13 Best Bruges Tours

There’s a reason Bruges is often called the Venice of the North. This charming medieval city in Belgium has a population of around 120,000 and more than 80 canals and bridges.

It is also known for its cobblestone streets, historic city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and some of the best preserved medieval buildings in all of Europe.

Bruges has quickly become one of Europe’s top tourist destinations. People come here for the museums, great food and beer, stunning architecture, and a wealth of things to see and do in and around the city.

They also come to enjoy the many festivals held throughout the year, including Bruges Blues, Chocolate Chocolate Festival and the Late Summer Festival.

Here are 13 of the best tours in Bruges.

1. Visit the Chocolate Museum

Bruges Chocolate Museum

Humans have craved the sweetness of chocolate for thousands of years, and visitors to Bruges can learn about its fascinating history by visiting the Chocolate Story Chocolate Museum.

Learn how chocolate became a beloved treat around the world and how it has changed over the centuries to become what it is today.

View over 500 chocolate-related items in the museum collection. Witness the chocolate making process and taste delicious samples.

Be sure to take the time to visit the museum, as tickets are valid for the entire day.

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2. Take a two-hour guided tour of Bruges

Bruges, Belgium

The best way to really get to know a city is to walk around it. Visitors to Bruges can do this with the help of a local guide who will provide information about the city’s history and culture.

This two-hour walking tour starts right outside the central train station. As you pass through the historic city centre, you will see many sights including the Lake of Love, Walplein Square, Begijnhof, Church of Our Lady, Gruuthuse Palace, Dijver Canal and Basilica of the Holy Blood.

You’ll also get some free time to explore on your own and grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or cafes along the way. At the end of the tour, your guide will provide you with a map, some suggestions for sights and activities, and discount cards for restaurants, shops and museums.

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3. Explore Bruges by rickshaw

Guided Rickshaw Tour

There are many ways to explore Bruges, but probably the most comfortable way is by rickshaw. On this 1- to 2-hour tour, you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of well-known tourist areas and lesser-known neighborhoods.

Start the tour at the market square. As you go, you’ll see many of the most famous landmarks and sights before entering territory you didn’t know existed.

Listen carefully as your knowledgeable guide tells stories about history and local legends.

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4. Learn how to make Belgian chocolate

Belgian Chocolate Workshop

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make chocolate so you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere, this Belgian chocolate-making workshop is for you.

Spend two and a half hours learning the theory behind chocolate making, learning tips and tricks to make sure your batches are right every time, and making your own. You’ll be making both pralines and Mendiants, two of the most popular Belgian chocolates.

When all is said and done, you’ll have about 30 fresh chocolate bars to enjoy with a cup of homemade hot chocolate.

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5. Visit Bruges’ highlights and hidden gems

Grote Markt, Bruges

Spend three hours wandering the cobblestone streets, admiring the canals and medieval buildings, and exploring lesser-known corners of Bruges with a knowledgeable local guide who knows places not usually listed in travel books.

This comprehensive tour will take you away from the tourist crowds and into urban areas popular with locals. Along the way, visit the city’s oldest brewery, admire the interior of a Gothic church, relax by the Lake of Love, and sample chocolates at a Belgian chocolate shop.

This tour is flexible, so if you have anything else you’d like to see, be sure to mention it to your guide so he or she can try to add it to the tour.

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6. Rewind to the Middle Ages at the History Museum

Bruges History Museum

If you find yourself wondering what it’s like to experience the city of Bruges in a medieval way, this ticket will allow you to do just that. As a bonus, you can skip the line and enjoy free drinks.

The History Museum is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Upon arrival, your host will give you an introduction, followed by a virtual reality tour of 1435. On your tour, you’ll fly over the city to see what it was like in those buzzy times, before sailing into the port of Bruges.

There are also interactive exhibits on site; here, you can learn everything about the Middle Ages in this fascinating city.

Before you leave, enjoy a free drink at the Duvelorium Grand Beer Café, where you will also have the opportunity to sample a variety of Belgian beers.

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7. Dinner and a medieval show

    Bruges Medieval Dinner and Show

Back in 1468, you were a guest at the wedding of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York. Spend an evening celebrating and indulging in food, drink and entertainment over the course of five hours.

Enter the former Jesuit church in the historic city center to start the evening with a four-course dinner similar to what was served at the time.

Enjoy a deliciously prepared menu of meat sauces, soups, breads, ribs, chicken and a variety of vegetables, followed by an apfelstrudel dessert.

After dinner, costumed entertainers performed martial arts, dancing, falconry, swordsmanship, fire-eating and other wonderful performances. Choose from a variety of local wines and beers while enjoying the show.

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8. Visit all the top attractions at once

Lake of Love, Bruges

Head to the Vivaldi restaurant, where you’ll meet a local guide who will take you on foot through Bruges on a three-hour journey.

Visit many of the city’s most iconic sights, including the Church of Our Lady, where you’ll see Michelangelo’s Madonna. The Clock Tower, Burg Square, Church of the Holy Blood and Beguinage are also some of the landmarks you will see on this tour.

At the end of this three-hour tour, you can choose to take an extraordinary canal tour.

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9. Indulge in a beer and chocolate tasting tour

3-Hour Beer and Chocolate Tasting Tour

This three-hour tour combines historical sights with local cuisine. Pick you up at your hotel and join your knowledgeable guide who will take you through the city’s historic center.

Fish Market, Dijver, Minnewater, The Burg and Market Square are just some of the famous landmarks you’ll see along the way.

Taste delicious Belgian chocolate at the Chocolate Story Museum and learn about the history of this beloved delicacy, then enjoy a three-course lunch at De Halve Maan Brewery.

After lunch, visit the brewery and learn about modern brewing techniques.

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10. Delve into World War History

Menning Gate Memorial Hall

Whether you’re a World War I history buff or someone looking to learn more about the Great War, this 9-hour in-depth bus tour covers several iconic sights associated with World War I.

On your way to Ypres, travel through the countryside in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Check out the 55,000 names on the Grand Menin Gate Memorial.

See restored trenches, bunkers, well-preserved battlefields and war tombs. Before returning to Bruges, you’ll stop for an impressive view of Flanders’ infamous poppy fields.

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11. Make Your Own Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles

Head to the Ezelstraat district, where you’ll take part in a 90-minute workshop on the art of Belgian waffle making.

Follow your instructor for a quick history lesson and guide you through the process of preparing, baking and decorating your own waffle creations.

Top your waffles with cream, fruit, honey or chocolate and enjoy a free drink while you eat as many waffles as you can.

Leave a recipe behind so you can make these delicious treats at home.

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12. Explore Bruges at night

Bruges by night

Bruges has a magical feeling after the sun goes down. On this two-hour walking tour, you can experience the lively atmosphere of this medieval city after dark.

Meet your local guide at Markt 5 and follow cobblestone streets past canals and historic buildings. Skip the tourist areas and stop at Cafe Rose Red to learn more about the city’s cycling culture.

Head to Jan van Eyck Square and hear stories about this famous Dutch painter. Admire the beautiful St. James Church, built in 1240.Take a break with a free drink at the Eiermarkt

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13. Take an architectural tour of Bruges

Bruges Cathedral tower

Bruges is known for its well-preserved medieval buildings and unique architecture. This 2-hour walking tour is a great way to see the best of the best.

Hear the legends of medieval life from your professional guide. Admire the views of Lake Minnewater and explore the former red light district. Admire the Gothic cathedral with the tallest tower in Bruges.

Witness the combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture at Burg Square. Stroll around Bruges’ Grand Place and you’ll see the Clock Tower and the Hall of Provence.

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