloth used to clean Jesus’ face before 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 our best ice creams were found in OYYA ice cream, just a short walk from Markt Square.
21. 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 essential 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 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 giant 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 to 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 delicious candy and just off Markt Square. Another top choice is The Old Chocolate House.
Things To Do Close To Bruges:
While all the above are close to the city center, if you have more time in Bruges, here are a few more activities nearby.
Ghent makes another excellent day trip from Brussels. It’s about halfway through the one-hour train ride to Brussels. Ghent is a less touristy version of Bruges, with attractions like the Gravensteen Castle. See the FAQ below for more about Ghent.
24. Boudewijn Seapark
Theme park located just outside downtown Bruges. It features a sea life center with dolphin and seal performances, 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 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 to 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 12 also ride for free. Weekend tickets are less expensive as well.
You may catch a train From Brussels Central or Brussels Midi 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 on the SNCB/NMBS website or by contacting a
There are several other ways to get to Bruges from Brussels, such as:
Assuming you have access to a car, you can easily
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.
Day Trip From Brussels
Skip to the bottom of the article to 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, here are some ready-made trips from Brussels. Here are a few good options:
Finding a Hotel in Bruges
Guests to the picturesque city of Bruges have several 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 famous sights, such as the Markt, the Belfry, and the canals. Guests can choose from various hotels, inns, and vacation homes 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.
Conversely, 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.
There are numerous historic landmarks, museums, and art galleries 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 distinctive feel.
Bruges is more popular with tourists, although Ghent is more significant and contemporary.
Both cities are great places to visit and have a lot to offer.
If you have the time, you are advised to visit both cities; otherwise, pick the most appealing.
What is the best time to visit Brussels?
Depending on your interests, spring and fall are the finest periods to visit Bruges.
The moderate weather and reduced crowds are ideal for travel from March through May. 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
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,
Is Bruges Walkable?
Yes, Bruges is a small, compact city, and most of its top attractions are close to one another. Strolling around the well-preserved city center with its lovely cobblestone streets and picturesque canals is a pleasure. Additionally, the city is relatively 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 contactless card onboarding. No prior ticket is needed.
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.
English is frequently spoken and understood in Bruges and other popular tourist destinations in Belgium. However, learning a few words and phrases in Dutch, Bruges, and Belgium’s official language is always a good idea.
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.
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 essential 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 tricky.
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 enjoy the city more and avoid traffic.
Is Bruges Accessible For People With Disabilities?
Because Bruges is an older city, many 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, eateries, and the train station, are accessible. A few tour companies also provide accessible tours.
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 and 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.