10 Free (or very cheap) Things to do in Bruges, Belgium

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Bruges, Destinations, Featured, Guest Posts | 11 comments

 Have you ever thought of visiting the Flemish city of Bruges, Belgium? Today’s guest poster, Emma, shares with us her tips on how to see Bruges on the cheap, including some great shots of this pretty, ancient city. You can find Emma at Inspiring Travel.

Bruges might not be the first location which springs to mind when you think of budget travel, but this doesn’t mean it costs the earth to visit. The Flemish city is one of Belgium’s most picturesque spots so here are some ideas for some free, or at least very cheap, things to do in Bruges.

1. Take a boat ride. This is the scenic way to explore Bruges’ beautiful canals. Although unfortunately not free, a boat ride will only set you back about 6 Euros for half an hour.


Bruges 02


2. Free guided tour. This can be a great way to start your visit so you can get a feel for Bruges and any places you may wish to go back to. Although many of the tours are free it is customary to make a contribution at the end of the tour if you feel your guide has done a particularly good job.


Bruges 01


3. Clock tower from the film. If you’ve ever seen the film ‘In Bruges’ then you can have fun discovering all the famous locations from the film. Check out the clock tower where Ray insulted a fat American lady.

4. Basilica of the Holy Blood. Originally built in the 12th century, the basilica houses a highly coveted fragment of cloth which is said to be stained with the blood of Christ. You can enter the basilica for free or visit the museum for €1.

5. Church of our Lady. The Church of our Lady is the tallest structure in Bruges and houses a white marble sculpture by the one and only Michelangelo. The sculpture depicts the Madonna and Child and is one of the most treasured items in the Church. You can enter the church for a donation of a couple of Euros.


Bruges 05


6. Memling Museum and St John’s Hospital

St John’s Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe. The admission fee is around €8 which includes the old infirmary, pharmacy and museum. If you enjoy visiting museums you can invest in a Bruges City Card, which for a one-time price, will give you access to all of Bruges’ museums.

7. Get lost! The simplest way to enjoy Bruges for free is to forget the map and just have a wander. You’ll notice that many of the buildings have stepped roofs – traditionally the more steps the building had the richer the owner.


Bruges 04


8. Parks. There are plenty of parks in Bruges where you can relax and enjoy a picnic or a sunbathe. Koningin Astrid Park is a good choice and features a small lake and an impressive blue and gold bandstand.

9. Climb the Belfry tower in the market square. Climb the 366 steps of steep and narrow ascent and the views will definitely be worth it.

 10. Market square. The market square has bustling atmosphere and every Wednesday you’ll find a traditional market where you can pick up some handmade and local produce.


Bruges 03


Needless to say, you won’t be stuck for things to do if you decide to visit this beautiful city. It’s easy just to lose yourself in the narrow streets and fantastic architecture without having to part with huge amounts of your spending money.


Bio: Emma is a 22 year old travel blogger who loves to write and take photographs. She hopes to inspire people to get away and see the world and she shares her own experiences and travel tips on her website www.inspiring-travel.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @Emma_090391.

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  1. what a great list – its always nice to explore a destination this kind of way & if it’s free it’s even better, especially in Europe 🙂

    • Yes, Europe can be pricey. Bruges looks like one of those places that you could spend quite a bit of time just wandering around or floating through the canals.

  2. You’re right about the scenery. It’s beautiful. I bet a boat ride along can get you lot of pictures.

    • I would love to be floating along those canals!

    • You’re right – it’s great for photographs. You get to take in all the buildings from a completely different angle. Plus it’s nice and relaxing!

    • You’re right – a boat ride is great for photographs. You get to take in all the buildings from a completely different angle, plus it’s nice and relaxing!

  3. We did Ghent and Bruge as a day trip from Brussels. We found a very comfy and scenic pub in Ghent, and lingered longer than we meant to. So we only got to Bruge in late afternoon in the rain (and after a walk around town, we went into another pub to warm up). I think we shortchanged charming Bruge and I would definitely like to go back again to give it a full day.

  4. Bruges looks amazing, very quaint, having seen the film and now read your ideas on the place I’ll have to book a trip soon

  5. We loved Bruges (even if it was overcast all the time). We just enjoyed wandering around the streets taking in the views.

    And, of course, the chocolate!

  6. Great post. Very useful information. I will try them as soon i have the chance, Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  7. Bruges is a lovely city to just wander through for a day, but as soon as you want to eat or drink something, you’ll pay tourist prices. It’s one of the most visited places in Belgium and there’s always tourists there. I don’t mean to say that you can’t visit it on the cheap, you definitely can. Just don’t go into too many places:)

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