From canal cruises and walking tours to museums and zoos, you’ll never be bored in Belgium. Celebrated for its chocolates and its beers, it’s the perfect place to learn how both are made and enjoy a cheeky sample. There’s a similar element of a ‘child in a sweet shop’ for culture lovers in Belgium too as the streets are decorated in graffiti and there are tons of attractions dedicated to art, music and literature.
The Belfry of Bruges, also known as the Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical centre of Bruges. Standing tall at 83-meters-high, it’s one of the city’s most recognisable symbols.
The belfry was previously a treasury and home the municipal archives, also serving as a viewing point for spotting fires and danger as you get panoramic views of the whole Bruges from the very top. If the weather isn’t cloudy you can even see the North Sea, providing you don’t mind climbing the 366 narrow steps.
Stop off to learn about the history and working of the building, and look out for the old treasury, where the city’s charters, seal and public funds were kept during the Middle Ages, and for the impressive clock or in the carillonneur’s chamber.
Alternatively, you can take the lift which brings you to the roof of the concert hall.
For maximum impact, listen out for the melodious chime of the tower’s 47 bells.
With over 400 varieties of beer made in the country, it’s no surprise that beer drinking is a big part of Belgian culture. Try it for yourself during a Beer Tasting tour and find out loads of interesting trivia at the same time, including how there’s a two-mile underground pipe that runs beneath Bruges specifically for transporting freshly-brewed beer to a bottling plant beyond the city limits. If you’re in Bruges, head for a brewery tour at De Halve Maan, The Half Moon to start this at the beginning of the pipeline.
A canal cruise is a great way to see the city of Bruges from a completely different perspective and capture some incredible photographs. Sit back and relax while the knowledgeable tour guides point out various attractions, history and trivia, flowing seamlessly from one language to the next.
There are more 80 bridges that pass over the canals so you can also admire them from on land, if you so wish.
Chocolate is a pivotal part of Belgium’s economy and culture so it’s no wonder that people come from all over the world to taste it. Opt for a tour to visit some of the best chocolate shops in the country, learn the secret that lies in the ingredients used to make them and try your hand at the carefully perfected production process.