Xmas weekend break in Bruges

Trish Griffiths on 04 December 2010
Our trip to Bruges to see the Xmas Markets started with a very pleasant journey on Eurostar from St Pancras - there are 3 classes of travel on Eurostar - Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier. We chose to travel Standard Premier which allows you bigger seats and a light meal with drinks (including wine). You need to change trains in Brussels for your onward journey to Bruges. The whole journey depending on your train connections takes about 3.5-4hrs.

It’s easy to see why Bruges is known as the ‘’Venice of the North’’, this splendid medieval city is one of Belgium’s crown jewels. No other European city has the feel and the look of medieval times…. It ranks, even today, among the important cities of Belgium. It is also the capital of the Belgian province of West-Flanders. A lot of people take day-trips from Brussels to Bruges, but there is too much to see here to fill only 1 day. The best way to visit Bruges is to spend at least one night in one of the many beautiful and cozy hotels. We stayed for 2 nights and chose to stay at the Martins Hotel which is in a fantastic location, right behind the Market Square. We were lucky with the weather, as it was snowing when we arrived, but the next day it was dry and had a lovely feel of Xmas. However I can imagine Bruges is always beautiful, in the summer time as well as in the winter time.

The main market square had an ice-rink which allowed children (and adults) to test their skills of ice-skating. Around the perimeter of the ice-rink were lots of wooden huts selling their Xmas wares as well as hot food and drinks – I am now addicted to mulled wine.

Away from the Market square strolling through the tiny medieval streets can be an enchanting experience….nearly every street is worth a photo….the Medieval buildings, the canals, even the displays in the shops are very photogenic. Of course a visit to Bruges wouldn’t be complete without a canal or carriage ride, sampling the chocolates and waffles, shopping for craft work including Bruges famous lace, visiting art galleries, climbing the belfry or trying several of the more than 350 available Belgian beers. My husband managed to find a well known beer café he had read about and of course we had to try a beer or two! Phil had a beer called KWAK and I had a glass of ‘Raspberry Beer’ which I am now a fan of.... as well as Baileys and Hot Chocolate which is an ideal drink to warm you up during your afternoon walks!!

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