Bruges has the distinction of being Europe's best-preserved medieval city and Belgium's most popular tourist destination, a veritable 13th-century 'open air museum'. It's a small town with lots of character and charm, with postcard-perfect cobbled streets and a maze of waterways inviting exploration by foot, horse-drawn carriage or canal boat.
While it's easy to pass the time simply marvelling at the beautiful buildings, visitors to Bruges can learn more about the city's long history through the many fascinating museums dedicated to everything from chocolate and frites (chips or french fries) to diamonds, art and folklore and lace.
Bruges is a foodie's dream destination, especially for chocolate lovers. It's hard to go more than a few metres without stumbling on a window display of dainty confections, and there are several factories and even a museum dedicated to chocolate making in Bruges. The restaurants in the city are just as mouthwatering, ranging from Michelin-starred establishments to humble waffle houses.
Known for its notoriously less-than-idyllic weather, Bruges's summers are colder than most cities in Europe and its winters are chilly and wet. This doesn't stop the locals from enjoying themselves though, as most of the city's biggest events take place in the winter, including chocolate and music festivals, ice sculpture competitions and Christmas markets.