From beer to nuns, check out the best things Bruges has to offer.

Once a busy port, today a busy port of call on the tourist trail, Bruges is the best-preserved medieval city in Europe. And it’s a beauty.

Cruise the canals

Yes, it’s touristy but no, you can’t skip it. There is simply no better way to see the Venice of the North than to float gently along its waterways, so jump aboard one of the many boats and let the city’s ancient architecture wash past you.

Square off

Bruges has not one but two main squares. Markt is the city’s medieval heart and best seen from the summit of its 83m high Belfry, a climb of 366 steps. You’ll also see the smaller Burg from up here, the city’s administrative square with its magnificent Gothic town hall.

Indulge in chocolate heaven

Belgium is the undisputed home of gourmet chocolate and Bruges is the best place to shop for it. Pay a visit to The Chocolate Line and get ready to swear off the Dairy Milk forever. This is real chocolate, handcrafted by Dominique Persoone and his team, and featuring flavour combinations you can hardly imagine.

Sink a few pints

There’s so much beer in Bruges that an underground beer pipeline is needed. Yes, really. Help the city out by drinking at least some of it, working your way through the book-sized beer list at cosy brown café ‘t Brugs Beertje and raising a glass to 500 years of Café Vlissinghe with a locally brewed Straffe Hendrik. Even better, visit the brewery that produces it. De Halve Maan runs daily 45-minute guided tours that give an overview of the brewing process and include a tasting.