With its medieval buildings and magnificent facades, Bruges is a wonder in the summer months and a mysterious, beautiful marvel in the winter.
Appearing famously in the cult classic ‘In Bruges’, the town is very much a chocolate box affair and often looks toy like in its buildings.
Although beautiful, Bruges can be a rather expensive venture, being based in the heart of the fine wine and food of Belgium.
If you’re looking to enjoy a break in Bruges on a budget, check out our guide here to navigating the city on the cheap.
Get there for a budget price.
If you’re flying to Bruges, then your cheapest options will of course be found over on Skyscanner, and, similar to most small European towns, you can take advantage of the train that leaves directly from the Brussel’s airport to Bruges, it only takes around one hour and will save you a considerable amount of money which would have been spent on various forms of public transport.
Grab affordable accommodation.
There are plenty of hostels of choose from if you are looking to enjoy a budget escape to Bruges. Charlie Rocket’s hostel, based in the city centre, comes in at around £40 for two nights in a shared dormitory room and just under £100 for two nights in a private one- which, in comparison to the hundreds spent on hotel prices, is a pretty affordable venture!
If you are looking to spend a bit more, then air BnB is a great way to grab yourself some accommodation in Bruges, you can chose between a whole apartment or just a rented room, either of which will probably be based in the beautiful city centre.
Enjoy the free activities.
Concerning free activities, there are plenty to enjoy in the city centre.
Take a free chocolate tour.
You can take a free chocolate tour around Wollestraat, where you can enjoy all the free chocolate samples that you can get your hands on.
If you would like to buy, and let’s face it, the temptation is pretty hard to ignore, then you can head to a chocolate shop called Confiserie Crevin who let you use their chocolate fountain after you’ve made a purchase. Worth remembering!
Enjoy the food for discount prices.
If you’re heading to Bruges then you simply need to get yourself a Bruges waffle.
It’s important to note that there are two types of waffle, the Brussels’ one, which is light, crispy, sugar coated and usually can be found in sit-down restaurants.
Then there is the Liege waffle, which is made from a much thicker mixture, chunkier in texture and is often covered in chocolate.
You can pick up a huge waffle at Chez Albert located in the city’s centre for around €4.50, the waffles tend to be extremely filling so one shared will only cost you around two euros each, which is worth it for how delicious these things are.
If you’d like a caffeine kick to start your day of exploring, then head to the Café: Li O Lait, according to legend, the iced coffees are delicious, pair this with a fresh bagel or a bowl of muesli and you’re looking at around five euros for the whole meal, what a delicious bargain.
For a filling, hearty box of spicy tomato pasta then your best option is Bocco. You can grab a large box of a pasta of your choice for five euros; they have a pretty incredible four cheese sauce which you definitely need to get!
Window shop for free.
Although window shopping doesn’t really appeal to everyone, window shopping in Bruges is a great experience as the shops are usually adorned with beautiful trinkets, freshly baked bread, miniature waffles, delicately decorated cakes and glistening displays of Belgium beer glasses, meaning that the views aren’t all that bad.
Enjoy a brewery tour.
For just ten euro, you can take a brewery tour around the old town in Bruges; it takes around 45 minutes and involves a free blonde beer at the end of the venture.
The Brouwerij De Halve Maan Brugge brewery dates back to 1856 and is family-run, meaning that it’s super rich in history and heritage and is a fascinating activity for a budget price.
The tour is also a great money saver as it takes you up to the top of the brewery in the package, meaning that you can enjoy a view of Bruges without spending more money on going up the Belfry of Bruges.
Marvel at the beautiful buildings for free.
There are plenty of beautiful buildings in the city centre that are completely free of charge for you to ogle at.
Burg Square is located in the centre of Bruges and offers lovely viewing, you can then walk up through the scenic alleyways to Gentpoort gate, relax along the canal at Minnewater Park before heading to the peaceful garden of Begijnhof- all free of charge!
Enjoy a canal boat tour.
The canals in Bruges are completely blocked off to other marine traffic, which means that the town really is a toy box affair.
The only boats you’ll see on the water with you will be fellow tour boats meaning that the experience will be incredibly serene and picturesque, boat tour tickets are only around eight euro for a thirty minute tour which is really all the time that you need to pass through the beautiful old town.
Due to them being blocked off from the public waterways and with the majority of the boats powered by man power, the canals are pretty clean and the locals tend to swim in them during the summer months.
Bruges is a tiny city and is perfectly accessible by foot for the whole duration of your stay- meaning that public transport is not really necessary- which saves you plenty of money which would have been spent purchasing travel tickets!