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Bruges

1,690 bytes added, 16:55, 20 March 2013
Get out
===By train===
Traveling to Bruges on [[Belgium]]'s excellent rail system is a natural choice. Trains to and from [[Brussels]] leave every 30 minutes during the day. The journey from Brussel-Zuid (a.k.a. Bruxelles-Midi if you prefer French to Flemish) to Bruges takes about an hour50 minutes. Brugge is not the terminus, look for trains going to Oostende or Blankenberge. If you are traveling on the Eurostar that same day, this cost may be included in your you can get a cheap add-on ticket if it shows to "Any Belgian Station". Otherwise, buy a ticket when you get to the station. Luggage lockers are available from 6AM to 9:30PM. For more information on schedules, prices, and services visit the website of the NMBS/SNCB [http://ariwww.b-holdingbelgianrail.be/INFSTAen/InfoGareDefault.aspx?StationId=1000210&Lang=3]. Note that there are first and second class seats. To identify them, look for a number next to a "no smoking" sign somewhere in the wagon.
Be aware that trains are often full to and from Bruges, especially during rush hours, so if you or your colleagues have any problems with mobility you could be standing the whole trip or at best sitting in the entry area of the carriage. There isn't really any solution to this during the tourist season when Bruges is wall to wall people.
With a backpack nearly all hotels are reachable on foot. However, if you have a suitcase consider taking a taxi because the cobbled streets make the use of wheeled suitcases or carry-on bags very difficult(cost ~€11 depending on destination). A cheaper option is the very frequent bus service from the station to Markt square. Buy your ticket from the kiosk at the bus station outside the railway station (€1.20 as of 2013). Any bus that says 'Centrum' on the front will take you to 'Markt', the picture below of the Belfry shows a bus at the Markt stop.
===By car===
*<see name="Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk" alt="" address="Mariastraat" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="Free" lat="" long="">A fascinating church with architecture from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. In the east end of the church are very fine tombs of Charles the Bold and his daughter Mary of Burgundy - in contrasting Gothic and Renaissance styles, despite their superficial similarity. The church also houses one of the few Michelangelo sculptures outside of Italy, the "Madonna with child".</see>
*<see name="Jerusalem church" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.visit-bruges.com/cathedrals-churches/the-jerusalem-church.htm" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">In a quiet area of the city, a highly unusual church with octagonal tower built by the Adornes brothers, merchants of Italian extraction. It includes a fine black tournai marble tomb, late Gothic stained glass, and a tiny and rather spooky chapel containing an effigy effiggy of the dead Christ. The entrance fee also covers the Lace Museum in the former Adornes mansion, where you can see local women and girls learning this traditional craft.</see>
*<see name="The Begijnhof" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Also known as the convent, between the centre of the station and the city, with white painted small houses and fine plane trees, is a quiet place to walk - groups are discouraged.</see>
*<see name="DiamantMuseum" alt="" address="Katelijnestraat 43" directions="" phone="050 33 63 26‎" url="http://www.diamondmuseum.be/" hours="10:30AM-5:30PM" price="Individuals €6, Groups €4.5, Students €3" lat="51.2027" long="3.22569">Diamond museum has a large range of exhibits ranging from mining all the way to polishing and all the history in between. Everyday at 12:15 there is a live polishing demonstration. </see>
*<see name="The Friet Museum" alt="" address="Vlamingstraat" directions="opposite Academiestraat" phone="+32 50 34 01 50" url="http://frietmuseum.be/en/homeeng.htm" hours="10AM-5PM" price="" lat="" long="">Check out the world's only frites (fries or chips) museum which tells the story of the humble potato from South America and how it has evolved into a fry. Don't forget to try the tastiest fries cooked by the guy who cooked for the Belgian Royal Family. 6 € : adult 5 € : group (from 15 people, reservation required) 5 € : students, 65+ 4 € : children from 6 to 11 years.</see>
Bruges is visited by a huge number of tourists and it sometimes becomes quite annoying, especially around the Markt and Burg squares. The important thing to remember, however, is that very few tourists venture far away from the main shopping area, so if you want some peace and quiet you should simply explore the many small cobbled streets away from the main squares.
*<see name="lucifernumLucifernum" alt="retsin's lucifernum" address="twijnstraat 6-8" directions="city center" phone="" url="http://www.lucifernum.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An amazing (private) art gallery with ghotic gothic cemetary in a subtropic garden located in the old Freemasons temple (1756 - 1882)
1000m2 art and mystery in bruges old city center open on sundays from 18u00 till 21u00
entrance: 6 euro
</see>
 
