The gem of Belgium (Bruge)

travelmakersmdBruges is known for its canals, cobbled streets, castles and, of course, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

This city is located in northwest Belgium and is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in the world, such as the gothic-style Bruges’ Town Hall which was built between 376 and 1420. Here are six things you must see or do on your Bruges vacation:

Chocolate lovers haven: If you love chocolate, this Flemish city is for you, with dozens of sweet shops and chocolatiers to visit, where you can sample their treats and compare until you find your favorite. There is even a chocolate museum, Choco Story, with a library that contains the works on cocoa and chocolate and you can talk chocolate with experts.

Crazy about castles: Belgium has hundreds of castles, but not all of them are accessible to tourists. The Loppem Castle is a romantic structure that was built in 1856 by Baron Charles van Caloen for his wife Countess Savina de Gourcy Serainchamps. Check out other medieval structures at the historic center of Bruges, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. There are other must-see buildings, including the Concertgebouw, an international music and art center and the Museum St Janshospitaal, an 800-year-old hospital that is now a museum. It was once used to care for the sick and today the museum houses all the tools and medications it once used.

Carats: They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but everybody is going to love the Diamantmuseum, a place you can visit to see the history behind the diamond. Bruges is known as one of the older center for diamonds in Europe. Watch a diamond polishing show too.

Churches: Visit The Basilica of the Holy Blood, a Roman Catholic church that was built in the 12th century. It is said that there is a vial of Christ’s holy blood here that was supposedly brought back from the Holy Land.

Canals: Bruges has more than 80 bridges which creates plenty of canals to explore. Take a popular boat tour in this city that once was considered one of the wealthiest in Europe.

Craft of beer: Learn about your favorite beverage at The Bruges Beer Museum. Here you’ll learn about the history of beer, from its beginnings until the present day, beer in Bruges, Trappist beers, beer types and brewing processes.

Travel Makers MD