Bruges for 1st time


May 2nd, 2015, 08:32 PM
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Bruges for 1st time

We have 1 day, from a cruise ship. I have always been wanting to see this city. Should we find a day tour? How easy is the city to navigate?
wordsmith1 is offline  
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May 2nd, 2015, 08:52 PM
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No need for a tour guide. The charm is in walking the city.
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May 2nd, 2015, 08:54 PM
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Easy to navigate , but do a little homework and decide what you want to see, otherwise you are just walking about not really knowing what you are looking at.

But do take a canal ride for sure.
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May 2nd, 2015, 09:38 PM
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There are some important works of art, etc. that you might want to see, but the city is very, very small. Download info from online and print out a map.

You absolutely do not need a guide. It is easy to walk.

You could also rent bikes and bike along a canal or see the windmills. You could also take a horse and carriage ride or a canal ride. We did the canal, but I think we would have enjoyed the carriage ride more.

If you get there early, there is a great market in the square, but I don't know which days. It is nice to have lunch in the square. Food is good everywhere, but we hated the waffles. Great ice-cream place right on the square.

It is a wonderfully charming place. You will enjoy it.

What port is your ship actually stopping in? How long will you have?
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May 6th, 2015, 01:10 PM
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We have a day there---want to hear of a few highlights of the city so we are not aimlessly wandering?
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May 6th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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My husband & I were in Bruges last fall. Here are a few highlights of our 4 night stay:

> Belford (Bell Tower)
> Beginjhof
> Church of Our Lady - to see Michelangelo's magnificent statue of the Madonna & Child
> Hans Memling Museum
> Market Day (Wednesday)
> chocolate shops
> walking along the canal that circles Old Bruges to see the windmills

Of course, with one day in Bruges, you will have to be selective. I recommend you check a guidebook to see all what the city has to offer.

Have fun planning your day in picturesque Bruges!
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May 6th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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My favorite thing to do in Bruges or any Flemish city is to head to the Frites Wagon on the central square - and get some piping hot fresh cut frencf fries served in a paper cone with a myriad of toppings, some for us rather exotic - in these images you can see the most popular topping - an ocean of mayo!

Belgium is known to have the finest frites - french for french frieds or friten I think for Flemish - in the world! Belgium not France put french fries on the map (the word french refers to a type of cooking - frenched fries - not the country of France).
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May 6th, 2015, 03:30 PM
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I spent 4 nights in Bruges and could have spent longer. This was my itinerary (taken from various sources and forum postings):

* 4 remaining windmills outside walls

* 4 remaining Medieval City Gates: Gentpoort, Kruisport, Ezelpoort, and Smedepoort -Beginning of 15th Century

* Canal Cruise on De Lamme Goedzaak - Sails between Bruges and Damme - 45 minutes

* Cathedral - Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig Bloedbasilick) Blood of Jesus. The chapel of the Holy Blood is actually a double chapel which can be visited on the 'Burg' square in Bruges. One can enter the church on the first floor where the Holy Blood is kept via the 'Steeghere' which is a beautifully decorated façade behind which a staircase leads to the first floor. The relic is shown to the public every Friday. Reliquary can be seen in the Museum of the Holy Blood next door to the Holy Blood Chapel.

* Town Hall and Burg Square, Office of the Town Clerks (Oude Griffie), and justice buildings Go inside! One of the most beautiful buildings of Bruges can be seen here : the gothic town hall from 1376 is one of most beautiful bldgs in Belgium

* Huidenvettersplein has some of the best restaurants in the city and the VIEW over the waters of the Burgundian Cross is STUNNING

* Some old patrician houses still have window panes of Venetian glass - House # 7 on Dijiver is worth noting.

* The Groeninge Museum Small museum in both size and collection, quality is fantastic! Collection of Flemish masters. Museum's masterpiece is 'The Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele', which Van Eyck painted in 1436
'Death of the Holy Virgin' by Hugo van der Goes, and 'The altar of Saint Christopher' by Hans Memling, Located in a former Augustian monestary.