==Do==
[[Image:Belfort, Bruges.jpg|thumb|350px|BelfortThe famous Belfry in Grote Markt.]]
*<do name="Grote Markt and Belfry Climb" alt="" address="Grote Markt" directions="the big square" phone="" hours="09:30 - 17:00, Closed Mondays" price="€6 with Bruges card / €8">Climb the 366 steps to the top of the 83-metre high tower. Excellent views of the city, Grote Markt and hear the bells ring up close.</do>
* <do name="Snow and Ice sculpture festival" alt="" address="Station Bruges" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.icesculpture.be/" hours="Nov. 21 2008 - Jan. 25, 2009." price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Every year from the end of November to January you can visit the Snow and Ice sculpture festival on the station-square of Bruges. The festival is built by an international team of 40 professional artists from no less than 300 tons of crystal clear ice and 400,000 kilos of fresh snow in a cooled hall where the temperature remains a constant -6°C. Don't forget to wear warm clothing!</do>
* <do name="Running" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="" faxlat="" hourslong="" priceemail="€ url" fax="">If you are a runner, try running the 7km circle around the old center. Walk along the canal and see all of the medieval gates that used to control the traffic in and out of Bruges. Simply stunning!</do>
*<do name="Bruges Ballooning" alt="" address="Markt" directions="" phone="+32.475.972.887" url="http://www.bruges-ballooning.com" hours="AM & PM" price="€ 170,00" lat="51°12'" long="3°12'">Daily hot air balloon flights over the historic centre and it's surroundings. The best way to enjoy the romance of Bruges, and it's stunning views, from a few hundred meters up in a balloon basket.</do>
==Buy==
[[Image:Grote Markt, Bruges.jpg|thumb|350px|View of the Grote Markt from the top of Belfortthe Belfry]]
'''Chocolate shops''' are plentiful and the standard is always high. A fairly cheap option is '''Stef's''' on Breidelstraat (betweeen Markt and Burg). If you are willing to spend a little more, Chocolatier '''Van Oost''' on Wollestraat is a must for high-quality artisinal chocolate. Word on the street is, that you can get ''anything'' covered in chocolate and moulded. There is a particular vast amount of chocolate shops at the Kathelijnestraat. There are also many boutique-style '''beer shops''' that sell high quality gift packs of Belgian beer.
[[Image:BrugesSq.jpeg|thumb|350px|Square with restaurants]]
Restaurants are not always cheap or wonderful; sad to say that Belgian cuisine is a long way behind French in terms of variety, although mussels and frites or fricadellen, frites with mayonnaise are outstanding here. Stay away from the central market place ("Grote Markt") and the Burg Square (e.g. the Tom Pouce Restaurant) when eating. Tourists are easy victims here. One tactic used by tourist traps is to present items (e.g. bread) as if they were free with your meal, then charge you exorbitantly for them. Even water may be charged at an exorbitant €6 for a small bottle.
You will, however, find great food if you wander off the beaten track. Find a street with more locals than tourists and ask somebody. The locals will be glad to help.
A lot of places do not open until 1800hrs.
* <eat name="Brasserie Forestière" alt="" address="Academiestraat" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Nice and calm restaurant, good food, not too expensive. Good menu for vegetarians. Meal of the day (soup, main dish, dessert or coffee/tea) costs € 11 although this is the cheapest menu it has little choice.CURRENTLY CLOSED</eat>
*<drink name="De Drie Zintuigen" alt="" address="Westmeers 29" directions="" phone="050-34-09-94" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Off the beaten track but not far from all the bars, this lovely restaurant does more than moules et frites. Prices are about €30 a head and the atmosphere is nice too.</drink>
*<eat name="Laurenzino" alt="" address="Noordzandstraat 1" directions="" phone="+32 50 333-213" url="http://www.laurenzino.be" hours="Su-Th 11:00-20:00, F 11:00-22:00, Sa 10:00-22:00" price="€2" lat="" long="">This is a good place to try out freshly baked Belgian waffles. They have them with chocolate, caramel, whipped cream or basically anything you want on top of it. They also have traditionally prepared ice cream available. It's easy to find, as you can smell the flavour of the waffles around the shop.</eat>
*<eat name="Chocolaterie Spegelaere" alt="" address="Ezelstraat 92" directions="" phone="050/336052" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Bruges Best Kept Secret, a place for chocolate-lovers.</eat>
*<eat name="The 57" alt="" address="Wollestraat 29a" directions="" phone="+32 50336242" url="http://www.the57.be" hours="11:30 - 22:00" price="" lat="" long="">The 57 is a romantic restaurant at the Rozenhoedkaai in Bruges with view on the canal and the back of the holy bloodchapel and cityhall of Bruges</eat>
==Drink==
* <drink name="Curiosa" alt="" address="" directions="just off the main square" phone="" url="http://www.curiosa-brugge.be" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">A good place for a lunch as well as a beer.</drink>
* <drink name="Herberg Vlissinghe tavern" alt="Cafe Vlissinghe" address="Blekerstrat2" directions="on the way to the Jerusalem church" phone="050 34 37 37" url="http://www.cafevlissinghe.be/home.html" hours="closed Mondays and Tuesdays" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">One of the less touristy bars, with a nice selection of draught and bottled beers. It's probably the oldest pub in Bruges dating from 1515. Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Trip Advisor based on 24 reviews.</drink>
* The area just north of the performing arts center has various cafes, most with sufficient beer selections, such as '''Cafe Leffe'''.
* <drink name="'t oost" alt="" address="Oostmeers 88" directions="near the train station" phone="050689623" url="http://www.t-oost.be" hours="8AM-5PM" price="€3.50-22.50" lat="" long="">Breakfast- and lunch room. Home made food. Free Wi-Fi for customers.</drink>
* <drink name="Délisa 'Délices & amp; Saveurs'" alt="" address="Jan van Eyckplein 7" directions="" phone="0032 50 34 09 89" url="http://www.delisa.be" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Just a short walk from the Markt, this place undoubtably has some of the best coffee in Bruges. With a genuine espresso machine, the Conti, and a passion for good quality, the owner Sabine, is great for a chat and a good coffee for only €2.</drink>*<drink name="De Bierbistro" alt="" address="Oude Burg 14" directions="1 min from market" phone="0470296006" url="http://bierbistro.be" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Beautiful cellar from the 15th century. Nice place to have a drink or eat homemade dishes made with beer. The prices are very reasonable and the location is excelent if you want to experience some history of Bruges.</drink>*<drink name="De Bierbistro" alt="" address="Oude Burg 14" directions="" phone="" url="http://debierbistro.be" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Beautiful cellar from the 15th century. Nice place to have a drink or eat homemade dishes made with beer. The prices are very reasonable and the location is excelent if you want to experience some history of Bruges</drink> 
==Sleep==
During the winter (November through March) a number of hotels offer a midweek promotion: 3 nights for the price of 2, if you arrive on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Bookings can only be made through '''Bruges, Warm Winter Cheer'''. [http://www.winterinbrugge.be]
 
