Bruges - Do & See
Visit Bruges / Jan D'Hondt

Saint John´s Hospital

Saint John’s Hospital has an eight hundred-year-old history of caring for pilgrims, travellers, the poor and the sick. Visit the medieval wards where the nuns and monks performed their work of mercy, as well as the church and the chapel, and marvel at the impressive collection of archives, art works, medical instruments and six paintings by Hans Memling. Also worth a visit: the Diksmuide attic, the old dormitory, the adjoining custodian’s room and the pharmacy.
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Belfry

The most important of Bruges’ towers stands 83 metres tall. It houses, amongst other things, a carillon. In the reception area, visitors can discover all kinds of interesting information about the history and working of this unique world-heritage protected belfry. Those who take on the challenge of climbing the tower can pause for a breather on the way up in the old treasury and also at the level of the impressive clock or in the carillonneur’s chamber. Finally, after a tiring 366 steps, your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking and unforgettable panoramic view of Bruges and its surroundings.
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City Hall

Bruges’ City Hall (1376) is one of the oldest in the Low Countries. It is from here that the city has been governed for more than 600 years. An absolute masterpiece is the Gothic Hall, with its late 19th-century murals and polychrome vault. In the historic chamber next door original documents and artefacts are used to evoke the history of the city’s administration through the centuries. On the ground floor, the structural development of the Burg square and the City Hall is illustrated.
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Church of Our Lady

The 115.5 metres high brick tower of the Church of Our Lady is a perfect illustration of the craftsmanship of Bruges’ artisans. The church displays a valuable art collection: Michelangelo’s world-famous Madonna and Child, countless paintings, 13th-century painted sepulchres and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Useful to know: at the moment, large-scale renovation works are still being carried out, so the church is only partially accessible and many works of art cannot be viewed. The choir was renovated in 2015 and the remarkable church interior can now once again be admired in all its splendour.
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Beguinage

The ‘Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde’ with its white-coloured house fronts and tranquil convent garden was founded in 1245. This little piece of world heritage was once the home of the beguines, emancipated lay-women who nevertheless led a pious and celibate life. Today the beguinage is inhabited by nuns of the Order of St. Benedict and several Bruges women who have decided to remain unmarried. In the Beguine’s house, you can still get a good idea of what day-to-day life was like in the 17th century.
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Saint Saviour’s Cathedral

Bruges’ oldest parish church (12th-15th century) has amongst its treasures a rood loft with an organ, medieval tombs, Brussels tapestries and a rich collection of Flemish paintings (14th-18th century). The treasure-chamber displays, amongst others, paintings by Dieric Bouts, Hugo van der Goes and other Flemish primitives. Useful to know: restoration work is currently being carried out in the cathedral. This can influence the opening hours of the treasure-chamber.
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Concertgebouw Circuit (Concert Hall)

An original experience route leads you on a voyage of discovery through this wonderful building. Learn about its day-to-day running and be amazed by its outstanding acoustics. Marvel at the eye-opening contemporary architecture, be surprised by the fine collection of modern art or even try your own hand at a little sound art. The icing on the cake is the roof terrace on the seventh floor, from where you are rewarded with a magnificent view over the city.
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Lace Centre

The Lace Centre has been housed in the renovated old lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. The story of Bruges lace is told in the lace museum on the ground floor. Multimedia installations and testimonies from international lace experts help to explain the various different types of lace and their geographical origin, and focus on the lace industry and lace education in Bruges. Demonstrations (2.00 p.m.-5.00 p.m., not on Sunday) and various courses are organized in the lace workshop on the second floor.
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Bruges Diamond Museum

Did you know that the technique of cutting diamonds was first applied in Bruges almost 550 years ago? The Bruges Diamond Museum tells this story in a series of fascinating exhibition displays. And there is a live demonstration of diamond cutting each day – a memorable experience, not to be missed! In the diamond laboratory, microscopes and other equipment allow visitors, both young and old alike, to discover the true beauty of diamonds in all their many facets.
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Historium Bruges

Film set decors, music and special effects take you back to a day in 1435. The attraction reconstructs, amongst other things, the Water Halls, a huge storage depot that once stood for five centuries on the Market Square. Don’t forget to try the VR Experience, which uses the wonder of virtual reality to immerse you in 15th century Bruges. Or follow the brandnew Family Trail: an interactive route full of fun for kids. All rounded off with a visit to the Duvelorium Grand Beer Café and its panoramic terrace.
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Discover Bruges

You might want to stroll, amble and saunter down the streets of Bruges all day long or even for a whole weekend. Nothing wrong with that. However, it won’t do you any harm if you look at the city from a different perspective. During a walking or bicycle tour a guide will show you numerous secret places. Maybe you prefer a boat trip on the mysterious canals. An unforgettable experience! And a ride in a horse-drawn carriage must surely be the perfect romantic outing. Perhaps you simply want to tour all the highlights as quickly and as comfortably as possible? Then a minibus is what you need, and expert commentary is what you will get. And how about a balloon ride or a daytrip on a Vespa scooter? The choice is yours!
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Bruges by boat

The canals of Bruges - the ‘reien’ - are the arteries of the city. Nothing is as pleasant as chugging along in a boat on a sunny day as you sail past all the most beautiful places in the city. From the ‘reien’, it’s almost like you are seeing Bruges for the first time. Unexpected views, hidden romantic corners, secret gardens: you discover them all from your vantage point on the water. There are regular daily sailings from any of the five moorings in the heart of the city. A voyage lasts half an hour and takes you past all the most photogenic spots Bruges has to offer.
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