* The Gruuthuse Museum - Furniture, tapestries, silver, etc. of life in the 16th and 17th C Bruges

* Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk)- Mary of Burgundy and Chas the Bold tombs and several Old Master paintings are the highlight. Don't miss Michelangelo's Madonna & Child sculpture (only Michelangelo sculpture to leave Italy during his lifetime. Largest Gothic church in low countries built in 13th C. Served as royal wedding chapels to dukes of Burgundy

* Holy Savior's Cathedral (St. Salvatorskathedraal)- The other major church, also houses Burgundian masterpieces. Gothic choir stalls. Founded in 646.

* Canal Ride/tour - Neat to see town from canal and offers a good overview of the historic center

* De Halve Maan Brewery beer tour and tasting

* Hospital Museum - St. John's Hospital (Memlingmuseum housed the 13th C St. Janshospitaal)

* Great photo op from bridge to left of canal and hospital

* In front of Our Lady's church stands the large complex of the medieval St. John's hospital, one of the oldest still existing hospitals in Europe. In 1978 it lost its function as hospital and harbors now the Memling museum, the hospital museum and the old pharmacy.

* Minnewater - Minnewater and its lovely park are the entrance to the beautiful city of Bruges. The Minnewater is a canalized lake. From the bridge (1740) one can already enjoy a nice panoramic view over the town. Because of the idyllic surroundings it is mostly referred to as 'the lake of Love', the Dutch word 'Minne' meaning 'love'. Gorgeous view!!!

* Beginhof - ( Prinselijk Begijnhof ten Wijnarde) - One of the most enchanting nooks in Bruges: Beguines residence founded in 1245. Just behind the Minnewater lies the Beguinage 'De Wijngaard' (= the Vineyard). It is one of those typical areas in Bruges where one can find more peace and quiet than in the sometimes busy and overcrowded streets of the town center. The Beguinage is a group of houses around a little garden covered with large poplar trees. It was here that during the last seven centuries lived the beguines of Bruges. In 1937 the beguinage became a monastery for the Benedictine sisters who still live here now.

* Kantcentrum (lace center) - you can buy lace and watch the craft being practiced

* Streets and Alleys north of Markt - Spanjardstraat leads to oldest bridge in city, you also see Spaanse Looskai, Oosterlingenplein and the Natiehaus (Nation House of Genoa). Headqtrs of Florentines at corner of Vlamingstraat and Academiestraat (now chic restaurant), Venetian residence down street a bit further. Old Customs House is one of most beautiful and ornately decorated gothic bldgs of Bruges on Academiestraat.

* Chocolate Museum and Frites Museum

* Fish market and craft stalls

* Market square and belfry tower - completely refurbished and is now one of the most attractive parts of the city. The main monument is of course the belfry tower and the cloth hall. On the Northern side of the Market is the Provincial Court.
The belfry tower charms the visitor with the lovely music of a carillion, which consists of 47 bells. 366 steps to top for a beautiful view!

* Good photo op - from the bell tower 366 steps up!!!

* Good photo op - Groenerei canal from far side of bridge looking towards cathedral

* Good photo op - view of canal beside St. Janshopsitaal
* A favorite part of Brugge was around the river and windmills and the church of St Anne's -- a great, classic early 20th century Belgian residential neighborhood

* Jerusalem church has preserved its original style almost completely. The beautiful stained glass windows date from 1482 and 1560. Behind the lower altar is a small space which suggests the tomb of Christ.
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May 6th, 2015, 04:08 PM
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new york joan gives reason why you could stay days in Bruges and not be bored!
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May 7th, 2015, 07:05 AM
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May 7th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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In addition to the info above, f you are interested in making lace:

It is a very pretty city.
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May 7th, 2015, 08:17 AM
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bookmarking. And I miss those frittes!
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