*'''Aspasia''' [http://www.aspasia.be/bruges_bed_and_breakfast/]
*'''Aquarius''' [http://www.aquariusbandb.be]
 
*<sleep name="Asinello B&amp;B" alt="" address="Ezelstraat 59a" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.asinello.be/" checkin="" checkout="11:00" price="€100-150" lat="" long="">Lovely bed & breakfast with 3 private rooms, each with their own bathroom. A hammam is also onsite. This is a great option for a romantic weekend.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Brugge-man Bed &amp; Breakfast" alt="" address="Azalealaan 4" directions="" phone="+32 50 67 08 62" url="http://www.brugge-man-bedandbreakfast.be" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="51.196534" long="3.204182">Fabulous breakfast and great hosts just outside the city center</sleep>
*'''Bonifacius''' [http://www.bonifacius.be/] exclusive guesthouse in a historical house.
 
*<sleep name="De Wilde Wingerd" alt="" address="Elf julistraat 37" directions="" phone="+32 475 59 51 49" url="http://www.elevenbb.be" checkin="12h00" checkout="10.00" price="€70-140" lat="" long="">Opened recently. They can host up to 11 people, ideal for families, ask to cook you their lobster meal.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Domus Brugensis" alt="" address="Vuldersstraat 106" directions="" phone="+32473711045" url="http://www.domusbrugensis.be" checkin="" checkout="" price="€85" lat="" long="">Very romantic, spacious and authentic B&B suite in the centre. Owners are city guides.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Domus Brugensis" alt="" address="Vuldersstraat 106" directions="" phone="+32473711045" url="http://www.domusbrugensis.be" checkin="" checkout="" price="€85" lat="" long="">Very romantic, spacious and authentic B&B suite in the centre. Owners are city guides.</sleep>
Hotels:
*'''Hotel Tuilerieen''' [http://www.hoteltuilerieen.com/] Famous hotel.
*<sleep name="Walwyck Hotel" alt="" address="Leeuwstraat 8" directions="next to Leeuwebrug" phone="+32 50 616360" url="http://www.walwyck.com" checkin="2.00PM" checkout="12.00AM" price="Double: €100, Single: €90 (Breakfast and taxes included)" lat="" long="">Within the oldest ramparts of the medieval city, in the heart of the city, but in the middle of a green area. </sleep>
 
*'''Hotel Rosenburg''' [http://www.rosenburg.be] is next to the beautiful Coupure canal, with a tiny harbor. Their breakfast is large. They also have a garage you can rent.
==Get out==
The most popular day trips from Bruges:
* [[Damme]] is a small village town near Bruges. Some of the riverboats go there on a half-day cruise. It's a very scenic trip, the landscapes are picturesque, and the village of Damme even more so. You can also go there by bike (special route) and by local bus. It takes about 15 minutes by bus and an hour by boat.
* [[Ypres]] (''Ieper'') is an important site of Great War battles, cemeteries, monuments and traditions such as the Last Post (every evening). Very popular among old veterans and young boys interested in wars. About one hour 1h40 by train, changing at Kortrijk with a 40 minute wait between trains, and a very scenic ride.
* [[Ostend]] (''Oostende'') is the monumental beach resort which King Leopold II (1865-1909) built before his attention turned to destroying inner-city [[Brussels]] to build his new capital. The quintessential cosmopolitan 19th century beach resort, full of endearing villas that have been classified as official monuments. Less than 15 minutes by train.
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