Bruges is a gorgeous combination of cobbled streets, market squares, and historic buildings. It’s often referred to as the ‘Venice of the north’ because of its system of canals and bridges. Taking a boat trip is one of the best ways to view the city (watch out for the swans though!)
The closest port is Zeebrugge which is approximately a 30-minute drive from central Bruges, we made our way into Bruges using a shuttle service called Cruise Express which I organised prior to our visit and would thoroughly recommend.
Arrival in Bruges
When you arrive in Bruges you will have a number of options to get into central Bruges. You could…
Take a Taxi. €50 each way. – I’d never do this, I’m not made of money!
Take the cruise shuttle. – The costs will depend heavily on the cruise line, when we were onboard the Independence of the seas a ‘self guided’ 3 hour tour of Bruges was £38! That literally just includes a tranfer into town and back, plus you must stay there for the full amount of time.
Independent shuttle, Cruise Express – €20 return , buses every half an hour. Easy peasy!
I would 100% recommend using Cruise Express if you are in Bruges, I found it to be really easy and cheaper than the alternatives. When you arrive in port you need to take the free shuttle bus to the port edge and there you will find the Cruise Express tent. From here you can get the shuttle bus into Bruges. They have a bus going into Bruges every 30 minutes up until 12 pm and then they have buses travelling back for the 4 hours before your ship departs. We found the whole thing to be really convenient, it meant we could go and come back whenever we wanted and also saved a ton of money compared to the other options. Win-win!
I filmed a lot during this trip so will probably make a video sometime soon, keep your eyes peeled! You can check out Cruise Express here if you are heading to Bruges. Below is me, looking very happy about being on the bus in my bright red coat (it did rain!)
What to see in Bruges
Bruges is a really easy place to get around, it is all walkable and most of the roads are just for pedestrians meaning that you don’t have to worry about cars getting in your way. The city is very touristy and as a result can get very busy (certainly in summer), don’t let this put you off though! I felt very safe in Bruges and would love to return again. Below are some things that I think you should see when you are in Bruges:
Visit the Chocolate shops!
Bruges is FULL of chocolate shops, most will give you a free sample if you walk in too. I would recommend a visit just to see the chocolate even if you don’t necessarily intend on eating any. Some of the shapes that they can mold chocolate into are just incredible! Who doesn’t want a chocolate monkey wrench? *Cue foo fighters song*
But.. I don’t really like to chocolate. So I had some ‘Mustache Acid’ instead…
Take a boat trip
A boat trip is one of the easiest ways to see a lot of Bruges in a relatively small amount of time. The waters of Bruges are full of boats which manage to pass past each other effortlessly and turn around in the narrow canals. Most boat tours take around 30 minutes and will provide you with a commentary on the history of Bruges and landmarks of the city. Tours cost from €8 which I think is a bargain! Below is a photo of me and my brother in front of one of the many swan filled canals.
The historic centre of Bruges
The centre of Bruges is actually a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its gothic architecture. It was a lot of fun to just wander around the streets, taking in the many town squares and gorgeous buildings. Each square that we stumbled across was teeming with life and activity. The city is full of tourists (for obvious reasons).
If all of that wasn’t enough, why not get yourself some coockies??
I will be bringing you a video soon about my day in Bruges, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here so that you don’t miss it!: YouTube
I was lucky enough to visit Bruges onboard the lovely Independence of the seas! It was my first Royal Caribbean cruise and I had an amazing time. I would thoroughly recommend the ship and Royal Caribbean. Full ship review of here: Independence of the seas.