Bruges, the capital city of the West Flanders province in Belgium, is a must-see destination for any traveler visiting Europe. The city is known for its picturesque canals, Gothic architecture, and delicious chocolates. While there are plenty of paid activities to enjoy, there are also a plethora of free things to do in Bruges that are just as enjoyable.
1. Walk Around the Historic Center
Firstly, take a stroll around the city’s historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The center is home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Belfry of Bruges, the Church of Our Lady, and the Market Square. You can admire the stunning architecture and take in the charming atmosphere of the city as you wander around.
2. Go to the Groeningemuseum
Next, if you’re a fan of history, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Groeningemuseum. While the museum does charge an entrance fee, it is free on Wednesdays. The Groeningemuseum is home to an impressive collection of Flemish and Belgian art, including works by the famous artists Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling.
3. Try the Local Food
If you’re a local food enthusiast, be sure to visit the city’s weekly market. The market takes place every Wednesday morning and offers visitors a chance to taste some of the region’s finest foods. From freshly baked bread and artisanal cheeses to local beers and chocolates, there’s something for everyone at the market.
4. Visit the Bruges City Archives
For those interested in culture, the Bruges City Archives is a great free attraction to visit. The archives house a vast collection of historical documents, photographs, and maps, providing visitors with a unique insight into the city’s past.
Another interesting and free thing to do in Bruges is to take a walk along the city’s canals. The canals are a great way to explore the city and see it from a different perspective. You can walk along the banks of the canals or take a boat tour to see some of the city’s most beautiful spots from the water.
5. Join a Free Walking Tour of Bruges
Lastly, for those looking for a more structured tour of the city, the Free Tour of Bruges is an excellent option. The tour is led by local guides who are passionate about the city and its history. The tour covers all of the main sights in the city, including the Belfry, the Market Square, and the Church of Our Lady. While the tour is technically free, tips are appreciated and help to support the guides who provide them.
While Bruges may seem like an expensive city to visit, there are plenty of free things to do that are just as enjoyable as paid activities. Whether you’re a fan of history, culture, or local food, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful Belgian city. So, take a stroll around the historic center, visit the Groeningemuseum on a Wednesday, explore the canals, and don’t forget to take the Free Tour of Bruges for a deeper understanding of the city’s rich history.