- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- French Phrases
Used as a marketplace since 958, this square is still one of the liveliest places in Brugge. In the center stands a memorial to the city's medieval heroes, Jan Breydel and Pieter De Coninck, who led the commoners of Flanders to their short-lived victory over the aristocrats of France. On the east side of the Markt stand the provincial government house and the post office, an excellent pastiche of Burgundian Gothic. Old guild houses line the west and north sides of the square, their step-gabled facades overlooking the cafés spilling out onto the sidewalk. These buildings aren't always as old as they seem, though—often they're 19th-century reconstructions. The medieval Belfort (Belfry) on the south side of the Markt, however, is the genuine article. The tower dates to the 13th century, its crowning octagonal lantern to the 15th century. Altogether, it rises to a height of 270 feet, commanding the city and the surrounding countryside with more presence than grace. The valuables of Brugge were once kept in the second-floor treasury; now the Belfort's riches are in its remarkable 47-bell carillon, which rings even truer thanks to the new bells it was given in 2010. (Impressing Belgians with a carillon is no mean feat, as Belgium has some of the best in the world.) If you haven't walked enough, you can climb 366 winding steps to the clock mechanism, and from the carillon enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view. As the base of the belfry is a gallery containing a permanent collection of sketches and watercolors by (of all people) Salvador Dalí. Back in the square, you may be tempted by the horse-drawn carriages that congregate here; a half-hour ride for up to five people, with a short stop at the Begijnhof, costs €39 plus "something for the horse."
- Address: Intersection of Steenstraat, St-Amandstraat, Vlamingstraat, Philipstockstraat, Breidelstraat, and Wollestraat, Brugge, B8000 | Map It
- Phone: 050/44–87–11
- Cost: Belfort €8; Salvador Dalí €10
- Hours: Belfort daily 9:30–5; Salvador Dalí daily 10–6
- Metro Bus 1 or 12.
- Location: Brugge
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Though my entire stay in Belgium's pretty capital was 2.5 days in total, most of my time was spent cheering on our son's varsity basketball team in the tournament at ISB, but I was able to sneak some peeks Read more
We saw London, we saw France and lots more.
Day 1 (9/18) Amsterdam
Well I have put off this trip report long enough so here goes. I am writing this to pay forward the help and advice which I received from Read more
I am planning to backpack some parts of Europe. Read more
· News & Features
Stunning beaches, tantalizing food, and veritable vino—we're all about epicurean excellence ... Read more
A history of Moleskine notebooks and a blog for safari lovers are among the things we've been reading... Read more
Nassau is an easily accessible, fun-packed destination for adults and kids alike.... Read more