My first time in Europe.
I had landed in Paris four days prior to descending upon the little cobble-stoned town of Bruges. Regardless to say I was shaken up by my 36 hour commute from Sydney, Australia. It was June in Paris – hot, stinky, busy and grumpy, so arriving in Bruges was a welcome change, like travelling back in time.
Mazes of medieval Flemish architecture, quaint little bridge crossings, dozens of home-made Belgian chocolate shops… what more could anyone want during their initial week in Europe? I’ll tell you… more of the same! My best friend and I gorged ourselves on the local food: muscle soups, Belgian hot chocolates, waffles, pommes-frites with mayonnaise and anything we could afford to try.
Thankfully, eating ourselves into a coma was not the only thing on the menu in Bruges. The Groening Museum https://bezoekers.brugge.be/nl/groeningemuseum houses some of the oldest Flemish art in existence. Even if you are not at all a lover of art (nor a fan of Belgian culture) this museum is impressive and well worth a look.
If after your visit to the museum you feel like a refreshment I highly recommend Charlie Rocket’s bar www.charlierockets.com in the heart of town. These guys have almost too many cool craft beers on tap, most of which are made in Bruges! Charlie Rocket’s also does live music on the weekends, my friend and I could not believe how hip and happening this place was for a small and ancient town.
Obviously, you have to try the local chocolate and if you are so inclined, visit the Choco-Story www.choco-story.be/NL/ local chocolate museum. When you are finished with that, make your way through the main square called the Markt. Flanked with ancient architecture and horse-drawn carriages it is a sight to behold. There are also some awesome little hidden antique and vintage stores scattered in the streets beyond which host some mind-blowing items from way-back-when.
Travelling Tip: pack stretch-denim jeans!